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#939373 - 04/26/05 09:47 AM Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1810
Any thoughts on what might be some catchy classical pieces for intermediate students?

I have students who can play but they consider most of the classical music I suggest to them to be boring. I seem to have the most success with Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major from The Well Tempered Clavichord because it's not too long and it's easy to read. I've tried The Moonlight Sonata and they think it's too long and dark with a lot of sharps. They don't much like Chopin's sad Prelude in E-, Solfeggietto or Fur Elise.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
New Casio PX-360 digital piano, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#939374 - 04/26/05 10:13 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Jerry A. Greene Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 111
Loc: San Antonio,TX USA
Do you feel that they have to be classical?

I feel that a lot of my students really enjoy playing Scott Joplin when they start to get to a higher level. It may not be classical, but definitely enjoyable and takes a lot of work and practice to get right.

Perhaps you may want to try Chopin Nocturne #2 in Eb.
Jerry A. Greene
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#939375 - 04/26/05 11:05 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1810
I'm searching for easier material than the Joplin Rags and the Chopin Etudes.
New Casio PX-360 digital piano, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

#939376 - 04/26/05 11:20 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24766
Loc: Oakland
Children's pieces by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Kabalevsky, Bartok...
Grieg's Lyric Pieces, Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, Beethoven's Bagatelles...

Give them some of these collections, and have them play through them until they find one they like. There's lots of stuff out there; that's not the problem. The problem is getting them to find something that they like. If you give them lots of choices, maybe they will find something. If they don't, at least they will go through lots of music on the search.
Semipro Tech

#939377 - 04/27/05 06:22 AM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Mathilde Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 309
Loc: Decatur, Illinois, USA
Oooh, BDB beat me to it! \:D

I can especially recommend Schumann's Album for the Young (but NOT Kinderscenen, which is harder), and the Grieg. Both sets are a big fat pile of surprisingly-not-that-hard once-you-look-at-it pieces with pretty tunes--it'll take a student a while to work his way through either of them.

#939378 - 04/30/05 03:01 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Grane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 430
Loc: Greater Miami
Don't know Mathilde -- I was going to suggest Schumann's Scenes from Childhood.

I played those a few years ago and agree they are not simple, however there aren't a lot of notes in several of them and they are real music.

Also they are faily short.

2005 Steinway B

#939379 - 04/30/05 06:23 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Mathilde Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 309
Loc: Decatur, Illinois, USA
The thing about the pieces in Kinderscenen is that they're harder than they look to do *right*.

Yeah, they're *short*, and you can play the notes if you're any kind of intermediate pianist--but they're tricksy to do *well*. I still can't play Traumerei with anything approaching the technique it deserves, and it's one of the simplest-looking, with "not a lot of notes".

#939380 - 05/01/05 06:44 AM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
There are a lot of intermediate level anthologies out there. The more popular of which are probably the Developing Artist series by FJH and the Encore and Applause series by Alfred publishing. The four volumes of the Bastien piano literature books are also excellent.

Also the usual stuff by Burgmuller, Heller, or more contemporary composers like Rocherolle, Pinto, Gillock, or Catherine Rollin.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#939381 - 10/04/05 04:38 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
stefania Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 6
Loc: Peterborough, United Kingdom
Have you looked at the Regina Series of Easy Albums? There are 31 books in the series and each book has a theme. I have a couple of the albums, No. 18 has some Chopin favourites such as Fantasie Impromptu, Minute Waltz and Military Polonaise. They're really well arranged and easy to play unlike the original versions.

Also, there's the Associated Board Easier Piano Pieces series of which there are 25 books. There's a variety of composers there from Satie to Bach to less well known composers such as Hook and de Severac. I play them when I dont fancy something difficult and they're really tuneful and fun but still require concentration.

#939382 - 10/06/05 06:48 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Glyptodont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 377
Loc: Wisconsin
For individual pieces, the Ravel "Prelude" of 1913 is probably the easiest piece one can find by him. A child could play it.

He wrote it to provide a recital piece for a child.

This piece is widely available for downloading on the Internet.
the Glyptodont

#939383 - 10/08/05 12:41 AM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Candywoman Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 1046
These suggestions are all good but may I say something about the premise that you need to find them something catchy. Perhaps you need to take a more pro-active approach. For example, pick a piece that has a specific purpose and put it on the music desk. Explain that this piece is for pedalling. "Let me teach you half pedalling and syncopated pedalling." They may want to hear the piece first. But the understanding is that you will teach this piece.

As soon as students get that picky about what they will or will not play, I feel they're probably not all that interested in studying piano.

They must understand that there are certain things you must learn to be a good pianist.

#939384 - 10/12/05 07:11 PM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Luna Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 64
Loc: Rhode Island (USA)
Here's a great piano solo for the intermediate student: "The Headless Horseman"


It's great for this time of year, too. If you're looking for something purely classical, try the Alfred "Essential Keyboard Repertoire" series. The books can be ordered with CDs. (I like this option because I like to hear the music I play.)

Another great book is "Easy Classics to Moderns" edited by Denes Agay. Lots of little known gems in there.

As an adult student, I like to play pieces that I connect with. There is so much repertoire out there that I firmly believe there is a way to match the needs/ desires of the student with appropriate choices that develop technique and musicianship.

#939385 - 10/19/05 02:18 AM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
virtuoso_735 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 996
Loc: California
Try burgmuller etudes op.100. Late beginner etudes for young students, that work on general techniques. Short, attractive pieces that work on specefic techniques. For intermediate studnets, try brilliant and melodious etudes op.105 by burmuller. Fun and short.
"If music be the food of love, play on." -William Shakespeare

#939386 - 10/19/05 10:47 AM Re: Any Interesting Easy Classical Pieces for Students?
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
All of the repertoire suggested here is good. I would go for an anthology offering a wide variety of pieces at a specific level. I have had lots of pupils who reach the point where they are too picky about what to play even though they can't seem to be bothered to go to the music store and look for themselves. I have to agree with Candyman that when they will only play certain things and any suggestion of scales, studies, short works to improve sight reading etc. is 'boring' then they will probably not go much further.
Pianist and piano teacher.


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