New and Reviewed – July Edition

The Jennifer Linn Series isa collection of sheet music books composed and arranged by the accomplished pianist and composer Jennifer Linn. Renowned for her exceptional musical talent and pedagogical expertise, Jennifer Linn has created a series of sheet music books catering to various skill levels and musical interests. The series covers a wide range of genres, from classical and jazz to contemporary and pop, making it accessible to pianists of all ages and proficiency levels. Each book in the Jennifer Linn Series offers a carefully curated selection of pieces that not only challenge and inspire pianists but also provide valuable learning opportunities to develop technical prowess and expressive musicianship. With its diverse repertoire and meticulous attention to musical detail, the Jennifer Linn Series remains a cherished resource for pianists seeking both enjoyment and growth in their musical journey.

Fun Songs for Kids

The pieces in this book are an absolute gift for young beginners. The pieces all feature note names written inside the noteheads, use only a combination of 1, 2 3 and 4 beat notes, home positions for both hands and very cute lyrics. With the exception of one, all of the pieces only involve on hand playing at a time (switching back and forth). The teacher accompaniments are very simple and make for very sweet little duets to play with your student.

My 6-year old student is a big fan of Mountain Train as they enjoy mashing the notes when the train ‘toots’ – very cute.

Rendezvous at the Zoo

These pieces are written for ‘Easy Elementary’ level. The pieces are fantastic because they are all really interesting, whilst keeping the hands (for the most part) in one position. There’s lots of use of extreme dynamic contrasts, simple rhythms (no semiquavers to be seen here) and cute cluster chords.

I particularly like the use of the sustain pedal in some of these pieces – using the ‘hold down for this entire section’ method. It’s a really fantastic way to introduce students to the pedal without it being intimidating. The sustain pedal (the ‘pretty’ pedal) always fascinates my younger students, so they really like these pieces. These are fantastic for sight reading practise.

Disney Heroines

Stepping up to Elementary level, Disney Heroines contains a nice mix of Disney tunes spanning from Cinderella right up to Frozen II. Written in progressive order, I was surprised to see Show Yourself as the first piece in the book. A stunningly simply, yet effective arrangement, this gave me so much confidence in the book, as unlike some other books I’ve seen these ‘easy’ Disney charts in, they are not simplified beyond recognition. The songs that are usually quite lengthy, have been shortened down to two or three pages – just enough of a challenge without being overwhelmingly lengthy and intimidating.

The ‘final challenge’ in this book is the gorgeous Just Around the River Bend. Making use of beautiful flowing quaver intervals and some slightly more difficult syncopation

Showstoppers

Showstoppers is part of the Jennifer Linn’s Intermediate level – one below the top. The pieces are beautiful and interesting. The engraving makes it all so easy to read. There’s so much room for expression and teaching students to understand the difference between ‘playing’ the piece and ‘performing’ the piece. These are all perfect for student recitals to show off a little flair and a deeper musical understanding.

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