Trinity Initial Piano

Trinity Initial Piano

This article is all about the pieces in the Trinity Grade Initial Piano syllabus for 2021 – 2023. Personally, I love this syllabus. It’s got a little bit of everything: chihuahuas, boxing and even some magic. You can browse through all the pieces and choose the ones you like best. To do your initial piano exam, you will need to prepare three contrasting pieces from the list. This post is similar to others that deal with higher grades.

How do I get the initial piano sheet music?

The pieces in the initial piano syllabus are under copyright, so you won’t find them here. You can buy all Trinity syllabus books here. You’ll need to buy the original to take your exam. You will also need the book the get the most out of this article.

Old German Dance

Trinity Initial Piano: Old German Dance

The initial piano book starts off with an Old German Dance by Michael Praetorius. He was a composer of dances and hymns. While he’s not very well known today, he was quite famous in his own day. This is a bright, sunny piece that would kick off your exam program with energy and finesse. Learn more about the piece and the composer below:

Learn about the Piece

The composer of this piece was a rather popular fellow. He was a skilled musician and he wrote a lot of music. One of his most famous works is Terpsichore, named for an Ancient Greek spirit of dance. As you can imagine, he liked to dance. For this piece, it’s important that you think of it as a dance. This is how you will give it the life it needs. At bar 9, the right and left hands begin an alternating pattern; imagine the girls stomping their feet, followed by the boys stomping theirs.

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Old German Dance

Allegretto

Trinity Initial Piano: Allegretto

Allegretto: “little Allegro” – lively, but not in a great rush. This piece is an opportunity to show off dynamics (how well you can change between playing loudly and playing softly). Open the tabs below to learn more:

Learn about the Piece

This piece is warm, happy and bright. To really play it well, you must feel the difference between crotchets and quavers. For the first two lines, you will notice that there is a pattern: crotchets and then quavers. Your hand can stay in one position all the way up to bar 8, with your thumb at G and your fifth finger D. After that, the piece changes. Now, we have shorter phrases and our thumb must move down to F. Focus on making the piece sound light, effortless and agile.

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Allegretto

Summer Swing

Trinity Initial Piano: Summer Swing

The third piece in the initial piano syllabus is Summer Swing. To play this piece well, you’ll need to know how to feel a dotted rhythm and play chords in the left hand. If you feel like something lazy, fun, laid back, check out the boxes below:

Learn about the Piece

This piece is in G major. We can tell this is the case because we have a sharp in the key signature: F sharp. Wherever you see an F, play F sharp. The left hand plays chords or sustained notes all the way, with the right hand taking the melody. You’ll notice the dotted rhythm: the little dot to the right of the crotchet tells you to make it a little longer. Every now and then, a C sharp pops up, so be careful!

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Summer Swing

March Time

Trinity Initial Piano: March Time

Let’s get marching! This one is all about articulation, which refers to the way you play notes. You can either play smoothly, or choppily. There are fancy Italian words for all these things, which you can learn here:

Learn about the Piece

The march starts off with some brisk staccato notes. These are indicated by little dots above the notes. The composer is telling us to play these notes with a bit of a bounce in the wrist. This alternates with the legato notes, the ones that have a curved line over them. These must be played in the opposite way: smoothly and without leaving the keyboard. Beware the B flat towards the end!

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: March Time

The Giant

Trinity Initial Piano: the Giant

This one is eerie, ominous, a little bit scary. We hear a giant stomping in the distance. The piece is in a minor key and we have to play some strange chords that give it an unsettling feeling. If you want to play something a little bit different for your exam, this one is a good choice. Learn how to play it below:

Learn about the Piece

The piece is in the key of e minor. This means that we must play an F sharp throughout, as the key signature tells us. It’s also character-driven. You must think of a giant while playing it. Some of the notes have a tenuto, a short horizontal line above or below the note head. This tells us to really lean into the note, like the plodding footsteps of a giant.

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: The Giant

Into the Distance

Trinity Initial Piano: Into the Distance

This piece is all about traveling, moving far away. There’s a dialogue between the two hands, especially towards the end, where they take turns playing short minor scales. Click the tabs below to find out more:

Learn about the Piece

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Into the Distance

Boogie

Trinity Initial Piano: Boogie

I’m sure you love to dance: here’s your chance! This initial piano piece is fun and catchy. It’s also surprisingly easy. If you need something bright and upbeat in your exam program, consider this one:

Learn about the Piece

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Boogie

Echo Dance

One of the skills you need to develop for initial piano grade exams is coordination. This means your ability to do more than one thing at the same time, with the left and right hands. This piece will really show off your coordination, as the two hands are having a kind of conversation together.

Learn about the Piece

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Echo Dance

Please Stay, Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are cheeky. They’re also very cute. This piece captures their quirky, choppy movements perfectly. It’s also a duet, which means you have to pay close attention to rhythm. Check it out below:

Learn about the Piece

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Please Stay, Chihuahua

Merlin’s Incantation

Trinity Initial Piano: Merlin's Incantation

This one is my personal favourite in the initial piano syllabus. It’s a quirky, clever take on the great wizard. It’s full of sharps and flats and interesting sound effects. Click the tabs to learn more:

Learn about the Piece

It’s not often that we get to portray a great mythological figure like Merlin. To achieve a mystical, magical atmosphere, the composer has used chromatic effects. A chromatic scale is a scale in which we play the black and white keys one after the other. This creates an eerie or even jumpy kind of sound. You’ll notice there are plenty of sharp and flat symbols in this piece. We call these accidentals. Pay careful attention to these and ensure that you know exactly which note the composer wants at each point. Towards the end there are notes marked by tenuto. This is shown by short horizontal lines. With this marking the composer tells us to hold on to each note and give it some emphasis, like the peeling of a distant bell…

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Merlin’s Incantation

Kindergarten Blues

For this piece we are going back to Kindergarten to play some quirky chords. For this piece, you have to count precisely and play strong accents where indicated. It’s a little tricker than it sounds!

Learn about the Piece

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Kindergarten Blues

Muay Thai

This initial piano piece sounds like something from an old video game. It’s choppy, accented and flashy. It’s the perfect way to finish your exam program with a bang!

Learn about the Piece

Muay Thai is a martial art. It’s a style of boxing from Thailand. This piece should give us the feeling of watching a boxing match. It begins with steady crotchet beats in the left hand, and agile scales in the right. The first part ends at bar 8 with some decisive staccato notes. After that, at bar 9, there’s a new idea. It’s a fortissimo, which means you must play as loud as you can. You must also play the rhythm precisely. Make sure that you haven’t played too loud up to this point; you want it to stand out. At the end you have a ritardando, which means you must slow down towards the end, as the match winds down to a close.

Watch the Video!
Trinity Initial Piano: Muay Thai

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: