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Songbook Review: January
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the songbook January by James Michael Stevens
James Michael Stevens
2021 / James M Stevens Music
61 pages / 20 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
January is the companion sheet music book for James Michael Stevens' 2021 solo piano recording by the same name. All twenty pieces from the recording are included and were notated by the composer. Much of the music in this collection is quiet and pensive, reflecting the more contemplative moods and the quiet stillness of winter. Most of the music is on the slower side and none of the pieces are difficult to play. There are no complicated rhythms or key signatures and none of the pieces are longer than three pages. I would think that many adult and teen piano students would love learning this music for their lessons as the pieces are expressive without being overly long or challenging and yet they sound rich and full. James Michael Stevens is the Head of the Music Department at Welch College in Tennessee and is a music educator himself, so the music is well-structured and very suitable for teaching as well as for personal enjoyment.

The songbook and individual pieces are available to download from SheetMusicPlus.com. Recommended!

The song titles and the key(s) they are in are listed below. All of the pieces are three pages:

In Dreams of Love - Key of D (2 sharps)
Winter Blues in a Colorado Sky - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)
Romantic Prelude in E Minor (1 sharp)
Mirror Lake - Key of A Minor (0 sharps or flats)
Simple Dreams - Key of Bb (2 flats)
Quiet Reflection - Key of D Minor (1 flat)
Edge of Darkness - Key of A Minor (0 sharps or flats)
Prayer of Devotion - Key of Bb (2 flats)
Follow Your Heart - Key of Eb (3 flats)
Painted Skies in a Sea of Dreams - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)
Forbidden Cavern - Key of A Minor (0 sharps or flats)
Night of the Full Moon - Key of A Minor (0 sharps or flats)
Peaceful Sunrise (Key of D (2 sharps)
Sea of Gray - Key of E Minor (1 sharp)
Mind Minimum - Key of A Minor (0 sharps or flats)
Simple Paths - Key of Bb (2 flats)
It's No Small Thing - Key of A Minor (0 sharps or flats)
Reflections at Orange Beach - Key of F (1 flat)
When Evening Falls - Key of C Minor (3 flats)
Softly in My Prayers - Key of D (2 sharps)
March 3, 2021
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