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John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano: First Grade Book Paperback – July 1, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 170 customer reviews

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  • John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano - Second Grade (Book Only)
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  • Teaching Little Fingers to Play: A Book for the Earliest Beginner (John Thompsons Modern Course for The Piano)
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Product Details

  • Series: John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano
  • Paperback: 90 pages
  • Publisher: Willis Music (1937)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877180059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877180050
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I used this book as a student and still use it for teaching. Pieces are nice and students are challenged to think musically. It moves quicker than some other method books; it covers materials from elementary to early intermediate. Upon completion of the first grade book students can play standard repertoire in the early intermediate level. Students must have completed early elementary level before using this book because this book starts with playing two hands in C position. Emphasize phrasing from the first piece. Highly recommended.
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A Kid's Review on February 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm 13 years old and I finshed this book about 1 year ago. I thought it was a great start for people that are just learning to play the piano with both hands. I didn't start off with this book when I started lessons, instead I started with a book that taught you note values and note names and other basics.(Which are very important for learning piano.) Before you buy this book, try learning about piano fundementals.

This book doesn't make piano easy, but it makes it easier to understand and fun.

I'm now going onto the third grade book soon and I think that these books are great.
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Format: Paperback
My aunt used the Thompson books, I used the Thompson books, my grandmother [a piano teacher] used the Thompson books. I, a piano teacher, use Thompson books. WHY? They advance appropriately, one doesn't have to buy a zillion other books to go with them [and constantly be running to the music store to buy supplemental books---see Faber and Faber, for example; and Faber is a very good, modern series. But Costly Costly Costly to get all the parts.] Thompson has it all in one place. It doesn't have a ton of theory, though, and a wise teacher will supplement Thompson for that. Not only are the pieces interesting and challenging, they can be colored! Yes! We all know how many music students tend to be artistic, so you've got even happier students! I have to say, though, that if you're looking for something with a slower and [sorry to say] "dumbed down" approach, Thompson is NOT for you. It does work well for adults, but the Faber adult books are more specific to adult learners, and I prefer them for that student population. Long Live John Thompson Books!
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Format: Paperback
The John Thompson series is wonderful! It has been around for decades and it is easy to use either for self study or with a piano teacher. A lot of details are covered. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
As a piano instructor and music educator of over 40 years, I have actively used both this specific book as well as the "Teaching Little Fingers To Play" (primer level), both originally written by Canadian born John Thompson. The entire series of the "John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano" consists of one 'pre-level' book, "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" (which is also great for adults), as well as the First through Fifth grade books. The entire series was one of the first "how to" books for learning piano and is still published by Willis in Florence, KY. The John Thompson series is valuable, and I continue to enthusiastically use the series with my students. I do believe it should always be coupled with ancillary material in the form of chord learning (if you wish to study popular or Gospel music). If you wish to study serious or "classical" music, this book can be made more valuable when taught by a qualified instructor. I would certainly recommend this series over ANY of the Bastien materials. [...]
1 Comment 35 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as well as "The Piano Handbook". I don't feel this book is technically "bad" (It's actually pretty decent on what is played), the book - and CD seem to try a little too hard to sell itself as being "fun" at the expense of information and accuracy.

To highlight the main problem I had with this book - the CD. I listened to the CD and the piano parts were not alone but also included bells, a metronome, and a few other sounds as well - outside just the piano. I purchased the book to learn the piano, by hearing the piano piece only being played so I could study it. What did I get? Sounded more like a small band playing the music to keep kids interested. Maybe the book is just aimed for kids more than adults.

Outside the lousy CD, the songs seem to drop the person into the middle-end of the pool right off the bat. How so? Playing with two hands at the same time. I'm pretty sure this is the beginning of the series, and if I'm wrong then I apologize, but I don't think I am.

The songs felt a little too difficult at first, with almost no instruction about how to properly play. This diminishes how well it'd work for learning on one's own.

Do I feel it's an OK buy? Quite honestly, yes I do under a few circumstances:
1. Buy another book too. Personally I got "The Piano Handbook" ([...]) which I find much more helpful for the beginning stuff.
2. Try to find a teacher - especially if #1 isn't met.
3. Be prepared to work through with little use of the CD to gauge your progress. I wish I could say more positive on the CD.

I'm a beginning piano player, only playing for a very short time. If you have some knowledge already, this book may be OK for you then.
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