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  1. Roxy says:

    Thanks for a great presentation…got some new tools for my belt for young beginners! Thanks!

  2. Terri Hlubek says:

    You did a wonderful job, Elizabeth. I enjoyed watching from the comfort of my home.

  3. Esther Chan says:

    I started using My First Piano Adventures a couple of years ago and am having a lot of fun with it. The first students are now seven, and the fastest ones are ready for simple classical pieces, and all of them are still taking lessons!

  4. Linda Dahlstrom says:

    Thank you for the wonderful presentation on the webinar. Wasn’t that fun??? I love the Faber series and the research behind it. Thank you for your giveaways! Looking forward to learning more about your piano teacher camp! I will read your first blog to see what info I can get now.

  5. Sheila says:

    Thanks, Elizabeth! I think the conference is a brilliant idea.

  6. Carla in MT says:

    Thank you for the presentation. It was fun to watch & listen.

  7. Renee Seehausen says:

    I enjoyed your presentation today. I, too, live in Texas and was surprised by the snow and ice this morning! Of course, it was the one “snow day” here in Houston that school was not cancelled!!
    I have used the First Piano Adventures curriculum with group classes and private lessons and like you, I found the activities to be very helpful with young students as well as older ones who need to improve their technique. I have use the “Cat Back” concept with all my students to reinforce proper wrist “float off.”
    Thank you again for your presentation.

  8. Anne says:

    Thanks for your presentation! I used the My First Piano Adventures book with one student and it has turned out well. So far. πŸ™‚ It makes me reevaluate my policy on not taking younger children on as students. (I spent many years teaching preschool and it is not my forte.)

    I’m looking forward to seeing more from your blog and webpage. Thanks!

  9. Lisa Schwandt says:

    Enjoyed your conference class today. Thanks for the great information on teaching young ones!

  10. Patti Dalsoren says:

    Thank you so much for your presentation today! It was very informative and I’m looking forward to using these ideas with my young students.

  11. Thank you so much for your presentation. I have 6-7 students using MFPA and I just love this series!

  12. Jeanne Ellis says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I enjoyed your presentation today!
    Those direct commands work well with spouses too! LOL!
    Thanks again!

  13. Isabel says:

    Thank you for your wonderful webinar on teaching young beginners! Your coaching us on how to teach from the popular Fabor Piano Adventure book for absolute beginners was insightful and the videos are most helpful, I will be checking more of them out on the Faber website.

  14. Victoria Oliver says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Thank you very much for your presentation today! I use the Primier and Level Faber books for my students but I did not know about the younger version. I am so glad you shared this with us today. It is something I will be bringing into my studio.


  15. Kristi Negri OR says:

    I thought your presentation today was excellent. Well organized, full of good stuff. You did a nice job. Were I a parent of small kids, I’d be standing on your porch every morning begging you to teach them! I appreciated the insight to why the early piano adventures are so focused on the characters. I really like the materials and progression and have dipped into them for ideas with my beginners (ages 5 and 6 depending on development), but felt resistant about spending so much time on the characters. The “need for story” is something that will really stick with me. Thank you so much for taking the time to share.

  16. Lindsay says:

    Thank you for your presentation at the MusicEdConnect online conference! What a great idea to put this conference together – I hope it will become a regular event. I was able to view the second half of your session LIVE and look forward to going back to view the recording. I so enjoy teaching young beginners! Thank you again!!

  17. Hi Elizabeth!
    Virginia (formerly Suderman here). I want to be a part of this group but not sure how much I can do. Summer is full of friends and family visiting here in New Mexico. Wish I could come to San Antonio. Can’t this year but keep me informed. So nice to know you are doing so well!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Virginia! So great to hear from you. Don’t feel pressured to keep track of the Play-Along. Just click in once in a while and if you have something to add, please do! You might be able to comment just by reading the topic w/o your score in hand. Wishing you a fun summer! Please stay in touch!

  18. Jennifer Jacobson says:


  19. Jeanne Kent says:

    I love this idea. Will definitely be playing along!

  20. Debby Shahan says:

    RE: Playalong, Neil A. Klos titles 3. “Marching”. Also, for Cradle Song, did you mean students needs to know what note is coming on beat 3 vs 2?
    Elizabeth, thanks for a great workshop today and for sharing this site!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes, the Kjos copy is the one in which I saw “Marching” listed instead of Rambling. Perhaps it had an original Russian title that translates more accurately to “Rambling?” We may never know. In Cradle Song, I was referring to beat 2 (thinking 2 quarter notes to the measure, rather than 4 eighth notes). So in this case, in m. 1, the target note would be “E,” in m. 2 it would be “D,” and so forth. It was a pleasure meeting you in St Louis, Debbie!

  21. Jeanne says:

    At the risk of sounding ignorant, in No. 2 if you are supposed to release the left hand with the right hand staccato note in m.2 and so on why wasn’t the note written as a quarter note? I didn’t get the benefit of studying these pieces as a child and have always thought that when you see that rhythmic combination you hold the half note down as close to full value as you can even though the staccato shortens the sound of beat 3. It reminds me of “The Hurdy Gurdy” in 2B T&A where I always instruct holding down the half note full value.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Great question! I ask elementary students to do coordinated lifts like the one I described in No. 2 simply because it makes it much easier for them to execute the two simultaneous activities. The student could wait slightly longer before lifting the half note to recognize the release of the slur. These subtle lifts require such fine timing so as not to be late in playing the first beat of the next phrase. And yes, I agree!, β€œThe Hurdy Gurdy” in 2B T&A really does resemble this piece, doesn’t it? Both could be played hand in hand to reinforce this type of playing.

  22. Jeanne says:

    By the way, when would you introduce these first 4 pieces? What level of PA?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I would introduce the first 3 pieces as soon as students are comfortable reading in the treble clef. No. 1 could be introduced sometime during Level 1 of Piano Adventures. The others would have to be introduced at your discretion considering things like the B-flat in No. 3 (if they’ve had experience playing B-flat) and the high ledger line in No. 2 (which could be introduced simply as the 6th above treble C). I would wait and introduce No. 4 after they’ve experienced a few pieces with eighths though the eighths here are not hard to decipher. It’s the jumping about with drop- lift technique in both hands together that can seem awkward to them. I would introduce No. 4 once they seem to have a good handle on wrist lifts in either hand, perhaps middle-to-end of PA Level 2A or beginning of 2B. Just depends on your student’s level of security.

  23. Kathy says:

    These 4 short etudes are also great analyzing exercises: finding the same/different patterns, intervals, question/answer phrases, form, hand position, key, dynamic changes and differences! I have a Piano Camp coming up for late elementary/early intermediate students so I’ve ordered this book for them! Thanks Elizabeth!

  24. In my very small research on Kabalevsky, I’m very curious to read more about him other than Wikipedia. His desire to connect with children at the piano is inspirational. I understand that he taught a class of seven-year-olds for a time, teaching them how to listen attentively and put their impressions into words. His writings on this subject were published in the United States in 1988 as Music and education: “A composer writes about musical education”. Do you know where I can perhaps find this publication and other articles about his work with children?

  25. Debby Shahan says:

    OMG. Your kids have awesome technique. Beautiful hands, even on those little ones. I realize I have been entirely too slack with mine on wrist lift-off. I’m inspired to re-focus. I will definitely use some of these easier Kabalevsky’s and your videos with my more advanced students so they can go back and better understand. Thanks.

