Announcements, repertoire / methods

Red Leaf Pianoworks

2014 Red Leaf Pianoworks Ohio flyer copyI love the internet.  Without it, I would have far fewer friends and contacts in the piano teacher world, wouldn’t you?

A few months ago, I connected with Canadian piano teacher and composer, Martha Hill Duncan.  She stated that she would be in my area in February during her husband’s sabbatical and so I asked if she would be willing to give a presentation about the music of Red Leaf Pianoworks at my home.  She said yes!

If you aren’t familiar with Red Leaf Pianoworks — It is a group of Canadian composers who collaborate to promote their self-published piano compositions. They have a website here and you may have seen them in the exhibit hall at conferences such as MTNA or NCKP.

Martha talked about the composers behind Red Leaf Pianoworks and demonstrated samples of their music for us.  It was fun to learn a little about each person and get a taste of each person’s unique musical voice.

  • Janet Gieck
  • Rebekah Maxner — (Remember my review of Rebekah’s book, “Madge’s Notebook“?)
  • Martha Hill Duncan
  • Beverly Porter
  • Susan Griesdale
  • Teresa Richert
  • Joanne Bender
  • John Burge

One of the things I noticed as I was listening to the pieces was how teachable the pieces were, while at the same time requiring students to get out of the typical five-finger positions that many American piano methods promote.  I am always on the lookout for supplemental books that get students moving around the keyboard more.

Martha and my colleague try out a piano duet.


We had a lovely morning.  Afterwards, Martha, her husband, and I went out for lunch.

photo (6)

Be sure to check out the Red Leaf Pianoworks website here.

One of the questions I asked Martha was whether the Red Leaf Pianoworks has considered selling individual pieces as a PDF download from their website (and with the license for unlimited studio use — I love that!).  She said they haven’t talked about it much but may consider it for the future.  If this is something you would be interested in, leave a comment below to give Martha some feedback about this!  I’m sure they would appreciate hearing from teachers.

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11 thoughts on “Red Leaf Pianoworks”

  1. Sounds like a really lovely afternoon! I would be interested in PDF formats for studio use. While I really like to have physical books, because it gives students a sense of pride and ownership, I think it’s also important to be able to get things *quickly* if a student is in desperate need of motivation. (Sometimes we can’t wait long enough for shipping from Canada!)

  2. I would love to have PDF versions with unlimited studio use! I like physical copies of books, but also love having some resources that I can just print quickly. And I’m all about getting pieces that are in different places on the piano.

  3. Add my vote for downloads. I live 160 miles from a bricks and mortar music store, so everything must come in the mail. One nice thing about being able to purchase just one piece from a collection, is that if it is good, I can then order the entire book for future use. There is certainly something special about a print copy. I think we need to keep that 3-D reality/option in front of our students as an example, and as a way to support publishers so they will keep real printed music alive. But the reality is that students download stuff all the time, on their own or with their parents’ help (and CC) so they are used to the lesser quality of printing & paper that goes along with the convenience.

  4. I would love the PDF options as well! Apart from method books, all my supplemental stuff for students is exclusively digital – being in India it can take weeks/months to get my hands on hard copies.

  5. I give an enthusiastic YES on being interested in PDF downloads. I love these options because sometimes I just don’t need an entire book. Love the internet!

  6. I have special circumstances because I teach for a nonprofit that provides music lessons for kids that would never get the chance otherwise. Some of the kids will just try it out for a quarter and others will continue on and some will “move on” to my private studio. Per the requirement of the nonprofit the kids cannot be charged for music. All this to say, digital is my salvation!!!

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