I recently decided to make more simplified piano arrangements of Bach’s chamber, orchestral and liturgical works. Of course, Bach himself left us plenty of short keyboard pieces and his Minuets and Little Preludes are lovely yet beginners could benefit from more variety.
Some of Bach’s music is so stunningly beautiful that it’s impossible to hear it and not to feel touched by something greater than ourselves. By learning/ internalizing a melody and mastering it, children will be prepared to understand the original. For example, after learning the theme from Brandenburg Concerto #3, they will listen to the orchestral version with a sense of familiarity, belonging, and with focused attention. My wish is to inspire more parents and music teachers to make deeper musical connections of this sort for the young generation.
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Of course, the “Stepping Stones” also work for adult amateur pianists. The arrangements are simple and can be used as warm-ups, yet extremely gratifying to play – I tested them on myself. 😊 Also included here are fragments of existing keyboard pieces by Bach which may be easier than you think.
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Please let me know if you have any feedback and pass them on to any piano teachers, students or players who might be interested. Also, if you have suggestions of material for the Stepping Stones, I will consider them. To keep it simple without distorting the music, it has to be a theme which has a clear ending within 8 or so measures.