  26. Haneki Kriek says:

    I”d like to participate, thanks!

  27. Nancy Wang says:

    I just heard about this from Susan Paradis’ website, and immediately clicked over, got the details, and ordered my Kabalevsky book. This is a great idea, and something I’d definitely love to do. Hopefully I can catch up quickly! Thank you so much.

  28. Really excited about this resource! Thank you so very much.

  29. Ann says:

    Try Book Depository – I typed in Kabalevsky 24 Pieces for Children – they had two books, one had a CD with it. Am just off to order one.

  30. Ann says:

    If you are in US it is also showing on the Sheet Music Plus site.

  31. Jeanne says:

    Debby, I have thought the same thing. I am refocusing on technique. It makes all the difference. This play along has been so good for me (and will be for my students) Thanks so much for doing this Elizabeth!

  32. Mandy Facer says:

    I would want to combine the 2-note slur technique on Cradle Song with a slight side-to-side wrist-rocking action for a somewhat more legato sound. It also creates a cradle-like motion with the hands/wrists. Is this too much to ask of the mid-late elementary student?

    No. 2 and No. 3 are nice pieces for noticing chord progression, with No. 2 being the more basic cadence. Again, this may be beyond the ability level of the student typically playing these etudes. Are my ideas more appropriate for the early adult student?

    • Elizabeth says:

      That rocking action of the wrist is not too much to ask of a mid-late elementary student. You might want to polish/refine it hands separately first for security. I love your idea of having students listen to the resulting chord progression in pieces 2 and 3. Excellent ear-training idea! Sometimes I do this by playing the piece for them (somewhat slowly) and I ask them to listen to the chord changes and how it starts on “home” (or the tonic) and then listen how it moves away from “home.” No. 3 really illustrates a big pull away from “home.” I might tell the student that whoever is “rambling” seems to want to ramble far away at first and then decides to play it safe and stay “home.” I love to get students to talk about how sounds might create a picture or story.

  33. Ginny Godsey says:

    I wasn’t able to read the first week blog yet, but hope to soon. What wonderful comments and videos, Elizabeth. Thank you. I hope we will have easy access to these long-term.

    I had heard Nos. 6-8 before, but No. 5 is new to me, and I love it! It’s a find….and I like that it has (more than) 16 mm, so is an option for certain festivals.

    No. 7 is excellent for teaching accents, echoes (or a back-and-forth conversation), as well as crescendos and decrescendos.

    • Elizabeth says:

      For No. 7, I often have my students add words to the little rhythmic motives to create a “funny” banter between 2 people. Some just prefer to say “hee, hee-hee, hee” and make it sound like two people are giggling back and forth. The giggle helps promote the staccato effect. The number of ideas just keep coming….

  34. Jeanne says:

    The more I play through these little pieces the more I love them! They are absolutely charming!
    I can’t wait to start introducing them to my students.

  35. Mandy Facer says:

    Ditto Debby.
    I will add that I have never assigned No. 5 before. It might be fun to have the child pretend that hands and wrists move up and down alternately like a teeter totter or carousel poles or even like a puppet that walks on stage.
    I have a couple more song titles for No. 7: Chit-Chat and Twins. It illustrates ABA form and imitation very well.

  36. Nancy Wang says:

    OK, it’s the first time I’ve given my thoughts! Here goes…
    #5 — I loved the playfulness of this one, particularly how the hands trade off back and forth throughout the measures, and how Kabalevsky plays around with the fingering. A fun, bouncy one that’ll keep you on your toes.
    #6–I love the sound of the parallel thirds in this one. Articulation practice and parallel movement seem to be the major focus. It would be fun to play it really fast!
    #8–A “Song” with a particularly plodding sound, since the LH so low in the Bass clef! It seems to be an exercise in smooth, lyrical phrasing and parallel movement. Seems like you would definitely stress a beautiful wrist lift at the end of each phrase.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Agreed! I think young students are especially attracted to the sounds and the highly tactile keyboard touches in these pieces. They never seem to tire of them! The young student who played No. 10 in the video from Monday, June 30 post just told me yesterday how he still plays the piece just for fun every day and how every day it gets easier and more fun. This is what I like to hear!

  37. What a wonderful resource! I’m just now finding your piano camp. I’m planning to purchase the music tomorrow and play catch-up (“and mustard”) as I joke with my students. Thank you for offering this fun summer opportunity.

    • Elizabeth says:

      You are most welcome, Dee Dee! Have you caught up yet? Let us know what you think of the pieces featured so far.

  38. Ruth Cobb says:

    I was wondering if anyone is coming to the camp in San Antonio from the DFW area(Arlington-Mansfield area.

  39. Phyllis Trautner says:

    Do you have a receipt of payment that you could send me for attending the camp last week?
    My husband says that he needs it for income tax purposes.

    Thank you

  40. Betty Lawson says:

    I am getting a late start but have my book and am ready to go!

  41. Jeanne Kent says:

    So glad to have you back! I love these four pieces also. The only one I was familiar with in the entire book was no.12. I’m not sure where I learned it. I really have enjoyed playing through all of these pieces and planning how to utilize them with my students. So many possibilities.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks, Jeanne! I’m glad to be back up and running too! Yes, the No. 12 Scherzo shows up in many anthologies so it is one of the more commonly-known from the entire set. I think there is definitely something for every pianist in the Op. 39. Glad you’re enjoying them!

  42. Nicola says:

    Thank you so much for this! The play along is such a great idea, and what a great choice of pieces for it, I wasn’t at all familiar with this work and I have so enjoyed getting to know it. I am going to be starting some of these with one of my intermediate students soon, and they will be perfect for working on her wrist movements, without getting her to play boring exercises. Love the banter between the brothers too! Do you teach them together or just one after the other and they stay in the room?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I teach both brothers one after the other. They are so good to each other, musically supportive of each others’ efforts and never overly critical. This is nice to see! They also play duets together and once in a while, a trio with me. Of course, I always make the small one sit in the middle! πŸ˜‰

  43. Mandy Facer says:

    I thought I was so behind on the Play-Along that I sort of rushed through playing these songs. I was prepared to post comments on #21-24! I would not have picked up on the fact that #16 is written in Dorian mode. Thank you for that info.

  44. Mandy Facer says:

    As we look to the next set of pieces, I will mention that I have two titles for #18: “Gallop” and “Ride, Ride”.

  45. How interesting… I always work better with a concept/framework when I understand “Why and how it came to be.” I’m guessing that a lot of my students would be as fascinated with the history as I am. Thank you for posting.

  46. Nancy Wang says:

    Very interesting! I love learning about the evolution of these things that we usually take for granted, so I am really excited about this new series you have planned. Thank you!

  47. Nicola says:

    Great tip to play the no. 15 with both hands simultaneous first. Looks like it’ll be a great piece for shaping the phrasing using wrists, and fun to play too!

  48. Julie says:

    I liked that you have students learn the delayed rhythm in no. 15 as blocking both hands together first, then attempting it as written. I did this with a student on a similar rhythm piece and he did it without trouble! No. 15 is my favorite, especially because I found the parallel motion and rhythm so much fun to play. πŸ™‚ I wasn’t immediately taken with no. 16’s tonality, but the more I played it the more it grew on me. I had initially identified LH as melody, but in looking back and hearing it, it does seem written more in a 2-voice style.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Same for me, Julie. No. 16 was one that I hadn’t really noticed, but the more I played it, the more poignant it became.

