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Margaret's book:

In April 2017 Margaret Brandman's 'Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac' song cycle performed by Baritone Martin Cooke and the composer, was aired in two half-hour programs on Sydney radio station FINE MUSIC 102.5 FM. The DVD of these songs is now available. View the Performance and Recordings page for details.

September 2017: Margaret travels to Prague for a concert performance of her 'Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac' song cycle by the Prague Mixed Choir at 7.30pm on the 14th of September in the concert hall of the Czech Music Museum. The choir will be recording the cycle for PARMA recordings. View the Performance and Recordings page for details.

Three new art songs in the collection titled 'From the Mountains to the Sea' for Mezzo-Soprano or Baritone voice and piano are now available. View the page for From the Mountains to the Sea for details.

Sensations recorded in the Czech Republic by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra has been receiving a great deal of international airplay since it was released in May 2016. View the Performance and Recordings page for more information.

'Warm Winds in Havana' suite for Saxophone Quartet and Percussion, recorded in Cuba last year, has been on air on many Jazz Radio programs around the world and was featured on radio HRT Croatia on April 10th this year. ABRAZO compilation CD.

 
 
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"I must tell you, I learnt so much from your books and found them so absolutely crammed full of juicy information!" Abe Cytrynowski - ANZCA Examiner and Piano Teacher (Melbourne -Australia)

The Contemporary Piano Method is recommended reference material for the AMEB's Contemporary Popular Syllabus

'Twelve Bar Blues' and 'Rock it to me Blues' are set as Grade One list pieces for the ANZCA Modern Pianoforte examinations.

The overall objective of the material in Book 1A and 1B is to enable the student to play within the five-finger hand position over the range of four octaves, with extensions to the intervals of sixth, seventh and octave, in all major keys, using note-values from the whole note to the sixteenth note.

Guide notes for teachers and students are included on page 65.

BOOK 1A: keys - C, G, D, A, E.

BOOK 1B: keys - F, B, Bflat, Eflat, Aflat, Dflat, Fsharp/Gflat.

STAGE 1:
Interval Reading in the five-finger hand-position
- including such aspects as:
* reading without looking at the hands
* playing by feel
* developing the ear by having to listen for the intervals for correction
* transposition
- awareness of combined direction for both hands: up, down, in, out, same or
oblique
- in this level of the course, the tunes presented include a mixture of intervals between the hands ( the majority of the songs in the preparatory book, the Junior Primer, have matching intervals in both hands)
- as preparation while using finger -tracing and as the student is playing the directions should be identified (preferably said out loud) for instance: step up (both hands) or skip out
- when the music uses varying intervals students should say - mix out or mix down etc
- once the piece has been rehearsed and the student knows the mixture intervals, then the process should be streamlined so they are saying direction and counting only
- proportional notation for easy understanding of timing.
- playing in all areas from Very High C to Very Low C ( over the range of four octaves)

N.B. The use of the Contemporary Theory Primer alongside the practical materials facilitate the reading of intervals and understanding of the timing concepts. In this book the student learns to write and recognise intervals very quickly and to understand timing through the use of colour-coding and clapping.

STAGE 2:
Introduction of Scales
- for hand-position changes
- to learn scale pathways on the keyboard
- to learn key signatures and the cycle of fifths
- to find chords in root position.

STAGE 3:
Extension of the five-finger position using the larger intervals: sixths, sevenths and octaves.

STAGE 4:
(a) Chords in Inversions, Block and Broken forms.
(b) Primary Chords in Major Keys and the Chord Table

- how to find chords on the written music
- Chordal analysis of each piece
- 12-Bar Blues

STAGE 5:
Playing in all major keys via scale pathways and interval reading
- using the key signature in the original sense of the word, as a 'key' to unlock the puzzle
- more hand-position changes along pre-learned scale pathways
- Chromatic scale.
(N.B. During the entire course there is a progressive introduction of musical signs, touch markings, etc. plus the pieces give experience in reading in many time-signatures and all styles of music.)

For best results expand your student's repertoire and technique using the following Brandman supplementary materials. Page references for these materials are printed in the CPM.

1. Junior Trax followed by Hot Trax
2. Daily Dexter Flexers
3. Dexter's Easy Piano Pieces
4. It's Easy to Improvise
5. Pictorial Patterns for Keyboard Scales and Chords

To develop a secure understanding of the musical concepts, use the CPM Bk1A together with the following ear-training and theory materials:

1.
Contemporary Theory Primer
2. Contemporary Theory Workbook - Book 1
3. Contemporary Aural Course - Preparatory Level and Set one