Two outstanding publications have been shortlisted in the Best Music Education Resource category at the 2023 Music & Drama Education Awards: HerStory: The Piano Collection from Faber Music author Karen Marshall and The Symphony: From Mannheim to Mahler by Christopher Tarrant and Natalie Wild. 

The Music & Drama Education Awards celebrate the extraordinary contribution made by individuals, companies, charities, schools and other organisations to the lives of others through the medium of these two key performing arts. Winners will be announced on 23 February 2023. 


HerStory: The Piano Collection

HerStory: The Piano Collection is a ground-breaking piano book that presents invaluable repertoire by remarkable female composers across the ages. This important collection is progressively graded, suitable for intermediate to advanced level players (Grades 4-8) and also features a piano duet and an ensemble piece for piano, clarinet, viola and cello.

Published on International Women’s Day 2022, the book is written and compiled by award-winning Faber Music author and piano pedagogue Karen Marshall. Each piece is accompanied by a fascinating educational ‘snapshot’ of the 29 composers, providing invaluable insights into how they lived and composed, alongside quotes from them or about them. In addition, there are suggestions of other pieces to try, personal observations from Karen Marshall and pedagogical activities and ideas. The purpose of this collection is not only to shine a spotlight on pieces and composers that deserve it, but to offer a rich educational resource to piano students and teachers. Many of the composers featured in the book were piano teachers, and their compositions provide an array of techniques, styles and studies that will enrich lessons and practice.

As part of compiling the collection, a competition was launched to include new piano music from a young female composer. Such was the quality of entrants that two pieces were selected for inclusion, by students Margarida Gonçalves and Emily Pedersen. Publishing Director, Lesley Rutherford said: “We’re delighted to include music from two exciting young female composers in this piano collection. Our continued aim is to champion music by female composers and to deepen our commitment to supporting the development of young musicians.” Most of the pieces included have been made available for the first time.

“This vibrant collection of wonderful music from literally every musical period promises to enrich the musical lives of everyone. Female composers have suffered shocking neglect over the centuries, but society is now beginning to make amends. Karen Marshall’s extraordinary anthology brings neglected jewels out of obscurity and into the limelight, where they will be loved and cherished.” Kathryn Page, pianist, adjudicator, teacher and co-founder of Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

“Karen Marshall has done a huge service in further elevating the music with such a wealth of historical research, personal detail, and pedagogic insight, all delivered with her wonderfully personable expertise and infectious enthusiasm.  HerStory will undoubtedly and very deservedly be recognised as one of the most significant music publications of 2022.” March 2022


The Symphony: From Mannheim to Mahler

Written by Christopher Tarrant and Natalie Wild in their first collaboration with Faber Music, this fascinating and accessible guide considers the development of the symphony from a number of different perspectives: analytical, historical, and critical. Exploring important milestones, touchpoints, events, key works, and the composers that surround the genre, it also includes a composer timeline, detailed case studies and comprehensive music examples.

The ‘Development of the Symphony’ is a substantial element of several key stage 5 music syllabuses and this book provides a wonderfully clear starting point for students getting to grips with this area, and for undergraduate music students who can often find the jump to academic texts daunting.

The development of the symphony has traditionally been taught chronologically with a focus on events, pieces, and composers. This limits the scope of how we can teach students to engage critically with the subject and how to draw together contexts, materials and ideas. By moving away from a traditional learning-by-rote approach and a ‘right answer’ mentality, The Symphony presents a fresh and engaging approach that can help teach students not only about the subject matter, but how to approach topics critically and analytically, and equip them for further education.

Christopher Tarrant is Senior Lecturer in Music Analysis at Newcastle University. He teaches and writes about concert music of the long nineteenth century with a special emphasis on theory of form and the Nordic symphony.

Natalie Wild is Director of Research at MiSST. Natalie has taught both GCSE and A-Level Music for many years as Head of Music in various inner-city schools.

“This book is fantastic for anyone studying music theory, history or analysis. I wish there had been a book like this when I was doing A-Level music. It’s really accessible but also comes at the subject from a completely fresh perspective to traditional textbooks.” Sarah Ling, customer, May 2022.

"Tarrant and Wild must be congratulated for providing so lucid and approachable an introduction to a vast subject. Their book can be very highly and warmly commended to music students and enthusiasts everywhere. I would certainly have benefitted from this in my student years…Outstanding!" Andrew Eales, September 2022

"Tarrant and Wild offer a wonderfully clear and accessible introduction to this most creative, innovative, and rewarding of musical genres."
Daniel Grimley, Professor of Music, University of Oxford

"…a fresh and accessible approach to a familiar subject that will deepen the experience of the repertoire for listeners, performers, teachers, and students."
Edward Gardner, Principal Conductor, London Philharmonic Orchestra