In my room : 8 lyrical pieces for intermediate piano
by Jo Kotchie (2015)
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Library shelf no. 786.2/KOT 1 [Not for loan]
This collection was written for my teenage students, to both inspire and fulfil their emotional and spiritual needs and is dedicated to my beautiful niece Sophie who is the driving force behind so much of my music for teens and honours me with her beautiful and expressive rendering of it.
The journey through adolescence can be a dark and lonely experience and there is often atendency for young people to immerse themselves in melancholia. In writing this music, myaim has been to create a balance between allowing the young person to live fully into their emotional life while also giving them a window of light, hope and joy to aspire to and to enrich their psyche.
In this collection, I've also tried to give young people the experience of finding their own voice in the music. This can be intimidating and often a gentle hand is needed to encourage stepping out beyond one's comfort zone. That gentle hand has been extended by making suggestions for dynamics while allowing for and encouraging personal interpretation; by allowing the opportunity for the young person to construct the music in their own way and according to their mood on any particular day; and in providing a step by step walk through rubato - often the most intimidating technique as it requires us to risk so much and put so much of ourselves out there.
As far as possible I've tried to avoid putting too much suggestion on the actual music as most teens find their voice best with minimal clutter. Instead, performance suggestions are prefaced here and briefly at the beginning of each piece. A supplementary version of 'Swept Away' and of 'Awakening Valentine' is provided at the back of the book so that guidance is possible without overly influencing the student's interpretation.
I've kept the pieces in this collection at an intermediate level as my experience has been that most teens are happy playing at this level - whether more advanced and enjoying somelight relief or less advanced and willing to work hard for something they really want to play.The returns or recapitulations of the main themes in one or two of the pieces may be too difficult for some students and where possible I've offered the option of returning to a previous statement or exposition of the theme.
And finally, these pieces have been thoroughly road tested in my studio and all have been received with joy and shining eyes - even those who tell me they only want sad music want to play these pieces and the reason is in the balance: the sad is there … but so is hope.
Duration: 18 min.
Difficulty: Medium — Grade 3-5
Contents note: In My Room -- Random Thoughts -- Return to Eden -- Breaking Through -- Swept Away -- Awakening Valentine -- Turning the Tide -- Close to Home.
Dedication note: "dedicated to my beautiful niece Sophie"
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