  49. Jeanne says:

    I am absolutely in love with these pieces. The more I play them the more I love them! I definitely think we should do another one in August. This is so much fun!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Jeanne, and others who view this:
      Which pieces sound appealing to you for the August Play-Along?

      1. BLOCH: Enfantines (10 Early Int. to Int. pieces) —written for his daughters and each reflects a child’s experience. Should be better known.
      2. GRETCHANINOV: Children’s Book, Op. 98 (15 LE -I pieces) — his best-known set of teaching pieces. Lovely character pieces.
      3. KHACHATURIAN: Adventures of Ivan (8 Int. to LI pieces) —- Listeners of all ages can appreciate these!
      4. AN ETUDE A DAY KEEPS YOUR FINGERS OK: A Play-Along with Czerny’s One Hundred Progressive Studies, Op. 139 (LE thru Int). The goal would be to read through all 100 in 30 days (they’re quite short) in order to get in good technical shape for the fall. I’ll post my reactions weekly you can chime in with your favorite finger-builders.

      So which of the above sounds good to you? Other ideas instead? I’d like to get a vote by July 25 so folks can have time to obtain music. Thanks!

  50. Mandy Facer says:

    I like the idea of Czerny’s etudes.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for your input, Mandy. Keep the votes coming everyone. I’ll make a final decision in a day or two.

  51. Mandy Facer says:

    #21 “Improvisation”
    I would ask my intermediate student to identify the following in this piece:
    1)Where does the opening melody get repeated and what is different about its accompaniment?
    2) Can you find other imitations and sequences in this piece?
    3) Find one example each of a complete scale, five-finger pattern, two-part invention, and syncopation.
    4) Name the RH chords in mm. 7-16.
    My question for Kabalevsky: what were you hoping to accomplish with the accompaniment in mms. 7-11?

    #22 “A Short Story”
    (I might ) Ask student: what two intervals does the RH mostly play? Find the one interval that is different and name it.

    #23 “Slow Waltz”
    (I might ) Ask student: find the melodic minor scales in this song.
    I might use this to prepare a student who is anxious to learn ragtime. First, the LH bass accomp. is instructive; and second, the tempo is slow when the LH makes the grandest moves.

    #24 “A Happy Outing” or “In the Country”
    (I might ) Ask student: why is there a minor section in the middle of a happy outing? What else did the composer do to make this section different than the rest? What did he do to keep it consistent with a happy outing?

  52. Elizabeth Gutierrez says:

    OK. I’ll start.
    Old favorites: No. 2 Polka, No. 6 A Little Joke, No. 8 Song, No. 12 Scherzo, No. 13 Waltz, No. 20 Clowns, No. 23 Slow Waltz
    I include the highly popular Little Joke and Clowns only because students can’t get enough of them. Highly motivating.
    NEW favorites: No. 5 Playing, No. 10 March, No. 14 Fable, No. 17 Folk Dance, No. 19 Prelude, No. 21 Improvisation, No. 24 A Happy Outing
    Hmm… can you tell that I really like these pieces? I include the March, Fable, Folk Dance, and Happy Outing among my new faves because I’ve taught them recently and students continue to play them as warm-ups when they come to lessons. Love their enthusiasm for them!

  53. Jeanne says:

    OK. I have way too many favorites. These pieces are mostly new to me and I actually like them all. I will list my favorites and make my comments short. Thank you so much for starting and facilitating this play along! It has greatly enriched my summer.
    #3 Marching: This one got in my head that first week and stayed there on repeat. I don’t even know why I like this one so much. There is just something satisfying about playing it.
    #8 Song: Beautiful sad melody.
    #10 Quick March: I love the dotted rhythm and the parallel harmony in the last half.
    #12 Scherzo: This is the only one I was familiar with. I love the frantic, busy feel and the single note ending that puts the piece to rest.
    # 13 Waltz: Another beautiful melody. I like the opportunity for phrasing and dynamics on this one.
    #15 Galloping: I like the rhythm in this one. I absolutely love the way the hands swap rhythm patterns in m. 9 and then back again in m. 17. It’s lots of fun to play.
    #17 Folk Dance: I think I like the harmony best in this one. And the race to the end.
    #18 Gallop: I like the leaps in the right hand in this one. In my edition it used the same fingering for the slurred patterns in the left hand each time which seems to suggest the galloping motion to me.
    #20 The Clown: Who doesn’t like this one? It is whimsical and funny and a joy to play and listen to.
    #22 Novelette: I hear two voices competing in this one. The primary character is the left hand melody that is kind of sad telling its tale and then the right hand represents the rest of the rest of the characters that are chattering and playing and having fun which the main character is lamenting. I like the contrast of the two.
    #23 Waltz: I believe what I like about this one is the chord progressions. Just a little different and very enjoyable
    #24 A Happy Journey: This one sounds like a happy journey with a little bit of “real life” showing up in the B section. I am so glad it ends happy.

  54. Nicola says:

    These were new to me and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them. My favourite if I had to pick one is #15 Galloping, just love the catchy rhythm on this one and it’s already been a great exercise for one of my intermediate students πŸ™‚

  55. Kathy says:

    The Kabalevsky Piano Play-a-long has been a real source of inspiration for my piano playing and teaching. No. 20 -Clowns has always been my personal favorite – I can never play it just once! It has such personality! But now I’m really loving No. 1 – 4. They are filled with jewels of articulation, dynamics and form that are achievable by elementary piano students. I am playing them with new eyes! I especially love No. 2, Polka, which is a great lesson in playing the left hand musically. I also love the fact that each has it’s own tempo marking which matches the title. Then there is No. 21 – Improvisation. What a world of contrasts in this piece. A really beautiful piece of music. A great discussion can evolve from here on the title and how it was achieved. I have the perfect student to start this piece on in September. This blog has just opened the book on all that Kabalevsky has to offer for elementary, intermediate and seasoned pianists. Thanks Elizabeth!

  56. Julie says:

    I really like #15 with the alternating, parallel patterns. It’s fun to play- feels like the hands are playing tag! The 2-note slur articulation has become a favorite of mine, as well, and this one displays it plenty! I look forward to teaching some of my older students this piece come fall!

    #6, another fun piece to play. This quickly became more of my favorite when my 4 year old son asked what this one was called, and when I told him, he asked if it was a “tippy-toe joke.” The sound of the short lively staccato and plucky sound of it must have brought silly tip-toeing to his little mind! It sounds like people laughing and having fun, too!

    Overall, what a great selection of repertoire to review for the summer! So glad for the opportunity!

  57. Julie says:

    As I play and analyze each piece, I keep wondering what was Khachaturian’s inspiration for this set of pieces? Who was Ivan? How old was he? I did a search but didn’t come up with anything….

    I know one thing’s for sure about playing his music… My sight-reading of accidentals and attuning my ear to the tonalities/keys he chooses is definitely challenging….! Will post more of my thoughts regarding the pieces when I have more time!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Julie. I too did a search and will continue searching other sources besides the Internet to see if there was a true inspiration for this set. They are a challenge, but well worth it in the long run!

  58. L M Westerfield says:

    These pieces are a challenge for me to play in that the sound at first playing is not very appealing to me. I now enjoy No. 1. It helps listening to others play the pieces.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ve added two videos to the blog post. All of those accidentals can be quite gnarly during a first reading.

