Early to Late Elementary Piano repertoire of Rebekah Maxner, listed for ease of choosing

For kids who still have so much to master on the piano, how can their music match their reading and technical needs and yet still fulfill their wish to play beautiful, energetic and meaningful music? From Early Elementary to Late Elementary, piano kids want their music to evoke big imaginings.

Beyond solos, teachers and students also love optional duets that rhythmically create a safe sound space and yet add a little spice, and unexpected chord progressions that expand and broaden the musical soundscape.

And as the teacher, you want this music to seamlessly complement your method or program of choice. You want piano pieces that do double duty, that help your students learn the basics in the lessons, but that also step up when it comes to performances. You also want audience-pleasers, pieces that sound good in recitals and special events.

I aim to write Early to Late Elementary pieces to maximize the playing experience for each level — pieces that will inspire your early-level students and pieces that you’ll want to teach over and over, yourself.

This blog post is an introduction to the music I’ve composed for the early levels of piano. I’m providing this to help teachers who have my music (or who want to purchase my music) to choose the very best pieces for your students to help them flourish and progress:

Free Printable

To get the most up-to-date list of pieces covered in this post, please download the following document:

PDF Listing of Rebekah Maxner’s Early to Late Elementary Piano Repertoire

Early Elementary / Primer Level

  • Reading notes in the middle of the staff with some stretches to notes between the Space Cs.
  • Notes outside of this range are designed to be taught by rote. Kids love the sounds of the whole piano!
  • Sharps and flats are written as accidentals.

Rhythm:

  • Quarter, half, dotted-half and whole notes.
  • Hidden rests.
  • Optional duets help develop ensemble skills and rhythmic playing.

Technical development:

  • Non-legato.
  • Very little moving around on the piano. Planned moves in rote sections repeat across the keyboard.
  • Longer notes and carefully planned octave moves allow for the development of gentle wrist lifts.
  • Lyrics help children develop a sense of phrasing.

Notation samples for Early Elementary / Primer Level

Here’s the Early Elementary / Primer Level YouTube Playlist!

Playlist: View the Early Elementary / Primer Level complete playlist on YouTube!

Elementary / Prep A

  • Notes are between low bass clef F and high treble clef G.
  • Notes outside of this range are designed to be taught by rote.
  • Sharps and flats are written as accidentals.

Rhythm:

  • Quarter, half, dotted-half and whole notes. Simple eighth note pairs.
  • Hidden rests.
  • Optional duets help develop ensemble skills and rhythmic playing.

Technical development:

  • Two- and three-note slurs. Longer legato phrases.
  • Some simple moves.
  • Hand-over-hand in rote sections which repeat across the keyboard.
  • Some hands together in contrary motion.
  • Harmonic fifths.

Notation samples for Elementary / Prep A

Here’s the Elementary / Prep A YouTube Playlist!

Playlist: View the Elementary / Prep A complete playlist on YouTube!

Elementary Prep B

  • Notes printed mainly within the grand staff.
  • Notes printed outside of this range are designed to be taught by rote. Kids love playing the full range of the piano even if they’re not expected to read the expanded range.
  • Sharps and flats are usually written as accidentals. Rare time signatures have only one sharp or flat.

Rhythm:

  • Quarter, half, dotted-half and whole notes. Simple eighth note pairs.
  • Dotted-quarter-eighth combination included in pieces that can be taught by rote or ear.
  • All rests printed unless both hands share a phrase.
  • Optional duets help develop ensemble skills and rhythmic playing.

Technical development:

  • Varied touches like staccato and accents.
  • Hand-over-hand moves and some simple changes of position.
  • Limited hands together.
  • Harmonic intervals up to fifths.
  • Simple down-up pedal.

Notation samples for Elementary / Prep B

Here’s the Elementary / Prep B YouTube Playlist!

Playlist: View the Elementary / Prep B complete playlist on YouTube!

Late Elementary Level 1

  • Notes printed mainly within the grand staff.
  • Occasional ledger notes, often with a guiding blank for adding the letter.
  • Sharps and flats are mostly written as accidentals. Some simple time signatures.

Rhythm:

  • Notes and rests up to the eighth.
  • Straight eighths. Some syncopations, anticipations and optional swing.
  • Some simple introductory 6/8 meter with or without the quarter-eighth combination.

Technical development:

  • Exploring different articulations within one phrase.
  • Some simple moves. Hand-over-hand and changes of position.
  • Carefully-designed hands together in contrary and parallel motion and with some harmonies.
  • Simple down-up pedal.

Notation samples for Late Elementary / Level 1

Here’s the Late Elementary / Level 1 YouTube Playlist!

Playlist: View the Late Elementary / Level 1 complete playlist on YouTube!

Late Elementary Level 2

  • Notes printed mainly within the grand staff. Limited use of ledger notes.
  • Sharps and flats can be written as accidentals or in simple time signatures.

Rhythm:

  • Notes and rests up to the eighth.
  • Straight eighths. Some syncopations and optional swing.
  • Some simple introductory 6/8 meter with or without the quarter-eighth combination.

Technical development:

  • Longer phrases with hands together.
  • Some position changes with finger cross-overs and thumbs tucking under.
  • Some legato (connected) pedal with down-up changes.

Notation samples for Late Elementary / Level 2

Here’s the Late Elementary / Level 2 YouTube Playlist!

Playlist: View the Late Elementary / Level 2 complete playlist on YouTube

Free Printable

Remember to download the most up-to-date list of my Early to Late Elementary pieces! Please go to my Printables for the following document:

PDF Listing of Rebekah Maxner’s Early to Late Elementary Piano Repertoire

About the artwork

Rebekah Maxner as a child, playing the piano.

The pencil sketch in the feature image was drawn by my sister, Judy Price. The photo from which the sketch was drawn was taken of me improvising at about the age of six, before Judy asked me if I wanted to take piano lessons with her. I’ve chosen it for this blog entry because I know today’s kids are just as excited about the piano as I was then. I hope some of my music can help light their way. ~ Rebekah


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I appreciate shares, comments and likes. Happy teaching! ❤

Rebekah Maxner, composer, blogger, piano teacher. Follow my blog for great tips!

Video of the Week

A note-and-rote Christmas gem! Steps, skips, playing across the keyboard. Comes with lyrics for three verses (not included in the video) about a Christmas star, a Christmas tree and a Christmas Eve. Early Elementary, Primer Level. Once Upon Christmas Star is available as an eSheet!

Listen to Once Upon a Christmas Star on YouTube!
Listen to a sound clip of Three Cool Mice!

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