The pieces in this collection are around pre grade 1 to grade 1 standard. They are almost entirely written in five finger position. Some of them contain simple hand position changes.
Each piece is designed to convey the mood or the suggestion of the colour of its title.
Pillar Box Red
This bright red piece is all in five finger position. It needs to be played very confidently and happily.
This is a very simple little sailors’ hornpipe with just bare fifths in the left hand. The right hand needs to be very nimble, like the sailors’ feet.
Silver is made up of three note chords which are called triads. It needs to be played delicately and very evenly. Some of the triads have black notes and it will help if you learn how to find them and what their names are. Also it will be helpful to know if they sound major or minor. Play the last note with the third finger of the left hand for greater control. *See pedalling note at end.
This is a very simple little piece, the challenge being to keep the left hand dotted rhythm very smooth and regular with good control of the fifth, fourth and third fingers.
Aquamarine is written completely in five finger position. Play this in a very flowing manner, like the movement of seawater. The last 8 bars should be very soft with a beautifully controlled ritenuto - a graceful slowing down. *See pedalling note at end.
The colour indigo is a very dark blue. Play this very carefully, making sure all the notes in the right hand chords come down exactly together. Count very carefully in the final two bars.
This piece needs a very smooth regular flow. See if you can feel that each hand has its own different part. It’s a little like playing Bach.
This little piece from the Emerald Isle can be played at whatever speed you feel works well. The left hand is very simple, moving mostly by step.
You will really need to listen to the beautiful harmonics which you will create on the piano strings of the left hand notes when you play this piece. Ask your teacher to show you how this happens. It doesn’t need to be played in a strict tempo. You can practise playing the right hand grace notes very fast by turning your hand towards the bottom or top of each run, as though you were turning a door knob.
If you can memorise the rhythm of this piece it is very simple to play. Just use 432 of the left hand on the three black notes and 23 of the right hand on the two black notes. There is lots of scope to explore the full dynamic range of the piano. Try and feel the pulse as 2 in a bar. This needs to be played very assertively and with panache!
Zesty please! All the left hand notes are just simple three note major triads. You can play this one as fast as you can manage to keep the right hand quavers very even. This is an exercise in controlling dynamics – gradually getting softer the first time through, and then louder, the second time through.
Possibly the most difficult piece of the set, but there are no difficult rhythms for the right hand. Only one hand moves position at any time. Keep the left hand very solid and not too fast. You can finger this 51, 51 etc or 52, 51. Make the final ritenuto really slow up at the end to give a very bluesy feel. This is jazz, so feel free to add your own little touches.
Gold needs to be played in a stately and regal manner. Fingers need to be very well co-ordinated, so that all the fingers in both the left and the right hand come down exactly together. Enjoy all of the lovely ‘suspensions’ or leaning notes. Make sure that you have spotted all the ‘tied’ notes.
*Simple legato pedalling is only required in Silver and Aquamarine. Change the pedal slowly, raising the foot carefully with the first quaver of the bar, and returning it slowly on the second. Gold may be pedalled if desired.
There are no dynamic markings indicated in Emerald Green, Navy Blue, Rose and Dusty Blue. Choose your own and experiment to find out what works best.
Metronome markings are for optimum performance tempos, but performers are free to choose their own, appropriate to their own abilities.
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