With a firm belief that instrumental teachers should spend at least an hour a week listening to and playing through new repertoire, I thought it worth sharing with you the music of Sonny Chua as definitely worth your research time.
Sonny Chua is a Malaysian-born, Melbourne-based piano teacher and composer who writes music that will appeal to students of all ages, but I find that boys are particularly attracted to the driving rhythms, stomping chords and funky basslines. If you are unfamiliar with his music, have a listen to the following examples.
Rondo (3rd movement) from his Sonatina. A great ostinato for LH in the A section with beautiful contrast in the B section. Make sure you listen to the 1st and 2nd movements as well:
You Dirty Rat – This has a great fun ostinato in the LH and jumpy rhythms. I’ve heard this played with much more life and fun than this recording – but it gives you some idea of how it sounds:
Struttin it around – great stride bass in the LH and glissandos to keep it fun!
Hoon Mobile – here’s one of my students performing. Listen for the impatience in the drivers shown by the LH and the car horns in the right. This is in the AMEB PFL Grade 2 syllabus:
Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular TopCast show, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.