A time-honored tradition just got better! The John W. Schaum Piano Course has been newly revised with 100 percent new engravings and typesetting, color highlighting for concept emphasis, updated song titles and lyrics, and full-color illustrations.
John W. Schaum
Contributors: John W. Schaum Series: John W. Schaum Piano CourseInstrument: PianoLevel: Grade 2 1/2Page count: 48ISBN: 0769235832
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Purchased to begin piano lessons with my 5th child (age 5, recently learned to read words). Have used John Thompson's beginner books previously. (The one with the little monsters on them - books 1 and 2). Bought this because at the end of Thompson 1st grade book with other children, the jump to 2nd grade book seemed rather high, so I use Schaum's Blue book (B) for some of my kids and Thompson 2nd grade for others, depending on skill/preference. Decided to start the 5th child with both Schaum and Thompson books from the start. Great beginning lessons.
Begins with learning finger numbers and 6 short melodies (copied from teacher's example playing). Learns the melodies without staff or note names. Note names added next, then staff added last. These melodies use all 5 fingers in each hand, but hands are played separately.
Next song after this repetitive 6 mini-songs uses some of 5 fingers (notes middle C through E in right hand) and progresses back up. So far,...
Over the years I have used many piano method series with my students. I find that the John W. Schaum Pre-A is still a go-to resource. It begins with one page of very simple letter pieces which introduce the idea of up and down and steps and skips. Next notes are introduced from middle C outward. I recommend using correction fluid or tape to cover the finger numbers, especially with the younger students. This allows them to play the pieces using other finger combinations, and it eliminates reliance on the numbers rather than observing note placement and direction. Once the student has strong finger arches (some have this almost immediately), doing some pieces with careful attention to the indicated fingering will help develop the student's ability to follow fingerings when needed. The pieces are short and often a bit humorous.
I am teaching with this for the first time coupled with Teaching Little Fingers to Play with a boy for whom none of my favourite primer books was working. They work well together, and since there are fewer fingering marks, I often use it after or along with a similar lesson in the Thompson book. I am following the suggestion of a colleague who uses these two books together regularly to build good reading skills. I'm not big on the middle C approach as a rule, so no five stars, but I think it's a great fit for certain students. I think that, like math, there is no one primer book that is perfect for every beginner regardless of a teacher's abilities and since I am very big on getting kids to read music well I always look for something that helps each student succeed.
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