Evenly-levelled piano duets are not always the easiest thing to find…especially for beginner piano students. But they can be a fantastic way to bring students together and get them to learn skills like steady pulse and active listening.
Almost all my students are in buddy lessons so they have a built-in duet partner each week. I like every student to have a duet collection as part of their core books and be working on one duet at a time, consistently, alongside their method book or other repertoire.
This means I need a lot of duet books. And I need to understand the sequencing of different evenly-levelled duets so I can plan effectively.
Over the past couple of years I’ve put together a Duet Pathway and I’m here to report back with my favourite and how they fit together so I can save you some time!
‘Contest Winners for Two’ Evenly-Levelled Piano Duets
‘Contest Winners for Two’ is my most recent addition to my duet library that I keep on hand for students and they’re fast becoming my favourite. These books take the best of several different Alfred duets publications and combine them into a fantastic series.
I love the diversity of styles, composers and keys and how satisfying and comfortable they are to play. If you only pick up one set of evenly-levelled piano duets, I recommend these.
Here are two of my students playing ‘Blue Licorice’ from ‘Contest Winners for Two Book 1’ at a recent studio concert.
Quick and important note on these: Book 1 is harder than book 1 of the two other series I’ve linked in this post, even though they’re also published by Alfred. For an easy way to figure out and balance the levels, download my Duet Pathway below.
‘Grand Duets for Piano’ Evenly-Levelled Piano Duets
‘Grand Duets for Piano‘ is probably a very close second favourite of the evenly-levelled piano duets series I keep in my studio. One of the best things about these is that they start super easy. Many older students could use them right from the get-go.
The only thing I don’t love about the beginning books is that they’re in middle C position. But hey, it’s great music so I’m happy to work with that!
Here are two of my students playing ‘Palamino Gallop’ from ‘Grand Duets for Piano Book 2’.
‘Famous and Fun’ Evenly-Levelled Piano Duets
There are two different sets of these books, ‘Famous and Fun Duets’ which are mostly classical themes and ‘Famous and Fun Pop Duets’ which include older pop songs and movie themes.
These books also start in middle C position but the progression of reading as you move through the levels is slightly gentler than ‘Grand Duets for Piano’.
Remember you can download my handy reference sheet to see the level correlation. Just enter your details in this box and I’ll send it over!
‘Classics for Two’ Evenly-Levelled Piano Duets
There are many wonderful evenly-levelled piano duets on the Piano Pronto site and if you’re just looking for one at a time I recommend checking out the full collection.
However, I prefer to stick to books for my piano buddies and there are just a few that are in collections. The ‘Classics for Two’ books are a great option for intermediate piano students. The arrangements are rich and fun and it’s a great springboard for looking up the original pieces and starting a discussion about them.
‘Double Trouble’ Evenly-Levelled Piano Duets
I love absolutely everything by Stacy Fahrion with her unique “whimsically macabre” style. If you have a couple of advanced students working together or would like to explore some duets yourself with a student you should grab a copy of ‘Double Trouble’.
Download the Duet Pathway
I’ve put together a pathway through my favourite duet books as a handy reference for you. Make sure to grab a copy!
Subscribe to updates and get Duet Pathway
Enter your details to subscribe to the newsletter for piano teachers with information, tips and offers.
I hate spam as much as you do! I'll only send you information that's directly relevant to music teachers and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Are you a member of Vibrant Music Teaching? Click here to go straight to the Duet Pathway.
What are your favourite duets for piano students?
What have I missed? I’m sure there are plenty out there that I’m not aware of so hit me up with your best recommendations in the comments. 😀
7 thoughts on “The Best Evenly-Levelled Piano Duets for Piano Students”
I’m just starting duets between students this year and can’t wait for the parents to hear them at the next recital.
Just now I’ve got Pianoworks duets book 1 and 2, Jazz Americana for 2 book 1 and Afro-carribean for 6 hands at one piano.
First & foremost i want to thank you for your teaching insights….I have just recently been able to spend a few moments listening to some of your podcasts & they have inspired me greatly! Duets….several years ago I had several sibling pairs taking lessons so for the end-of-the-year recital i decided to have the siblings play duets. Long story-short…..World War 3 in almost EVERY house! I vowed that would never happen again. I have FRIENDS come to me & ask if they could do duets…..so ONLY if it’s student requested. Most recently was my last recital where one of my newest & SHYEST students wanted to play a particular piece with one of his best buds who happens to be upwards of 3 years older & has been taking lessons for at least 2 years. So they each played the same notes TOGETHER. It made me so happy to see the smile on the little guy’s face to have played with his best friend…..truth is, I really thought his shyness would keep him from playing at all!! It was precious….I will be checking into these evenly-leveled duets & hoping to snag a few students to try them!
Here’s how you prevent sibling WW3: You need to have several sessions at your studio where you work with them both on putting it together. You can direct the practice and also ask questions to help them become more self-directed over time. Duet playing is a whole other skill and they will need help to develop it or it’s very frustrating for them!
Thank you very much for your newsletter and it’s great content.
Do you buy all these books for yourself and make photocopies for your students, or you’re having each student buying the same duet book as their buddy’s, each one has the same book? It seems a lot to buy for myself!
I buy all my books for my students as I have all-inclusive fees. So, yes, each buddy has their own duet book. (Very handy for avoiding page turns too!)
Do you have any suggestions for Christmas duets?! These ones look wonderful
Yes! I’ve just found a few that we’re using this year:
– Christmas Together from Piano Pronto https://pianopronto.com/songbooks/holiday-songbooks/christmas-together/
– Duettime (3 levels) from Piano Adventures https://pianoadventures.com/browse/libraries/pretime-to-bigtime/libraries-supplementary-works-duettime-piano/