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When I was taking a pedagogy class with the world-renowned piano pedagogue Barbara Lister-Sink, she highly recommended this method book series. I checked it out and was immediately interested in using it with my students. It is unique among method books for its clarity: the progression is straightforward, intuitive, and logical. The illustrations keep learning fun but are not distracting for young students, like they can be in other method books. Older students also appreciate these books. I especially like the fact that lessons are not based on middle C, but teach the alphabet starting with A (making things easy for the students!) and right away have the student start in various hand positions on the keyboard. Finally, the Lesson Plans were a phenomenal help to me as a beginning teacher.
I recently received three siblings into my music studio and placed them each in a different piano method book. The one student in "Piano ABCs" progressed faster than his other two siblings. I was so impressed with "Piano ABC's,"that I planned on talking to his mother about switching the other two siblings to this method. She beat me to it and came to me, sharing how she had noticed her son being ahead of the other two children. Not having even studied music herself, the mother pointed out how her son in "Piano ABC's" had more advanced reading skills and was playing harder songs. On top of this, she also shared that her son enjoyed going to the piano and exploring the creative songs contained in this book. I highly recommend this series and give it 5 stars for it's innovative methods in teaching music to students of all ages.
From the perspective of a student who has experienced previous teaching under various methods, I have found Beverly Joy's method to be absolutely wonderful. "Beginning at the Beginning" is indeed an excellent title for these books; new ideas are explained clearly and presented easily, lining up practice exercises and pieces to firmly establish the concepts. I was in higher levels of piano playing in other books (Hal Leonard, Faber, and Alfred) when my teacher chose to assign me this book to correct basic mistakes I was making that my current books were enforcing. Honestly, it took a bit out of my pride to begin this book... even skipping the first few pages intended to orient first-time piano players, I still considered the pieces far beneath my skill. As my teacher began walking me through the book, however, I began to realize that the purpose of the book is to play CORRECTLY. When implementing the strategies, thinking patterns, movements, and posture taught in this book, it completely transformed how I approached playing. The pieces that (at first glance) looked easy peasy had a completely different meaning to me as I tried my best to apply my new-found information, regarding the piano as an object of grace and beauty that should be treated as such. A cookie-cutter C method does no justice to the piano. Piano ABC's does.
I would recommend it to the first-timers and the accomplished alike. If you are looking for something special, fun, and solid, you have found it.
I have had experience with several beginner piano methods, both as a teacher and as a mom of pianists, and Piano ABC's is the first approach that comprehensively deals with all aspects of music learning. Not only does the method prevent the students from being stuck in "Middle C" position both physically and mentally, it also encourages healthy technique and an holistic understanding of music theory concepts. While other methods are also successful in getting students to "play" immediately, Piano ABC's requires them to read and synthesize as well. The original compositions by Beverly Grace Joy are aesthetically charming and musically challenging, employing a wealth of keys, modes, and styles. If followed through the next levels, this method equips the student to tackle intermediate and advanced piano literature both technically and musically. The accompanying Theory Workbook is also a treasure; I have never seen such an accessible, yet thorough, approach to keyboard theory for such a young age!
I have taught piano for 15 years and I started having much better success teaching my beginning piano students to read music when I switched to PianoABC's. I have tried several methods, and I would always end up with my students 'stuck' in C Position or Middle C Position. With this method they actually, truly learn to READ MUSIC!! This means they can quickly start to read other things that they WANT to learn. Which of course makes happier, more motivated students (and happier parents!) Excellent.
Excellent book! I own 3 of them for each of my children. The success that my children have had at learning piano is because of the method in this book. They are able to read music very well and I have enjoyed how each new concept is introduced. I would recommend to any teacher or new student.
I absolutely love teaching piano to kids, especially beginners. I used to use another curriculum, but when I found out about this one, everything changed! The clouds opened sending a bright ray of sunshine down on my lessons. The format is clearer, the method more effective, and the activities more fun than any other approach I've seen before. "Piano ABC's-Level One" is an absolutely excellent way to learn piano, and I highly recommend it.