For the Teacher
The 89 pieces in “To the Piano with Love” are arranged into 8 volumes by raising difficulty levels and offer a complete and gradual process to acquiring piano as a skill. The order of the pieces in each volume isn’t arranged by the order they should be studies necessarily. Every piece stands individually inside each volume and has a technical or musical purpose of its own; for instance, some pieces draw inspiration from classical forms such as Toccata, Mazurka etc. Others lean towards classical harmonies or romantic and modern harmonies, and even elements of pop and jazz. There are pieces that under the guise of pleasant and touching music hide etudes to develop a certain technique, like octaves arpeggios and the like. All the pieces are suitable for playing in concerts and performances.
The teacher can choose what piece to teach based on what is required for the student or based on the student musical taste and preferences.
Except vol. 7 and 8, many pieces were written for the purpose of easy and quick learning of the musical text and be easily remembered by heart. In This sense the series is very suitable for kids with memory, reading and learning difficulties.
The titles of the songs were chosen mainly by my students who came up with ideas and lovely stories when they heard the music. The children’s imagination brought me to add drawings and illustrations for the first two volumes and I am truly grateful to Ludmila Golobchik and Shraga Heller on their wonderful drawings. Very quickly it became apparent that the drawings add a depth to the pieces and a lot to understanding the pieces, add fantasy and stir the imagination. Not on one occasion students have asked me to play them a piece based on its drawing. It is possible that musical critics will say that my music is not avant-garde or innovative enough but my purpose in composing the pieces wasn’t to innovate or modernize any genre or come up with technical novelties. I compose from my heat my true music, and I always hope it will find a common language with the people it meets.
On certain opportunities when I played my music for piano teachers I would get pleasantly surprising and amusing responses like: “that’s not how you’re supposed to play it…” as if they feel my music already belongs to them, and that is the ideal state for it to be. I brought my music into the world to give it to everyone and as long as it meets people that are willing to embrace it and interpret it as their own I am satisfied.
Each and every piece was rigorously field-tested before being included in the series - they were played many times to students of all ages and their responses were noted. Now is the time to point out I don’t differentiate conceptually between children’s and “adult” music, music as far as I’m concerned is just music; it should be good and touch the hearts and souls of people. That’s why the pieces included in TTPWL were only those who got good reviews and inspired interest among players and listeners alike.
I would like to thank all my students, my piano teacher colleagues and their students, that taught, learned, played, experienced and gave me their honest opinion and helped me decide which pieces to include in the project. Eventually out of hundreds, 89 pieces managed to pass the screening process and be included in the 8 volumes of TTPWL.
The title of the series “To the Piano with Love” testifies to the main goal of the method – creating love for the piano and for playing the piano with students.