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Nature's Cacophony: Eight Colorful and Dramatic Piano Solos, Book 1 and Book 2.

Nature's Cacophony: Eight Colorful and Dramatic Piano Solos, Book 1 and Book 2, by Kristen Allred. Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 2016.; 24 pp. each, $6.95 each. Early intermediate/intermediate and intermediate/late-intermediate.

Kristen Allred has released a new collection called Nature's Cacophony. There are two books in the collection. Book 1 is written for early-intermediate/intermediate students. Book 2 is written for intermediate/late-intermediate students. Each book includes eight pieces relating to nature, whether through an animal or nature itself.

In Book 1, we kick off with the "Jamaican Oriole," a fun upbeat Jamaican-style piece. Not sure what an oriole is? This book gives a great opportunity for discovery. Student and teacher together can discover that a Jamaican oriole is a common and widespread bird found on Jamaica and the coast of Nicaragua. Lively syncopation and hand crossovers gliding down the piano make this piece one a student will enjoy learning. Afterward, there is no doubt that they will remember what an oriole is.

How about a goofy gibbon or jazzy jaguarundi? What about a rockhopper? These unique species of nature are briefly explained underneath the title, encouraging the use of imagery in their pieces.

In Book 2 "Dance of the Spirits" is introduced. We learn at the top of the piece, that the Cree Indians gave this name to the northern lights. This is a great opportunity to find gorgeous pictures of the northern lights to inspire students to play this piece with energy and emotion filled with beautiful colors of light.

You will find many different styles ranging from a tango to lyrical to jazzy and mysterious.

The Nature's Cacophony collection is perfect to use for teaching imagery, for supplemental teaching material, as well as performance pieces. With many diverse styles to choose from, Nature's Cacophony will keep students engaged and playing.--Reviewed by Jennifer Foxx, Goodyear, Arizona

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Author:Foxx, Jennifer
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2017
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