Disclosure: I received a copy of Purple in return for an honest review. No other compensation was received.
Anyone who teaches middle schoolers knows the challenge of finding music that sounds contemporary and inspires but is still manageable for intermediate-level students. Dror Perl's color book series offers a superb solution!
The series contains three books, Red, Blue, and Purple. I shared Purple with both of my two eighth-grade girls, and they responded enthusiastically to the jazzy, bluesy harmonies and the grown-up look and feel of the book. We loved the touches of humor, as well. The titles are fun plays on the color with names like "Grape Jam," "Beet It," and "Purple Monkey Dishwasher."
I like many of the features of Purple - the sophisticated, jazzy harmonies and rhythms that sound more difficult than they really are, the chord symbols, helpful fingerings, gentle persuasion beyond five-finger positions - but what I like best is the treatment of the pedal notation. I've reached for this book over and over to show students a visual representation of what their foot is actually supposed to do. Take a look - isn't this great?
I recently shared Purple at a "show and tell" meeting of our local music teacher's association, and we all agreed that every method book should notate the pedal this way!
You can find Purple, Blue, and Red at SheerPiano.com. As an added bonus, right now everything is 25% off. Also available at the website are instrumental duet parts that correspond with several of the pieces in the books. How fun would it be to have a sibling or parent play along at a recital?
My two eighth-grade students have been eager to perform their Purple pieces for friends and both gave the book an enthusiastic thumbs up. Coming from middle schoolers, that's high praise!
Here's a clip of Anna playing Red and Blue Rumble. Anna says, "When you first play it, it's a little challenging, but when you get it, it just rolls out of your fingers."
Clip of Abby playing Purple Monkey Dishwasher