The composer for July is…Melody Bober!
Melody Bober is a pianist, teacher, composer, and clinician. She has a degree in music education from the University of Illinois and a masters degree from Minnesota State University. She has taught music in the public school and university level.
I attended Melody Bober’s exhibitor showcase the MTNA Baltimore in March 2017, and was excited to meet her as I have taught several of her pieces. They are geared toward teaching students how to play (they often have several pedagogical concepts) while remaining tuneful and “modern-sounding”. Check out the videos below!
Bober is a prolific composer/arranger; last time I checked on http://www.alfred.com , it listed 153 items under her name. Below are a few highlights:
Prep B: Sneaky Sam
I often choose to teach this piece as students first encounter level Prep B. It features repetitive patterns (can be taught by rote) and sounds more advanced than it is. Students enjoy being able to play this fun piece!
Level 2: I Spy
This piece evokes a story of one creature sneaking behind another, like a cat-and-mouse game. It does look trickier than it actually is, and is a wonderful introduction to the use of triplets.
Level 4: Setting Sail
Level 5: Raspberry Rag (starts at 0:25)
As students learn to play in all 24 keys (12 major keys and 12 minor keys), they must be able to adapt to specific key signatures (the sharps or flats associated with each key). Bober has written two books: “In All Keys” (one for all the flat keys and one for all the sharp keys). This is written for the Intermediate to Late Intermediate level (approx. level 5-8). Sometimes I will use a piece in conjunction with a key that a student is learning in their technique to reinforce playing in that key. It’s a wonderful resource for teachers! Many of the pieces are suitable for Conservatory Canada and Royal Conservatory exams.
Here is Bober’s blog post about this publication: