We usually begin our courses here at Finchcocks with a good musical ice breaker. This relaxes pre-course nerves and gives guests the chance to experiment on a few of our beautiful grand pianos. Some guests will never have had the chance to play on one before and can be a bit overwhelmed. Others are chomping at the bit to get going! Duets are a fantastic way of easing people in. Guests can pick a book appropriate to their sight-reading level, a playing partner and piano and then the fun begins. It’s lovely seeing people get to know each other: helping each other along; encouraging each other; making a few slips and laughing along the way.
Here are some of our recommendations for duet repertoire…
The Beginner – Lower Intermediate
- Up-Grade! Piano Duets Grades 0-1 by Pam Wedgwood (Primo part being generally one-handed, secondo two-handed)
- Classical Piano Duets (for teacher and student) selected and edited by Gayle Kowalchyk and E. L. Lancaster (Pre-grade 1 to grade 2 standard. Primo part being generally one-handed, secondo two-handed.)
- Two at the Piano by Fanny Waterman and Marion Harewood (50 duets for young pianists, pre-grade 1 to grade 2 standard)
- Chester’s Piano Duets Volume 1 by Carol Barratt (Both parts carefully arranged to be of equal difficulty. Pre-grade 1 to grade 2 standard.) The 2nd volume is for grades 1-2.
- The Joy of Piano Duets arranged by Denes Agay (Grades 1-2 standard)
- Andrew Lloyd Webber Favourites for Piano Duet by Hal Leonard (Early Intermediate)
- Micro Jazz Collection Volume 1 by Christopher Norton
- Dolly Suite: 6 pieces for 4 hands Op.56 by Fauré (available for free here on https://imslp.org/)
- Jamaican Rumba by Arthur Benjamin
- The Microjazz Collection 3 by Christopher Norton from Boosey & Hawkes
- Keyboard Sonata Duet in F, W.A. 20 by J.C. Bach (available for free here on https://imslp.org/)
- Works for 4 hands (one volume) by Mozart (available for free here on https://imslp.org/)
- 5 Spanish Dances Op.12 by Moszkowski (available for free here on https://imslp.org/)
- Easy Classical Piano Duets for Teacher and Student, Books 1-3 (Alfred Masterwork Editions)
- The Essential Keyboard Duets series from Alfred Publishing (Late elementary – Intermediate – Advanced, the backbone of any duet library!)
As mentioned in the foreword of The Joy of Piano Duets, Robert Schumman advised “Don’t omit any opportunity to play with others.” Happy playing!