Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, piano, playing piano, popular repertoire for piano, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, teaching piano to adults, word, wordpress,, you tube video, yout tube,

When a beginning adult piano student wants to learn popular music….(Video samples)

I have no problem indulging the musical appetites of my adult students, as long as they keep up their technical routines, and balance their intake of popular servings with Classical. Same applies to my younger pupils who are up to the task of reading music well enough so they can tackle music in various genres.

Today, I prepared a few videos for an adult student who can handle pieces I selected from Faber’s Older Beginner Popular Repertoire Books I and II. (She had past lessons as a child)

Here’s a sampling of those I shot off by e-mail:

1) “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” played alone as a solo, and then in accompaniment form. The student will eventually enrich her melody with satisfying harmonies when she more thoroughly learns the piece. The harmonic cushion will be appealing.

2) “James Bond Theme”–This is very catchy, and has a patterned set of bass chords. The sonorities, alone will be an enticement to practice. This piece will also work for Fritz, my 8-year old student, who’s now practicing selections in Faber Developing Artist, along with a Carnival of the Animals arrangement by Saint-Saens, Gillock’s “Clowns” and “Bear” by Rebikov. It adds up to a well-rounded repertoire of compositions supported by five-finger warm-ups in Major and minor along with “Skipping” and “Hopping” romps.

3) “Hedwig’s Theme” — A lovely meandering melody, with appealing chromatic movement makes this a favorite.

The adult student who is recipient of this music, is playing a Canzonetta and a few extracts from Adult Beginner Faber: “Midnight Ride,” and” Gypsy Band” which have her riveted to the piano.

She’s also playing five-finger positions in legato, and has dipped into staccato through Dozen a Day “Hopping” routines.

The momentum should be sustained with a mixture of popular and Classical pieces. Among the latter are “Minuet” by Reinagle and Beyer’s “Melody.”

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