In this post I’m going to talk about one of my favorite composers of pedagogical piano pieces for children, William Gillock. He was an american composer and arranger who lived from 1917 to 1993. Some biographies refer to him as “the Schubert of children’s composers” because of his talent for writing melodies. These rich melodies and the vitality of his rhythms are the reasons why he can engage with young pianists. He wrote a lot of piano books with pieces for students in different levels of difficulty, but I will refer to those focussed on students in their early years of piano. From his extensive work I will focus on his Lyric Preludes in Romantic Style and his eight volume series Accent on Gillock.
Lyric Preludes in Romantic Style
This book is a collection of 24 preludes for intermediate students (between 3rd and 5th grade of ABRSM, Trinity or similar exams). The preludes are short, usually a single page, and they are written with different styles and characters. Every song in the book is worth the time of the students; every piece is amazing, and the students really love them, As an example of my favorite pieces of this wonderful work I’ve chosen three videos (it took me a long time to pick only three).
Accent on Gillock
This is a series of eight volumes of pieces of progressive difficulty, it’s not a method but it’s an extraordinary complemental material for any other method. Each volume is a collection of 5 to 8 pieces and they go from the early elementary pieces that are included in volume 1 to the later intermediate pieces in volume 8. Here is two samples videos for you to know more about this terrific work.
The Glass Slipper included in Accent on Gillock 2:
At the Ballet, Accent on Gillock 4:
William Gillock wrote hundreds of pieces for elementary and intermediate students. I also recommend Accent on Solos, which is a three series set. In addition to this work, his New Orleans Jazz Styles which is also a three book compilation of pieces written in a very interesting and funny jazz style.