  59. Julie I. says:

    #1 – Ivan Sings: I remember having this as an assigned piece during my junior high school years. It was not a piece I liked playing, to be honest. I didn’t like the style or the slow feel and sound of it; the “simple” style of it didn’t speak to me and the harmonies weren’t likeable to my ears. Today, however, now that I’ve matured, you could say ;), it’s really a nice little piece. I thought it was funny that, after I had done my analysis of this piece and read Elizabeth’s, I noted the same characteristics – simple harmonic 3rd patterns in the LH, chromatically descending; careful attention to syncopated pedaling. I’d learned this piece with more of a legato pedaling years ago, but this time around I tried hard to observe the syncopated pedaling indicated. It was tricky! However, I’ve observed that Khachaturian seemed very fond of this type of pedaling. It presents clarity to his music, though.

    #2 – Ivan Can’t Go Out Today: As with the rest of the pieces from this collection, my fingers wanted to play other accidentals that weren’t noted… for this piece, I wanted to play flats and sharps where they weren’t even marked! I could hear my little son’s whining and complaints while playing this piece…! He so loves the outdoors, and often when he can’t go out, he protests. But eventually he’ll reconcile with the fact that he can’t… like the calming ending of this piece. I don’t have much in-depth analysis of this piece as I would like to offer, but I must say that I do like the 2-note slurs throughout this piece. πŸ™‚

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks, Julie, for your observations. I wish I could say I played “Ivan Sings.” I grew up hearing others from my teacher’s piano studio play it. Of course, I too was too young to appreciate it as I do now. So glad my teacher had such good taste in her selections for her students. πŸ™‚

  60. Nancy Wang says:

    Thank you so much! I love all your teaching ideas and resources, particularly: 1) great idea to use “Sabre Dance” to illustrate a steady beat; and 2) love that piano arrangement of “Adagio”! I also like the video, the guy in it plays in such a beautiful, musical style.

  61. L M Westerfield says:

    I really enjoyed these last two pieces no. 7 and no. 8. I wasn’t sure at first about Khachaturian’s music but the more I played it and became familiar with it the more I enjoyed it. Thank You for introducing me to His music. I have enjoyed the last two play alongs I hope there will be more in the future.

    • Elizabeth Gutierrez says:

      Thank you for your comments. So glad you’ve enjoyed the Play Alongs. I am planning another Play Along to begin later in September once all of us become acclimated to our fall teaching schedules. Do you have any suggestions for topics? I have already heard from one teacher who would like me to introduce Bela Bartok’s “For Children” Book 1. Feel free to reply with suggestions or send me an email at elizabeth@pianoteachercamp.com. Thanks!

  62. Loved all the performances. Received the Concert book and have really had fun with the Waltz from Masquerade. Did Khachaturian do the transcriptions?
    Also enjoyed Mr. Cameron’s performance and ordered that music, too!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Karen:

      I believe that the solo transcriptions are Khachaturian’s own unless noted otherwise. My Schirmer score gives credit to an arranger of the “Sabre Dance” so I assume your Schirmer score of the “Concert Works for Piano” would also acknowledge arrangers. Mr. Cameron’s solo performance of the Adagio is so exquisite. Glad you received the music for that. I need to order it!

  63. Michele says:

    I have taught ‘Quasi Adagio’. (As a levelling guide it was actually a Grade 1 exam piece for one of the UK examining boards a few years back). Thanks for all the useful pointers above.

    • Elizabeth says:

      You’re most welcome, Michele! Thanks for informing us about the UK level. Is there some kind of guide to UK level characteristics or their correlation to any of the American method books? Just wondered….

  64. Catharina de Beer says:

    Thank you for the teaching tips and videos! I have taught no 5, and I’ve always liked no 3.

    • Elizabeth says:

      No. 3 is so beautiful. I like that it’s untitled. Allows me to tell students to express their own ideas in their playing.

  65. Shirley says:

    I have never used any of Bartok’s pieces. Thank you for the introduction. I think all of these would work in my studio with No. 1 being at the bottom of the list, however. My favorites are Nos. 3 – 5.

  66. Shirley says:

    I’m beginning to see where I could use these in my studio. Out of this set, I’m drawn to Nos. 6 & 10. Thank you for the suggested level for each piece.

  67. Michele says:

    Elizabeth – sorry for the delay in replying. Incidentally, I have also just realised that the new syllabus for 2015 ABRSM Grade 1 exam pieces includes ‘Children at Play, No. 1’ {on the list of ‘other pieces’, ie alternative exam pieces which are not in the main compilation exam book published by ABRSM} You pose a great question and I wish I knew the answer! As far as I’m aware, I don’t think there is actually a list of criteria for each grade of exam pieces – albeit the pieces are selected by ABRSM with a very thorough, balanced approach. However, there are very precise, detailed descriptions for the sight-reading, aural & scales sections of the ABRSM graded exams. I’m not very familiar with American Method books but I think ABRSM Grade 1 is approximately Level 2B – Level 3A of Piano Adventures. I usually firstly cover semiquavers, dotted crotchets, dotted quavers, and very simple key signatures (with one or occasionally two sharps or flats). The set pieces change every two years – some years the pieces include 3/8 or 6/8 time or swung quavers. I have often tried to define the criteria for myself but each set of new pieces seems to vary! Perhaps someone else in this group knows more than me about this?…as I would also love to know!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you, Michele, for looking into this. I can certainly understand how the ABRSM levels can vary from year to year. That occurs often here in the U.S. as well. Can be quite frustrating. I was just searching now on the Alfred website. I recall seeing a chart on their site once that showed how their method books or grading levels correlate to UK levels. I am unable to locate it right now. Perhaps I dreamed this?….
      If anyone else knows of any sort of correlation chart, please inform. Thanks!

  68. Valerie says:

    I’m joining late! I was previously unfamiliar with any of these, and I particularly enjoyed Nos. 3 and 5. Any of them would seem to be a fantastic exercise in phrasing.

    I am curious is you are using a staccato touch on the notes at the ends of slurs, or more of a “play and hold for slightly shorter than full value, then lift”. In No. 2. measure 1, my inclination, due to the temple and overall feel of the piece, was to not have a sharp staccato at the end of the 2-note phrase. My favorite part was trying to be precise in No. 5 measures 1-2, 5-6, etc. where the LH has a staccato but the RH simply lifts from the slur. (Am I correct in assuming the LH staccato should be sharp/short while the RH note should sustain slightly longer and then lift off before beginning the next phrase?)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Valerie! Thanks for joining up and sorry for this late response. Follow along in January 2015 when we wrap up the Bartok Play-Along. In no. 2, I agree that the lift on the 2-note slur should only be a wrist lift and not a staccato followed by a lift. I often tell my students just to execute the lift (forward wrist lift) and it will be “naturally short.” I also tell them not to make a “jerky lift,” or else the end of the slur will sound staccato. We often experiment with what to do vs. what not to do. They understand the difference this way. As for No. 5 where there is RH lift while the LH plays staccato — this is a trickier coordination. Here I tell my students that it’s OK if the RH slur ending has a “staccato lift.” My rationale is the tempo. Due to the Allegretto, it will naturally sound shorter anyway, and personally in this instance, I think it sounds better if RH and LH release at the same time. I hope this makes sense. Thanks for your observations! Good points.

  69. Diana Lopez says:

    This is such a great product!! I had never heard of it before. I’m thinking it would be great to use with siblings that are sharing a book. You can color code for each sibling. Thanks for sharing!

