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2 minutes reading time (316 words)

Unique; reflective music

pupil-3b
Preludes by Dianne Goolkasian Rahsbee

Finding interesting late-intermediate literature can be a challenge. In addition to teaching the repertoire standards, I always look for something a bit more out-ofthe box, quite often a contemporary composition. I find that the contemporary music of Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee fits my needs perfectly, and her two sets of preludes provide a wealth of music to study. In particular, the late-intermediate "Meditation" from Rahbee's Preludes, Volume 2 (FJH) is a good introduction to Rahbee's style and sound. It has been great for students who have limited technical facility, but need something to sound good in a short period of time. 

"Meditation" offers the primary challenge of balancing chords in the left hand with a single line melody in the right. Rahbee further challenges the students with subtle left-hand chord changes in almost every measure. The changes are similar to those in Chopin's E-minor prelude, as seen in measures 7-10. 


Extensive left-hand practice, along with blocking the chords, will speed up the learning process. Once the chords are firmly established, the student can proceed to learn the right-hand melody carefully. Counting is an absolute must: Rahbee's melody is highly syncopated, with some of the melody notes falling between the chords. The student will also get practice on the F-sharp dorian mode, as seen in measures 19-22. 

In addition, "Meditation" provides the opportunity to work on developing good tonal control of the melody, shaping a simple line, and controlling dynamic expression. "Meditation" ends quietly and reflectively. In the final measures of the piece (measures 27-30), I generally suggest achieving a more ethereal sound by gently brushing the closing quarter notes. 

This prelude is a great piece for students needing something unique to play. Highly recommended.

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Pupil Saver: Unique; reflective music
Mind Matters: The Odd Couple
 

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