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Suggestions for upcoming beginner recital pieces?
#2892140 09/19/19 09:17 PM
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Hi All,

I've committed to playing in a recital with many other students in about two months time and am wondering about suggestions for pieces to learn for the recital.

For background, I've been playing for about 5 months and have recently moved from Alfred AOI 1 to 2. Outside of that book however, among other things I've been learning the Bach (Petzold?!) Minuets in G BWV 114 & 116, so I think I am capable of playing level 2-3 pieces as stretch goals. In particular, the BWV 114 took me about four weeks to learn (about 6 hours total practice) to an OK proficiency (play through no mistakes, slight pauses, slightly slower tempo), but still could use significant extra effort on expression were I to perform it. Both those pieces are already being played by other students in the recital, by the way.

Two questions:
1) Is this level of piece about right or should I pick something slightly easier to have more time to focus on expression?

2) Any particular pieces or collections that are good to look at in this range to get inspiration? I've considered scouring the RCM exam pieces at the relevant levels, maybe finding some playlists so I can listen to them and select something that jumps out?

Any guidance or advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Suggestions for upcoming beginner recital pieces?
Lazarus #2892164 09/19/19 11:06 PM
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Because of the added stress for a recital, it is always best to choose a piece you already know well. Well enough it is almost bullet proof and immune to lapses in memory as happened to me at my first recital.

However if your options are limited:

There are a few pieces in Tchaikovsky's Album for the Young which can sound quite good and not terribly difficult to learn. This one was the first piece I ever learned where the dynamics were central, and not that difficult to learn.


Following Trying to follow the Ling Ling 40 hour method

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Suggestions for upcoming beginner recital pieces?
Lazarus #2892377 09/20/19 03:00 PM
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The RCM Repertoire books are GREAT! They contain an lot of music, and from a wide variety of composers and era.

If you find the more commonly used repertoire for beginners boring, research Alexandre Tansman (a few of his pieces are in the lower level RCM books). He believed that the common repertoire was boring and under-challenging for piano students. So, he spent a lot of energy composing interesting but accessible music that he believed was much more interesting and challenging for beginners.

A lot of his music is hard to find. But, some of his series, such as Pour les enfants, and, Happy Times are still readily available.

As for the recital, I agree with earlofmar's advice about playing a piece you are highly confident in.


Ralph

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Re: Suggestions for upcoming beginner recital pieces?
Lazarus #2892390 09/20/19 03:39 PM
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Bach has quite a video in his Notebook for Anna Magdalena as well as Schumann in Album for the Young (first 5/10 are all pretty much doable). You can find recordings on YouTube to hear the pieces smile


Jan '18 - Started playing
Nov '18 - Grade 3 (d)
Nov '19 - Grade 5 (p)

??? '20 - Grade 6

If you'd like to follow my progress, recitals, experiences, check out my YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/PeterHontaru
Re: Suggestions for upcoming beginner recital pieces?
Lazarus #2892443 09/20/19 06:50 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions!

The Tchaikovsky and Schumann look like great places to start so I think I'll dig in and find something there!

I will definitely practice away at whatever I choose until I'm as confident as I can be. Two months at this point seems like a rather long time, especially if I sacrifice some of my other practice to really perfect this piece.

Re: Suggestions for upcoming beginner recital pieces?
Lazarus #2892447 09/20/19 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazarus
Thanks for the suggestions!

The Tchaikovsky and Schumann look like great places to start so I think I'll dig in and find something there!

I will definitely practice away at whatever I choose until I'm as confident as I can be. Two months at this point seems like a rather long time, especially if I sacrifice some of my other practice to really perfect this piece.


I recommend that even after you think you’re ready for the recital, drill some more. The brain can do some weird things in the recital environment, where you wonder ‘where did THAT come from’ 🤪.


"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
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Suggestions for upcoming beginner recital pieces?
Lazarus #2892726 09/21/19 02:12 PM
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Two pieces came to my mind, which I can recommend:

- from the Bach's BWV 119 is melodical and nice piece
- I loved "Ivan sings" (it's also called "Melody") by Khatchaturjan. It's quite easy and has a really catchy and nice melody.

"Both those pieces are already being played by other students in the recital, by the way." - Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it shouldn't be a problem, I also played and am going to play pieces which were already played 1-2 recitals earlier.


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