Berceuse is French for “lullaby”. This piece is strongly reminiscent of European dramatic movies. The woodwind quartet in the accompaniment creates an intimate and melancholy setting. A guitar plucking along breathes life into the piece.
The piano part uses only quarter notes and longer, making it easy for beginning students to count the rhythms. The biggest challenge is the hand positions. Although the piece can mostly be played with just two hand positions, they are anything but standard.
Watch the video below to see the piece performed by Victoria, one of our students.
Piano Plus Playback
This piece is from the awesome Piano Plus Playback series. That means it is specially crafted to be performed with a playback: an .mp3 accompaniment.
How does it work?
It’s quite simple. You learn the piece from the sheet music just like you would learn any other piece. Except that once you’ve learned it, you can turn on the playback to accompany you – and you’ll sound that much more amazing. The playback comes as an .mp3 file, so all you need is something to play it on (like your phone) and a loudspeaker. Instant awesome.
What are the advantages to compared to regular piano pieces?
Aside from the fact that it’s incredibly fun and satisfying to play with the playback – the biggest advantage is that you get to work on your ensemble playing: your ability to play together with other musicians. Of course, a playback will never be responsive the way playing with other people live would be, but it includes instruments and sounds that you wouldn’t normally get to play with otherwise (unless you can afford a backing orchestra).
It also makes for a great recital piece. Can you imagine how much this piece would stand out at a student recital?
Every Piano Plus Playback piece includes the following files:
- Sheet Music: A score of the piano part.
- Fullspeed Playback: You would use this for your performances.
- 90% Playback: A slightly slower version, mainly for practicing purposes. Not recommended for performing with.
- Metronome Version: Just the piano part plus a metronome, so you can hear your part and check your progress.
- Background Images: Two different background images that match the theme and mood of the piece. You can use these if you want to use a projector to add a visual element to your performance. (The official music video, as seen above, uses these background images).
- Original Manuscript: A scan of the original handwritten score and notes of the composer. (not all Piano Plus Playback pieces contain this)