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My Favorite Grade 1 Piano Pieces: PianoTV video

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Today’s video is a quick compilation of my favorite grade 1 piano pieces. I play through some short clips of various grade 1 songs in the RCM syllabus, and show what books the music comes from.

I’ve done a video on my favorite grade 1 books, and some of these books are included in that list.

There’s also a page on this website that tours you through a series of grade 1 lessons if that’s something you’re interested in.

Let’s get started with my favorite grade 1 piano pieces!

My Favorite Grade 1 Piano Pieces

  1. German Dance by Franz Joseph Haydn

    1. Category: List A
    2. Book: Essential Keyboard Repertoire, Volume 1
    3. Difficulty: Medium
    4. This piece is cheerful and straightforward, exactly what you’d expect from Haydn. It’s a good study for I and V7 chords.
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    Essential Keyboard Repertoire, Volume 1
    100 Early Intermediate Selections in Their Original Form – Baroque to Modern. By perf. Kim O’Reilly. Edited by Lynn Freeman Olson. Graded Standard Repertoire; Masterworks; Piano Collection. Alfred Masterwork Edition: Essential Keyboard Repertoire. Masterwork. Book & CD. 144 pages. Published by Alfred Music (AP.16780).

    Minuet in F Major, K. 2, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    1. Category: List A
    2. Book: Essential Keyboard Repertoire, Volume 1
    3. Difficulty: Challenging
    4. Appoggiaturas are all up in this. It’s got a catchy beat, but constant hand movement makes it a good challenge.
  3. Relay Race by Jon George

    1. Category: Etude
    2. Book: Celebration Series 1, Piano Etudes, 2015 Edition
    3. Difficulty: Medium
    4. If you want to get good at the F major scale without just playing a scale, this piece is a good study. It’s also a good study for speed.
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    Celebration Series: Piano Etudes 1
    2015 Edition. Composed by The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. This edition: 2015 edition. Celebration Series. Method book & online audio. 20 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.C5S01).
  5. Far Away by Teresa Richert

    1. Category: Etude
    2. Book: Celebration Series 1, Piano Etudes, 2015 Edition
    3. Difficulty: Easy
    4. For such a simple pentatonic tune, this piece is very pretty. Don’t fear all the flats – every note you play in this piece is a black key, so it’s easy to keep track of.
  6. Celebration by Anne Crosby Gaudet

    1. Category: Etude
    2. Book: Celebration Series 1, Piano Etudes, 2015 Edition
    3. Difficulty: Easy
    4. This piece is easy to understand, since there are many patterns. The real challenge is playing it at the speed required. This is such a fun one to play!
  7. Burlesque in G Major by Anonymous

    1. Category: List A
    2. Book: Celebration Series 1, Piano Repertoire, 2015 Edition
    3. Difficulty: Medium
    4. Despite the cheerful and simple rhythm, all of the hand position changes makes this piece a little trickier than it first appears.
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    Celebration Series: Piano Repertoire 1
    2015 Edition. Composed by The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. This edition: 2015 edition. Celebration Series. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century and 21st century. Method book & online audio. 40 pages. Published by The Frederick Harris Music Company (FH.C5R01).
  9. Andante in G Minor by Georg Philipp Telemann

    1. Category: List A
    2. Book: Celebration Series 1, Piano Repertoire, 2015 Edition
    3. Difficulty: easy
    4. This is one of the easiest Baroque/Classical pieces that still sounds good – it’s a great grade 1 starter piece.
  10. The Snake by Renee Christopher

    1. Category: List C
    2. Book: Celebration Series 1, Piano Repertoire, 2015 Edition
    3. Difficulty: medium
    4. This is one of my long-time favorites from the “invention” category (List C). Not only is the imitation a challenge, it’s got lots of expressiveness and a hefty dose of mysteriousness.
  11. Dancing Partners by Pierre Gallant

    1. Category: List C
    2. Book: Imitations and Inventions
    3. Difficulty: Easy
    4. This is a great starter invention for those who struggle with hand coordination. Plus, it’s got a nice minor key sound.
  12. Merry-Go-Round by Christopher Norton

    1. Category: List B
    2. Book: Connections 1 for piano
    3. Difficulty: Challenging
    4. The whole Connections book is great, and Merry-Go-Round is one of my favorite tunes of the whole grade. It sounds classy and fancy, but requires intelligent pedaling and good expression.
  13. Hallelujah! By Martha Mier

    1. Category: List B
    2. Book: Jazz, Rags and Blues, book 1
    3. Difficulty: Medium
    4. Jazz can be tough, but Mier’s music is very approachable. The rhythm isn’t too crazy (though there are a couple sticky spots), and her pieces sound great.
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    Jazz, Rags & Blues – Book 1
    10 original pieces for the late elementary to early intermediate pianist. Piano Collection; Piano Supplemental. Jazz, Rags & Blues. Jazz. Collection. With introductory text (does not include words to the songs). 23 pages. Published by Alfred Music (AP.6642).
  15. Angelfish by Anne Crosby

    1. Category: List B
    2. Book: Freddie the Frog
    3. Difficulty: Easy
    4. The book is cutesy, but Angelfish is a surprisingly mature-sounding piece. There are plenty of patterns that make it easy to play, but it sounds a little more complex.
  16. Soaring by Christine Donkin

    1. Category: List B
    2. Book: Legends & Lore
    3. Difficulty: Easy
    4. Just a little syncopated pedal, but nothing too complex for those just getting into pedaling. This is a very nice-sounding piece, and is good practice for making your way across the keyboard.
  17. Robots by Anne Crosby

    1. Category: List B
    2. Book: In My Dreams
    3. Difficulty: Easy
    4. I love teaching this piece, and my students love it too. If you struggle with a steady beat or staccatos, this is a good one to try out.

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Hopefully you’ve found this list of my favorite grade 1 piano pieces useful. As always, have fun and happy practicing!

xo,
Allysia