Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Arranged By Phillip Keveren – Review

Today I wanted to share a quick review of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road from Phillip Keveren’s book, Elton John for Classical Piano. (I’ve also reviewed Keveren’s arrangements of Hallelujah and Paradise.)

The notes at the beginning of the book indicate that this pieces is intended to be played in a Baroque or Early Classical style. This is a neat piece to put into that style and the staccato/legato contrasts, clean sound and arpeggiated LH all lend themselves to that era.

It starts in the key of F and modulates to the key of G, so nothing too complicated! There are a couple of climactic moments, but they involve some pretty basic chord inversions. This piece would be well suited for a later intermediate student.

Enjoy this performance of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, arranged by Phillip Keveren!

Piano Adventures Supplemental Books

Many of my students learn from the Faber’s Piano Adventures Series. I enjoy teaching this method because the songs are appealing to kids, it is paced well and it makes new concepts easy to understand.

If you’re a piano parent, you’ll recognize the books by the flying piano on the cover:

One of my favorite parts of this series is that for each level, there are tons of corresponding books to choose from. I always teach students from the method book, but then bring in the supplemental books as needed.

Here’s a great chart from that features all of the available books. As you can see, for each level there are quite a few options.

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Conveniently, the leveling is exactly the same between books, so if a student is in level 1 of the method book, any of the other level 1 books will work for them.

For piano parents, I highly recommend getting to know the options in this series and ordering a few books for your student for the following reasons:

  • Giving students the opportunity to explore music on their own is a valuable part of their learning experience.
  • During breaks like Christmas break and summer break, these books are an easy way to keep your student playing the piano at their current level.
  • Some students breeze through music and need the challenge of having a large variety of repertoire to choose from. As you can see, there is not shortage of options here!
  • Some students need to constantly review concepts. In this case, using books 1 level below their current level works really nicely.

A few of our favorite supplement books from the Piano Adventures series:

Primer Favorites is great for kids who are about half way through the Primer Lesson Book. Nearly all of the songs in the Favorites book are recognizable to young kids. I find that at this early stage, playing familiar songs is a huge motivator for little pianists! Wheels On The Bus and London Bridge are popular selections from this book.

Level 1 Popular is a hit mostly because it has the Star Wars Theme in it! Students in the early part of Level 1 are thrilled to be able to play Star Wars with just a little bit of rote teaching to supplement the sight-reading they already know.

Level 2A Popular also goes over well with my students because it has Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter. It has a few tricky spots in it, but since it’s such a fun song, that doesn’t stop kids from figuring it out!

Level 2B Rock N Roll has some fun options like Come Sail Away and Rock Around the Clock.

Level 3A Kids’ Songs features the Addam’s Family (which will be performed in our recital in just a couple of weeks!), Yellow Submarine and You’ve Got A Friend In Me.

Level 4 Classics has some great classical themes that intermediate students love like Pachelbel’s Canon and Habanera from Carmen.

If you have a local music store, I recommend taking your student and browsing these books! Since the leveling of this series is so consistent, you will be sure to find appropriate music for your student. Chances are, the store employees can help you find even more at your level! It’s pretty exciting to browse sheet music, then take it home and start learning it!

My Favorite Songs To Get Young Kids Moving

Preschoolers and young children always need opportunities to move! In Preschool Music Class, I incorporate many types of movement into each class. Over the years, I’ve collected my favorite songs that get kids moving.

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Use these songs to use in a group setting, to add to your home playlist, or to break up a piano lesson with a young student!

  1. Put Your Finger On
  2. Bunny Hop
  3. Little Red Wagon
  4. Happy
  5. Shake My Sillies Out
  6. Five Little Monkeys
  7. If You’re Happy and You Know It
  8. Row Row Row Your Boat
  9. Wheels On The Bus
  10. Head and Shoulders
  11. Chicken Dance
  12. Hokey Pokey

P.S – If you work in preschoolers in any capacity, you don’t want to miss out on this awesome Webinar, Playing With Preschoolers. In it, I share my simple formula that I follow in every Preschool Music Class and 9 other experts share their secrets to having fun and productive musical experiences with the under 5 crowd!

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