  70. Thanks, Elizabeth! I love the highlighting tape too. My students will work hard on specifics just because that piece of tape is there. It’s a real motivator and it inspires creativity – one student even made a stained glass window out of her pieces of tape once they were all removed. πŸ™‚

    Once you use it, you’ll wonder how you ever taught without it! It saves time, keeps the music clean and motivates students to practice – and the rolls last a long time. You only need to use a small piece to get big results! πŸ™‚

  71. Dee Dee says:

    Along the same lines, I use erasable highlighter markers. Frixion makes them, and they really do erase completely, without wearing or tearing the page,even after being on the page for some time. My students LOVE to erase the marks, especially when I can tell the, “Well, you don’t need THIS one anymore, do you?” They come in packs of 3 colors – pink, yellow and orange. It never occurred to me to color code my marks – what a great idea! Thank you! Can’t wait to see more of your ideas and be inspired!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks, Dee Dee! I know about the regular Frixion pens which I use for needlework and quilting (the kind you can remove with heat), but I didn’t know about the eraseable, highlighter Frixion pens. Where do you get yours? I think I’m going to have to add this to the list of Indispensables topics. Sounds like a great tool.

  72. Ros Elliott says:

    What a BRILLIANT idea. It’s great for any kind of teaching too, I reckon , and will try it with my Bowen therapy students. I hope I can find this tape in Turkey. I will also ask my friend in Australia if they have it and she can bring me next month. Failing that, I’ll ask my brother in USA if he can get me some, or maybe they’d post to Turkey?
    THANK YOU πŸ™‚

  73. Susan Paradis says:

    This is a wonderful new series! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! The nice thing about highlighter tape is that the music doesn’t get all marked up for festivals, so it’s easy to have a clean copy for the judge.

    • Shirley says:

      Yes! I’ve been using small post-its on festival music to keep it clean. Plus, the coating on the sheet music makes it almost impossible to write on the paper. Love the highlighter tape idea … the colors and the practical uses.

  74. Larry Hill says:

    Love this! Can’t wait to see what comes next!

  75. Marilyn Brennan says:

    thank you. I ordered today!

  76. Jeanne says:

    I’ve used highlighting tape for years on handball music why did I never think to use it for teaching? Love that stuff! Gonna have to get some for home. Thanks for the link with the discount!

  77. Ann says:

    Love this idea as I don’t like writing on student’s books (my music teacher used to write notes on my music and you could never rub them out properly). I am looking forward to using the tape this week. Thanks for the great tip.

  78. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for the informative lecture at the Music Ed Connect Conference!

  79. Hi Elizabeth,

    I really enjoyed your workshop this afternoon. It was very timely since I have 2 new transfer student starting this evening.
    Would you be able to link up some of the transfer tools & remedial tools you use? I tried to write them down, but was unable to write fast enough. Thanks!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes, I would be glad to send you a list of what I use (books, collections, pdfs) along with some of the worksheets you saw on the Powerpoint presentation. I have your email. Just give me about a week to get things together. Thanks for your attendance! Hope all went well with your new transfer students this evening.

  80. Angie says:

    I really enjoyed your session today on MusicEdConnect! You had many great ideas that I found very helpful. Thank you!

  81. Laurie Smith says:

    Elizabeth, thanks so much for sharing your wisdom regarding transitioning transfer students. I look forward to using a couple of new things I learned today.


  82. Christine says:

    Great webinar, Elizaeth!! I am looking forward going back and watching your presentation again later. I have several transfer students and you mentioned several ideas I will definitely put to good use in my studio. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful information!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      You’re welcome! Don’t transfer students continually provide you with insight into your teaching that might not have occurred otherwise? I meant to comment on this point today.

  83. Melanie says:

    Thank you for your presentation at the MusicEd conference! I have dreaded taking transfer students but I have new hope and a plan to make these transitions more successful thanks to you!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’m thrilled you’re inspired to take on the challenge! I always remind myself to keep imparting the joy of making music no matter how rough the road may become. My hope is that they stick with the piano as long as possible. Best wishes!

  84. Michelle Sisler says:

    It was such a pleasure having Elizabeth as part of this amazing conference. The presenters ROCKED and provided so many tips, tricks and inspiration. Thanks, Elizabeth, for sharing your tricks with transfers!

  85. Diana Lopez says:

    Thanks for this tip!! I teach at a music school with individual studios. Lighting is a bit of a problem. I think this is something I can carry with me in my carryall. I will definitely check it out!


    • Elizabeth says:

      Good point, Diana! Definitely a great portable lamp for traveling teachers. I take mine with me to many places where I think I may need better lighting.

  86. Marilyn Brennan says:

    CPE Bach Solfeggio

  87. Kathy Williamson says:

    Benda’s Sonatina in C minor

  88. Beth Marquardt says:


  89. Nancy Wang says:

    I already voted on Facebook, but–I vote for the Heller. Thank you!!

  90. Tana says:

    Benda’s Sonatina

  91. Catharina says:

    Thanks for the initiative, Elizabeth. For participants who don’t have the score, you can find the sheet music on IMSLP: http://imslp.org/wiki/25_Etudes_Melodiques,_Op.45_%28Heller,_Stephen%29

  92. Linda Westerfield says:

    I found it easier to start playing the 3 notes of the triplets together on the beat just to get familiar with the feel of where the notes are in relation to each other and then broke them apart. Using a mm to pick up speed after that.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for the tip, Linda. This blocking technique is excellent for locating positions. I often refer to it as “location blocking” when working with my students.

  93. Rachel McClellan says:

    I found, on my first readings, this piece to be very darling! The water sprites make more sense! With the popularity of fairies now – it becomes even more relevant to today’s kid. Can’t wait for the polish!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I introduced this to a student yesterday who after thinking it didn’t sound like a snow avalanche, he remarked: “This must be an avalanche of something else.” Smart guy! I told him – “Exactly!”

  94. Jeanne says:

    Do any of you have a favorite edition of this piece?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Good morning, Jeanne. I don’t really have a favorite edition. I rely mostly on student editions (educational collections) for this particular piece and I find that the editions don’t vary from each other by much. One exception: I notice that “poco meno mosso” is sometimes replaced by “ritardando.” “Poco meno mosso” is in my older editions, so I’m inclined to favor that.

  95. I found a picture on ebay of the Carl Fischer copy and added the pedaling to my copy. What do you think of the pedaling in the Carl Fisher edition?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’ve been looking through a couple of editions I own and have been seeing more variances between them than I expected, esp. when it comes to pedaling, staccatos, some dynamics, accents, etc. Let me take a closer look at that Carl Fischer edition and I’m also going to try to get my hands on a more authoritative edition which is still in print. I think the vast differences deserve more commentary in a future blog post. A little confusing….

      Thanks for pointing this out.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ok. I just looked at the closer view of Carl Fischer copy on Ebay. I like the pedaling and would follow it, however I wouldn’t do connected pedaling in mm. 13-14 (and similar) where portato articulation is indicated. I might “dab” the pedal on those quarter-note chords for warmth. Tiny dabs. Hope this helps.

  96. Cheryl Lake says:

    I just found this while checking through Susan Paradis’ site. I am planning to work on this piece.

  97. Susan Paradis says:

    The water sprites story add so much to this piece and in my mind really changes the character. It is amazing what a mental picture will do!

