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11565 Perry Highway | Wexford, PA 15090

(724) 524-3500
 

Piano Lessons PLUS
http://www.pianolessonsplus.org/

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KEYBOARD KIDS is my pre school piano program.  KEYBOARD KIDS gets young 4 - 6 year old children started in private piano lessons.  NO READING SKILLS are necessary to begin the program.  KEYBOARD KIDS is designed to teach beginners to read music.  It also teaches students the basics of rhythm and the keeping of a steady beat. 

 

Parents are amazed at how easily their children learn to read music when presented in a way that is geared to the learning patterns of the young pre school mind.  KEYBOARD KIDS also contains a special Theory/Reading book called MY FIRST THEORY. MY FIRST THEORY teaches students to spot the elementary shapes of music and know their sounds in the same way students learn the sounds of the alphabet letters to learn to "sound out" their first reading words.

 

I designed KEYBOARD KIDS with the presupposition that the students taking KEYBOARD KIDS would have no previous formal education, musical or otherwise.  Students are not required to read to fulfill the assignments of each page.  Students don't need to distinguish their right hand from their left.  I understand that part of my job as an instructor is to expand the student's attention span.  The activities of each page were designed to be presented to the student in approximately 5 minutes.

 

KEYBOARD KIDS is designed to teach students HOW TO READ music notation.  Students are introduced to only one music symbol at a time.  Each symbol is thoroughly understood before a new symbol is introduced.  KEYBOARD KIDS Book 1 teaches student the "geography" of the piano keyboard.  They learn to keep a steady beat from the very beginning.  They learn the values of the basic notes.  Students are slowly introduced to the music staff.  Musical compositions slowly begin to emerge from the careful introduction of the basic musical concepts taught in Book 1.

 

KEYBOARD KIDS Book 2 continues building on the foundation established in Book 1.  Students are introduced to the key of fluent reading -- the discernment of steps and skips.  This is introduced in a slow and thorough manner throughout Book 2 because it is so important.  Book 2 contains a fair share of written work to solidify strengthen and deepen the concepts of reading steps and skips.  As the student works through KEYBOARD KIDS Book 2 the compositions begin to become longer and musically more interesting. 

 

KEYBOARD KIDS is written as a slow unfolding of music which is analogous to the way children learn reading through the slow unfolding of learning the letters of the alphabet and their resultant sounds which eventually become simple words and eventually sentences which develop into stories.  By the time the student is finished with Book 2 the student is ready to read standard music notation and begin our MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE course.

 

To find out more about KEYBOARD KIDS and MY FIRST THEORY contact me at (724) 935-2840 or eMail me at pianopressings@gmail.com

 

MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE is the program I designed for beginners 6 and older.  There are 5 books in the MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE series.  The series is much more than a series of compositions of progressive difficulty.  The series presents a huge variety of interest in the way the compositions are arranged.   This places greater demands on the reading skills of the performer. MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE contains a great deal of folk music.  Not only are there American Folk Songs and Patriotic Songs but there are many folk songs from many countries; beautiful melodies that are unknown to American children.  When I was getting my college education there was a revival of interest in folk songs.  Major educators were admonishing students to bring to their student's attention the natural enduring beauty of folk songs.  We were also encouraged to made sure these melodies, that seemed to spring directly from the well of human experience, were interestingly arranged.  Being one who liked to dabble in composition I arranged scores of folk songs from all over the world.  I tried to imitate what I learned from the music I was learning and studying only bringing the technical and musical demands on a student's level.  MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE also contains many compositions I wrote for my students to answer the specific needs that came up in their musical development.  There are also arrangements of some of the great moments found in the masterworks of the great composers.

 

To help the student to deal with the reading demands I wrote something unique to most standard piano methods.  I wrote a READING METHOD to accompany the MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE books.  The READING METHOD gives students a progressive series of exercises to methodically introduce a thorough "phonics" of sounds, shapes and forms encountered in reading music.   The READING METHOD fully develops the concepts begun in MY FIRST THEORY book from the KEYBOARD KIDS series.  Students are exposed and drilled in the basic "shapes" found in music until these "shapes" become part of the students visual and aural vocabulary when reading ther music assignments.  All my students realize a dramatic jump in their reading ability after going through the READING METHOD series of books.

 

The MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE series also contains THEORY BOOKS.  The THEORY BOOKS are a little bit different than the ones I've seen that accompany other piano methods.   The exercises in the theory books are not simply designed to teach theory facts, but rather, show the students those fact in the context of a musical composition.  After we learn the fact that, for example, a C chord comprises the notes C, E and G, we look at excerpts of musical composition and see the many ways a composer can creatively utilize those three notes.  This method of learning theory enhances understanding.

 

CLASSICAL ANTHOLOGIES also accompany the MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE series.  My CLASSICAL ANTHOLOGIES is a graded repertoire of classical music.  The first book of the series begins at a mid elementary level.  The unique feature about my CLASSICAL ANTHOLOGIES is that I take several of the classical pieces in each book and arrange a folk song in imitation of the classical composition.  These little mini units are called Theoretically Speaking.  Each mini unit begins with a Theoretically Speaking page that explains what musical concept is being shared between the two (or more) pieces.  For example - A classical piece may feature syncopation so I will take a folk song, such as Cockles and Mussels, and arrange it is a similarly syncopated way.  This little interchange between the two pieces allows students to see how techniques found in classical music can be applied to music they may already know.  Then students can better understand the effects of syncopation in a way they can more readily grasp. 

A major theme running through all the MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE series of books is not only to have a graded series of a wide variety of diversely arranged compositions and arrangements but also to have a repertoire that promotes, in uniquely creative ways, musical understanding.


To enroll your child in MIDDLE C REPERTOIRE and its accompanying books, or any popular commercial piano method contact me at (724) 935-2840 or eMail me at pianopressings@gmail.com