Prokofiev: Tarantella from Music for Children, Op. 65, No. 4 (Upper Intermediate)

• A Tarantella is a fast folk dance of southern Italy (originally from the town of Taranto). It is characterized as being in 6/8, with shifts from minor to major.
• Begin with slow practice, hands together.
• As a default, play all notes slightly separated, except those marked with a slur (for instance, left hand measure 2 and 6; right hand measure 8, etc.)
• It may help some students to learn the notes and rhythms first at mf, then when mastered apply the composer’s dynamics.
• Increase the speed when the music feels comfortable under your fingers.
• Listen for steadiness and evenness as you play.
• Playing this music quickly and at a contained dynamic (mp or p) requires finger finesse.
• Listen for steadiness and evenness as you play.
• Notice the varied melody when the opening material returns in measure 49.
• In setting your final performance tempo, determine how quickly you can play the most difficult spots for you; then play the entire piece at the tempo you can manage in those spots.
• No sustaining pedal is recommended at all, except for possibly the final two measures.

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Richard Walters
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Schumann: Of Strange Lands and People from Kinderszenen, Op. 15, No. 1 (Intermediate)
Jeffrey Biegel