  98. Debby says:

    Picked up the Faber & Faber edition suggested and gave it a few plays today. I do really like the song. Came to me quickly and am wondering if I didn’t play it somewhere when I took lessons many, many years ago.
    Two areas to ask about:
    1. m 13-14, My copy indicates the pedal with the up/down along with the staccato notes? Does anyone else find this weird? Not sure how to staccato a note but still catch it with the pedal and what am I trying to accomplish?

    2. m67-68, my copy indicates to use 3rd finger on the left hand as left hand descends legatto. Maybe something about left hand being high on the keyboard, & my body still middle & leaning, but I find this stretch awkward & switched it to thumb under. Think that’s acceptable?

    Thanks for the blocking suggestion. I frequently have my students do that, but didn’t even think of it as I practiced those triplets at a slower speed!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Debby: Good questions….

      1. I see pedaling indicated in mm. 13-14 in a couple of other editions and I agree it’s confusing when the passage is notated as “portato” (long, but detached quarters). I think editors often provide a pedal cue like this to indicate that it’s OK to give the portato notes a “dab” of pedal for warmth. I certainly wouldn’t connect the quarter-note chords with the pedal. Leave a little space in-between.

      2. I’m a little confused here. Wouldn’t your LH thumb already be on the bass “E” in mm. 66? And then it would rotate over to the Low A in m. 67 with a different finger. LH “2” is indicated for m. 67 in my old edition, but since the passage is played “P,” I would just use my convenient 5th finger on the Low A, then release the phrase with a wrist lift, and move to the octave “C’s.” I hope this makes sense.

  99. Debby says:

    Ooops! Forgive typo on legato!

  100. Marilyn Brennan says:

    Too busy to have gotten started on this yet, but getting around to it. So how do I get to your previous post on downloading instagram….I think I have it but had a fight with it a while ago. One reason I have taken so long to get into this is I do not use instagram. I was disappointed that I need to follow this on instagram, but we learn something new every day….
    I’ll try to get with it.

  101. Josephine says:

    It’s fun to work on a piece with you all! Like others, I found the blocking tip helpful…thanks! And I also wondered about the pedal under the staccato notes (I’m using the Bastien Piano Literature version). Thanks for the practice company!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Welcome, Josephine! And thanks for joining. I’m extending our exploration of L’avalanche through WED, June 24, so you have plenty of time to practice it and reply with comments. I now have a more authoritative edition of the piece and will be devoting a blog post to those little inconsistencies we are all noticing about articulation and pedaling. Stay tuned!

  102. Diana Lopez says:

    First let me say how fun it is to go back in time and play a piece I learned when I was young! And, I agree, Elizabeth, mm. 83-85 caught me off guard not only because of the contrary motion but my music had ledger lines instead of the 8va sign. The other sections I thought were “tricky” or can be for students were mm. 41-43 and mm. 57-59. I can see all the crossing over and hitting the correct note with the 4th finger causing problems. A real avalanche!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yikes! All those ledger lines in the RH of mm. 83-84? Not good. Funny how you mention mm. 41-43 and 57-59. I’m about to post an Instagram video tute on that today. Could be an avalanche if they’re not careful. Ha! ha!

  103. Josephine says:

    Yes, I agree about mm 83-85, but also mm 73-77. I have small hands and getting quickly to that stacked am chord is a bear. πŸ™‚

    • Elizabeth says:

      Excellent point about the jumping around in this section. I agree! And reaching for/playing that rolled, stacked chord in a “risoluto” manner, with a small hand to boot, would be a problem. I have a 10-year old student working on this right now. Haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks so I wonder if he’s mastered that yet. I think he can play it rolled, but I wonder if he could make it accented (mm.75).

  104. Linda Westerfield says:

    I agree mm 83-85 made me slow down and work. I too had ledger lines vs. 8va .

  105. Samantha says:

    Any chance of Skype-ing into the conference? I live in NYC, but would love to attend virtually if at all possible!


    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Samantha. Thanks for your note. We are working on setting up a “live stream” situation for next summer’s piano camp. It was a little late to get all the technology in place and reliable for this year, but fingers crossed for next year!

  106. Nancy Wang says:

    mm. 83-85 have also been the trickiest ones for me. I’ve had to drill them over and over. They just seem so abrupt and different from what has gone before.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes. I think the rhythmic shift at mm. 83, the sudden division between the hands on the first beat, and the sudden drop to P dynamic can send anyone into a tail spin. Try taking a tiny bit of time between the end of m. 82 and beginning of 83 in order to set the P dynamic nicely. Stopping the whirring energy with a little gap can help you start m. 83 a little more calmly.

  107. Christy Jackel says:

    What is the cost of the piano camp on 6/27? Is there still space? Thanks.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Gosh, Christy, I’m so sorry. I somehow missed your comment. I apologize for not getting back to you in time! I’ll place you on the email list for next year. Where are you in TX? Our direct email is: info@pianoteachercamp.com Again, my apologies!

  108. Kathy Williamson says:

    I have really enjoyed your study and challenge on “L’avalanche”. It is an addicting piece! I am using this piece to jumpstart my own challenge of memorizing. I haven’t memorized a piece in many years and yet I ask my students to. This has been an interesting piece to analyze with its minor, diminished and major chords as well as the chord progressions.
    Another interesting thing happened along the way came as I used the Faber and Palmer editions to practice from. I discovered the Palmer layout made m. 83-84 easier to prepare for and play!! Thanks also for showing us about the possibilities of Instagram! I’ve started a couple of my intermediate students on this piece now and we are all having fun!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Kathy! So glad you enjoyed the Heller. I enjoyed getting to know it better as well. I haven’t taught it in quite some time. Thanks for the insight about the possibilities of chord analysis. This is an excellent specimen! Continue to have fun with it!

  109. Rosie keefe says:

    What is required of the host in order to have you come and present your Piano Camp for Piano Teachers? It sounds like it would be a great opportunity for independent teachers. What is the cost, where would you travel to, what sort of facility is necessary and what teaching aids, etc.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Rosie:

      Thanks for your inquiry. I’m currently on the road and will be happy to answer your question in full upon my return in a few days. I have your email and will be in touch soon. Appreciate your patience!

  110. Josephine says:

    I vote for #2. Thanks so much for putting this together. I really enjoyed the Play Along this summer!

  111. Susan Hong says:

    #2 for me as well πŸ™‚ Thx Elizabeth !!

  112. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, Josephine! Wish we could have done more than 1, but hopefully next summer!

  113. Shar says:

    I vote for #2. I’m new to your site and look forward to being a part of your play-a-long. I happened on your last one too late to participate. Thank-you

  114. sandy says:

    # 2 please. And thanks for you dedication to this teacher friendly project.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for your vote, Sandy. And you’re most welcome! The more teacher-friendly projects, the better, right? No end to our learning, especially from each other. πŸ™‚

  115. Pauron Wheeler says:

    Greetings Elizabeth!

    You put on a super workshop here in Richmond on July 30th. I was greatly captivated by your superb presentation of new approaches to teaching piano. It appeared as though all those who were present were in awe as well of the wealth of information you were sharing with us both verbally and visually. Thank you so much for greatly inspiring us here in Richmond. I hope that you return again soon!!!

    Best Wishes,

  116. Linda westerfield says:

    Playing along

  117. Tana says:

    Playing along. Enjoyed the Periscope broadcast today.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Tana ~ glad you enjoyed it and thanks for joining the Play Along. It was a lot of info I tried to pack in. Hope you find it useful!

