Hedges - Miniature Railway
Anthony Hedges is an English composer, born in 1931 and educated at Keble College, Oxford.
From 1962 until his retirement in 1995 he was Reader in Composition at the University of Hull.
Described by Music Web as “ one of those rare composers that can float between the worlds of serious music and light music with total ease and conviction" he is known for a wide variety of musical compositions in a range of different styles.
Pupil Match & Suitability
Clearly a piece for youngsters, delightful and readily accessible.
It is not a difficult piece but does need some careful listening and practice to ensure that all the inner part detail is properly conveyed in the latter half.
Style & Tempo
An easy going piece with a quasi modal tonality, but one which also shifts into patches of A minor and C major. Elements of chromaticism (bars 17 – 20) subtly colour the mood.
Phrasing & Articulation
There is quite a lot of detail in the score and this should be sorted out prior to any note learning itself.
Tone & Texture
There is a lot of detail in the textures here and the effects will be dull without this musical buoyancy and colour.
The dynamics range from p to f here, so be sure to work for that variety.
Two factors are involved here:
(i) a good clean and clear finger technique
(ii) mixed articulation detail and co-ordination between the hands
There are quite a number of alternatives here.
Some pedal would help to keep some of the textures more legato but it should not be used unless it can be readily and fluently integrated.
Don't begin by teaching the notes of each hand separately. There are better ways to go about learning aspects here and ways in which to enthuse the student.
Isolate the various areas of potential difficulty.
Don't be afraid to spend time working on aspects of rhythm and co-ordination away from the keyboard and notes first.
Be clear in what you expect from each week's practice.
Always set a musical skill rather than just an instruction for a section's notes to be learnt.
Consider additional exercises to supplement material which has been tackled within the lesson.
As we all know there are plenty of things which can go wrong with a performance and plenty of obstacles which can get in the way of even the best of teaching intentions.
An excellent performance will have buoyancy in its mood, surefooted finger work and rhythmic clarity. There will be a good sense of textural detail and a keen range of dynamics.
A good performance will be rhythmically assured and have some variety in dynamics. It may not always be entirely clear in its detail but will sound fairly confident nonetheless. It may sound very well prepared but perhaps lack some of the spontaneity which set the excellent performance apart.
A sound performance must hold itself together even if at the lower end it may have little colour or character. There may be promising signs at the higher end of the scale but the kind of consistency needed will possibly be lacking to some degree.