Backyard Bash is a collection of solos written for beginning pianists who enjoy playing music with lyrics. With the exception of three pieces, Crazy Cat, Old Dog, and Tree Swallow, these songs describe actual events that have happened in my suburban backyard in Southwest Virginia. Crazy Cat combines the personalities of two of our family cats, Calhoun and Casper, into one. Old Dog is about our Golden Retriever, Clyde, who lived with us when we started our family and was the kindest and most gentle dog I’ve ever known. Tree Swallow is about a male tree swallow who behaved exactly as described in the lyrics, but in my father’s backyard rather than in mine. I have found that my students love playing these songs because they sound more difficult than they are, and they are fun to sing along with! I hope you enjoy these musical nature studies and learn to play them all! - Sarah O’Brien
Full Circle: A Year in Twelve Pieces
Full Circle: A Year in Twelve Pieces features engaging, attractively varied intermediate level solos by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM. This collection will challenge and delight students of all ages with pedagogically sound writing that will help them grow as musicians and performers alike. Perfect showcase pieces for recitals, festival performances, or just casual enjoyment.
Terrifying Trilogy is an eerie and mysterious three-piece set with Hitchcock-inspired titles spanning late-elementary to early intermediate levels. All three pieces are in an expanded C minor five-finger hand position. With fast-slow-fast tempo indications, the three solos work well as movements of a modern sonatina or as stand-alone material.
Riding the Wave
Riding the Wave is an easy rock-style solo for late elementary and early intermediate students composed by Sarah Reaser O’Brien. They will enjoy the easy mastery of the recurring bass pattern and have fun with the difficult-sounding eighth-note passages in the right hand. Great for students currently working late in the Piano Pronto Prelude method book or early in Piano Pronto Movement 1.
Heart on Fire
Heart on Fire is an easy and rewarding pop-style tune by Sarah Reaser O’Brien for late beginners. It’s loaded with impressive-sounding eighth notes in simple patterns and is supported by sophisticated harmony. It also serves as a fun sight-reading exercise for intermediates!
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.