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Dream Echoes by E.L. Lancaster


Dream Echoes is an exceptionally well-written, accessible teaching piece for late-elementary students. The melodic fifths are incredibly comfortable for students, and the fact that the hands never play together at the same time allows for more focus on phrasing, dynamics, and pedaling. The placement of pedal changes on each bass-note downbeat makes this an excellent piece for the early development of legato pedaling.

Those who have taught college-level group piano may recall that this composition is included in Alfred's Group Piano for Adults Book I. This is a winner for older students who crave sophisticated-sounding repertoire at a reduced cost in terms of difficulty.

"Dream Echoes" at a Glance

Level: Late Elementary

Key: G Major (written without key signature)

Tempo: Reflective (quarter = 108)

Hand-size limitations: Broken fifth is the largest interval.

Technical Challenges:

  • Students must be able to use legato pedaling or be prepared to explore legato pedaling for the first time.

  • This piece uses hand crossing and full exploration of the keyboard. Most students handle these crosses well due to the use of repetition and easily recognized patterns.

  • Dream Echoes easily sounds dull and mechanical if teachers and students do not give enough attention to natural phrasing, dynamics, and ritards. Rubato playing should be nurtured more insistently with students who are ready.

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