I'm feeling invigorated after attending my first Music Teacher's Association in my new city of Rexburg. I'm excited to join UVMTA and learn from so many talented teachers and workshops planned this year including Jason Lyle Black! It was nice to hear a few samples of potential festival pieces played by different teachers in our area. It reminded me of the Piano Listening Lab Assignment I made several years ago to help my students select pieces that they enjoy to prepare for festival while also honing their listening skills.
Another excellent resource for selecting festival pieces
is the UI PianoPed YouTube Channel (University of Iowa Piano Pedagogy Project) which includes videos of an enormous selection of piano pieces grouped by level or book. I am grateful that our local festival music requirements are flexible enough to allow for a wide variety of festival choice pieces. Instead of taking precious private lesson instruction time to play a myriad of different pieces to find the perfect fit for each student, these online sources allow students to listen to a variety of pieces on their own so they can pick something they will truly love. I select a few for them to watch during lab that I think fit their skill level, and then allow them to choose the ones they are most excited about learning. Following is a quick helpful tutorial that explains how to more easily find the pieces you want your students to explore on the channel.