New and Reviewed

The Piano Teacher Australia invited Diane Ellerton to discuss some of the latest releases on the Easy Pop Piano market.

Top Hits of 2021

My students of all ages related to the songs contained within this anthology.

The print is large, clear and easily read, which facilitates reading the various technical aspects to be encountered. Examples of these are; swing rhythms, triplets, accidentals, notation up to semi quavers, tied notes, dotted notes, percussive notation, changing time signatures, repeats, codas, the melody line changing between 2 hands and lots of page turning! The songs are arranged or transposed into more simple key signatures with no more than 2 sharps or flats. 

The left hand accompaniment is mostly very simple chords with occasional passing notes and the infrequent challenge of moving into the treble. There is an opportunity to learn about chord structures and relationships with this clear bass line.

This will be a hit with any early intermediate student who enjoys popular music.


40 Pop Songs for Kids

When I shared this book with my students, the titles excited them and held their interest. Even beginner students were undaunted by the notation when they tried playing a favourite song, of which there were many.

Each piece is clearly set out and includes relevant introductory background information with hints and tips for playing the piece. The complex rhythms in the melodic line (that frequently occurs in pop music), are offset with simple bass chords and passing notes that act to build confidence and stabilize the songs.

Technical skills to learn and consolidate, along with essential musical knowledge such as repeats, codas, tied notes, swing rhythms, and chord progressions are embedded in the songs. The music is simplified or transposed and set in easier to read keys and time signatures suitable for early intermediate players.

The enthusiasm with which my students expressed would make this anthology a useful supplementary book.


DIANE ELLERTON

My second piano teacher through her kindness and knowledge was my inspiration.

As a teacher I ask many questions and listen to my students and their parents.  We share the joy of learning and the love of music with the aim of letting music speak to our souls. Consequently, we laugh, we love learning about music, the composers and their world, plus many life lessons as well. 

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