Echo Game No. 3
Echo Games are a playful way to help pianists of any age improve their listening skills, rhythm, and ease their way into improvisation. The games can be played between teacher and student, between two students, or students can play alone with the included Mp3s. Each game includes a wild card phrase that the leader can throw in at any moment to keep the follower on their toes. Both leader and follower should memorize the wild card phrase before beginning the game. The follower is encouraged to play these games without looking at the music. Stacy Fahrion hopes these games will inspire students to improvise, compose, and have fun at the piano!
This mysterious-sounding intermediate-level etude by Stacy Fahrion is ideal for introducing quarter-note triplets to students, and also is a wonderful recital piece. It eases students into playing 2 against 3 and 3 against 2 polyrhythms, and through playing it, students will learn how eighth-note triplets and quarter-note triplets relate. It begins in G Dorian and ends in D minor. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the sun, but isn’t visible to the eye alone.
A Wise Old Owl
A Wise Old Owl is inspired by a nursery rhyme of the same title and set here as a whimsically macabre solo for intermediates by Stacy Fahrion. If you’re playing on a grand piano, before beginning the piece you can silently depress the low F octave and sustain it throughout with the sostenuto pedal for an added mysterious effect. This is an optional effect, and the piece still works well without it. The damper pedal is often left down for extended periods of time as well for a swirling effect.
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.