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!
Prelude No. 1 in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier – listen
Solfegietto – watch
Spinning Song (a classic favorite of many piano students!) – listen
Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (hearing this piece takes me back to performance classes in high school…) – listen
Gypsy Rondo (from Piano Trio in G, arranged for solo piano by Louis Kohler) – watch
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
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)
To a Wild Rose, from Woodland Sketches (beautiful yet simple piece!) – listen
Gymnopedie 1 – listen
Traumerei – watch
Rustles of Spring – listen
Sweet Reverie – listen