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2 minutes reading time (383 words)

Closer Look Pieces for warm weather

(S2) Bumblebee Rumble, by Jennifer Linn.

This spunky solo is a
toe-tapping audience pleaser.
A humorous recurring bumblebee
motif alternates with jazzy
broken chords and syncopated
rhythms to create a very visual
and dancelike aural story.
Students move quickly around
the piano, exploring ever-changing
textures and articulations. The few pedal markings
for sonority do not require a legato pedal technique.
One amusing and dramatic ritardando in the middle
section is an enjoyable way to practice changing fingers
on a single repeated note. This piece is an excellent
study in identifying hand-position and register
changes, as well as counting eighth-note patterns and
simple syncopated rhythms. It would be especially
good for a young or small-handed pianist who is able
to bring out the quirky personality of a particularly
cheerful bumblebee. (Hal Leonard, $2.99) V.C.

(S2) By the Koi Pond, by Randall Hartsell.

Serene and thoughtful, this
piece would be an excellent
solo for a sensitive elementary
student. It offers the opportunity
to practice quiet legato
pedaling technique and melodic
voicing, both with graceful
movement among various
five-finger positions. Gentle open
fifths in both hands encourage a good hand position.
Students can also explore both dramatic and subtle
dynamic changes within long phrase structures, and
the D.S. al Coda indications help the young performer
develop smooth transitions within the form. Most
interestingly, passages with long pedal markings
and gently accented tenuto notes offer the chance
to explore a wide variety of color and nuance. The
unique textures and sonorities give this beautiful piece a somewhat unpredictable quality, thus setting
it apart from other contemporary lyrical solos.
A lovely choice for a mature and expressive young
student. (Willis/Hal Leonard, $2.99) V.C.


(S2) Year 'Round Fun, Book 2, by Kevin Costley.

This second in a threebook
series contains fifteen
late-elementary pieces featuring
themes from different
seasons of the year. As Costley
writes in the preface, the pieces
are "written in an intervallic
style that encourages pattern
recognition as well as creating
excellent sight-reading opportunities." For example,
"Goin' to the Rodeo" is built on open fifths in the left
hand and alternating thirds and fourths in the right,
with a playful interjection of five-finger blues.


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