As I was searching for new music online last month, I stumbled onto a fresh new composer – Kat Souponetsky at KatSounds.net. After reading her bio and listening to the recordings available on the website, I couldn’t wait to play her music myself and share it with my students. When I bought one of the books, Kat was kind enough to send me a few others as well so I could review them and share with you!
First off, the covers are amazing – modern yet beautifully done and they instantly draw students to the books. My teenagers think these are the coolest books to choose from because the covers look so neat – which is saying a lot because my library of books is quite expansive…
The books are well leveled with 3 separate volumes divided by difficulty plus a jazz book that contains a few new ones mixed with the more jazzy pieces from the other books. The main 3 volumes each contain a wide selection of music from different genres as described in her introduction to the books. Kat wrote that she drew from “classical music, Latin-American Jazz, and Eastern-European folklore” which creates an amazing new sound while reminding me of music I already know as well.
With notes at the front of the book about each piece, Kat has also given teachers some direction to guide students as they learn her pieces. When trying to figure out just what type of sound is needed for a specific piece, it’s a great resource to turn to. Lovely recordings of many pieces are available to to play on her website and I hope in the future there may be YouTube recordings of individual pieces as well – those are always so easy to share with students!
So while I could go on an on about the pieces in these books, here are a few of my favorite pieces and why I’ve loved adding them to my teaching repertoire:
- Princess & the Giant (Vol. 2) – 2 voices, a modern sounding counterpoint to practice that non legato touch.
- Promenade (Vol. 2) – Great practice for scales with good fingering written in. Reinforces 16th note rhythms and left hand gets a turn with the scalar patterns as well.
- Humoresque” & “Ethnic Octaves (in Vol. 2 and Jazz Solos) – Unusual rhythms and LH patterns, very attractive show off pieces for students. So catchy it gets stuck in my head just thinking about them!
- Jazzy Etude (in Vol. 3 and Jazz Solos) – Fun accents, both hands take turns and play in unison with such a driving beat. Kat’s notes at the front advise ‘slapping’ accented 8th notes.
- “Underwater” Etude (Vol. 3) – Fits the flow of water, very chromatic. Pattern passes between hands making it a great piece to develop an even touch, as if one hand was playing everything.
Have I convinced you to go check out the music yet? I’ve been telling all of my friends about this amazing music they have to get for their students all month. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I have! Thanks Kat for great new music!
Tomorrow we will have a second post, a Q&A with Kat using questions my students wanted to ask her! Don’t you love connecting with composers online so your students can know more about them, ask them questions, and be inspired by them? I’ve loved sharing her answers with my students so check back for more about Kat tomorrow.
Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at 4DPianoTeaching.com