The other two pieces are delightful in the classical song-and-dance tradition. A1 will be easier to control for the youngest as there is little to challenge hand position. This one will be a good exercise in breathing with the phrases too and maintaining a constant pulse. A2 I think is the trickiest piece in the section, as pupils need to understand how the dance actually feels before choosing the preferred articulation for the phrasing - to slur and where to slur, that is the question. Fingering is also a challenge in this piece.
The B list is always my favourite section, because of the potential for drawing/illustrating stories - so important in order to bring these pieces to life and focus attention in performance. I often invite pupils to write their own short outline to the piece after I have played it. In B1, when is the rocking-horse moving forwards/backwards or pushing on/slowing down? Metre and tonal awareness to think about in this one! Lots of swirling and fluttering to look forward to in B2; I really like the warmth of the relative major section that colours the leaves in one long phrase. B3 is my favourite, because of the way the pastoral voice is interspersed with the birdsong - this is a must for a painting/drawing and the ending is lovely for 'capturing' the scene...
Although Duro's 'Calypso Joe' for C2 is always a favourite to play from Finger Jogging Boogie, I can't think of any of my beginner pupils who won't want to tackle The Giant's Coming, C1, instead - it's so very 'silent movie' music. The ending is quite comical and Shrek-like in bar 15, as if everyone has cleared off and he's left shrugging his shoulders! They'll love it. It will pose some rhythmic and fingering challenges, I think. Putting words to sections is going to be the order of the day there, too. C3 presents opportunities for light wrist staccato. Bars 6 - 9 are going to be the challenge with different articulation between the hands.
If I had my time over, what would my programme be from ABRSM Grade 1 Selected pieces?
A3. The Lincolnshire Poacher B3. El cant dels ocells C. The Giant's Coming
Coming next - Grade 2.