Are you unsure of how to choose piccolo music that you’ll enjoy? You want to feel challenged but not overly so, and I can understand that.
Luckily, I have a few tips to help you find music for the piccolo that will make you want to play the small flute. Read on to learn more!
Start With Instrumentation
First, you need to determine the overall instrumentation for your recital or concert. For example, maybe you want to record or perform a concert of solo music.
In that case, you’ll need to further narrow it down based on whether or not you can play with a pianist. Or perhaps you want to play some chamber music, so consider the musicians you know and what instruments they can play.
Then, you can search for music that suits the instrumentation you have access to. And if you want to commission an arrangement for a flute group, let me know!
Consider Standard Repertoire
If you’re in music school or are still somewhat new to the piccolo, it doesn’t hurt to learn the standards. When I was in music school, my recital pieces had to meet certain requirements.
Standard rep usually fits the bill, and it’s just good to learn even if you don’t have to. Then, if you ever want to take an audition or if you decide to do a competition, you’ll already know the pieces that will be required of you.
On the other hand, you can play newer piccolo music. This can be a great way to diversify your repertoire as a player, and you can expose your collaborative musicians and your audience to new composers and arrangers.
Don’t Forget Any Requirements
I briefly mentioned this, but consider why you’re looking at how to choose piccolo music. If you’re a performance major, your professor may have specific requirements for the music you play on your next recital.
My professor in undergrad, for example, required a sonata, concerto, unaccompanied piece, and chamber piece. One piece could fulfill multiple requirements, such as an unaccompanied sonata.
Of course, if you’re entering a competition, like the NFA Piccolo Artist Competition, you may have a list of required repertoire. You must submit recordings of those pieces with your entry.
Look Through Your Library
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a decent amount of time shopping for sheet music. You may even have a massive collection of works you’ve never learned.
In that case, take a look at your music library to see if any pieces you already own suit your needs. Then, you won’t have to go searching for new sheet music or spend money on pieces to learn.
Of course, not everyone has a massive library, and that’s okay. But look at what you do have, and if nothing will work, you can go shopping for sheet music.
Learn One Piece at a Time
As you decide how to choose piccolo music, you may want or need to learn multiple works. However, I’d recommend you learn them one at a time so that you can put your full focus on that piece.
After you master the basics of the first work, you can add the second and so on. Then, you’ll just have to rotate between the pieces for your next competition or recital.
But when deciding the order in which to learn pieces, you have a choice. For one, you could learn the easiest stuff first to get it out of the way.
Another option is to learn the hardest piece first in case you need more time on it before moving on. You can also combine these by learning the hardest piece then the easiest and so on.
Give Yourself Enough Time
If you’re learning piccolo music for a scheduled event, you want to plan your practice ahead of time. Make sure you have enough time to practice the piccolo each day to prepare for your audition, recital, or competition.
On the other hand, maybe you don’t have a set date yet. In that case, you can learn the music you want to, and you can schedule your performance or recording of the final work accordingly.
You don’t need to practice for multiple hours a day to learn piccolo music. But you do need to dedicate enough time between now and when you need to perform the music.
Learning how to choose piccolo music can help you make the most of your practice time. You can learn music that suits your playing style and meets any official requirements you have to follow.
That way, you can learn music you enjoy and that won’t stress you out. And if you want help learning those pieces, check out a piccolo fingering chart to get the notes right!