Customer Reviews: John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 1
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on February 8, 2006
This is the best beginners book. I have tried different methods with my students, so far this one works best as for introducing notes on the staff from bass clef F to treble G. This book introduces note at the staff one at a time and works on both clefs from the beginning. It starts with middle C in treble clef and bass clef in whole, half, and quarter notes. Then students learn D and B, and time signature 4/4, 3/4, 2/4. Then it introduces E (treble), A (bass), F (treble), G (bass), G (treble) and F (bass). Includes read aloud and writing exercises. If the students do these exercises they will have good reading skill. Highly recommended.
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on February 9, 2011
I'm a piano teacher, and I love this book! I find that students as young as 5 or 6 can understand it, and my 3 and 4 year olds are usually ready for this book after a few months of preparatory "games." I use this for all my beginners who are teenagers or younger (teenagers usually don't appreciate the "monster" characters, but they get over it). I'm also thinking about starting all new adult beginners with this book, since I haven't found an adult book I like as well. Many other books start with "pre-reading" songs, which use note symbols combined with finger numbers, then move to note symbols with letter names, then finally to notes on a staff. This book uses the "begin the way you intend to continue" theory, and starts students off reading notes on the staff right away instead of confusing them by making them learn 3 different systems of notation. Other books also teach "position playing," where students may learn to read notes in C position, then notes in G position, then F position, and so on. The danger of position playing is that students just learn to recognize patterns, and some of my transfer students who had used this method can't play anything unless they are first told where to put their hands. Part One of this John Thompson series stays in one position, but right away in Part Two they have to start learning new notes and moving their hands around, so if they can't read the notes they can't play the song. I love how Part One introduces one note at a time, and simplifies the first song that uses a new note or concept, so students truly learn all of the notes and concepts but aren't overwhelmed. There are a few things I don't like about this series. Part One is very good, and I can't complain too much about it--the first few songs are very boring without the CD, but I can't find any way to make them more interesting without also making it more difficult. Part Two introduces eighth notes too early for many students, and key signatures are introduced right after sharps and flats, which confuses most students. Part Three introduces new notes early in the book, but then doesn't use them in any of the songs that follow. Overall though, it's a great series and I intend to keep using if for all of my future beginners.
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on July 30, 2010
I've been taking Piano lessons since the beginning of this year. This was the the book my Piano Teacher started me on. I'm an adult who knew nothing and I mean ABSOLUTELY nothing about the Piano.

I knew nothing about where the Middle C is on the Piano or how many notes there are on the Piano. This book taught me how to read the all the notes and how to play them and very quickly too!!!

Did I feel silly learning from this book??? No way... I wanted to learn how to play the Piano and this book got me started.

It's been 7 months and I'm playing pretty good.

Granted I'm no Liberace... but hey I don't mind. I'm having a BLAST!!! :[]

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to play the piano for the very first time.
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on June 29, 2006
This book is wonderful to begin teaching young children the rudiments of piano playing. The children are most excited when they have to play their parts while I play the accompaniment. These 'duet' sessions have generated much joy, laughter and fun, which is what music should be to children.

If your child requires more challenging work, I would suggest using this book in tandem with another book like from Michael Aaron's series or John Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play".
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on April 20, 2009
I just started my 6 year old (first time teaching for me) in this book. I think it's easy to teach from for someone who has never taught piano lessons before. I couldn't decide between this and another John Thompson book (Teaching little fingers to play), so I ordered both. This one is definitely slower moving for younger kids ("easiest"). I chose to use this one. (My adult brother is using the other book to learn.) :)
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on August 25, 2011
I am a parent who does not have much musical background or education. My daughter, age 10, learns piano and this book is prescribed for her. I find that it is very hard to do the exercises in the book because they need the parent/teacher to play along an "accompaniment" --- which is fine if the parent already has that ability! If, like myself, the parent is a musical novice, then no accompaniment is possible, and the exercises become deadly boring, and it is hard for the child to see the motivation or even have fun at all.

Now I was hoping this book came with a play-along CD, and there are symbols through out the book alluding to an accompanying CD. But mine didn't come with a CD. No help on the web either --- no accompaniments to this book available on any web-site I could find.

So if you are a parent or a teacher with good musical talent then by all means follow the five-star reviews. If you are in my boat --- a musical novice whose child is learning music --- then I would suggest the Suzuki book on piano.
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on February 27, 2007
I love it. Students learn the notes one-by-one in songs with duet accompaniment. There are work pages to do along with songs to play. The book is colorful and fun to look at. The progression moves along slowly so that each concept is learned; while at the same time students are playing songs each week and feeling much success. I like it a lot better then the old Thompson series.
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on August 8, 2007
I've been teaching my 5-year-old to play and she has progressed quickly using this book. I've been playing since I was 4 myself, but I haven't taught music to anyone. This has been easy to use and I like that it comes with accompaniments to each piece that I can play with her. It references a CD, but mine didn't come with one.
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on September 28, 2015
This book is an easier version of Teaching Little Fingers to Play: A Book for the Earliest Beginner (John Thompsons Modern Course for The Piano). I bought both of them as I wasn't sure which would be more suitable for my daughters (8 & 7 y.o) to begin with. This was definitely where they needed to start. It teaches you the absolute core basics of piano and reading notes. This may not be ideal for adult beginners as you would find it way to easy. For my little girls however, they responded very well. There are accompaniments on each page, so you can play along and make it more a group activity than just a lesson, but the accompaniments to me are not so easy to play. (I can play very simple/very easy scores) and they are tiny. (see pic). There are colorful pictures of monsters, but they don't seem to distract my girls. I'd recommend this for the little ones.
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on February 29, 2008
I keep this book and its sequel on my piano. Recently a friend came over with her 4 year-old daughter and started playing the lessons in the book. The two of them were able to make significant progress in about 30 minutes.

I am using the activities to jump start my toddler's music exposure. She enjoys the cover, and the notes are simple enough to engage her. She is learning timing and correspondence between tone and piano key, and I am using the time to fine-tune my own understanding of piano playing.

Overall, this book is a very good companion for your piano if you want to give guests and children the opportunity to play your piano and learn even with no previous lessons.
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