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The Music Tree Student's Book: Time to Begin (The Music Tree Series) Paperback – March 1, 2000
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What I don't like is that it introduces an incomplete staff to start, and students are expected to read only steps and skips, going up and down. For a long time students are reading notes on one, two, or three lines, before the entire 5-line staff is shown. There is no correlation to the treble or bass clefs, the beginning note is indicated afresh for each song. I've found this to be confusing for some beginners. What is more, the actual music in this book sounds chintzy and simplistic because it revolves so much around two and three notes.
I prefer the Hal Leonard series for teaching note-reading; in presenting the clef at once it is actually simpler to read, their pages are colorful but less distracting, and Hal Leonard does a great job of using good-quality music. I think having children play a good-sounding tune is inspiring for them and keeps them more motivated than playing ditties revolving around two or three notes, as they feel they are playing actual music.
This book requires diligent teaching and learning. It is not the simplest piano method, but it is definitely the best. The kids learn notes, rhythms, and how to move on the piano from the very beginning.
It is an outstanding way to begin to learn piano. My piano professor, the head of the music and fine arts department at the college, highly recommends this series and uses it for his young students.
"There is no other series that better teaches kids how to move on the piano."
Now my son has moved onto The Plan for Musical Growth - Part 2A after only 6-month of taking lessons. My 60 year old mother and 65 year old father have borrowed The Time to Begin from him. They are suprised at how easy it is for them to start playing, even if the piece only has 4 measures. They have never thought it was possible in their life time to ever pick up piano. Now my father would come around and play "Graduation" (the last piece in the Time to Begin). I am very proud of them and am happy that the book has helped them to enrich their life after retirement.
I also like how intuitive the lessons are. Musical ideas are learned one at a time, in a way that is easy for beginners with no previous musical experience to understand. For example, concepts like 8va, moving up and down the keyboard in octaves, is introduced very early. This helps the students get comfortable with more of the keyboard and is easy for them to do, as they recognize the black/white patterns. Other method books like Bastian and Alfred keep the student in one 'hand position' for many pages/lessons, and students don't move around the piano until later levels.
The lesson pieces almost always include a teacher duet. These duets introduce 'contemporary' time signatures and harmonies; even though the student may not know what they are hearing, it is excellent ear training and a welcome change from other method books which only stay in 4/4 or 3/4, and always use 'traditional' phrasing and candences.
I love that the book teaches more than just reading notes. She has learned rhythym, intervals and octaves, slurs, measures etc. All at a pace that a five-year-old can understand. I feel like she will get the inner workings of the music sooner this way, rather than just reading notes in succession to find the melody.
She has been using this book with an experienced piano teacher, rather than just with me at home. Her teacher added pentachords and chords for practice, and uses the workbook along with this book. But in only five months she has made a lot of progress.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't like how they start students on the black keys. I try to teach notation right from the beginning and using the black keys means I have to explain that right away. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is fantastic if you are a beginner to piano using the Suziki method it is excellent. My daughter is having fun learning using it.Published 5 months ago by Daphnee Liberus
My two granddaughters can learn with their mom by dong these piano lessons.Published 5 months ago by josie
My favorite beginners's book as a teacher. Have been using it for decades!Published 9 months ago by Jacquelyn S. Frerichs
It might be a great book who is a music teacher. As a new student who is learning by yourself at home need more details.Published 13 months ago by Eylem