Here's my ultimate but simple list for choosing performance repertoire. It's a list I've gathered from listening to many recitals and eisteddfods and has been helpful for me when discussing repertoire with students. I'll keep adjusting this and would love to hear any of your suggestions too.
- something that is engaging
- something that you like
- something that has artistic merit
- something that is revealing
- something that is rhythmically fun
- something that is a little risky but still within your capability
- something that is written specifically for piano/keyboard
STAY AWAY FROM:
- new arrangements or compositions that lack musicality
- something that is too hard for your ability
- something that is too safe
- something that is too boring
- something that you hate
THINK CAREFULLY WHEN CHOOSING:
- pieces that are well-known
- pieces that lack a melody
- pieces that are too long or too short
- pieces with offensive titles or meanings
- that you understand the style of the piece and can play it in that style
- that you are on top of all the technical demands of the piece
- that you have all copyright permissions needed to perform the piece
- that the piece suits the occasion and the audience
Currently in Australia, not every student has access to quality music education in schools, which is outrageous. A lack of teacher-training, resources, management of curriculum demands, have contributed to this problem. To solve this, music specialists need to be put in every school in Australia. If you're not sure why this is important, please have a look at my earlier blogs, or read about the benefits of music education here. The newly-established 'Music Trust' has put together a campaign to petition government for a better music education in schools. Details of the campaign can be found at http://thefulldeal.com.au - the stats on this site are alarming. Please sign the petition, and push for more music in schools so that all of our children can benefit.
I'm currently studying MTeach in secondary school teaching and have put together a number of webpages to meet assignment/prac requirements. These pages have resources, presentations, and online activities that both students and teachers can use. Please contact me if you want to use any of the quizzes as I will have to alter them to make it work for you. Here is a list of these resources which I'll keep updating.
19th Century Music
Music of Africa
Music of the Baroque period: keyboard instruments
Music of a Culture: Jewish music
Music of a Culture: Yolngu music
Music of a Culture: Balinese Gamelan music
Music for Multimedia: Gaming Music
Music for Radio, Television, Film and Multimedia: Advertising Music
Music for Radio, Television, Film and Multimedia: Music for Film
Music and Technology: Electronic Music
Music and Technology: Minimalism
Popular Music: Soul Music
Popular Music: Australian Rock Music
Music 2, Year 12 Aural Exam (created by R.Hocking)
Rhythm: triple time
Here's a great short video by one of my personal favourites, Angela Hewitt, about the importance of slow practise. She especially mentions that in slow practise, we need to include everything e.g. articulation, dynamics, phrasing etc, just in the same way as when we play the same piece at a faster tempo.
The uni class I attended tonight was a great example of learning through observation rather than being *told* what should be learnt. The lecture was mostly in silence except for music which was created through demonstration/imitation, and the result was musically-meaningful performance/improvisation by students of differing musical ability. Our lecturer Nick Lane used Orff methods which not only taught us how to improvise with a piece of music (in this case, one of Nick's arrangements) but also demonstrated how to teach our own students to do this. It just goes to show how the Orff method can be used in any educational setting - in this case, teacher training, serving two purposes at once. Nick also used 'antennas beaters stance' when not playing, must be a standard Orff thing to do - comforting to see as I use that too! (Well, in one primary school we used 'unicorn beaters stance' as each student only had access to one beater each). Looking forward to next week's lecture.
I took these photos to demonstrate to a student just how dodgy their hands and fingers were. You should have seen their face when they looked at the photos!!
Here's an interesting article from today's paper. The Teach for Australia program runs six weeks of training for academically-capable postgrads, then sends them to a disadvantaged school while continuing their training.
Reflections/news on music, piano and music teaching, and anything else that pops up.