My piano solo "Toccatina" was commissioned by Linda Kennedy from Maumelle, Arkansas as part of her continuing commissioning project that has helped to create an outstanding body of work by many talented American composers. This work had the honor of being the very first work commissioned by her outstanding program. Toccatina was written during my time as a magnet school teacher in the Dallas Public Schools. This time began my many patterned pieces that were the building blocks to much of my later pedagogical works.
While working with classes of children who did not possess instruments to practice with in their homes, I developed a method of teaching that was built on musical growth "from one lesson to the other". Much rote teaching was required along with techniques such as alternating of hands and focusing on comfortable intervals of fifths and sixths that allowed for the students to immediately develop a sound that was full of energy and covering the keyboard at a very early age. Toccatina is a study of articulations and toccata-like textures that allow for an expansive sound while giving the student an opportunity to study touch techniques such as accents and staccato playing at a furious pace. It is truly a showpiece and has always held the place in my writing as the most advanced patterned piano solo of my body of work. It is definitely one of my most popular works for solo piano and continues to be performed frequently in many unique venues.
(pictured below is Audrey performing "Toccatina"
with much energy and conviction)