Please read the review from Ms. Cobb:
I will not be mistaken when saying that music which is written in modern times will appeal to the contemporary learner audience more than, say, a baroque style pieces. And I always note that modern compositions will be played better too. Although, the classical repertoire occupies a leading position in piano teacher’s lessons, many of us are keen to explore and to give way to something that is fresh of the press.
I am very keen to introduce to you Anna Maliszewski (USA) who has recently discovered composing as another creative musical outlet in addition to her thriving piano studio work. Anna aims to create piano solos that children and adults can really enjoy and I quote:
“… because playing music should be fun!”
You can find more information about Anna Maliszewski on her website: annamaliszewski.webs.com.
Earlier this year, Anna has published her new collection of piano pieces, ten in total, for early to middle intermediate levels and they are available to buy instantly on the www.sheetmusicplus.com and each piece priced competitively at $3.99 The website also has an audio recording for each piece, so you can hear it first.
IMAGINATIVE & CHARMING
Anna gave each tune a title and each and one of them is a character piece, with plenty of character! ‘Imaginative and full of charm’ are the words I would use to describe Anna’s music. I can easily see pupils enjoying playing these pieces as they will be drawn into the world of a creative expression.
VARIETY OF TECHNIQUE
Anna’s compositions offer a variety of techniques and studying them will give your pupils a very good technical platform. Also, I would use these pieces as a source for the Sight Reading for more advanced pupils.
Let’s explore each of Anna’s pieces individually. If your pupil is struggling with the staccato technique, iIntroduce him, or her to the leaping staccato notes in the left hand from the HOP FROG POND!
Crossing hands will be fun to master while studying PROGRESSION SONATA. Pupils will love it and it is actually an excellent way to encourage the exploration of the geography of the piano keyboard.
A piece entitled SPIRIT has a very clever way in learning to play the octaves. All pianists need a good span between the first and fifth fingers in order to be able to play the octaves. But more than often, pupils can not stretch their fingers far enough and it can lead to a physical strain, injury, or just simply, to a disappointment. However, playing long notes of the haunting melody in the right hand will allow plenty of time to take care of the broken octaves in the left.
GYPSY FAIR is ideal for perfecting a skill of playing with dynamics. Classically arranged phrases will be repeated almost exactly in notation but will offer an opportunity to play them again with a different dynamic.
What boy, or girl would not get excited at the rare occasion to become a pirate in the piano lesson? And PIRATE’S SHANTY will offer this chance! It is the only piece with the lyrics and the rhymes sit really well with the tune while it swaps from right hand to the left. The march like music is full of energy. While playing this piece, pupil will learn the importance of bringing out the melody over the accompanying notes.
There are two waltzes in this collection: TURKEY WALTZ and GUITAR DANCE. TURKEY DANCE is very humoresque and it is easy to imagine a turkey taking a waltzy stroll over the yard.
GUITAR DANCE is written in a typical of the Romantic era style. I’d say that the challenge of reading the notation and playing the piece with some accidentals will be a very satisfying experience and it will make a good introduction to the modulations in the music. A melody that is hidden in the quavers (eighth notes) of the right hand will be something to aim to bring out while playing it.
WANDERER will be liked by the teenagers as it contains the elements of the popular musical styles.
My favourite piece is the SPRINGTIME CLASSICA. It is a good example of the contemporary sound – fresh and modern. This piece is technically demanding and will help to develop strength in the left hand technique. I would highlight this piece as a very good direction for the compositions to come.
Anna Maliszewski is a pianist, teacher, composer and mother of twins in the Chicagoland area in the United States of America, who strives to teach her piano students creatively to instill in every student a sound foundation in music theory, technique, and beauty in sound. Anna has a BA from the University of Iowa and in 2003, she was the youngest member of the Chicago Master Singers! Anna also studied 10 years with concert pianist Barbara Enders, who even studied for some time under Mrs. Lhevinne. Every day Anna teaches she hopes to plant more seeds for them to grow a lasting love for music.
And in conclusion, If you are looking for something new and exciting, and your pupils need a break from the complexities of the examination work, get them to play Anna Maliszewski’s pieces and it will bring a sparkle to your lessons. Beautiful melodies will be quickly memorised as they are perfect for anyone who is learning to play the piano today.