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Songbook Review: Piano For the Soul
Gary Schmidt
Cover image of the songbook Piano For the Soul by Gary Schmidt
Piano For the Soul
Gary Schmidt
2018 / CreateSpace Independent Publishing
23 pages / 68 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Piano For the Soul is a solo piano sheet music book that includes all of the original scores from Gary Schmidt’s 2016 release, Landscapes of the Heart (11), and his 2018 Even For a Moment (12), a total of twenty-three pieces. (Both albums include two classical pieces each, and those are not in the book.) Many of the recorded pieces have additional instrumentation, so those will obviously not sound exactly like the recordings, but those pieces still sound good and are fun to play. The subtitle for the book is “Relaxing and Meditative Piano Solos” and Gary’s life mission is “enhancing life thru music,” so those two phrases should give you a good idea of the focus and overall mood of this collection.

Most of the pieces in the book are quite easy, and pianists at an upper-intermediate level and above should have little trouble with them. Some pieces have minor rhythmic challenges, but are easy to count out. A few have reaches of more than an octave, but the pianist can either roll those chords or, when possible, play the top or bottom note with the other hand. The spacing in the scores is roomy and easy to read. The playing instructions and dynamics are clear and most of the pieces have the phrasing marked. Pedaling suggestions and occasional fingering are also in there. My only problem with the book is the “perfect” binding, which is often difficult to keep open on the piano. Piano For the Soul is available from www.apianist.com and Amazon.

The song titles, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are:

The Beauty We Love - Key of D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
When the Silence Speaks - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 1 page
Reaching Into Romance - Key of F (1 flat) - 2 pages
Waltz in Two/Four - Key of A (3 sharps) - 1 page
A Blanket of White - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 2 pages
You Already Have Wings - Key of D (2 sharps) - 2 pages
Restless - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 2 pages
A Dawn I Remember - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 2 pages
This New Day - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 4 pages
Between Two Worlds - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 4 pages
Solus - Key of C minor/ Eb (3 flats) - 2 pages
If This Is the Time - Key of C - 2 pages
Inside This River - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) / Db (5 flats) / C# minor (4 sharps) - 5 pages
Face That Lights My Face - Key of F (1 flat) - 4 pages
A Train Leaves the City - Key of F (1 flat) - 2 pages
The Breath at Dawn - Key of Eb minor (6 flats) - 3 pages
Even For A Moment - Key of B minor/D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Sub Tide - Key of Eb minor (6 flats) - 2 pages
Simply By Looking - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 2 pages
Crescent Light - Key of D (2 sharps) - 2 pages
The Light Seems to Move - Key of Ab/ F minor (4 flats) - 5 pages
No Better Gift - Key of G (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Postlude to a Moment - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 2 pages
October 11, 2018