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Piano Needn't be Lonely ... It's Fun Playing with Friends, 2nd Revised Edition.

Piano Needn't be Lonely ... It's Fun Playing with Friends, 2nd Revised Edition, by Nadia Lasserson, 34 Carver Rd. London, SE24 9LT. 35pp. 6.50 [pounds sterling].

Nadia Lasserson says it so well in the title of her book--Piano Needn't be Lonely ... It's Fun Playing with Friends. Making music with others is one of the joys of being a musician, offering opportunities to exchange musical ideas, socialize with one's peers and ultimately share the exhilaration of the performance experience. A passionate proponent of chamber music, Lasserson practices what she preaches; she is an active chamber music performer herself and has established thriving chamber music programs for the music students at Trinity College of Music's junior department and at the James Allen's Girls' school, where she is head of keyboard and chamber music.

Recognizing the need for a source of graded chamber music repertoire, she researched the literature and found an assortment of effective compositions for diverse instrumental combinations and for multiple pianos that worked for students representing a wide range of abilities. With many teachers integrating group teaching into their studio offerings, the listing of multi-piano repertoire provides teachers an especially helpful listing of compositions that may serve as their students' "first taste of ensemble playing." Her helpful annotations are frequently based on what she has discovered working with this repertoire in her own chamber music classes.

In addition to the repertoire information, Lasserson speaks eloquently of the countless benefits students can achieve from collaborating. These can range from developing leadership and listening skills to gaining greater self-confidence in a performance setting.

Piano Needn't Be Lonely ... offers teachers a practical resource that can help expand the boundaries of their teaching and excite their students. As Lasserson states, "There is no doubt that introducing ensemble work into one's piano teaching ... seems a very useful way of maintaining the pleasure of studying during the difficult adolescent years, and could save many teenagers from giving up their piano lessons." A most worthy goal! Reviewed by Gail Berenson, NCTM, Athens, Ohio.
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Author:Berenson, Gail
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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