New Music Review: The Intermediate Pianist
Piano Trainer Series
by Karen Marshall & Heather Hammond
If you’ve not come across any of Karen and Heathers musical works before then there’s a definite gap in your piano shelf! They write music that clicks with students of all ages and this new piano course is no different.
I know I’m a bit of a sheet music hoarder but the new Intermediate Pianist series is one that is going to get used a lot come September.
What strikes me most about the collection is how well it fits. It’s got its niche market to a T and is a spot on buy.
The focus is for students who are, as it says in the title, Intermediate. So those students who are about grade three / four in standard. It’s perfect for those who have done the first few grades but are lacking in repertoire knowledge and need something to give them a break without buying lots of different books with different styles in. It’s also great for those who are returning to playing after a gap and perfect if you have a teenager who needs a tuition book without pictures in.
Some sections can be slightly more jazzier based that other series out there, but I find this is often a better way for students, especially teenage ones, as they feel more ‘fun’.
The whole series is littered with useful facts, puzzles, suggested activities (such as go out and LISTEN to music) as well as being a great reference for students who need to know the composers and periods of music (aka those students who are about to sit grade five having only ever looked at exam based pieces and have no idea how to spot whether it’s Classical or Romantic.)
I do like including theory in students lessons – but here you have a whole series that introduces pieces with the new concepts so the random theory questions also become relatable.
There’s some great technique tips and the progression is nice and steady.
The only downside would be if you have a student who really doesn’t like playing jazzy pieces and I personally would have enjoyed a few more duets in the book.
But defiantly a good staple reference course for teachers and a great piano collection for students too.