Fresh Air, Dragonflies, Morning Sunbeam & Secret Footpath

New video lessons for Initial & Grade 1 pieces!

Video lessons for the remaining pieces in our selection of repertoire from the elementary grades (Initial – Grade 3) from the 2023 & 2024 ABRSM examination syllabus are now available! This instalment features a further eight works from the Initial and Grade 1 lists, bringing the total number of videos in our collection for the elementary grades to twenty four.

In this blog post we provide video previews for four of these new lessons, starting with Florence Price’s Morning Sunbeam and including pieces by Andrew Eales, Marjorie Helyer and Naomi Yandell. These works offer pianists enjoyable and imaginative vehicles for developing essential skills such as co-ordination between the hands, legato chord playing, pedalling and use of different touches.

New Videos

ABRSM Grade 1 B2: F. Price – A Morning Sunbeam (No. 3 from Three Sketches for Little Pianists)

There is much musical interest and teaching value in this charming piece by Florence Price. While the melody in the opening section is mostly in the right hand, it passes to the left hand in the answering phrases, thereby extending the melody’s range without moving out of the five-finger position. In this video excerpt, Graham Fitch takes us through hand and arm movements which we can choreograph to keep us relaxed and to get a good sound from the piano:

ABRSM Grade 1 B1: Andrew Eales – Fresh Air

This piece features a gentle tune in the right hand with a chordal accompaniment in mostly long notes below. In this video excerpt, Graham shows us how to play legato chords which are essential to performing this piece effectively:

ABRSM Grade 1 A2: M. Helyer – Dragonflies (from The Greenwood Tree)

Marjorie Helyer’s Dragonflies comes from The Greenwood Tree, a suite of miniatures designed to conjure up musical images for young players. The piece is built from a line that passes smoothly from one hand to the other with some accompanying broken chords. In this excerpt from his video lesson on the piece, Graham discusses this technique and shows us how to make the line completely legato, smooth and singing, especially when it is being passed between the two hands:

ABRSM Initial Grade B3: Naomi Yandell – Secret Footpath

This gently expressive piece presents the top melodic line in a fragmented fashion, each short phrase interspersed by rests. In this video excerpt, Graham talks us through the nature of a ‘descriptive piece’ like Secret Footpath and the various ways images and stories can be used to bring an interpretation to life:

The full videos for these works along with those for over 50 pieces from across all levels of the ABRSM 2023 & 2024 syllabus are available with an Online Academy subscription and can be viewed here. A bundle featuring video lessons for twenty-four pieces from the elementary grades (Initial – Grade 3) is also available on our store for once-off purchase.

Other Videos

The following is a listing of links to the full set of videos included in this latest instalment:

The videos featured in this blog post are only a small selection from our recent updates – click here to view the full index of available videos, including links to several from previous and other syllabuses (further information on our project for the previous 2021 & 2022 syllabus is available here). Please click here to sign-up to our mailing list for updates and notifications on this project and our resources for piano examinations.

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