I love duets and students enjoy playing duets. My husband can play piano and some of my favorite memories is when we play duets together. Matter of fact, I recently passed out several Christmas duets to siblings because I want them to play a duet in addition to their solo at our MTA Music at the Mall event in December. Not even a week goes by after giving one of my siblings their Christmas duet do I get a video clip shared by a Mom saying that they have been loving their duet and have been practicing 1-2 hours a day. Talk about motivation!
I love duets not only because they are super fun to play, but also because it forces students to listen and count. They become aware how much those two things are so important when we play music. Rosa mentions on her website that duets also help enormously with note reading, which requires you to think ahead and possibly the most important lesson you need in music – to keep going.
Rosa Conrad composed a duet music and compiled it into a book, Rosamund Conrad’s Delightfully Easy Piano Duets. This book is specifically for beginner students in mind. In this delightfully easy duet book (by the way, the name is perfect for this book!) you will find 8 pieces. The primo part is meant to be played by the beginner and the secondo is meant to be played by the teacher or intermediate player.
You will find the primo part stays in the 5 finger positions, has simple rhythm patterns and no accidentals. But one unique aspect of the pieces for primo is both hands are played in unison. The advantage of this is 2-fold. 1) If the student is just learning hands together, what a better way to start out! 2) As Rosa suggests inside the book, “the beginner’s parts can be played with both hands or one.” You can have them play hands alone reviewing just the treble clef or just the bass clef and the full melody is still there.
The secondo part really can be played from early intermediate to intermediate players. Much of the patterns are simple alberti-bass and chord patterns.
The duets are nice to play for any age group. Many are classical style in nature, but there is even a fun blues style one in the mix (see sheet music example above). You can listen to Saloon Bar Blues below.
If you purchase this book directly on the website, there is an option to have chord symbols written on the intermediate part. However I say, what a perfect opportunity to have students add in their own chord symbols! The easiest way to order Rosamund Conrad’s Delightfully Easy Piano Duets book (especially if you are in the US) would be on Amazon.
And guess what? You can even download free samples of V. Breeze and VIII. Saloon Bar Blues for free! Click here.
Rosa shared with me recently that she was with an old friend from college, playing through and making final adjustments to all the duets for book two. (Yes! There is a book 2 coming soon!) She said that it brought back memories of how much fun they had playing duets together years ago.
Rosamund Conrad’s Delightfully Easy Piano Duets is full of delightful, easy and fun duets that both performers will surely enjoy.
Rosamund Conrad has been teaching privately in west London since 2000, while studying for her postgraduate certificate. She customizes her teaching style to her students needs and interest. In addition to teaching piano, Rosa also teaches the ukulele and guitar ranging in students from age 5 to 90. She will often write music specifically for her pupils, again, catering to her students needs. Rosa is quite versatile in music. In addition to playing piano, ukulele and guitar, she also sings and plays the accordion.