12 Atmospheric Pieces for Early-Intermediate
to Late-Intermediate Piano
On the media player below, click on the 'time' listing for each item to open the link to the track page which contains more detail of each track.
This collection was inspired by the boys I teach and their never-endng demands for fast, dark and scary music. Some of these needs, I've already met in other collections, with pieces such as 'The Dark Phantom', 'Troll', 'Dragon's Lair' and others. And it should be said from the outset that these pieces are in no way intended exclusively for boys. Many of the girls I teach take great pleasure in speed and teenage girls in particular relate strongly to rich dark textures and melodies that stimulate their emotional responses. In general, as always, my aim is to cultivate sound technical development along with the requisite capturing of the imagination!
Fast music provides a wonderful opportunity to work with and hone technical skills, without which these pieces can't be performed effectively. The greatest effect is created through contrast and 'effect' is what most of our young students want to deliver. Fast playing is most effective when countered with stasis or variation in the tempo. Similarly, big chords have more power when balanced with delicate notes and loud playing has its greatest impact when contrasted with soft. Ultimately my young students (and yours) either want to impress anyone and everyone who can hear them or shut themselves away in a private place to live deeply into their music. These pieces are designed to meet those needs. None are easy - they all present challenges within the levels they are written for - but they do inspire the student to step up to meet that challenge.
Usually I grade the pieces in my collections, at least roughly, from easiest to hardest but in this case I wanted the book to be a journey, with each piece fitting into its own place in the story - consequently some of the easier pieces will be found further into the book and pieces can and should be chosen according to the appropriateness for, as well as the desires of the student.
I use pedal pretty freely throughout to add colour and contrast so feel free to add pedal where it seems appropriate and where the student can manage.
Grading: 1st - 5th Grade - AMEB/ANZCA