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Doniell Cushman loves to use her teaching experiences to inspire ways to improve music, teaching, and learning.
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Today I will be reviewing the book Piano Repertoire: Romantic & 20th Century at Preparatory Level by Keith Snell. https://kjos.com/piano/repertoire/collections-series/snell/keith-snell-repertoire-series/piano-repertoire-romantic-20th-century-preparatory-level.html
There are many reasons to love this little book - or any Keith Snell book really. It's concise, and to the point for one. At just 16 pages, this Prep Level gem is accomplishable within a year's time for any elementary or beginning student. Even the front inside cover and back inside cover are used for information pertinent to the materials. I love when a book is eco-friendly. For the low, low price of just $4.50 you receive 15 traditional works from the Romantic era through the 20th Century. A 7-year-old could save and purchase this all by their self, it's that affordable.
Included are some of my favorites: Ferdinand Beyer, Louis Köhler, Cornelius Gurlitt, Béla Bartok, and Dmitri Kabalevsky. Clearly printed (or engraved for you technical musician/composers), the music is large and clear tidy. To save space, 2 songs may be printed on the same page due to their brevity and the ability to supply repeats.
Titles clearly list which work the pieces are from with Opus numbers, etc. Furthermore, every composer is listed with their dates, and the back cover has a Composer Biographies that are short and somewhat helpful to understanding the work.
Most of the pieces included in this Preparatory Level are within a 5-Finger Position in the comfortable locations of C, G, F and A Minor. Minimal use of accidentals make the works deceptively simple for beginners, and I've found that penciling in a reminder at the top of the page, or highlighting the Key signature, is a helpful tool. There are limited finger markings that are sensible, which also make the works very approachable for students who are learning new locations and working on confidence and spatial awareness. Therein also lies a good mix of 3/4, 4/4, cut and Common time as well as tempo markings - most of which lie at a moderate speed, making this book a great challenge to accomplish within a year's time.
Coincides with students in, or who have completed with following methods: