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What's your favourite piece that you learned in your first two years playing? Not sure how far people would have got in that time, maybe grade 4 and below, grade 5 at a push. Classical, or possibly a film soundtrack style.

I've been working hard on a couple of pieces and am looking for some things that I could get up to speed in a shorter space of time. And also because we have friends visiting in a month and it would be good to play them something easier and not worry about messing it up. smile

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That must be Bach's Menuet AHN 114

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Over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz was the first song I learned and remains one of my favorites.

As with many songs with lyrics, there are easy arrangements and not so easy arrangements. I did block chords plus simple melody. It still sounds good to me played that way after five years.


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Originally Posted by GoldmanT
What's your favourite piece that you learned in your first two years playing? Not sure how far people would have got in that time, maybe grade 4 and below, grade 5 at a push. Classical, or possibly a film soundtrack style.
The ABRSM Grades are approximately one a year. Younger starters might need to add the Preliminary Grade for their first year.

Originally Posted by GoldmanT
I've been working hard on a couple of pieces and am looking for some things that I could get up to speed in a shorter space of time. And also because we have friends visiting in a month and it would be good to play them something easier and not worry about messing it up. smile
If time is of the essence this little morsel shouldn't take long. It falls well under the fingers and sounds harder than it is. I think it's a Grade 2 piece.

If you get each 4-bar phrase memorised and up to speed quickly before moving on to the next the transitions shouldn't trouble you at all. If each phrase takes more than a few minutes to memorise and master this is not the piece for you, in which case, what other pieces are you working on or what pieces have you recently mastered?





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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by GoldmanT
What's your favourite piece that you learned in your first two years playing? Not sure how far people would have got in that time, maybe grade 4 and below, grade 5 at a push. Classical, or possibly a film soundtrack style.
The ABRSM Grades are approximately one a year. Younger starters might need to add the Preliminary Grade for their first year.

Originally Posted by GoldmanT
I've been working hard on a couple of pieces and am looking for some things that I could get up to speed in a shorter space of time. And also because we have friends visiting in a month and it would be good to play them something easier and not worry about messing it up. smile
If time is of the essence this little morsel shouldn't take long. It falls well under the fingers and sounds harder than it is. I think it's a Grade 2 piece.

If you get each 4-bar phrase memorised and up to speed quickly before moving on to the next the transitions shouldn't trouble you at all. If each phrase takes more than a few minutes to memorise and master this is not the piece for you, in which case, what other pieces are you working on or what pieces have you recently mastered?





That's a lovely little piece.
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Can't see the piece in the post above until I get home (presume it's embedded video) but have been working on Rona Alla Turca, Blue Rondo a la Turk (coincidence!) and a few Chopin Preludes. So maybe grade 4 or lower, really just as long as it sounds nice (and a little advanced harmony, more romantic than baroque) it'll do me. So many piece recommendations are about advancing technique and I specifically want to avoid that and just enjoy playing something for a change!

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Like johan, I enjoyed learning BWV 114. BWV 115 is nice too.


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The Chopin Preludes remain among my favorites. You wouldn't go wrong playing one or two of these for your visitors.


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I'm looking at what you're working on but I still have no idea where you are with them or what you've finished recently. Alla Turca and "a few" Chopin Preludes would put you around Grade 6. I'll assume they're suitable material for you and that you'll be memorising your recital piece within the month.

I'm wondering what your previous pieces are and why they wouldn't be suitable.

The embedded video was Haydn's Sonata Hob XVI/8, 4th Movement, Allegro.

You might like to look at Grieg's Watchman's song, Op. 12/3, Schumann's Erster Verlust, Op. 68/16 or his Trauemerei, Op. 15/6, if you prefer a more advanced harmony. These are all only a few phrases and very memorable within a month.

If you're into syncopation Gliere's Le Soir, Op. 43/5, is easy to memorise or Delius' Waltz for a Little Girl. They're both harmonically adventurous for their level.

These pieces are all immediately playable, assuming the syncopation doesn't stall you, without any mechanical difficulties and well within a month's work going by the pieces you're currently working on.



