A Quick Cure for Shaky Rhythm and some Halloween Recommendations
In this video called "Clapping in the Rests" you'll learn a quick tip for firming up shaky rhythm. In this video, Maria is working on Masquerade Party from Piano Town Halloween, Level One.
Here are a few of my Halloween teaching favorites:
Ghosts of the Piano by Robert Vandall is delightfully spooky. The student holds down various low notes on the piano while playing short chords and the effect is startling and eerie. Not difficult and could also be taught by rote.
Vanishing Villain is the first piece I wrote in the Attention Grabbers style. It is predictably patterned and ends with a glissando that impresses everyone, (especially the student playing it!)
Cool Ghouls by Melody Bober is jazzy, spunky solo that my students love to play.
Here's a video of my student Jacob at a lesson on Cool Ghouls.
While not specifically designated as a Halloween piece, Outplanet - the Final Battle by Edwin McLean makes a dramatic addition to any recital. It has grand chords and a menacing ostinato bass. You can watch video of a student (not mine) playing it here.
I have to confess that vast portions of my Halloween Recitals are made up of the fabulous pieces from the Piano Town Halloween Series. For some reason, the table of contents on SheetMusicPlus shows only four of the eight or nine delightful pieces in each level. I use the Primer Level Halloween book with every beginner I teach. It's great way to introduce sharps and flats with no fuss - they can't wait to play some black keys in service of Halloween!
Book One Attention Grabbers includes these excellent Halloween Pieces:
- Spooky Secret
- Sneak Peek
- Mischief Maker
Book Two includes these spooky favorites:
- Secret Agent
- Pandora's Box
Book Three offers these solos:
- Skeleton Stampede
- Wuthering Heights
- Tango Taboo
Jason Sifford new book, The Creeps, shows his delightfully twisted sense of humor both in the titles and the music itself. Who else would think to write pieces called Arachnophobia or Zombie? Your tweens and teens will love them.
Have some eerie fun this Halloween!
Though I love all the Little Pepper Books by Elissa Milne, I'm particularly enjoying teaching her spookier pieces in preparation for my student's Halloween Recital.
The pieces are a tiny bit tricky - just enough to perk up a tired student (and teacher!)
If you have some slightly more advanced students, try out her Pepperbox Jazz Books One and Two. They're delightful!
If you haven't tried them, give yourself and your students a treat!