Big Composers, Little Pieces

"Big Composers, Little Pieces" is an E-Poster for NCKP 2021: The Piano Conference. Check back after summer 2021 for a list of crowd-sourced pieces to use in your teaching.

Abstract:

For piano students of all levels, there are benefits to studying a variety of composers and repertoire throughout the year. However, not all students have the time to commit to a full Mozart sonata, Chopin Ballade, or entire opus of Schumann’s works. For some students, studying these larger works are non-negotiable. For others, the greatest benefits may come in the form of smaller packages. This poster session identifies shorter compositions from master composers that can be taught in place of, or as a supplement to, larger works. While there are already many well-known shorter sets of works (e.g. Bartok’s Mikrokosmos, Beethoven’s Bagatelles), this e-poster showcases lesser-known gems. Examples range from intermediate to advanced levels, and are especially appropriate for adults, older beginners, and non-performance majors. Teachers of performance majors will also find the works useful in quickly covering the inevitable gaps in a student’s repertoire. Of particular interest are short pieces by composers that are often skipped altogether in favor of the standard canon. The pieces are also suitable for quick study and sight-reading projects for more advanced students. Despite being “off the beaten path,” each of these compositions is a gem worthy of study, showcasing compositional and pianistic techniques found in the composers’ larger works. Be sure to visit the Google Form link, where you can submit your own favorite little gems. At the conclusion of the conference, the crowd-sourced list of pieces will be available for perusal at: sarahprushing.com/bigcomposers.