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4.6 out of 5 stars
Suzuki Piano School, Vol. 1
Format: Sheet musicChange
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
I learned Suzuki piano as a child; we moved, and I changed methods as we found other teachers. As a parent and teacher, I have come back to this book, because compared to the other literature for first year students, this is the best.

It is important to know what you are getting - this is not an "all-in-one" piano book. This is a book to help the teacher/parent know what songs they are teaching the children. It is not for children to read, but to play. I supplement this with Thompson, Alfred, Pace, or FJH for my children and students to learn to sight read, and to learn some fun songs that are not for perfecting. This is the backbone, though - it has the exercises and "recital pieces" that help a student feel that they can really play, not just "fool around". The big difference is that every piece in this book is meant to be a recital piece - but just as children can understand, enjoy, and re-tell stories far beyond their current reading level, children can appreciate and reproduce this music without being able to read. In the Suzuki philosophy, music reading is something taught as the child is ready, which is recognized as not necessarily being the same time is ready to play.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2011
The product description is VERY misleading. It says "The New International Edition of Suzuki Piano School, Volume 1 includes French, German and Spanish translations as well as a newly recorded CD performed by internationally renowned recording artist Seizo Azuma." However, this is only the book, there is no CD included. The book is worthless without the CD in the Suzuki Method.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2011
I am a Suzuki piano teacher who has used the books and CDs that were available before this New International edition was released. In my opinion, the New International is greatly improved over the previous ones. Although there is very little change in the choice of pieces, the editing by Alfred Publishers is far better than the older editions. The music is easier to read, better laid out, and the titles and explanations of the music are more accurate. The CD also is better recorded and played better than most of the previous CDs, which are still available for sale.

I was interviewed by one of the teachers who consulted with the publishers for the New International books, and I am very pleased that all my suggestions for improvement were carried out. Make sure you order the New International book/CD and not the previous Revised Edition book/CDs for Volumes 1, 2, and 3. Eventually all the Suzuki piano books will be released in New International editions.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2013
My daughter started Suzuki piano lessons a year ago, when she was five. She has now learned all the pieces from this book in right hand, and is now learning the left hand parts one at a time. My parents (music professors) and mother-in-law (church pianist and retired traditional piano teacher) have expressed amazement at how her fingers fly over the keyboard. Because she is learning by ear first (the Suzuki appproach), she is able to play way more than if she was limited to playing what she could read from sheet music. Her music selection is MUCH more interesting than what I played in traditional piano lessons as a child. Another aspect of Suzuki lessons is having regular group lessons, where children can play for each other, and where theory is taught. Now that my daughter has a firm foundation of playing by ear (which involves listening to this CD on a daily basis), her teacher is supplementing with Alfred books to focus in on teaching theory. It's exactly how we learn language: babies learn to speak by listening to others around them, then later learn the symbols behind those sounds. I highly recommend the Suzuki approach. If you're looking for a teacher, suzukiassociation.org is a good place to start.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2010
I am an Adult beginner, and have been listening this CD and practicing these songs, it is quite helpful. However I have a teacher to guide me, may not be for completely self-taught beginner.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2011
great book to learn suzuki style piano...but not a stand alone. You definitely need to have lessons from a qualified suzuki teacher with this book.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2010
It's the Suzuki Method, so buying a book by Dr. Yamaha or Dr. Kawasaki or Dr. Honda wouldn't work. The Suzuki method emphasizes learning music just like children learn to speak - by listening and imitating the sounds they hear. No onerous sheet music reading or sight reading - just listening and repeating. If you are trying to engage children under 8 or 9 in music, the Suzuki Method for (insert instrument of choice here) is by far the easiest way to start out.

BTW - I am a self-taught and fairly prolific song-writing guitarist/vocalist/pianist and wished I had started this way....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
my daughter had lessons elswhere and wasn't progressing. She started this book and within a few weeks was greatly improved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2014
As a beginner with only several months of lessons, I am very happy, and challenged, by the music in this book. It's nice to have proven music to play--sometimes a book provides what I call (not disparagingly) kid books. Some of these pieces are not too demanding, some are very demanding. Challenge, of course, is fine in any endeavour, and this book provides it. I'm nearing the end and already have the 2d and 3rd books ready to go. Playing the CD when first having the books was quite intimidating. I knew I'd probably never be able to get through the book. Playing it again when nearing completion of the book is encouraging, in that I now know it is possible to accomplish the feat. Not anywhere near proficiently yet, but my morale is considerably boosted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2014
Our child switched teachers and the new one uses the Suzuki method. The first few pieces seemed too easy but clearly needed for basic skills - pieces soon progressed in difficulty and were a good variation of speed, challenges and style. Listening to the CD over and over is key - kids can auto-correct themselves after a while! Music practice has definitely become easier and more enjoyable.
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