Review: Piano Wizardry by Jason Hawkins

From Music Wings Publishing comes a brand new book for young pianists, Piano Wizardry by Jason Hawkins.

Jason Hawkins is an award-winning musician, writer and educator based in Yorkshire. Having studied at Chetham’s School of Music, the RNCM, the University of Manchester, and University College, London, he has worked with leading organisations such as The Hallé and BBC Philharmonic.

Piano Wizardry by Jason Hawkins

Piano Wizardry contains 12 toe-tapping pieces for young pianists that are around Grade 1-3 standard. Jason writes:

‘These pieces of music are exciting to play and more satisfying in a truly magical style. They are full of unexpected musical bumps, twists and turns.’

The book is attractively presented with a large stave size and colour throughout. The individual pieces are full of character, with titles such as ‘Spellbound’, ‘Wands at the ready!’ and ‘Frogspawn’. I’m sure they would appeal to young pianists, especially those who have read the Harry Potter series of books or similar. Whilst many of the pieces are in a jazz style, other styles are represented too, including the beautiful ‘Moonlight’ marked ‘still and peaceful’ and ‘with lots of pedal’.

Frogspawn by Jason Hawkins

The composer suggests they are around Grades 1-3 standard; however, I might suggest they’re at the harder end of that scale, some, particularly those with four sharps and flats pushing slightly beyond Grade 3 level.

The large stave size and placement of the illustrations has made for some slightly awkward page turns with quite a number of the pieces running to three pages. There is a slight downside in that it is printed on shiny paper which both students and teachers will find hard to write on in pencil.

Spellbound by Jason Hawkins

That said, the music is catchy and the overall presentation appealing on the eye. Compared to similar publications, its price at £14.95 is perhaps are the more expensive side, however young pianists with even a passing interest in wizardry and magic will, I’m sure, be spellbound by this collection.

Piano Wizardry: Toe-tapping music for young pianists by Jason Hawkins, is published by Music Wings Publishing, ISBN 9781838136802, priced £14.95. Individual pieces are also available to download from the publisher’s website.

I was sent a review copy of this book free of charge; however, this review is my honest opinion as a teacher. You can find my Reviews Policy here.

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