(Educational Piano Library). From the very first lessons in Book 1, students are making music as they explore the piano keyboard through fun improvisation pieces called My Own Song . The beginning of the book introduces finger numbers, the black-key and white-key groups, and basic rhythm patterns. Directional reading is taught first by finger number, then by note name, and then by interval (stop, skip, and repeat). Once the students are introduced to the staff, they learn reading guides Bass F and Treble G and read by interval in several different hand positions.
I have yet to find a method that I'm 100% happy with, but this one has served me well with a number of beginners this year. The approach to reading is based on landmarks - bass F and treble G. Students are required to play the same notes with different fingers from piece to piece, and I've had NO trouble this year with students telling me that middle D is called "2," or asking "What position am I supposed to be in?" At the end of a year, all of my students can name the lines and spaces we've used so far. The pieces are interesting to listen to, unlike so many early level pieces, and we have particularly enjoyed the improvisation pages. My students ask to do them over and over, and I have even used them as jumping-off places to do composition projects. My negatives are not about this book at this level per se, but the entire series. I have taught through level 4. First, I think it moves a bit slowly. I often find that I'm skipping pages. Secondly, this method, like so many others, does not offer students enough experience with simple contrapuntal reading for my taste. Thirdly, I wish that it explored other key signatures earlier and more frequently. In general, I like this approach better than many others that I have used.