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Songbook Review: After the Storm
Michele McLaughlin
Cover image of the songbook After the Storm by Michele McLaughlin
After the Storm
Michele McLaughlin
2011 / Michele McLaughlin
16 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
After the Storm is the companion songbook to Michele McLaughlin’s 2005 solo piano CD by the same name. All sixteen pieces from the album are included, expertly transcribed note-for-note by John Zechiel and David Shenton. This collection has a nice variety of emotions conveyed in the music, from light-hearted and joyful to very dark. There is also a good range of playing levels, allowing less-advanced pianists to start with something quite easy and work their way into the somewhat more challenging pieces (none are what I would classify as difficult). The notation is clear and easy to read, and the steady left-hand rhythms simplify the timing. As fun to play as they are to listen to, the songs in this book will bring many hours of playing enjoyment to pianists of upper-intermediate to early advanced skills. There are several passages that are played in octaves, but there are no reaches that are more than an octave. Some of my favorite pieces to play are “The Lonely Ballerina,” “Coming Home,” “After the Storm,” “Playtime at the Park,” and “Return to Camelot.” All of Michele’s sheet music and songbooks can be found on michelemclaughlin.com.

Below is a list of the songs in the book, listed in the order they appear on the CD. I have included the key signatures and how many sharps and flats are in those keys, the level of difficulty on a scale of 1-5 compared to Michele’s other pieces (with 1 being the easiest and 5 the most advanced), and the number of pages.

Please Don’t Go - Key of Db (5 flats) - level 4 - 4 pages
Chasing Butterflies - Key of C (no sharps or flats) - level 3 - 3 pages
The Lonely Ballerina - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - level 4 - 3 pages
Sunset in Sintra - Key of F# ( 6 sharps) - level 4 - 4 pages
Coming Home - Key of C minor (3 flats), Bb minor (5 flats) - level 4 - 4 pages
A Day With Dad - Key of C - level 3 - 4 pages
I Love You - Key of C - level 4 - 3 pages
What You Mean To Me - Key of C minor - level 3 - 3 pages
Farewell - Key of C minor - level 3 - 4 pages
After the Storm - Key of C minor - level 3 - 5 pages
Playtime At the Park - Key of C - level 4 - 5 pages
Moonrise - Key of A minor - level 2 - 3 pages
Swimming With Turtles - Key of C - level 3 - 4 pages
Return to Camelot - Key of F minor (4 flats) - level 3 - 4 pages
Dance of the Dragonfly - Key of C minor - level 4 - 5 pages
What You Mean To Me - Key of C minor - level 3 - 3 pages
Scarborough Fair - Key of A minor - level 2 - 3 pages
September 7, 2011
More reviews of Michele McLaughlin songbooks
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2017