This post is simply about exposing other teachers to music that I’ve recently found online. The post is designed to be easy to scroll through, listen to YouTube clips, and if you like a piece, click any of the links to find the sheet music. Click on the name of the composer to go straight to his/her website.
One of the best ways to stumble across new music like this is to always have a look at the other videos that YouTube recommends you watch down the RHS of your screen – I’ve often found other interesting pieces this way.
Much of this music is what I call the “film score” genre, my own term for those pieces that, even if they are not part of a soundtrack, sound just like they should be! My teenage students really seem to thrive on this style of composition which tends to feature big, sweeping, arpeggiated accompaniments in LH with floating, almost ethereal melodies, often minor keys, in the RH.
I hope you find some pieces of interest! Please note that I receive no kickbacks from any of these composers – the selections and choices are simply my own suggestions of what I like and what I believe works in the studio.
David is a prolific writer and you can listen to and download all of his music from his website. His works are listed in a variety of ways including by difficulty, which is a great help. His pieces win on simple, beautiful melodies over haunting harmonies that are really playable and suited to a variety of levels. He writes a lot of church music and arrangements of hymns and carols as well, and has even written a book on promoting music on the internet!
Other recommendations to explore (you can listen to 1-2 min samples of these from the player on his website):
David offers his sheet music as individual downloads with discounts for bulk buys and even has selected packages available of his favourite pieces by genre.
Even if you don’t know his name, you’ll know his work! Craig is predominantly a film composer (Hulk, Plunkett and Macleane, Love Actually, Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Julliet, etc) – look on his website to see and hear all his work in a well-designed and interactive format.
Although not a piano piece, take a listen to this epic film track: “Escape” from Plunkett and Macleane:
My favourite piano pieces by Craig are the famous “Balcony Scene” from Romeo and Julliet (Sheet music here) :
The “PMs Love Theme” from Love Actually (sheet music here):
and his “Glasgow Love Theme” from the same movie (sheet music here)
Craig also has a solo album of piano music and sheet music to go with it, however I haven’t had a chance to listen yet.
Kyle writes quite epic pieces that will particularly appeal to boys. They are quite technically challenging and therefore suited to more advanced players. Here’s the promo for his latest album which gives you a good idea of his style:
Kyle has a great YouTube channel called Piano Adventures and you’ll also find plenty of other people playing his pieces online. One piece I particularly liked was “The Separation” (sheet music here), suited to intermediate players:
Edward is a teacher running a website teaching “New age style” piano. Not long ago, I was able to download all of his music, but he seems to have restricted access. I did like a piece called December Rain:
Here’s the sheet music to look through, but I’m not sure much more is available without a subscription. His site is dedicated more to students who wish to teach themselves and his pieces are based on his method of instruction.
This guy is a prolific arranger of film and video game music. I was introduced to him by a student who wanted to play this theme from a video game called Mass Effect:
Here’s the sheet music if you’d like to play through it.
He has heaps more pieces on his website, so if any students come to you wanting to play music from a video game, check out his site if you don’t have any luck through Google.
Well there you have my latest collection of finds – let me know any other gems that you stumble across!!
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.