Piano books we use in our teaching

RCM Celebration Series (2015)

The Royal Conservatory is a respected music education institution and provides a standardized curriculum and examination program. The institution offers exams from Preparatory Levels, Levels 1-10, and Diploma Studies (ARCT and LCRM) in Performance and Pedagogy. At every level, the curriculum that is offered covers Etudes (technical pieces) and keyboard pieces from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, and 21st Century composers. Studying these pieces will give the student an excellent background in all keyboard styles. The exams are offered at exam centres all across North America. Some of the higher levels of exams can be used as a high school credit in some areas of North America.

Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Levels 1 – 3

This series is excellent for the Adult beginner. The course is set up as a method book: small, simple lessons that move along one week at a time. There are clear explanations of different concepts of music. Each piece introduces and reinforces these concepts in a manageable way. The book contains well-known arrangements of folk songs that will get you playing music that is satisfying to learn.

Piano Adventures – Nancy and Randall Faber

Piano Adventures is a 8-book series that starts with a Primer Level and goes through to Level 5. (Level 2 and Level 3 are divided into two separate books). The approach uses analysis, creativity, and fun to teach students at the very beginning of their musical journey.

The Lesson book is colourful and contains engaging musical songs that become student favourites over time. Each book is supplemented at each level by optional books: Theory, Sight Reading, Technique & Artistry, and Performance books.

A Dozen A Day – Edna-Mae Burnam

This beloved series from pedagogy legend Edna-Mae Burnam is a fun way to learn technique. There are four main books in the series, with a Preparatory Book and a Mini Book also offered to younger beginners.

The series offer short warm-up exercises that teach students techniques that can be applied in their repertoire.

Martha Mier’s Jazz, Rags, & Blues

This five book series is a treasured classic in the studio. For students that want to learn to play other styles, these books are an excellent choice for recital material and just to learn for fun.

Forrest Kinney’s Pattern Play

Forrest Kinney’s Pattern Play series introduces the student to creativity, improvisation, and artistry through the exploration of sounds, scales, and patterns. Each book comes packed with ideas for making music in certain styles.

The 6 books cover world music, black keys, white keys, major, minor and blues scales, modes, chords and harmonies.

Forrest Kinney also has a series called Chord Play that teaches how to arrange songs, and Create First (his new re-vamped version of Pattern Play).

Four Star Sight Reading

Preparatory Levels – Level 10. This companion series to the Royal Conservatory Celebration Series teaches Sight Reading in a fun and creative manner.

The original series by Boris Berlin and Andrew Markow was revised in 2015. Daily short exercises in rhythm and reading with tips are included in the books. Each book also contains sample tests that are patterned after what students will encounter in RCM exams. The books also include ear training instructions and examples for each level.

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