Volume 3 of the First Piano Book brings students into the intermediate level of piano playing. Unlike in the previous volumes, the music in Volume 3 isn't limited to particular note values or to a narrow range of notes. In this volume, the student will learn to move their hands around the keyboard independently. Part I begins this process with simple two part inventions. Part II adds richer and more varied harmonies with simple "songs" played accompaniment in a melody and chordal style. Part III features three part chorale style piano playing. And in Part IV the hands become truely independent with one hand playing an ostinato while the other hand moves freely around the keyboard.
Part I: Inventions
The sixteen two part inventions in Part I have been written to ease the student out of the beginner stage of piano playing and into the intermediate level. For the most part, these pieces will feature a melody in the right hand and a simple accompaniment in the left. Sometimes the right hand will play the more active part, sometimes the left, and sometimes both hands will be equally active. Through these pieces the student will begin to learn how to move the hands around the keyboard in different ways simultaneously, preparing them for the more challenging "Simple Songs" in Part II.
Part II: Simple Songs
In Part II of Volume 3 the student plays a melody or an arpeggiated chordal accompaniment in one hand while the other plays two note chords. These pieces feature richer and more varied harmonies and span a wider range across the keyboard than previous sets, challenging the student and helping them to develop a greater sense of freedom at the keyboard. The melody and chords alternate between the left and right hands from one piece to the next allowing the student the opportunity to develop both hands equally. The two note chord and melody structure will also help the student to prepare for the three part chorales in Part III.
Part III: Chorales
Part III of Volume 3 features sixteen three voice chorale style piano pieces. In these pieces, the student will play a harmonised melody as a three note chord, where one hand always plays two notes and the other plays one. Like in most of the First Piano Book, the role each hand plays alternates from one piece to the next, ensuring the student has the opportunity to develop both hands equally. These pieces also require more advanced use of the sustain pedal than in previous sets. Working through these pieces, together with those in Part II, will firmly establish the student in the intermediate level of piano playing.
Part IV: Ostinati
The final part of Volume 3 has the student play a continuous repeated pattern (ostinato) in one hand while the other hand plays a melody, or in many cases both a melody and chordal accompaniment. The music in this set has been written to help the student develop greater independent control of the left and right hands. Once again, the role of each hand alternates from one piece to the next, so where the ostinato appears in the left hand in one piece, the next piece will feature the ostinato in the right hand.
The student will likely find many of the pieces in this set quite challenging. These pieces are generally longer and more technically challenging than the music in previous sets. However, if the student has worked through the previous volumes, and Parts I to III of this volume, they should be well prepared to tackle the music in this set. Even within this set there is a range of difficulty and so a careful selection of pieces should allow for a smooth transition from the easiest to the most difficult pieces.