A Pinch of This ...
... A Dash of That!

This little collection of pieces were written specifically for my young students, either on request or to meet a need for a particular type of material.

As such, they all have their own story, which in most cases speaks for itself! Any extra notes which I felt may be of interest have been included below.

Track List & Recordings

1. Summertime Blues

A straightforward 12 bar blues in D Minor.

Lyrics assist in the placing of the swing rhythm of the melody ... for the left hand, try a simply lyric such as 'Rockin' Rollin' to set the rhythm.

Challenges include lifting the thumb cleanly in the left hand so that each chord can be clearly heard.

Elementary Level

Preliminary Grade AMEB/ANZCA

1st Grade ABRSM

3. The Mischievous Basketball

A good 'show-off' piece when played really, really fast! And lots of fun to play.

Keep a quick, bouncing staccato moving between the hands

Late Elementary Level

Preliminary - 1st Grade AMEB/ANZCA

1st - 2nd Grade - ABRSM

5. Baby Bob

A Boogie-woogie style piece with lyrics to help with the rhythm and to tell the story ...

Outside my studio is an aviary, filled with constantly breeding finches, quails and canaries which provide intense interest and enjoyment to students of all ages. Baby Bob was written for one of my young students who became very attached to one of the baby quails which had to be hand-rearer but later died. As this lad particularly liked jazz, Baby Bob was reborn into a lively 'rockin'-round-the-birdcage' rhythm which enabled him to stay more joyfully in my young student's memory.

Elementary - Late Elementary Level

Preliminary - 1st Grade AMEB/ANZCA

1st - 2nd Grade ABRSM

7. Meandering Mazurka

This piece provides an ideal opportunity for teachers to discuss the style and character of the mazurka with students at an earlier level.

Patterns and clearly delineated sections also help with guiding discussion of form and key changes.

Early Intermediate Level


3rd Grade ABRSM

2. Alexa's Daydream

Alexa's Daydream is mostly constructed of 5ths, harmonic and melodic making it simple for the young student to learn and memorise.

The most challenging element will be navigating the 8ve higher and loco directions and the Da Capo al Coda.

Elementary Level

Pre-Preliminary - Preliminary Grade AMEB/ANZCA

Initial Grade - 1st Grade ABRSM

4. Circle Dance

A bright and happy dance in mostly 7/8 time.

I find adding lyrics to music often helps in learning complicated rhythms. In particular, the set lyrics help the student to let go of the final quaver in a 7/8 bar by keeping the sense of forward movement going.

Late Elementary Level

1st Grade AMEB/ANZCA

2nd Grade ABRSM

6. Samantha Dances the Tarantella

A bright and snappy tarantella which presents a number of challenges including lifting one hand while connecting the other.

Small hands may disconnect the octave slurs to 'bounce' between the notes. Full guidance is given in the tutorial on this piece (see tutorials)

Late Elementary - Early Intermediate Level

1st - 2nd Grade AMEB/ANZCA

2nd - 3rd Grade ABRSM

8. Boppy Bagatelle

Bright and snappy, Boppy Bagatelle puts much of the interest into the left hand, giving opportunity to bring more emphasis into this hand which is too often assigned an accompaniment role. As the interest shifts between the hands, so the student will need to shift their emphasis.

Early Intermediate Level

2nd Grade AMEB/ANZCA

3rd Grade ABRSM