  118. Mandy Facer says:

    Similarly, I find white correction tape indispensable. Less messy, easier, and faster to apply than White Out, you can hide parts of the music you prefer students to wait to work on, and you can write on it immediately as well. I have not tried removing the tape later, though. It is available at Office Max.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for your suggestion, Mandy. “Hiding” is another aspect to think about as much as “highlighting.” Reminded me of another tool I often use which I’ll share soon.

  119. Enjoyed the whole session playing my piano along the guide πŸ™‚ You’ve summed up things greatly.

  120. Is the Periscope app available both for Apple and Android stores?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes it is, and it’s free. Look forward to seeing you on the scope tomorrow at 10am Central. Please give me a shout-out in the comments section.

  121. Susan Paradis says:

    I think a new edition with your fingering and all the markings in the original plus your excellent editing would be a great idea. I’m really looking forward to it.

  122. ZoΓ© Iglesias says:

    Hope you could make available the puppy and kitty at the keyboard suites on e-book format! I’m from Mexico and that would be easier for me to get these pieces πŸ™‚

    • Elizabeth says:

      Great idea, Zoe. I will look into this with the publisher. I’d love to get two other suites published as well on other animal topics that kids have been asking me for. Thanks for your input!

  123. Thanks, Elizabeth! It was wonderful to hear so many familiar pieces. I liked hearing what your students love about the pieces & how you approach teaching them. It will be helpful in my own teaching!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Rosemarie! Thanks for tuning in to my session. I’m glad it was helpful. I’ll announce the giveaway tomorrow on Periscope (TUES 10AM Central) and then later on the blog.

  124. Renee Seehausen says:

    Thanks for the speed race through the Favorite Classical Repertoire for students!!! I loved it. It was nice to see that I have played or used so many of your selections. I especially enjoyed your teaching tips with certain pieces and the introduction to pieces that I am unfamiliar with!!

    Renee’ Seehausen

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for your reply. It was a speed race, wasn’t it? πŸ™‚ I love teaching so many of these pieces, it was difficult to glide past the latter portion. Tune in tomorrow my Periscope (TUES 10AM Central) if you can. I’ll announce the winners and then later on the blog as well.

  125. Elizabeth,
    Thanks for a very comprehensive list of pieces this afternoon! Loved your energy!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks for viewing my session, Kathy. I hope the list continues to inspire you to explore. Giveaway announcement tomorrow, TUES, on my Periscope at 10AM Central and then later on the blog. πŸ™‚

  126. Judy King says:

    I am considering starting one of my early intermediate students on Kabalevsky’s op 39 and this is a great resource to learn from. I did not realize what a wealth of learning can be had from this collection.
    A question I have in teaching No. 10 is how to teach the 2 note slur at the same time as keeping the 16th notes crisp. It is difficult!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Yes, I agree, this is tricky. I think it helps if the student has had a little prior experience with the dotted-eighth sixteenth rhythm prior to this, but if not, it will take some REALLY careful listening and precise “subdivision” counting. The student should decide if he/she would prefer to count: “1 – ee- and – uh” quickly or ” 1-2-3-4.” Either way, the subdivision into 4 tiny beats needs to be felt/heard with the hand responding exactly on the 4th sixteenth. Try having the student play this rhythm over and over (with counting) while playing a pentascale up and down, and up and down. After that, I would have the student play the “4 – 1” portion of the rhythm as a two-note slur using RH fingers 2-3 going up the white keys, & then with LH fingers 3- 2 going up in order to secure the slurring. I hope this makes sense. If you tune in to my Periscope tomorrow, TUES, at 10AM Central, I can demo this for you. Thanks for viewing my session last TH!

  127. Isabel says:

    Elizabeth, I am a replay viewer of your presentation, “Popular Piano Classics Students Love to Play,” on MusicEdConnect.com and was in absolute piano teacher heaven listening to you play and talk about every piece on the first page of your handout!!! Please, please consider doing a similar video presentation for Part II to cover the intermediate and late intermediate pieces on your handout. Thank you so much for your thoroughly wonderful & fascinating presentation!! I will be waiting and hoping for Part 2.

  128. I am going to be in charge of conferences for the Central East District of OhioMTA and would love to have you as a guest. What are your rates? We usually have our conferences at Graves Piano and Organ, so we could also work with your publisher to sell music if that is possible.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Lizbeth ~ thanks very much for your comment and invitation. I will email you directly to respond in greater detail. Would love to come to Ohio! πŸ™‚

  129. Sarah Arnold says:

    Hi E G – watch yr periscopes from Belgium as sarahelena – pls let me know asap so I can order piece from sheetmusic+ for group play. Enjoy yr tips – thanks for all you do in breaking the isolation of teaching. See you soon.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for joining my periscopes and I’m so glad you enjoy them. I LOVE the community of teachers we have on Periscope. It’s thrilling to get to know so many teachers around the world and for all of us to come together once a week. Regarding sheetmusicplus.com — I’m not sure I understand your question so I will email you directly. Thanks!

  130. Pingback: Friday Finds - Piano Pantry

  131. Karen Lien says:

    An ideal companion book for the primer level students with original compositions that departs from V-I tonal language. Love the artwork and how grand staff is seen on the very first piece (even though only RH is playing).

    • Elizabeth says:

      Love your summary statement, Karen! Very succinct! Excellent point about the grand staff appearing from the very beginning. I think it underscores staff-keyboard orientation and range for the young student.

  132. Chris says:

    Thank you for bringing this book to my attention, Elizabeth! I had not used it before, so your guidance through the songs is very helpful. I really appreciate your Periscopes every week as well. You help to keep my teaching fresh! πŸ™‚
    Chris (musicalmama)

  133. Karen Lien says:

    There are so many favorites! If I have to choose one, it would be “Dropping and Reaching” because
    1. the contrast between staccato and legato
    2. the juxtaposition between the reaching note F# and F
    3. the story behind of the pice – the imagery of the bird playing and dropping the ball
    Also, I love that you played through the pieces for us. It is so true that teacher’s modeling is worth a thousand words. Thank you so much.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks, Karen! Glad you had many favorites and I agree, “Dropping and Reaching” make some good points and really get kids thinking.

  134. The New Pageants for Piano Book 1A is a creative supplement to help stretch the imagination of the beginning student by allowing the ear to hear a variety of sounds that they may not otherwise experience in traditional method books. The artwork lets the mind wander and imagine what the piece might be about. Musical concepts are introduced at a pace that is unintimidating and approachable. A real treat for teachers and students of all ages.

  135. Chris says:

    I liked this set of pieces better than the first set, personally. The harmonies are interesting, and I like how he sometimes ends on the dominant in several of the songs. They are creative, and the pictures correspond very well with the theme of each song.

  136. As I was looking at the pictures and listening to the pieces being played, I found myself thinking back to when I was a little child first learning the piano and in my little primer book. I can still remember my first piece in the John Thompson book. I remember vividly the pictures and how I used to study them and wonder what was going on. I do think the students would enjoy the pictures and the sounds of the pieces. Some of the titles would definitely need to be explained by an adult. I found myself a bit sad by the fox and his capture of the rooster. Yes! That rascal! My favorite piece as a teacher perhaps would be, Confetti. It has so many different elements to teach and explore – staccato, legato, rests, contrary motion, diads, different note values. It seems to be a piece that brings it all together, a good review piece. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this book!

