*Contemporary Pieces.* Six fun little pieces for beginning players.
1. Waking up
2. Playing Chasey
3. Snoozing in the Shade
4. Rolling in the Mud
5. Snuffling in the Trough
6. Settling Down to Sleep
_Part 6 pp._
OMP149 Suzanne Palmer-Holton Rolling in the Mud, A Collection of Piggy Tunes
How well I remember, when I was a child, my piano teacher giving me my first sheet music to learn for a recital! Rolling in the Mud would give young recorder students the same thrill.
Black-and-white sketches of piglets adorn the cover and each page of the recorder part, illustrating the titles of the six pieces: "Waking Up," "Playing Chasey," "Snoozing in the Shade," "Rolling in the Mud," "Snuffling in the Trough," and "Settling Down to Sleep." Each piece is also subtitled, such as for #1: "It is dawn. The sun is peeping over the horizon. Pigs wake up, stretch, and sniff the fresh air of the new day."
This book is carefully prepared pedagogically, with its main goal to teach children to play independently with an accompaniment. The keyboard part is easy enough for novice pianists, and the recorder part has only four notes (G A B C) in the entire book. Instead, a variety of rhythms and meters provide challenges.
For instance, "Waking Up" requires the recorder player to count quarter-note and half-note rests against off-beat chords in the keyboard. In "Playing Chasey," the two parts alternate playing quarter notes against eighth notes. "Snoozing in the Shade" has a broken-chord accompaniment in eighth notes, and the young recorder player must count out the pianist's two-measure introduction and four-measure interlude.
This set of pieces is perfect for a recital, perhaps with each "movement" played by a different child. Or, for a school program, the recorder parts could be played in unison by several children to accompany pantomime and movement by others. So much material using only three or four notes is available for young recorder players that it is easy to overlook this appealing, imaginative collection - but I highly recommend it!
Bill Rees, American Recorder, September 2009