This showcase is compiled and written by my friend Molly Rahal!
As you get older, time seems to go by faster and faster. Can you believe it’s already part-way through November?
One of the things I love so much about winter is how eternal it seems. Almost as if we’re stuck in time.
In a way it’s comforting, how the sun setting early never seems to end, and how when it snows, the delicate white powder silences the streets.
Winter is jolly. It’s magical. Why not learn a piano solo which reflects that?
Here is a small collection of eternally beautiful and festive piano solos to enrich your winter with tunes and good spirit!
1. Winter Wonderland – Felix Bernard
A relevant title for a fitting song.
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One of the most cheery and beloved holidays for both Christians and non-Christians worldwide.
It’s only September, but as I’m sure we can all agree, it’s never too early to start longing for Christmastime and the holiday seasons.
Whether you are baking cookies, gift shopping, spending time with family or enjoying hot cocoa, these Christmas carols for the piano will add to your festivities any day of the week.
Music is a necessity for any special occasion after all!
1. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
An all time favourite.
This article is written by Molly!
Now that summer is quickly coming to a close, fall is right around the corner.
It’s hard to choose a favourite season, but where I’m from, this means that it’s almost time for big sweaters, crunchy leaves, and the smell of pumpkin spice wafting around every corner. And the best of all is that it’s the season of Halloween!
Here are 20 piano solos to help you get some of those festive fall feelings.
1. Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett
It’s a graveyard smash!
Sometimes, pianists get so caught up in technique that we forget that the music can be fun and light and something to dance to, if your heart so desires.
My friends often send me music, and I’ve just gotten these piano solos from Molly. Most of them are pop piano songs and I’ve just been reminded of how tired I am. (These videos are recordings of other people playing, and sheet music is linked.)
After Tofino and a stressful week, I’m ready for some easy dancing…
1. Wake Me Up – Avicii
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Calm music is a great way to transition from the hustle of the day to bedtime.
I’ve been known to roll around in bed into the depths of the night, so over the years, I’ve experimented with many ways to fall asleep. Playing an instrument is a great one, next to reading. You tend to concentrate just enough to get the notes right and you’re literally playing your troubles away!
To avoid printing 5 papers for something I’m only ever playing once, I’m learning more by ear these days. (Yes I have a tablet, no I don’t like reading music off it.) But my friend Molly and I put together some great dreamy piano melodies to play before bedtime, with sheet music!
Love Me – Yiruma
When I first started playing Yiruma’s music, it would take a few hours to decipher one of his pieces. Now, I play his music for a different type of satisfaction.
Let’s kick off the new season with happiness and positivity!
If these four places change your day even a tiny bit, even if you forget about your worries for only 5 minutes today, then my goal has been achieved.
1 – Gives Me Hope
“Inspiring Twitter-length stories.” What more can I say? It really gives you hope that there’s more to the world than what meets the eye.
2 – Music Educators
A “think tank” for music educators, where anyone can contribute. It’s interesting to see different perspectives from music educators around the world!
3 – Books of Adam
Books of Adam is my favourite webcomic. Ever. Funny stories with clever prose and awesome drawings.
4 – Pinterest
There’s always something great on Pinterest! I pin piano & teaching resources, design inspiration, and effortless style. (Of course, I’m careful about pinning because I don’t want to be sued…)
Bonus – A Beautiful Mess
These sisters inspire me with their beautiful messes. I’m not into the vintage style, but their positivity with their beautiful photos are infectious– daily boost! I love how they smile in their photoshoots, ignoring fashion’s silent ‘no smiling’ rule.
Every few weeks I share some of the best articles and resources from around the web that will help pianists. This week, we have links on teaching improvisation, the benefits of being weirdly creative, memory boosters, and more.
Strategies for teaching improvisation to beginners
“… I’m talking about non-jazz improvising. We all know that students can readily improvise using a blues scale over a blues or boogie pattern, but what about composing music more in line with film music, ballads, pop and classical?”
The SILENT Piano Lesson
“One day I said to several of my students — Today we’re going to have a SILENT PIANO LESSON. I’m not going to say a word. I’m just going to observe you practice. I may sketch down a few notes but for all practical purposes I want you to forget I’m here. I want you to practice just like you do at home.”
Arts Integration Practices That Help Boost Memory
“… [A]rts integration has helped raise student achievement. Job-embedded professional development, differentiated arts instruction, and critical-thinking skills integrated into the curricula have been key to their success.”
The Social and Emotional Benefits of Being Weirdly Creative
“I have heard… about the academic benefits of arts integration, how various forms of artistic expression (PDF) are employed to learn math and science as well as language arts. I have also learned about the virtues of a critical-thinking technique known as Artful Thinking, developed by Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, that deepens students’ intellectual understanding generally by deepening their understanding of the multiple layers of artistic expression.”
Canaries in your Coalmine
“Which of your current students might be ex- students by this time next year? It’s not always who you might think…IMT takes a look at 14 warning signs that a student is thinking about moving on.”
Acoustic Panels DIY
“My husband and I decided it was time to treat both my studio and his basement audio suite with acoustic sound panels. To do our rooms properly it could have cost many hundreds of dollars. But we decided to turn it into a DIY project and we did it for a fraction of the cost.”