Today’s Pender’s Piano Prose is a staff review on a new book, recently published by Hal Leonard:
Just for Kids is a new collection of 8 original pieces for the elementary student by Mona Rejino. It is based on the everyday experiences of kids. Titles include: Aquarium Dreams, Broken Arm Woes, Flying My Kite, I Wanna Be a Rock Star, Let’s Go on Vacation, Monday Mornin’ Blues, Pepperoni Pizza and The Tooth Fairy.
Students come up with some of the most whimsical, illuminating, and often hilarious stories during their piano lessons. The imaginative music and lyrics in this new collection were each inspired by Ms. Rejino’s own students and the book is dedicated to them. It is a collection that was driven by what kids want to be when they grow up, their favorite things to do, and the things that happen to them.
Ms. Rejino’s favorite song in Just for Kids is I Wanna Be a Rock Star, which grew from a conversation with her five-year old student, Annie. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Annie took all of three seconds to throw her fist in the air and say “I wanna be a rock star!” Ms. Rejino responded by saying, “Yes, don’t we all!”
Mention the word “pizza” and a child’s eyes light up. Forget the mushrooms, onions and green peppers, kids love Pepperoni Pizza. Pepperoni Pizza is composed with a supportive teacher accompaniment that allows the student to revel in the spirited, chords of the opening measures.
Monday Mornin’ Blues is another childhood experience that all of us can relate to. After a great weekend that ends too soon, kids can feel overwhelmed by the work that awaits — just like adults. The piece is written in a blues style with legato phrasing and quiet dynamics — not too loud for Monday mornin’!
Through these musical stories that kids can relate to they can use the pieces in Just for Kids as a means to express themselves and learn with fun.
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