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- Sarah Reaser O’Brien
Sarah Reaser O’Brien
February is a syncopated tune in triple meter for intermediate pianists by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM. A lyrical variation replaces the principle theme in the second half of this minor piece. Students are not required to play a greater span than an octave in the left hand accompaniment, and the perpetual motion of the harmonic rhythm drives the sense of forward motion.
June is a dramatic solo for later intermediate pianists. The mysterious setting evokes the mood of a summer storm with tumultuous wind. Crashing pops of lightning punctuate the primary theme while arpeggiated flourishes mimic the downpour of sudden rain. This is one of a set of 12 month-titled pieces by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM.
July is a ragtime solo for intermediate pianists composed by Sarah Reaser O’Brien.It is ideal study material for those who would enjoy historical rags but need a more manageable arrangement and hand span than those typically offer. There is syncopation throughout all of the three principle melodies with a steady quarter note accompaniment in the left hand for the majority of the piece.
August is a new age piano solo, composed by Sarah Reaser O’Brien NCTM, for intermediate and late intermediate pianists. The pedagogical focus of this selection is small hand accessibility. The waltz-time setting and straight eighths are ideal for helping players achieve a fluid technique and a sense of forward motion. The melodic content is “hidden” within the right hand eighths and gives ample opportunity for developing sophisticated voicing.
This is a lyrical piano ballad in waltz time for intermediate pianists by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM. The melody is made almost entirely of ascending and descending pentascales (5-note scales) on white keys. The accompaniment for left hand requires a hand span primarily of melodic octaves with an occasional melodic tenth. The ternary form features a middle section with surprising harmonies and a deceptive cadence. Middle and high school students will find this piece both accessible and rewarding.
October is an intermediate new age piece by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM. The constantly moving triplet figures in both hands are meant to evoke the swirling motion of colorful autumn leaves blowing about in the breeze. Rather than centering on a traditional melodic line, October allows students to create a mood or effect by experimenting with dynamic inflection and rubato to vary each performance. Dynamic indications in the score are merely suggestions – performers are meant to make this free-flowing piece their own.
For many people, November is a month for giving thanks. This intermediate piece by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM, is a contemporary rendering of a hymn-like melody. November symbolizes a musical token of gratitude for family and friends who have been with us through good times and bad and with whom we love to spend our time. The ternary form offers an uplifting first section followed by a middle theme of more serious and reflective implication. The middle theme modulates into a return of the first in a new key, representing a triumphant overcoming of life’s struggles with the help of those we hold dear.
December is a contemplative lyrical intermediate piano solo by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM. As with all music, imagery or stories may come to mind when performing or hearing the piece. For the composer, it brings to mind a nighttime journey to Bethlehem by a woman great with child and her husband. This hand-friendly piece will delight intermediates of all ages!