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  • New Piano Method Books from Stephen Chatman: Mix & Match

    Galaxy Music recently welcomed the new Mix and Match performance method series from dynamic duo, Stephen Chatman and Tara Wohlberg. The series is designed as a rare, innovative mix-and-match complement to any standard piano method book. We sat down with composer Stephen Chatman to learn more about the vision behind Mix and Match.

    1. What was the inspiration behind Mix and Match?

    The audio tracks include both demo and play-along tracks for each piece. The best way to use this tool may be for the student to first listen to the demo recording of the duet, then learn the student part, and then play-along with the version which includes only the teacher's part. The student may play the piece as a solo or live duet with a teacher, friend or family member.

    2. What makes these performance books unique from other performance series?

    Several factors make these performance books unique:
    1)  These books are a unique supplement to current method books, which systematically re-enforce pedagogical concepts.
    2)  Through original pieces and arrangements, I explore an eclectic sonic world, where students can play, for example, Happy Birthday (the first level 1 piano  arrangement ever published) or sample a folk song, boogie, rag, minuet, Christmas carol or an arrangement of an timeless classic. Given my reputation as a composer and composition teacher, the original pieces are not typical pedagogical pieces. They are fresh, innovative and less conventional or predictable than pieces in other performance series.
    3) The teacher duets, designed as concert pieces, are uniquely imaginative, harmonically rich, and engaging. Teacher accompaniments, while sometimes complex, are idiomatic and "audience friendly".
    4) The performance books loosely correspond in pedagogical approach to popular method books. However, they include very little written text, which would be redundant considering texts in existing method books.
    5) The Mix and Match for Older Beginners book is a rare, essential addition to pedagogical repertoire.

    3. Who is the Mix and Match series designed for?

    The Mix and Match series is designed not only for any young beginner and level 1 piano student but also for any older beginner and level 1 piano student.  The Mix and Match for Older Beginners (primer and level 1) performance book omits illustrations designed for children, young childrens' themes or songs, and "pre-notation" pieces. Adult beginners really appreciate this album.

    4. The series comes with audio tracks. What is the best way to use this tool?

    The audio tracks include both demo and play-along tracks for each piece. The best way to use this tool may be for the student to first listen to the demo recording of the duet, then learn the student part, and then play-along with the version which includes only the teacher's part. The student may play the piece as a solo or live duet with a teacher, friend or family members.

    To learn more about Mix and Match, click here. 

  • Opera Canada & Canadian Music Teacher Reviews: Music by Stephen Chatman

    Stephen Chatman's music has been the subject of review in recent Opera Canada and Canadian Music Teacher magazines.

    Opera Canada: Choir Practice by Stephen Chatman, CD Recording

    Choir Practice

    Choir Practice, a comic opera in one act composed by Chatman with libretto by Tara Wohlberg, was premiered and recorded by the University of British Columbia Opera Ensemble and Symphony. The album was released in 2016 on the Centrediscs label.

    Wayne Gooding, Editor, writes, "Rare it is for a live student performance to enjoy a commercial release, rare still when that performance is the world premiere of a new opera...With its musical and linguistic twists and turns, non sequiturs and sudden dead ends, it all unfolds in the manner of Ionesco's The Bald Prima Donna. Both composer and librettist seem to have enjoyed themselves enormously writing this piece, with Chatman drawing on a wide range of styles and influences to bring Wohlberg's absurdist text to life."

    To read this review in its entirety, click here.
    For more information about this CD recording, click here.
    For more information about Choir Practice, click here.

    Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association: New Piano Music by Stephen Chatman

    Mix and Match for Older Beginners

    Mix and Match for Older Beginners

    Mix and Match is an imaginative and diverse supplementary album especially created for older piano students. It is designed as a rare, innovative mix-and-match complement to any standard piano method book. Through an array of stylistically varied pieces, all paired with harmonically rich, imaginative duets, the older beginning student will be musically engaged and challenged. Tara Wohlberg was the text author for this series.

    Jean Ritter of British Columbia writes, "My students and I had a great time playing through the thirty-six pieces. They all have complimentary duets that add depth and great colour and make for pleasant music making!...The book is pedagogically sound incorporating numerous terms and symbols our students learn in their theory books."

    To read the full length review, click here.
    For more information about the Mix & Match series, click here.                                       

    Etudes, Book 1

    Etudes Book 1As with Chopin's Etudes, this challenging set of five etudes can be used either for technique work or for concert performance. The music most assuredly allows for the pianist to demonstrate his or her technical and musical prowess.

    Joyce Janzen of British Columbia says, "Each of these advanced technical challenges are a minute to a minute and a half long. Dynamic and pedal markings are frequent and precise. Changing meter often accomplishes a ritardando or a pause between sections. These are dynamic material for an eager advanced performer!"

    To read the full length review, click here.
    For more information about Etudes, click here.

    Stephen Chatman

    Stephen Chatman, one of Canada's most prominent composers, is Professor of Composition at the University of British Columbia School of Music. He has received many commissions and composition awards, including 2005, 2006, and 2010 Western Canadian Music Awards “Classical Composition of the Year," 2010 and 2012 SOCAN Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award, three BMI Awards (New York), multiple JUNO nominations, Dorothy Somerset Award, Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the 2001 BBC Masterprize short-list. In 2012, Dr. Chatman was appointed to the Order of Canada. Dr. Chatman’s choral pieces “are in wide demand in North America” (Historical Dictionary of Choral Music, 2010); his orchestral music has been commissioned by the CBC Radio Orchestra, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Madison, and Windsor symphonies and performed by the BBC Symphony, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Montreal, Sydney, Seoul, San Francisco, Winnipeg, Quebec, St. Louis, Calgary, Detroit, Dallas, and New World symphonies.

     

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