One of the biggest hurdles to get over when teaching beginner adult students, or adults who are ‘returning’ to piano after many, many years of musical drought, is that they usually want to learn to play tunes they know fairly quickly. There’s been many cases of “So-and-so’s birthday is coming up and I want to surprise them with a tune” or “I’ve always wanted to play and I’d love to be able to play some pieces by Christmas”. What better way could there be, then to use a clear, direct and exciting folio of Disney tunes, specifically designed for Adults learning to get their fingers around the keyboard?
Disney Adult Piano Adventures
Disney music has the power to connect multiple generations around the world. And after 100 years of movies by the Mouse, there’s perhaps not many other production houses that could claim the same fame. Whether they grew up watching the movies or not, you would be hard pressed to find someone who has never heard The Bare Necessities or Let It Go. The beauty of The Disney Piano Adult Piano Adventures is that it is structured in a way that makes all of these songs very approachable and achievable.
The book is divided into three sections. Section 1 features piano arrangements with minimal hand position changes. Songs in here include Part of Your World, Remember Me and Let’s Go Fly a Kite. There are optional duet parts to play along with your students with (always a fun time). Perhaps the most intriguing part of this section is the very clear indications of when hand positions need to move – indicated by a circled finger number and words like “shift to B” – making the music very easy to follow. The pieces begin very simple, with little use of hands play simultaneously, gradually introducing more crossover as you get further into the section.
Section 2 kicks off with a little explanation of C Major and common I, VI and V7 chord positions. These pieces are a little more involved, making use of simultaneous playing and chords. These pieces are also longer, usually running for 3 pages. The tempos are generally faster (I’ve Got a Dream, Belle and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious all make an appearance), and there are not duet accompaniments here. Generally the pieces in this section are ‘busier’ than the first, perfect for students who feel a bit more confident in their playing abilities.
Section 3 introduces the Key of G – an indication that all pieces from here on out with include a sharp in the key signature. These pieces have it all – chords, arpeggiation, syncopation, pedalling, shift hand positions; and more advanced articulation and dynamic markings. Some of the pieces hit the 4-page mark and the section includes hits such as Reflection, Circle of Life and Beauty and the Beast. Perfect for a confident AMEB Grade 1 level, or sight reading for Grade 2.
At the back of the book is a rather thorough dictionary of musical terms – all of which are featured throughout the anthology.
This is an excellent celebration of 100 years of Disney. A really exciting addition to the Adult Piano Adventures series by Nancy and Randall Faber and the perfect book to have in your sheet music library if you’re an adult getting introduced to, or back in touch with a piano.