  137. Marcia says:

    I often use this book for Sightreading. Students are not familiar with the music, the hands do not play together and there are no eighth notes p. 2-12. This a good formula for successful sightreading for a level one student.

  138. Gabriele says:

    I have started using the book with two students. They are both in Level One Piano Adventures. So far the book has been successful is showing me how they can work out these pieces on their own. They are interested in the illustrations and I like that they spark conversation. Thank-you for walking me through the book.

  139. Gabriele says:

    As a secondary resource these books will give my students a fresh perspective.

  140. Gabriele says:

    I appreciate and value the spotlights you give on each piece.

  141. As a teacher, I would narrow down my favorite pieces from this session to “Afternoon Waltz”, “Little Prelude in G & F” and “Pageantry”. The Waltz, because it is so important to teach the balance between hands as early as possible and what better way than with a simple little waltz like this where both hands do not play at the same time. The Little Preludes, because the key signatures are introduced and actually used! So many times in primer books we either see no key signature or a key signature that isn’t actually needed. And, there are also accidentals! Pageantry, because it is just a fun graduation piece that seems to bring many concepts together and celebrate the end of a great journey. Thank you so much for this fun, detailed introduction to a wonderful primer book. You have given so many wonderful ideas to making it exciting and creative.

  142. Jolande says:

    I find the book interesting and as u said good to add in with other songs to give an idea of different sounds. I find some students are not all that musical or dont have musical parents encouraging listening at home, and they find changes difficult to incorporate at a young age. But whether they like the song or not doesnt matter when you explain you r expanding their knowledge of what is out there, and go back to a piece they prefer.
    Like at school having to read books and poetry in English.
    Thank you for doing this book. It sure expanded my knowledge!

  143. Laurie Sorman says:

    This is my first play-along and I have loved it! I have two copies of the book – one for me and one for a future student. I have written notes all over mine. I especially like that you broke each piece down into details. It really improved my investigative skills and helped me see what was important and special about each piece. In this last section of the book, my favorites are “Afternoon Waltz”, “Etude”, and “Pageantry”. I suspect that my students might like “Signals of the Mohawks”. I’m excited to use this book with a student!

  144. Karen Lien says:

    My favorites are “Harlequin” and “A Quiet Call at Night.”
    I like over-the-bar phrasing and the echo effect in Harlequin. It will be so much fun to play this duet with the student.

    A Quiet Call at Night is a wonderful little piece to fine tune students’ listening ears and the slow-drop technique for pp sound.

  145. Laurie Sorman says:

    I am intrigued by the idea of using this book with an older student. The look of the book and pictures make it accessible to more than just the younger students.

  146. Laurie Sorman says:

    My favorite part about this play-along is how you are bringing the songs to life through the telling of a story. I found myself investigating a triphammer to get more information about what it is and what it is used for! I think telling a little story with each piece would also pique the students’ interest and imagination!

  147. Julie I says:

    I’m excited to use this primarily as a supplemental reader for my students that need note reinforcement or remediation. I do like that it is a different modality than the typical approach, yes. The simplicity of the book, both in pictures and presentation of concepts, and the overall way the pieces “feel under the fingers,” make it a book I’m excited to share with students. I know they will enjoy the music offered in it. A nice little comprehensive book of music!

  148. Tina says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I watched your piano tips on periscope last spring and I’d like to go back and access a particular episode (on different dynamics for left and right hand). I’ve looked for an archive but can’t find one. Is there a way to access old periscope posts?


    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Tina:

      Thanks for your inquiry. Are you referring to the Periscope I did on BALANCE between the hands or the one I did referencing the use of different colored pencils for marking different dynamics in the score? I archived the old Periscope broadcasts and the one on BALANCE keeps crashing – ugh! I may have to do this one again in Sept. How does that sound?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Tina:

      I know it’s been a while, but I just wanted to let you know that my old Periscope broadcasts are now available here: http://bit.ly/earlybirdww – in a new online archive entitled “Webinar Workshops.” You can access nearly all of the them, including the one about “balance” of the hands. I’m hosting a new webinar series beginning TUES, Sept. 17, at 10AM Central (registration is free for the LIVE event and the 48-hour replay if you can’t attend on a Tues). If enrolled in the archive (Webinar Workshops) you get anytime access and never have to worry about signing up or showing up live. Enjoy!

  149. Abigail Thomsen says:

    typing @pianoprof in instagram did not come up with Elizabeth Gutierrez. There was nothing on the link and no photo of the MusicEdConnect and no $20 discount code. How do I get the coupon code since that did not work?

  150. Pingback: Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher's Handbook | Piano Pantry

  151. roger lewis says:

    Apparently Valentine’s are out of business. The same keyboard on Amazon is $18.00 plus shipping. Do you know of another source or who the manufacturer is?

    • Elizabeth says:

      UPDATE: Roger ~ I just talked to Rick Valentine. As a retailer you can obtain these interlocking keyboards from Harris Teller at harristeller.com
      7400 S Mason Ave, Chicago, IL 60638.

  152. Elizabeth says:

    UPDATE: Roger ~ I just talked to Rick Valentine. As a retailer you can obtain these interlocking keyboards from Harris Teller at harristeller.com
    7400 S Mason Ave, Chicago, IL 60638.

  153. Susan Dennis says:


    Is there or will there be a replay of the Marvin Blickenstaff and Elizabeth Gutierrez Piano Teacher Camp presentation on June 30, 2017? I would love to know of the availability and cost. πŸ™‚

    Also, if Mr. Blickenstaff is ever in the Dallas area, I’ll try my best to be there!

    Thank you,

    Susan Dennis

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Susan!

      Thanks for your inquiry. Yes, we have a “videos only” version of the Piano Camp for Piano Teachers. You may register for it here: http://bit.ly/2017PCPT
      Be sure to sign up for the “Online Access” registration and not the “LIVE” registration.
      The videos and handouts will be up for viewing on/around July 10. P.S. We had a such a fun and highly informative time with Marvin. He’s the best!

  154. Michael says:

    Ivan is Ill measure 11-absolutely C natural. I’ve checked some different editions. Much queasier with the C natural.

  155. Benedict Okoekhian says:

    I find your 2 minute history quite concise and precise. I am going to adopt it with a few tweaks as a prelude to my lessons on Staff. Thanks for sharing.

  156. Barb says:

    That’s great if you’re a retailer!! Do you know of another source that would sell to private music studios like mine? Also, I just talked to “Steve” in Chicago at Harris Teller and he said they DO NOT have individual plastic keyboards and didn’t know where to find them.

  157. Especially enjoyed the article on β€œA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future”
    Many piano teachers have no idea how the state of the child’s hemisphere connections (corpus calosum) affects their ability to learn piano.
    The most interesting thing is that you have to have skill in both hemispheres to master the piano.

  158. Rachel Dexter says:

    Where could your normal, every day person buy one of these besides amazon? I’m currently in a music theory class and we used something like this in class and I found it super helpful

  159. Jenny says:

    I wonder if the melancholy character stems from sadness at the persecution plight of the Armenian people who experienced genocide..

    • Elizabeth says:

      Interesting. I’ve never thought of that. That could be true because so much of Russian music from this era is quite plaintive. Thanks for your reply!

  160. Terah Wieland says:

    Help! I love these and am having trouble tracking them down! I e used these for travel as have my students and with great success. Surely someone still carries them?