Music From China: a new book of lovely pieces for piano! RSS

News / 02/11/2020
Music From China: a new book of lovely pieces for piano!

I was instantly captivated by this book of music from China. Starting at around grade 2 and progressing much further, the book would make a lovely gift for a young pianist to dip into over several years. The pieces are varied in character - dance-like, evocative or dramatic - and they also feel good to play, physically. Any of the pieces would be great for a concert. 

Here's the first piece, The Panda (or, in Chinese, 'Xiong Mao'):


All the pieces are engaging and characterful and, enjoying playing through them, I barely noticed the related theory and technical tips that precede each one. Looking back, these are excellent - they help the teacher to achieve a holistic approach to teaching and learning, and provide useful insights into the structure of the music.

At the start of The Panda, the C and A Minor pentatonic scales are given, and identified within the context of the piece, as well as an exploration of the melodic motifs and rhythmic patterns. There are technical tips too - The Giraffe features 2-note and 3-note slurs, along with a description of how to manage these elegantly. The Peacock explores chords and the Dragon Lantern Dance provides the opportunity for improvisation on the D pentatonic.

Shepherd's Song could be the student's first gentle foray into playing in 5/8 time alternating with 6/8. Hide and Seek is a pretty lengthy piece to be played playfully, with rubato and, finally, the pianist is invited to compose their own piece using a clear template.

This is a really outstanding publication! You can buy Music from China from Musicroom, which offers both discount for teachers and free postage.

Contents

  • The Panda
  • The Giraffe
  • The Peacock
  • The Little Monkey
  • Dragon Lantern Dance
  • Shepherd's Song
  • Little Monkey on a Bicycle
  • Hide and Seek
  • The Composer is You!
  • Dictionary Puzzle
  • Music Dictionary

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