The right music at the right time is imperative for the success and longevity of student interest in music lessons. A Pop Recital doesn’t have to be limited to simply Pop 40, though it does make it pretty awesome! Start easy. That may be Disney, or Pop 40, or Classic Rock. What do you know, and what do your students like? Music with chord symbols is a goldmine for us piano teachers who like pop styles.
Here are some song and repertoire suggestions for an amazing Pop Recital from a first year student to the most advanced.
SONGS and REPERTOIRE: In this post, you’ll find suggested songs and pieces (some with video links) and some practical teaching tips for style.
- Music – You MUST do this legally! No photocopied music, at all. MusicNotes.com or GuitarTabs is a great place to start. The resources are far richer now than when I started implementing this performance with the school almost ten years ago.
- Short video on what you can do with MusicNotes.com: https://vimeo.com/80855994
- Anything from the Faber Primer level. It’s a great idea to play along with the students this time around.
- Easy piano from MusicNotes.com often will have the letter names in the notehead. I recommend playing the chorus only, or intro, chorus and ending, for students in their first 1-2 years.
- Eric Baumgartner’s Books 1 and 2 of Jazzy Solos
- Ode to Joy: https://vimeo.com/121283963
- Faber, Dinosaur Stomp: https://vimeo.com/61316655
- Martha Mier, Surfboard Boogie: https://vimeo.com/121204856
- Piano Safari’s arrangement of Mary Had a Little Lamb: https://vimeo.com/121179728
- Faber, Tucker’s Secret Life: https://vimeo.com/88318665
- This is such a musically rich level! Some of the 2016-2017 favorites for the younger students in their third or fourth year of student include Eye of the Tiger, Say Something, Heathens, All of Me and anything for easy piano or that has chord symbols from MusicNotes.com. https://vimeo.com/61241421
- Eric Baumgartner’s Books 2 and 3 of Jazzy Solos
- PianoAccents.com has some great World Music options with practice tracks
- Mike Springer’s Jazz Standards
- Bon Iver’s Skinny Love from MusicNotes.com: https://vimeo.com/207181416
- Billy Joel’s Piano Man from MusicNotes.com https://vimeo.com/206355903
- Feelin’ Good (student arrangement by ear) from GuitarTabs: https://vimeo.com/206354365
- https://vimeo.com/206354365 (intermediate student, teacher/student piano arrangement)
- So much to choose from here! Think popular arrangements of jazz standards.
- Baumgartner’s Jazz Standards
- Kevin Olsen’s Misty arrangement is a hit, as is the Misty in Faber 4
- Gershwin tunes
- Mark Hays arrangements of popular hymns/contemporary worship songs
- Anything for the advanced pianist on MusicNotes.com
- Bohemian Rhapsody from MusicNotes.com: https://vimeo.com/121333604
- Amazing Grace (student arranged by ear): https://vimeo.com/121218419
Billy Jole, New York State of Mind, Hal Leonard publication: https://vimeo.com/61364392