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Songbook Review: Canvas of My Heart
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the songbook Canvas of My Heart by James Michael Stevens
Canvas of My Heart
James Michael Stevens
2021 / James M Stevens Music
43 pages / 14 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Canvas of My Heart songbook
James Michael Stevens
2020 / James M Stevens Music
14 songs / 43 pages

James Michael Stevens' Canvas of My Heart solo piano songbook is the companion sheet music collection for his 2021 solo piano album by the same name. All fourteen pieces from the recording are included, composed and notated by Stevens himself. There is much for pianists of any age group and most playing levels to enjoy in this collection as the pieces are easy to relate to, are each three pages long, and none of them are difficult. All fourteen pieces are gentle, peaceful and romantic. All of the scores are well-spaced and easy to read. Phrasing, dynamics, metronome settings, and expression markings are all clear and easy to understand. There are no reaches of more than an octave. Stevens prefers emotional expression over fancy finger work and a lot of flash, making this songbook a really nice one to relax with and enjoy.

James Michael Stevens is the Chairman of the Music Department at Welch College in Tennessee and is a music educator himself, so his sheet music is well-structured and very suitable for teaching as well as for personal enjoyment. It is interesting to note that many of the composers I review record their music and then write it out (or hire someone else to do so), but Stevens writes his music out first and records the music while playing it from the scores.

The Canvas of My Heart songbook is available to download from SheetMusicPlus.com.

The titles of the pieces and the key(s) they are in are as follows. All of the pieces are three pages or a little less:

Red Rose of Winter - Key of G (1 sharp)
Canvas of My Heart - Key of D minor (1 flat)/ D major (2 sharps)
Morning Quietness - Key of Bb (2 flats)
Reflection at Birch Lake - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats)
Sails in a Philippine Sunset - Key of A (3 sharps)
Somewhere In Your Eyes - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)
Journey - Key of D minor (1 flat)
Lost in a Dream of a Winter's Night - Key of B minor (2 sharps)
Silent Daisies - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)
Serenade Amore - Key of Bb (2 flats)
Winter Arioso - Key of E (4 sharps)/ C (0 sharps or flats)
Look Far Beyond the Sea - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)
Lost in the Clouds - Key of F (1 flat)
Sunsets in the Sky - Key of Eb (3 flats)
March 15, 2021
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