This is a wonderful piece for introducing students to a lot of chromatics. Different hand positions, as well as parallel and contrary motion sections, are explored. This is also a good chance for increasing the speed of the learning process by noting repeated patterns. Additionally, the dynamics that Bartók includes follow the contour of the melody, which may also be a new concept for younger students. One needs to keep the pulse very steady to give a compelling performance.
Mikrokosmos is available through Boosey and Hawkes.
Caroline Krause, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates Fellow