Intermediate Repertoire that Motivates

Choosing fun-to-play repertoire at appropriate levels for your intermediate students can make a huge difference in their overall progress and enjoyment of piano lessons – and hopefully keep them playing for years to come! I think that choosing repertoire can be one of the hardest things we do as teachers. If you choose repertoire that is boring, too easy and not fun, the student will not practice it. If you choose repertoire that is too hard, the student will get discouraged. The trick is to find pieces which are fun and exciting to your students, and that are challenging but not too challenging…..this can be a difficult task!

Probably the best way to improve our repertoire choices for our students is to become familiar with more repertoire yourself! Listen to it, sight read it, get a feel for the difficulty level and the concepts and techniques that are utilized in each piece. You will then be better able to match the right piece with the right student!

Here are a few great intermediate pieces off the top of my head that students love to play and that are great teaching pieces. Keep in mind that some of these are early intermediate while others are late intermediate levels…and some of them are much easier than they sound!

Bach
Prelude No. 1 in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier – listen

CPE Bach
Solfegietto – watch

Beethoven
Sonatina in G Major – listen
Fur Elise (a must-learn for many students!) – listen

Chopin
Prelude No. 4 in E minor – listen
Prelude No. 15 in D-flat Major – listen
Prelude No. 7 in A Major – listen
Nocturne in E minor, Op. 72 No. 1 – listen

Clementi
Sonatina Op. 36 No. 1 in C Major – listen
This piece actually has an awesome second piano part, making it so fun for recitals – here

Debussy
Reverie – listen
Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum – listen

Elmenreich
Spinning Song (a classic favorite of many piano students!) – listen

Grieg
Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (hearing this piece takes me back to performance classes in high school…) – listen

Haydn
Gypsy Rondo (from Piano Trio in G, arranged for solo piano by Louis Kohler) – watch

Khatchaturian
Toccata (this is a great recital piece because it is so showy, and is easier than it sounds – I think it’s a great piece for a teenage boy who needs a little motivation!) – watch

Lecuona
Mazurka Glissando (ok I LOVE this piece and am not even sure where you can find it, but I played it in junior high. It is easier than it sounds, once you get the glissandos down, and is quite the show-stopper!) – watch
holy cow check this version out (this pianist takes more liberties, I love it! This is such a great performance)

MacDowell
To a Wild Rose, from Woodland Sketches (beautiful yet simple piece!) – listen

Satie
Gymnopedie 1 – listen

Schumann
Traumerei – watch

Sinding
Rustles of Spring – listen

Tchaikovsky
Sweet Reverielisten

Please pretty please share some of your intermediate repertoire favorites! 🙂
Jennifer Boster

5 Responses to “Intermediate Repertoire that Motivates

  • Love your blog! Thanks Jenny!

  • I just discovered your blog since I am beginning to teach piano again after a seven-year hiatus! Have you considered "Papillons Blanc" by Massenet?

  • Great Blog!! always a challenge searching for pieces for students. I really liked "Fantasie" by Telemann as a young pupil!

  • Good post! I'm an adult student and I really like to discover new pieces. It motivates me enormously! Might I suggest Prelude no. 6, op 28 by Chopin which is super fun to play and in the same difficulty range as 4 and 7.

  • when i was a student, there were three songs i remember in particular that i actually requested to learn…the first one was the one i was most motivated and that was 6 ecosaisses (sp) by beethoven. I still play it to this day by complete memory. beethoven turned out to be a fav composer. i also really enjoyed the moonlight sonata. the other two oddly enough were clementi pieces. I see you have sonatina 1 there, well i had heard sonatina 6 at a competition i was playing ecossaises in and i instantly loved it, followed by number 5! still play those too. i tried to play the first one, but i could never get into that one after playing the last two. i loved your post, hope my comment can be helpful somewhere down the line!