October is the perfect time to pull out some fun new pieces. And whilst many people are trying to decide which scary movie to watch, we are trying to decide which scary piece to play!
Easiest Piano Course – First Halloween Hits
John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course has been a staple in piano education since its inception in 1945. It thrives in its ability to introduce beginners to piano in an accessible manner whilst offering them an abundance of options to explore different genres and styles. Alongside the core method is an incredibly diverse range of supplementary books: Pop, Beethoven, Abba, Film Themes, Christmas; the list is enormous. And now adding to that list we have: First Halloween Hits.
This adorable collection starts with a very simple arrangement of Chopin’s somber Funeral March and works it’s way all the way to an exciting arrangement of In the Hall of the Mountain King. In between are pieces that will excite both the student and the teacher – Jack’s Lament from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Friends on the Other Side from The Princess and the Frog and The titular song from The Phantom of the Opera.
10 Bewitching Piano Solos for Recitals
This compilation serves as an excellent resource for guiding students over the perceived challenges of ‘intimidating’ accidentals or dissonant sounds. Each of these compositions not only facilitates this musical transition but also offers an enjoyable experience for performers, making them ideal for showcasing to friends and family. Particularly accommodating for those with smaller hands, the piece titled “Spooky Night” adds an extra layer of appeal.
The diverse styles explored in this collection are perfect for young players. Beyond performing pre-existing pieces, students are encouraged to exercise their creativity by crafting their own peculiar sounds, an opportunity presented at the book’s conclusion on a neatly printed staff page. This thoughtful addition proves especially valuable in nurturing budding composers.
The inclusion of personal notes from each composer in the “Performance Notes” section adds a charming touch, providing insight into the inspiration behind the creation of these peculiar yet captivating sounds. Overall, this collection not only serves as a valuable pedagogical tool but also as an engaging and empowering musical journey for students.
These wonderfully uncomplicated musical arrangements serve as an ideal gateway for infusing a touch of seasonal delight into introductory piano lessons. Designed with a progressive approach, these pieces initiate learners with the basic foundation of crotchets and minims, played distinctly in separate hands. As the musical journey unfolds, they skillfully advance, guiding students toward a commendable Grade One proficiency.
Not only do these arrangements offer an enjoyable musical experience, but they also prove to be invaluable tools for honing sight-reading skills. The deliberate progression from simple rhythmic elements to a more sophisticated level enhances the students’ ability to read and interpret sheet music with confidence.
What adds an extra layer of charm to these pieces are the endearing illustrations of ghosts and ghouls. These whimsical images not only create a festive ambiance but also elicit joyous giggles from my youngest piano enthusiasts.
Spooky Halloween Tunes
A fantastic collection of spook-tacular tunes for Grade 1-2 level students. Arranged by co-author of the Hal Leonard Student PIano LIbrary; Fred Kern – These pieces are a delight to play and very easy to get under the fingers.
Perfect for sight reading or small challenges, the formatting is clear, with great use of dynamics and phrase marks. This provides ample opportunity to call for focus on musical detail to get the best out of each piece.
A number of these pieces feature teacher accompaniment – always an entertaining opportunity in lessons. Even more so is the inclusion of lyrics. Every piece in this book is a song – which encourages students to listen to the original recordings and can easily further their musical education simply because they want to sing along!
The Nightmare Before Christmas PVG
Does it fall into the Halloween movie category or the Christmas movie genre? Well, who really cares when the soundtrack is this extraordinary! The Nightmare Before Christmas, featuring some of Danny Elfman’s most brilliant compositions, is a musical treasure trove that is so exciting to explore.
For advanced students honing their agility, this score is a goldmine. With numerous fast-paced pieces, it becomes a perfect exercise for enhancing agility. The music demands a delicate touch and a solid grasp of chromatic intricacies, making it an excellent challenge for those looking to refine their skills.
These pieces, for the most part, sit at a high level of difficulty, making them particularly appealing for anyone seeking a musical challenge. The intricate arrangements not only provide a test of technical proficiency but also deliver a deeply satisfying musical experience. It’s an opportunity for students to push their boundaries and elevate their playing to new heights.
And let’s not forget the added bonus: revisiting the movie itself! The music in The Nightmare Before Christmas is so intricately woven into the fabric of the film that playing the pieces is akin to reliving the magic on a musical level. It’s a fantastic excuse to immerse in the enchanting world of the movie once again.