When a student has reached ABRSM grade 3 level, he has pretty much mastered the music notes reading, hence is able to sight read quite well enough to learn new pieces with enjoyment. The teacher can also focus more on the right fingering, wrist and arm playing techniques. The number of classical pieces he can play has also widened. To further improve the piano playing techniques, the students need to play some very good classical pieces - literature pieces, which can build a good foundation for more challenging classical pieces in grade 4.
A good piano teacher knows the right piano pieces to select for students; classical pieces with catchy tunes that build the interest and foundation techniques at the same time are the keys.
Baroque Period (1600-1750)
1) Musette in D Major
From the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach
A good upgrade piece from grade 2 to grade 3, this is a fast and lively song, where in a few parts of the song, the left and right hands are going in the same fingering movement. It was believed that the song is composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, but it was not known for certain.
The youtube version on the right gave a rather interesting minor variation of the piece.
2) Minuet in G Major
From the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach
A graceful and elegant piece, the right hand and left hand portion the song have its own melody, which is a typical baroque style of music.
This is a nice song to be played duet between a pianist and a violinist. The youtube version on the right gave a rather interesting combination of such playing.
Classical Period (1750-circa 1830)
3) Sonatina in C Major (Op. 36, No. 1)
Composer : Clementi, Muzio (1752 – 1832)
A song with various techniques required, this sonatina is a three part movements piece, great for piano recital or concert performance. A must-learn piece for grade 3 student.
The first part is lively and fast flowing with arpeggios and scales, followed by moderately slow tempo of the second part, played in an elegant, graceful and singing style. In the second movement, students will learn the correct pedalling method, and the balance of treble cleft loudness versus the soft bass cleft accompaniment. The third movement is fast and lively, a catchy tune that will linger in the child’s ears for a long time even after he stopped playing.
Romantic Period (circa 1830 – 1910)
4) Arabesque (Op. 100, No. 2)
Composer : Burgmuller, Johann Friedrich (1806-1874)
Arabesque is another good upgrade piece from grade 2 to grade 3 with sudden loudness in various parts of the piece; a fun and interesting piece to play. It is a great favourite among students, who all seem to want to learn it after listening to it. It is also often being selected to be played in recitals and concerts.
5) Wild Rider (Op. 68, No.8)
Composer : Schumann, Robert (1810-1856)
(Taken from Album for the Young)
You could feel the horse galloping as you play this song. Fast, bright and lively, it is another favourite song kids enjoy playing. A nice short piece, it is suitable for harmonic analysis. “Wild Rider” is one of the easy pieces by Robert Schumann that are very catchy, colorful and harmonically engaging.
6) Spinning Song ( Op. 14, No. 4)
Composer : Ellmenreich, Albert (1816-1905)
With a moderately quick tempo, this song will keep your student playing it on a piano and “spinning” in his head. The same pattern of the music is repeated a few times, therefore, after learning a new part, the student gets the relief that the same catchy tune is repeated again. Mastering this song in a week is normally not a problem for many students.
This song is a good introduction to grade 4 pieces, since more chords and octave intervals are coming in.
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You can get all the music sheets of the songs above from this Piano Literature Book 3 below :
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Caroline Hess on May 23, 2015:
Yes - thanks for the ideas. Have you similar rep. thoughts for other Grades?
Ingenira (author) on September 26, 2011:
Glad to help, thank you, randomcreative, for reading and commenting.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 26, 2011:
Great resource for all piano teachers. Thanks!