Greg Fortier at Split Rock Falls

I have been using your book with a student for several months now with a girl just turning 10 whom I’ve been working with for about a year and a half. We love it. The poems set to music are lovely. And though they look simple, there is so much musicality in them! Anya is the kind of student who wants to know everything about everything, so the page before each song is just great for her and me. She has a five-year-old sister who loves to hear her play.

Gwen Steiding-Cerasoli
Piano Teacher

Debbie composed a truly lovely song as a gift for my daughter’s birth. The song is based on A fairy Went a-Marketing. My daughter absolutely loves it. It is so wonderful for her imagination – she can make the connection between the beautiful words of the poetry, the beautiful images of the book, and the beautiful sounds of Debbie’s music. My daughter is now 2 years old and we enjoy singing and playing Debbie’s composition together. Those are very sweet and tender moments. Thank you Debbie! We are both very grateful for your talent. 

Audrey Abela, Concert Pianist, Piano Teacher, Founder & Director of Opus One Music School
October 25, 2021

I have played Split Rock Falls in “Proodles” and loved it. It was simple, yet so satisfying to learn. As a 14-year-old pianist who has been playing piano for 2 years, I am so happy to have this piece in my repertoire. Not only do I enjoy playing Split Rock Falls, but it is also one of my parents’ favorite pieces that I play.

Thank you, Emmet
June 24, 2021

Proodles’ is a delightful and diverse collection of piano pieces for young students by composer-pianist Deborah Fortier. The book starts at beginner level, gradually advancing to an intermediate section. ‘Proodles’ is an excellent resource for teachers, since it combines beneficial technical elements with appealing melodies and a variety of moods. Students I have worked with truly enjoy these pieces, and often choose to play them in recitals.

Sarah Fraley, piano teacher
June 28, 2021

Debby Fortier does it all: she is a teacher and a composer, and the inventor of a music curriculum which can be compared to a tide pool in which sea creatures and water are separate yet pulse as one. As does Fortier’s composing, playing and teaching.

Her creativity and skill in both languages, poetry and music, make learning to play the piano more than learning to play the piano.

I happily note, also, that Fortier’s talents and accomplishments as a concert pianist and composer are, like her teaching, distinguished and connected to each other and to who she is.

David Swanger, Poet

I admire the music of Deborah Swanger Fortier and today I write about her Sweet Lament. This very touching piece easily engages students’ feelings, imagination, and attention. The entire piece has a lovely — to me, Iberian– flow to it thanks to the repeated notes in the accompaniment. I find the A section’s melody wistful and so beautiful in its simplicity. The B section pumps the blood just enough to create contrast to the surrounding A section. A wonderful composition both to listen to and to play!

Diana Wan, Piano Teacher, New York City

Dream Waltz is a gorgeous musical gem that beautifully emanates the dream state. The opening melody is both tender and captivating, and it organically unfolds in a way that feels so natural. Throughout the work, there are gentle surprises with the underpinning harmonies — like a dream — where we find ourselves in a new place without preparation, and yet, it feels so right. The work is indeed artistically rewarding and very comfortable to play.
Split Rock Falls Unleashed is a masterpiece, where tonality is uniquely fresh, particularly with the use of the Dorian and Lydian modes — those wonderful, rarely-heard modes that exist just outside of Major and Minor. The work is exciting throughout, as it seems to evoke much of nature’s turbulence. There is also a great physical benefit for pianists not quite ready to tackle the Etudes of Chopin or Liszt, and there also exists a certain Ballade-like quality — meaning that the work really tells a compelling story.

Christopher Johnson, Concert Pianist, Juilliard graduate, Private Piano Teacher, Arranger