Andrew Eales: Fresh Air

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I am delighted to announce that my composition Fresh Air has been selected and licensed by ABRSM for inclusion in their 2023-24 Grade 1 Piano Exam Pieces book.

The piece was originally composed for and published in the 2018 Editions Musica Ferrum collection Mosaic 1.

The composition is a gentle tune which I wrote in my head while walking in the local park with my dog Bella one lovely spring morning. The chords I’ve used mostly lack their bass note, giving a sense of weightlessness, as if floating in calm blue skies.

Here’s my recording of the piece, followed by my practice tips…

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Stanisław Prószyński: Easy Pieces for Piano


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MUSIC FROM CHOPIN’S LAND
In 2020, I was commissioned by PWM Edition to record five films showcasing piano music by Polish composers. Captivated by new musical discoveries, I have continued to independently explore and review this repertoire…


Stanisław Prószyński’s name will be new to many readers, as it was to me when I found a copy of his Easy Pieces for piano on the shelf at the PWM headquarters during my visit to the publisher in Kraków in 2020.

Then freshly reprinted with a lovely new cover design by Joanna Rusinek, the book includes 15 pieces suitable for elementary players (UK Grades 1-2), and I brought a copy home (along with the many other books which I have been introducing here over the months).

Let’s find out a little more about the composer and these pieces…

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Sonny Chua’s ‘Cool Keys’

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“Sonny Chua was an Australian composer, educator and pianist, known for his characterful and energetic musical style, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Today, on what would have been his 53rd birthday, we are honoured to announced that we will be publishing his ‘Cool Keys’ books for solo piano later this month.”

With these words Faber Music last month announced the imminent arrival of Cool Keys, two books of pieces suitable for Elementary and Intermediate players respectively, while also drawing attention to the sad circumstances of their publication.

Happily, the books offer a superb testament to the talent and imagination of Chua: one which will undoubtedly be welcomed warmly by those who knew him, while introducing his best educational music to a wider global audience.

So let’s take a closer look at these very special publications, which are now available to purchase…

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Gradebusters: 15 Awesome Solos

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Grade exams getting you down?
Who are you going to call?… GRADEBUSTERS!!

Gradebusters is the cheekily-titled new series from Hal Leonard. Serving up a rich feast of universally popular music that players everywhere will be hungry to play, each book is packed with instantly recognisable hits and infectious tunes. The series so far includes books for piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, alto and tenor sax, nominally ‘Grade 1’ level.

The Gradebusters grade 1 piano book includes “15 awesome solos from ABBA to Aladdin”, and is available now. Grades 2 and 3 are expected to follow soon.

Here’s a quick rundown of the resource, the music included, and some ideas about who this book would suit…

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