As promised, my thoughts on the grade 1 AB compilation book.
A1 : Suis mon conducteur (Beyer)
I think this is a pleasant enough piece. C major, so an easy key, and lots of repetition. Phrases often start 'mid-bar', and my guess is that examiners will pick up on this. Piano accompaniment looks easy enough.
A2 : Andante (Haydn)
One of the easiest looking grade 1 pieces I've seen, in my opinion. Not sure it's the most exciting grade 1 piece in the world (I prefer A1 and A3 to this one), but my suspicion is that many people will choose this to play. Again, it's C major, so no sharps/flats to worry about. Not as much repetition as the Beyer. This not very good pianist thinks the accompaniment to this is more difficult than either of the other two A list pieces, so it'll need practice.
A3 : Shepherd's Hey (Trad., arr Davies/Reade)
Very well known piece, C major, and in 2/2 time. I think it should feel like it's in 2 rather than 4, so pupils, in my opinion, ought to feel comfortable counting in minim beats in order to accomplish this piece. Some staccato quavers here, and they're quite quick for grade 1, so even though I wouldn't make the staccato TOO short, a sound tonguing technique is definitely required here. There's a DS that must be observed here. There's also a couple of accented notes for good measure. I think examiners will be looking for all these articulation nuances, so it may not be the easiest piece here. However, I think it's the nicest of the three A list pieces here, and the piano part isn't too bad to manage.
B1 : Fidget Pie (Rory Boyle)
2008 sees the return of pieces from 'Food for Thought' to the AB list. I've always liked these pieces, and 'Fidget Pie' is no exception. C major, but B flats appear in the second half. A pleasant, bouncy tune, with some nimble fingerwork required in places. Piano part is two bass clef staves, but it isn't, in my opinion, that hard at all.
B2 : How Graceful (Norton)
..... from the popular Microjazz series. A very nice 'waltzy' piece, that needs to be smoothly played. C major yet again! A 'poco rit.' towards the end adds a little technicality to the piece, otherwise, this moves along relatively predictably, with no major rhythm issues. Piano part to me isn't particularly easy.
B3 : Funeral March (Mahler)
I like this 'Frere Jacques'-esque piece. Plenty of repetition, and I think it's a good option. D minor, and this piece stretches up to the throat B flat, and has some dotted rhythms. Of the three B list pieces here, I think this may end up being most popular. Piano part isn't too bad to get your fingers round.
C1 : Study in F (Demnitz)
A very traditional-sounding study, and it's not slow in speed, so some nimbleness is again required. F major, one throat B flat, one B natural to negotiate. It's not my favourite Demnitz, but I think it's OK enough.
C2 : Jumpin' (Rae)
My favourite of the three C list pieces here. Pupils will need to know about swing quavers here, it needs to be swung. There are also some tied notes, so plenty of rhythmic issues to think about, and also plenty of articulation to consider. I think many people will find this a good fun option though. C major, with one token F sharp.
C3 : En lo alto de aquella montana (Trad. Spanish, arr. Lewin)
3/8 time, so anyone trying this will have to be happy with this comparatively unusual (for grade 1) time signature. There's also some quick tonguing needed here, plenty of articulation issues to consider, and lots of dynamic contrasts. Key is C major. A good piece, but I have a feeling most people will go for C1 or 2 rather than this, I think 3/8 may scare some people off.
Now, over to all of you!