I’ve been teaching the 3 big kids how to play piano. I’m not sure if I’m crazy for doing this or if it’s actually a good idea. It’s certainly cheaper than a piano teacher but sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing. I did play piano for 12 years but I’ve never taught someone else to play. I sent my piano teacher an email asking for help and she sent a message with the information about Faber and Faber My First Piano Adventures. And we love it!
There are 3 books in the series and they are the “primer” level program for younger beginnings. Once a student has finished all 3 books, he/she is ready for the first level of the Faber Program.
There are 3 books in each level-a lesson book, a writing book (theory practice), and a Christmas book. And the first 2 levels come with a CD-which is my favorite part! The teacher duet parts are all there so no playing is required of me! Since I often teach my lessons with a toddler on my hip or a baby in my arms I so appreciate being able to turn on the CD and let my kids play along.
The books have “music” friends who take you through the lessons. The later books add in some historical friends like Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.
The songs are so fun and cute and the kids love them. The first level doesn’t use the staff very often but the later levels put the notes on the staff.
I love that the songs start in different positions on the keyboard. My kids are now comfortable playing up high, down low, and everywhere in between. We are not stuck in “Middle C” position!
The books are very colorful and give great instructions. There are excellent directions for the teacher and extra enrichment ideas included for some songs. The lessons are very clearly laid out and always show the fingering and position on the keyboard.
I really appreciate how the books introduce musical terms right from the beginning, teaching forte and piano, the different types of notes, bar lines, and time signatures. There is a lot of music theory included but it’s introduced at a gradual rate and my kids are retaining it well.
The writing book has extra practice to reinforce the concepts in the lessons. My kids really enjoy the activities in the books. I love the listening practice it gives them. They are becoming very perceptive and are able to distinguish different note patterns.
The books also include sight reading practice which is such an important skill to develop early.
The activities also encourage learning note names and being able to find them on the keyboard. There is a lot of reinforcement for learning all the notes!
There are also opportunities for review in the writing book. My kids have found all the activities in the writing book to be fun and perfectly geared for their level.
The end of the first book starts to introduce the staff. By this time the student knows about time signatures, quarter notes, half notes, whole notes, and many of the note names as well as terms such as double bar line, repeat sign, piano, and forte.
I have loved the progress my kids have made so far! Tiger and Bee are in the beginning of this first book. They look forward to piano lessons and are so excited to play along with the CD! We might need a teacher later but for right now this series has made it very easy for me to teach them and we’ve had so much fun together.