Fourteen Constellations for Piano - Grades 3-5

I was delighted to be asked to review, and play through, Stars, an alluring collection of pieces for young pianists by June Armstrong.  All the compositions have enticing titles and covey the vivid images of a starlit night sky coloured and enhanced by a dream-like imagination; effectively musical paintings.

The harmonic world is evocative and refreshingly unpredictable with just a hint of Debussy, Phillip Glass and even Peter Sculthorpe (have a listen to his Night Pieces as a comparison, something for pupils to aspire to later on). All of them will nurture and inspire an ear for, and control of, pedalled tonal colour, as well as the importance for space, time and sonority. I particularly loved Unicorn with its magical stillness and ravishing tonal world, and was very taken with Sails, a descriptive and entrancing piece with the added bonus of encouraging good left hand scalic control and an ear for balance. Yes the collection has huge educational value and is excellent teaching repertoire, but many of the compositions transcend this in their originality and appeal.  Anthony Williams - ABRSM examiner, presenter and selector

Quick Score/Audio Guide

Click here for a full YouTube Playlist

For score samples click here, or click on each individual piece

Video on teaching Unicorn

To download the mp3 files, right-click on the track player and select

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Great Dog
Northern Crown
Noah's Dove
Bird of Paradise

From Pianodao, read Andrew Eales' review of Stars here.