Are you looking for a few ideas for some new pieces to learn? Or are you a teacher searching for interesting pieces for a student? In our new Pieces to Play series we will be featuring a selection of works to provide you with some ideas and inspiration. These will include links to resources with tips and suggestions for each work.

Instalments in this series will be published on our blog, and you can get updates from our mailing list. We hope that this series will give you some interesting ideas for what to learn next and perhaps introduce you to some exciting new discoveries!

Highlights from the ABRSM Syllabus

We’ve recently embarked upon an ambitious project to create a detailed collection of guides to the pieces in the new ABRSM syllabus. The first instalment in this series kicks off with some highlights from the syllabus at the late elementary (grades 3 and 4) and intermediate levels (grades 4 to 6).

Even if you’re not preparing for an examination, the new syllabus contains a curated selection of graded pieces, many of which are open domain and therefore freely available online. Exploring this rich and varied collection of works is highly recommended as you are bound to find some delightful additions to your repertoire!

JS Bach – Prelude in C minor (BWV 999)

Grade 4

bach pieces to play
Caravaggio: The Lute Player

Originally written for the lute, this piece is based on a harmonic progression that Bach opens out into figuration (we find one texture throughout). It makes an ideal preparatory piece for the C major and C minor Preludes (from Book 1), constructed in similar ways.

Click here for links to the full video walk-through, open domain score and a Spotify recording of this work.

Ecossaise in E-Flat (No. 4 from Six Ecossaises, WoO 83)

Grade 3

beethoven eccosaise in e-flat

This lively Scottish dance by Beethoven looks rather square on the page, but in fact it requires rhythmic flexibility (as well as elegance and grace) to bring it to life.

Click here for links to the full video walk-through, open domain score and a Spotify recording of this work.

Burgmüller – Innocence (No. 5 from 25 études faciles et progressives, Op.100)

Grade 3

A study in delicacy of touch and articulation, tonal balance between the hands and scale patterns in the upper register, Innocence gives plenty of scope for understanding harmony and developing musical as well as technical skills.

Click here for links to the full video walk-through, open domain score and a Spotify recording of this work.

Chopin – Mazurka in G minor (Op. 67 No. 2)

Grade 6

This delightful entry-level mazurka in G minor, written in the last year of Chopin’s life (1849) is a great choice for the intermediate player who loves Chopin but who isn’t quite ready for the bigger works.

Click here for links to the full video walk-through, open domain score and a Spotify recording of this work.

Sergei Prokofiev – Tarantella (No. 4 from Musiques d’enfants, Op. 65)

Grade 5

play prokofievs tarantella

Prokoviev’s Tarantella is one of the best examples of this type of dance piece, featuring spinning patterns in both hands and plenty of quirky harmonic and rhythmic features that make the composer’s style so engaging. If you’re looking for an accessible modern Russian piece that sounds harder than it is, here it is!

Click here for links to the full video walk-through, open domain score and a Spotify recording of this work.

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Further Resources

The Online Academy and our store have numerous resources to support you in learning a wide range of popular pieces, including:

Click here to find out more about the Online Academy or click here to subscribe from as little as £9.99 per month or £99.99 per year.