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Originally Posted by GoldmanT
Can't see the piece in the post above until I get home (presume it's embedded video) but have been working on Rona Alla Turca, Blue Rondo a la Turk (coincidence!) and a few Chopin Preludes. So maybe grade 4 or lower, really just as long as it sounds nice (and a little advanced harmony, more romantic than baroque) it'll do me. So many piece recommendations are about advancing technique and I specifically want to avoid that and just enjoy playing something for a change!

Well, it really depends on what you're able to handle technically. Not everyone develops the same abilities in the same order. For instance, can you easily do large stretches? How about an arpeggio over a couple of octaves? Large jumps?

Here are some "nice sounding" pieces that I have learned in my first two years, but keep in mind that YMMV.

Anna Magdalena Bach pieces (114, 115, 116, 132, but any one in that notebook will be nice)
Bach prelude in C (BWV 846)
Moonlight sonata 1st mvt.
Chopin A minor waltz (posth. B 150)
Tchaikovsky "The Sick Doll" (op.39 no. 7)
Satie Gnossienne 1
Satie Gymnopedie 1

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I got to grade 5 organ many years ago and played guitar off and on since then - only started piano again in January and haven't quite got any existing pieces so solid that I'd want to play them in front of people (not without a whisky first, either for me or for them).

A few of those pieces sound nice but not quite what I'm looking for - even went through the ABRSM lists and it was only a few from the List Cs that caught my attention. Probably the best bet is to go through the Chopin Preludes/Etudes and see if there's something not too long or tricky that sounds impressive.

Cheers,

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Early on, I had a lot of fun playing The Siamese Cat Song and then Rubber Ducky from this Hal Leonard anthology:

https://smile.amazon.com/Best-Childrens-Songs-Ever-Author/dp/B010BECO58/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1489537352&sr=8-7&keywords=best+children%27s+songs+ever

There are some other good ones too.


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"Whispering" -- the Paul Whiteman hit from 1920. Still in my book today.



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My first Beethoven German Dance in original form. Great piece, as well as a great early milestone...


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I have only been playing 23 months, but, my favorite has been Alexandre Tansman's Final (Conclusion). I submitted it in pretty good form (for me, anyway) for the November, 2016 ABF Recital, and have been improving it through daily playing ever since. I don't anticipate dropping this one in the forseeable future.


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Scriabin poem op 32 no 1 , underrated piece for sure.

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Originally Posted by GoldmanT
I got to grade 5 organ many years ago and played guitar off and on since then - only started piano again in January and haven't quite got any existing pieces so solid that I'd want to play them in front of people (not without a whisky first, either for me or for them).

A few of those pieces sound nice but not quite what I'm looking for - even went through the ABRSM lists and it was only a few from the List Cs that caught my attention. Probably the best bet is to go through the Chopin Preludes/Etudes and see if there's something not too long or tricky that sounds impressive.

Cheers,


Hi Goldman
I come from an exact opposite background as you -- I started first with piano and then added the organ. Certainly you have a Head start in learning the piano, but I do want to caution you that the in learning the piano, but I do want to caution you that the technique is so different between the two that you do not want to be impatient with yourself and make too many assumptions The Chopin études are completely out of the question, and there are very few preludes that you can handle right now They really are much more difficult to play well than they look. Look at Numbers four, six and 20

Since you have a strong Organ background, have you considered starting with Bach on the piano? That would give you enough similarities and also highlight the differences between the two instruments

Again I do not want to diminish your enthusiasm and I hope I haven't done that. I just want to encourage you to be patient so that you can make it through the long journey without getting discouraged and quit


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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My two absolute favourites were Arabesque by Burgmuller, and an easy arrangement of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer. I was about 7 and they impressed my rellies no end!


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Debussy: The girl with the flaxen hair. ( if I wrote it in french it would be illegible)

What is the piece you had the hardest time with in the first two years:

Bach Invention for me.

Last edited by Isabelle1949; 03/18/17 10:26 AM.

Always working to improve "Chopsticks". I'll never give up on it.
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