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What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 15 Jun 2016, 12:43
by jaynemc
Hi folks,

Looking for some advice on what music books to buy.

I'm returning to playing the piano now for pleasure ..... by age 15 I was learning for Grade 6 but it was too much at the time given school work - I'm now 48 and would like to play up beat 'nice on the ear' music. If I decide to complete the grades at a later stage then fine but I don't want to step back on that treadmill yet as this is all at my own pace this time.

I'm able to play Grade 4 ABRSM fairly easily as I have an old exam book of piano pieces so I'm starting with that and would like to gradually increase in difficulty as I become more competent + confident. I came across Martha Mier and really like her pieces. I've got the 'Jazz, Rags + Blues' books 3 + 4 and I've also got her 'Romantic Impressions' books 3 + 4.

This is the sort of music I like at the moment - I know that if I play things I like it will keep me motivated. Are there any other books I could look at?

Any suggestions more than welcome. Many thanks in advance.

Re: What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 16 Jun 2016, 00:53
by Colin Nicholson
Few suggestions for easily listening/ about grade 4 -5/ nice solo pieces....

1. Ring Dance (Ringeltanz) by Neils Gade (A minor/ A major/ A minor) (good performance at correct tempo)

2. Kuhlau sonatinas / Mozart sonatas
3. "All Creatures Great & Small" by Johnny Pearson (D major) / Cameo classics from TV Vet series in 1970s
4. "Sleepy Shores" by Johnny Pearson (G major) [theme tune to TV Owen MD 1969)
5. Swallows by Cornelius Gurlitt (about grade 6)
5. I Giorni by Enaudi (D major)
6. Traumerie (Dreaming) by Schumann (F major)
7. Schubert Impromptus
8. "My Heart Will Go On" by James Horner (E major) - from the 1997 film Titanic (grade 6+)

May be able to get them solo or in a book.... I have all these pieces, some of them I've transcribed myself.

Hope that's useful

Re: What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 16 Jun 2016, 12:51
by jaynemc
Many thanks for the reply Colin - that's really helpful and gives me a good list of things to aim for.

What's the best website for ordering just single pieces of music like the ones you have listed?

Re: What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 16 Jun 2016, 16:06
by Gill the Piano
Support your local music shop if you have one - they need your patronage!
If you don't have one then is efficient but I have found some real bargains on eBay.
Happy playing! :piano;

Re: What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 17 Jun 2016, 00:41
by Colin Nicholson
To be honest, I rarely order single sheet music unless it is a request prior to a wedding, then I might run off the free page on or try and find a free PDF copy.... if one of my students wants a copy, I might then transcribe it to a different grade/ standard. For example, another popular piece is Fur Elise by Beethoven (about grade 4), but some struggle with the 3/8 time signature and 2nd section in F major.... so I have put it into 3/4 time, made the music look more "user friendly". I also have various different versions of Bach's Toccata in D minor/ easy/ grade 1/ grade 2.... and a virtuoso edition!!

I think All Creatures Great & Small solo sheet music is out of print (front cover of a field with sheep) - I used to have the original sheet music, however it is available in the Piano Cameo album - see below. Also, Johnny Pearson's music is heavily copyright these days due to his recent death. Sometimes is the case you will order something which may be the wrong edition or grade, or only available in an album..... so you start again.... hence, I prefer not to get too involved unless the student has lessons with me - then I can provide them with the spot-on edition for their grade/ standard & taste. The Ring Dance is also called "Boy's merry go round" .... a great party piece!

Best thing to do is just search either on Ebay/ music room/ Amazon and see what comes up - sometimes a risk buying a book when you can only see the front cover.
Here is a start ... ano+Cameos

I have this book - varies from Grade 5 - 8, and includes All Creatures/ Sleepy Shores.... and loads of others - though some are difficult like Marigold by Mayerl, legend of the glass mountain by Rota and more. There is also a good version (about grade 5) of cavatina - theme from the Deer Hunter in E flat major.... if you are OK with key signatures and overlapping parts from one stave to the other.... worth buying!

Re: What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 14 Sep 2016, 16:50
by worov

Well, I don't know about grades, levels and all these things, but I love to play for my pleasure (this is the reason why we all play, isn't it ? If not, one shouldn't play).

Here are some of my favorites (in no order). I put some YouTube links so you can listen to them.

Felix Le Couppey : Air tendre :
Genari Karganov : March of the tin soldiers :
Enrique Granados : La huerfana :
Alan Hovhaness : The Mystic Flute :
Martin Frey : Kleiner Kanon :
Scarlatti sonatas : too many of them to list, here one :
Felix Swinstead : In the Bay :
Hansi Alt : On the Ocean Floor :

Re: What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 29 Dec 2016, 08:33
by Oliver91
What's the best website for ordering just single pieces?

Re: What to play for pleasure - Grade 4 / 5

Posted: 30 Dec 2016, 15:00
by Colin Nicholson
try this ... =MN0170490

first page shown as a sample, then pay, then print yourself.
Key of the music can also be changed

example above from Frozen music.