Rock this Town for Elementary piano by Rebekah Maxner [book launch]

Isn’t it wonderful when, in the first moment of the lesson, your student sits on the bench and starts playing right away because they can’t wait to show you their favourite piece? That’s the sign of a kid hooked on music! Rock this Town is chock-full of music that will keep your students fully engaged!

This is the Elementary book of my Rock Collection Series, crafted especially for Preparatory and Level 1 students. For nearly a year I’ve been working on it, and I’m very excited to show it to you!

There are so many things you and your students will love!

1) The Music!

As you guide your students out of the beginner phase of piano lessons into more mature music, your teaching is made easier when you have irresistible music! You want your students to want more! This is the critical time when piano lessons start to be a little more work. Students will want to do that work if they love their music!

Forever, Ever After audio (includes optional teacher duet).

2) Strategic Hands Separate

While Preparatory pianists want beautiful music, they are most successful when it is kept fairly simple, with one challenge at a time. The Preparatory pieces in Rock this Town are composed in a clever way that masks the fact that the hands are really playing one at a time. This allows the young pianist to truly shape the sound.

The Sad Clown Waltzes Alone often sounds hands together, but is mostly one hand at a time.
Rock this Town alternates between the tune and rhythmic harmonic intervals.

To order your own, go to Rock this Town in my shop!

3) Strategic Hands Together

Elementary pianists are like all pianists: they love playing music within their grasp that sounds bigger than it actually is. I’ve written hands together so carefully that it’s easy to play, yet gives that bigger sound kids are eager to make.

Rock Around the Block has LH fifths with a RH repeating pattern for easy yet satisfying hands together playing.
Zonko’s Big Adventure has fingers playing in contrary motion, which is within the grasp of Level 1 pianists and fun! (Audio includes optional teacher’s duet.)

4) The musical influences

Children have so much to learn about the music that surrounds us in everyday life: rock, blues, jazz, boogie and expressive pop piano. Rock this Town gives you a chance to teach your Elementary students about our current musical heritage. On the Notes page, the musical influences are identified and students are encouraged to listen to more.

Back Street Blues is written as an introduction to the blues scale.
Jelly Roll Jazz for Level 1 helps kids understand the basic boogie pattern. The RH jazzy chords slow down the progress of the boogie bass, making it “doable” for this level.

To order your own, go to Rock this Town in my shop!

5) The titles, lyrics and illustrations

The titles, lyrics and illustrations keep the book playful and appealing for any age group.

Kids will be drawn to pieces with these titles!

  • In a Jam (a play on ‘jam session’)
  • Hiccup Rock (the quarter rest is the hiccup)
  • Jelly Roll Jazz (LH fingers cross, or roll, over) and
  • Zonko’s Big Adventure (it sounds like video game music)

Many children and teens like anime, so the artistic design of the cover and the barbershop squirrels will have a wide appeal for any age. In fact, my artist, Laura Meisner, is a teen!

I had asked for a 1920s jazzy retro cover, and I think it’s cool that it’s now the beginning of the 2020 decade!

Several pieces have lyrics, like Elvis Presley How About a Date. This is a traditional skipping chant I learned from a beginner student in the late 1990s! I wrote this tune to the words:

Elvis Presley is based on the lyrics of a traditional skipping chant.

6) The duets

The music in the book is a mixture of solos (6), solos with optional duets (4), and one duet (1P4H). There are five duets in all. It is still valuable at the Elementary level for students to develop the ensemble skills learned by playing duets. In short, duets are fun! I kept imagining some of the pieces with more layers of sound than were in the student part alone, so I wrote them in. Why not?

Black Tie Showdown is a pattern piece on the black and white keys, and a new showstopper!

The Rock Collection Series

Rock the Boat – Early Elementary with a pirate and cat theme. Solos/duets

Rock this Town – Elementary with a city and squirrel theme. Solos/duets

Rock that Train – Late Elementary to Early Intermediate. Solos

If you are serious about keeping it fun, this is the series for you!

To order your own, go to Rock this Town in my shop!

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I appreciate shares, comments and likes. Happy teaching!

3 thoughts on “Rock this Town for Elementary piano by Rebekah Maxner [book launch]

Add yours

  1. Which bands, styles, things and singers besides Abba and Andrews Sisters (3 girls sang Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) is RockTown inspired by besides computer games?


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