Shostakovich: The Mechanical Doll from Children’s Notebook for Piano, Op. 69, No. 6 (Early Intermediate)

This piece is occasionally known by other translated titles, such as “The Clockwork Doll.”

Practice and Performance Tips
• Begin practice hands separately, and at a slow tempo.
• Divide the piece into sections for your practice. For instance: section 1 measures 1–16; section 2 measures 17–29; section 3: measures 30–45.
• Notice the imitation in measures 5-6, then again in measures 34–35, as the left hand follows the right hand with a similar phrase.
• Learn the articulation (slurs, staccato, accents) as you learn the notes and rhythms.
• When the left hand has the main melody in measures 30–33, it should sound just as strong and independent as when the right hand had the melody earlier.
• Move to practicing hands together, at a slow tempo, retaining the articulations you have learned when practicing hands alone.
• Keep a strict tempo, no matter what the speed.
• Be careful to observe the specific dynamics that are composed.
• Use no pedal at all. This music needs a crisp, playful touch throughout. Pedal would spoil the texture.

Beethoven: Bagatelle in C Major, Op. 119, No. 8
Matthew Edwards
Grieg: March of the Trolls from Lyric Pieces, Op. 54, No. 3 (Intermediate)
William Westney