Inspiring Repertoire for Enrichment

Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces Opus 12 as a Pedagogical Tool


  • Rayna McFeetors University of Alberta



 One of the enduring challenges for piano teachers is selecting appropriate repertoire to enrich a student’s piano education, which has foundations in leveled books. A response to the challenge is to select a collection from a composer’s works to immerse the student in the style and technical demands of that specific composer. In this study, Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces Opus 12 were investigated for their effectiveness as pedagogical tools for intermediate piano students. The analysis included: (1) contextualizing the collection
historically through related literature; (2) identifying primary technical elements to determine an effective pedagogical approach for introducing the specific elements to students; and (3) identifying stylistic features and Norwegian cultural connections to provide meaningful insights for students’ interpretation of the pieces and lead to a set of guiding questions to pose to students. Historically, Grieg’s Lyric Pieces capture the Norwegian spirit by incorporating folkloric elements into classical compositions, and his intention in the compositions was to supply his music school with short, digestible instructional material. The Lyric Pieces are accessible piano pieces that allow students to discover complex technical elements such as melodic nature, varied approaches to the keys (touch), complex rhythms, and ornamentation. They also provide opportunities for students to grow their understanding of stylistic features through the titles and descriptive phrases, as well as connections to Norwegian culture, which allow them to develop their interpretation of the pieces. This study contributes to the professional learning of studio piano teachers and the application of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces in teaching intermediate students.






Fine Arts