Level Description

Level 1 contains the easiest pieces from the standard repertoire plus many specially-composed pieces. Section 1A uses 5-finger positions in easy keys (harder keys are available as transposed variations), simple rhythms (whole, half, and quarter notes) without rests, with the two hands playing in unison, or in alternation. Section 2B introduces parallel motion in 6ths and 10ths, contrary motion, alberti bass with simple chords, and quarter rests. Section 2C adds 8th notes, more performance markings, extension of the 5-finger positions to 6ths, and small shifts of hand position.

Level 2 contains classic pieces from the late beginner level, as well as some specially-composed pieces. Section 2A extends 5-finger positions outward to an octave, uses keys up to one sharp or flat, and adds 3/8 and 6/8 to the meters used in Level 1. Section 2B introduces 8th rests, dotted rhythms, triplets, and tied notes, as well as chords in the left hand and simple 2-voice counterpoint. Section 2C adds 16th notes, 8th-note syncopation, the keys of B-flat and D major, and chorale-style harmonic textures.

Level 3 contains pieces at the early intermediate level from Handel to Rebikov, and includes both well-known favorites and little-known gems. The major issues of all three sections include: how to find fingering while sight-reading, how to avoid looking down at your hands, rhythmic accuracy (especially in dotted rhythms), how to play expressively the first time through, and how to find helpful patterns in the music before starting. Section 3C includes four complete three-movement Sonatinas.

Level 4 contains pieces at the late intermediate level by great composers such as Scarlatti and Haydn, and also by lesser-known composers like Robert Fuchs and Henryk Pachulski. With the increased musical sophistication and technical difficulty of this level comes a greater concern with matters of style and expression, from understanding phrase structures to using good pedaling technique. This level also teaches students techniques for simplifying the music in order to keep going, an essential skill in sight-reading.

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