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How To Choose The Piano Method Book?

By Varand Toros-Adami

    There are numerous beginner, intermediate, and even some advanced piano method books out there. Each offering a different approach to learning piano. Although the best practice is to first find the proper piano teacher and have him/her recommend their method book of choice, unfortunately sometimes not even the piano teachers know which book to choose, and they usually go with the one that they grew up with. 

    That being said, there are some key questions that should be considered when choosing a piano method book. 

    I. Is the book written with a beginner child in mind or a beginner adult? 

Although beginner adults can often start with the beginner children book, the opposite can almost never work. That means a beginner child most likely will not be able to start with a beginner adult books. 

 

    II. Does the book start with the IMWL, International Music Writing Language?

Some method books start their lessons with International Music Writing Language, or IMWL, that is music notes and the staff line; While others start with floating notes, and no staff lines.

 

    III. How many levels does the method book have?

Some method books have only 2 beginner levels, and some have 4, while others can have upwards of 9 levels or even more for beginner levels. It is the job of the teacher to know those different publications, their levels, and decide which rout to go with.

 

    IV. Does the method book come with extra side books?

Some method books come with extra side books for each level. For example some publications have lesson book, practice book, performance book, theory book, and even homework book, for every single level. Other publications come with only one book per level. 

Once more, the job of deciding which publication to use, falls on the piano teacher.  

    V. What is the most efficient method book?

Each author of a method book decides the pace of the new information they provide the student with. Some method books throw in a new information in almost every page, while others beat around the bush for far too long. Ultimately It is the job of the teacher to figure out if the method book is adding new information at an acceptable pace.

    

Bottom Line

 

    While some method books do a better job than the others, there is almost no perfect one size fits all book. More often than not, the job of the teacher is to have analyzed these books using the provided questionnaire, and have come to a logical conclusion to which book they must use. Being a piano teacher myself, I must add that one must not rely on the book only, and as a teacher you must be creative and caring enough to link the information on any of these books to other relevant supplementing information that might not be on the book, so that the student can have a comprehensive information regarding the subject. 

 

    That being said, here are few links to some of the piano method books found on Amazon’s website.

    Disclaimer: The following links are for products sold on Amazon. With no extra cost to you, as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commission from qualifying purchases.

John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 1

John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 2

John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 3

John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course Part 4

John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Book 1

John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Book 2

John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Book 3

Piano Adventures - Lesson Book - Level 1

Piano Adventures - Theory Book - Level 1

Piano Adventures - Performance Book - Level 1

Piano Adventures - Lesson Book - Level 2A

Piano Adventures - Theory Book - Level 2A

Piano Adventures - Performance Book - Level 2A

Piano Adventures - Lesson Book - Level 2B

Piano Adventures - Theory Book - Level 2B

Piano Adventures - Performance Book - Level 2B

Piano Adventures - Lesson Book - Level 3A

Piano Adventures - Theory Book - Level 3A

Piano Adventures - Performance Book - Level 3A

Piano Adventures - Lesson Book - Level 3B

Piano Adventures - Theory Book - Level 3B

Piano Adventures - Performance Book - Level 3B

Alfred's Basic Adult All In One Piano Course

Elementary Method for the Piano, Op. 101

Piano Book for Adult Beginners by Damon Ferrante 

The Older Beginner Piano Course - Level 1 -Bastien

The Older Beginner Piano Course - Level 2 -Bastien

Burgmüller - 25 Progressive Studies, Opus 100

Burgmüller - 18 Characteristic Studies, Opus 109

Czerny - Practical Method for Beginners, Opus 599

Czerny - The School of Velocity for the Piano, Opus 299 - Books 1 & 2

The Giant Book of Intermediate Classical Piano Music

Hanon - The Virtuoso Pianist - 60 Exercises

Dohnanyi - Essential Finger Exercises - Piano

Pischna - Technical Studies For Piano

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