Welcome to the MaxMusic Piano eSheet Club! It’s a monthly surprise package designed specifically to bring more joy to you and your students!
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2023 eSheets by Level
Click on the titles below to access teaching resources:
- The listing by Level makes it easy to choose the best pieces for your students.
- Quick Links to the eSheet Downloads.
- Watch YouTube videos for examples of the music.
- Get helpful teaching hints.
Early Advanced Level 7
January 2023 – First Blush
Levels: US, Early Advanced. AMEB, 6. ABRSM, 6. RCM, 7.
- First Blush is a very special piece. The music and the title came to me separately, and then one day I realized that they belonged together.
- First Blush (as a phrase) can mean many different things. “At first blush” can mean “when first seen” or refer to love when it’s new, so it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. “First blush of spring,” can make it an uplifting piece to play while looking forward to warmer days.
- Students who love The Princess Bride or Chopin’s Prelude No. 4 in e minor, Op. 28, will love this piece. It’s something of a cross between a Baroque aria and popular music.
- It’s levelled as RCM Level 7 for two reasons: 1) the length of the piece (time-wise) is appropriate for a Level 7 exam, and 2) there are several broken four-note chords, which are introduced in Level 7 technical work. However, if you have an adventurous Level 6 student whose hands have reached a good size, they may be able to meet the challenges.
- Like Chopin’s prelude, most of it isn’t technically very difficult. The challenge is in keeping the repeated left hand chords tender and nuanced so they don’t sound overly heavy, and allowing the melody to shine above. When playing chords in a steady quarter note rhythm, play them not up and down one chord at a time, but imagine them all flowing towards a destination. I suspect it might take some personal maturity to play the piece to its full effect. But with the right student, this may just help them get in touch with deeper feelings and ways of expressing themselves through music.
- The suggested left hand fingerings will help the hand play close to the keys. However, if standard triad (blocked chord) fingerings are more appropriate for your student, please feel free to swap them out.
- Pedal by ear. This may mean changing the pedal on the first beat of each measure or in some places, every second measure.
- The accents in the right hand melody simply highlight dissonance so it sparkles and shouldn’t make the notes heavy.
- The rest in measure 36 is part of the phrase, like you’ve started to say something, then forgotten a word, then keep speaking once you remember it. In other words, play the next note like it’s part of a phrase already begun.
- First Blush stirs up feelings of innocence, vulnerability, sweetness and all things tender and lovely. I’d love it if teachers also played it, and I feel it would be an excellent piece for weddings—perhaps even as a march (it is in 2/4 after all).
There’s nothing better than engaging your students with music they love to play, at the MaxMusic Club price!
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