Composer, arranger and teacher

John Kember

Original music tuition books by John Kember

John Kember

John Kember is truly one of our finest composers who incorporates the interests of the student as well as the pedagogical needs of the teacher in his works.
-- Julia Amada Kruger, Vice-President of the American College of Musicians

Here is a composer and teacher who understands the jazz piano idiom and how to train it positively, thoroughly and progressively
-- John York, 'Piano', July/August 2005.

John has more than 70 currently available publications, published by Faber Music, by Music Sales, by Schott and by Self-published they are available through good music shops or you are very welcome to buy them directly through the website.

The collections

Getting around

There are buttons at the top of each page which will take you back here, or to John's biography, or to a list of publications organised into collections, or to a list organised by instruments. You can also view your shopping basket or see selections of publications of a particular type.

On the left of this page there are thumbnails of some of John's more recent publications. Anywhere you see a thumbnail you can either hover over it for a brief summary, or click for an in-depth page about the publication which includes a sample score and often a sample of reviewers' comments.

On the right there is a small selection from some of these comments. Hover over them for more details.

Where to find us

Go to www.johnkember.com to find details of all these publications and the online ordering facility. The website makes it easy to locate books by instrument and by musical style. Each book is annotated with details of the Grade standard for which it is intended and with descriptions of the content. Most books also include a sample page to allow you to assess whether it is right for your needs.

What they say

“beautifully crafted arrangements of jazz and pop standards ... a gift to anyone who wants to entertain” “John Kember has produced some more beautifully crafted arrangements of jazz and pop standards ... a gift to anyone who wants to entertain, either alone or with others. ... Each is then turned into a characterful piano piece, with plenty of rhythmic variation and syncopation, and some fine examples of bass and inner-part melodies.”
Nancy Litten, 'Piano Professional', Summer 2011

“arrangements true to the originals and compositions beautiful, stylish and delightfully pianistic” “I always send up a quick cheer when I see anything by John Kember, as his arrangements are true to the originals and his compositions beautiful, stylish and delightfully pianistic.”
Fiona Lau, 'Music Teacher', March 2010

“Presented with style, care and panache” “Presented with style, care and panache ... ideal for ensemble work, in school or teaching studio ... an arrangement with real pianistic flair for performace and private indulgance.”
John York, 'Piano' Dec 2009/ Jan 2010

“I love these books. They eclipse any others I have examined because they work. Nothing thin or weak, nothing merely derivative” “two fabulous volumes ... The reason these work so well where others often fall short of expectation is the sheer quality of the arrangements by John Kember. ... I love these books. They eclipse any others I have examined because they work. Nothing thin or weak, nothing merely derivative”
John York, 'Piano' Spring 2009

“practical and original gems that could easily be prepared as part of a concert” “The solos with piano accompaniment that are included at the end of each chapter are practical and original gems that could easily be prepared as part of a concert program. ... This text would be of particular interest to adult players who wish to brush up on their sight-reading skills, and is an excellent resource for teachers who would like to reinforce the reading ability of their students and are looking for a clear and systematic method to accomplish this task.”
Brenda Brenner, 'Strings, October 2007 (USA)

“John Kember is truly one of our finest composers who incorporates the interests of the student as well as the pedagogical needs of the teacher in his works.” “John Kember is truly one of our finest composers who incorporates the interests of the student as well as the pedagogical needs of the teacher in his works.”
Julia Amada Kruger, Vice-President of the American College of Musicians

“Here is a composer and teacher who understands the jazz piano idiom and how to train it positively, thoroughly and progressively” “Here is a composer and teacher who understands the jazz piano idiom and how to train it positively, thoroughly and progressively, starting at about the grade 3 level. His music always feels and sounds great and the 'Plus One' volume also encourages ensemble work, improvisation and a wider experience for the pupil. All styles are covered within the books, big band, gospel, ballad, blues etc and, again, presentation is brilliant.”
John York in 'Piano', July/August 2005

“A brilliant and original collection” “A brilliant and original collection which covers all standard jazz techniques and idioms-swing rhythm, anticipation, syncopation, walking bass-line in blues, rag, jazz waltz and dreamy reflective styles.”
'Piano Journal' (EPTA)

Popular Titles

12 Original Piano Ballads (Music Sales)
12 new jazz piano solos for the intermediate level player.
The pieces in this selection of piano solos are intended to evoke the atmosphere and styles of popular songs from the periods when melody, lyrics and harmonies reached their peak.
In each piece the harmonies need to be understood in order to give a meaningful performance, and to this end chord symbols are included with every piece.

easijazz: 34 easy jazz pieces for solo piano (Music Sales)
This collection of 34 easy pieces for piano solo began as an attempt to make this popular genre available to relative beginners on the piano, and for pianists at primary and intermediate levels.
My wish is that these pieces will enable them to experience the pleasure of playing in an authentic sounding jazz style as soon as possible.
The Pop Piano Player: Isn't She Lovely (Faber)
The Pop Piano Player books aim to to help pianists understand and play a selection of the greatest pop songs so that they are truly 'under their fingers'. The pieces in this book span almost five decades of popular music, representing styles from the 60's to the present day and from musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.
The Pop Piano Player: Mamma Mia (Faber)
The Pop Piano Player books aim to to help pianists understand and play a selection of the greatest pop songs so that they are truly 'under their fingers'. The pieces in this book span almost five decades of popular music, representing styles from the 60's to the present day and from musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.
The Jazz Piano Player: Night And Day (Faber)
An essential resource for all Jazz pianists, featuring 16 jazz standards each presented in two formats: the first including the melodic, lyrics and basic chord structure, ideal for improvisation; the second is a superb arrangement for piano solo suitable for intermediate-level pianists. All songs are in their standard key, enabling pianists to play with other jazz musicians. A free CD features performances of all the piano arrangements, played by John Kember.
The Pop Piano Player: You've Got A Friend (Faber)
The Pop Piano Player books aim to to help pianists understand and play a selection of the greatest pop songs so that they are truly 'under their fingers'. The pieces in this book span almost five decades of popular music, representing styles from the 60's to the present day and from musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.
The Jazz Piano Player: Autumn Leaves (Faber)
An essential resource for all Jazz pianists, featuring 16 jazz standards each presented in two formats: the first including the melodic, lyrics and basic chord structure, ideal for improvisation; the second is a superb arrangement for piano solo suitable for intermediate-level pianists. All songs are in their standard key, enabling pianists to play with other jazz musicians. A free CD features performances of all the piano arrangements, played by John Kember.
The Jazz Piano Player: Stormy Weather (Faber)
An essential resource for all Jazz pianists, featuring 16 jazz standards each presented in two formats: the first including the melodic, lyrics and basic chord structure, ideal for improvisation; the second is a superb arrangement for piano solo suitable for intermediate-level pianists. All songs are in their standard key, enabling pianists to play with other jazz musicians. A free CD features performances of all the piano arrangements, played by John Kember.
Play Broadway: 10 Classic Showstoppers for Piano Solo (Faber)
Broadway is home to some of the best musicals ever written. 'Play Broadway' features 10 of the best shows from across the decades - from classic greats 'Anything Goes' and 'The Sound of Music' to 'Grease', 'Chicago' and 'The Lion King'.
All songs have been carefully arranged for the Intermediate (Grade 3-5) player, with a fun backing CD.
Ragtime - 15 pieces for Piano Solo (Schott)
Fun, rhythmic pieces including rags, two-steps and cakewalks. For grade 3 and above. Ragtime is invaluable in helping to maintain a constant left-hand beat and in developing the independence of hands necessary to keep the right hand free, fluid and accurately syncopated.