Why use multiple piano books?
Updated: May 23
As a piano teacher or any student new to piano, there is a lot of choice with types of books to use. And it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with choice. Different books each serve their own purpose in developing a well-rounded musical journey. Repertoire across musical genres, technique, theory, enjoyable sight-reading should all be covered. And hence there is a need for multiple books to be used to grow each of these skill areas.
The thrill of getting a new book can be motivating for some students, especially as they recognise their own progress with the instrument. This is particularly true for younger students using method book series which are aimed at taking a complete beginner to a Grade 1 level.
One of the responsibilities of a piano teacher is guiding students on learning appropriate repertoire, to develop musicality and technique. Perhaps learning a particular exercise and incorporating that into practise at home will help the student better interpret and play their current repertoire. Perhaps they are lacking understanding of music theory and need this foundation strengthening.
Below are just some of the book series I find myself referring back to, and have seen success with. All I have either tested in action in my studio, or have personally used myself as a young piano student.
For sight-reading in exam prep: Improve your sight-reading. A piece a week.
For music theory (young children): Theory is fun by Maureen Cox
For music theory (young people to adults): Music theory in practice by Eric Taylor
For playing technique (young children): A dozen a day by Edna-Mae-Burnam. Level-appropriate scales.
For playing technique (young people to adults): Hanon 60 exercises, Czerny. Level-appropriate scales.
For music repertoire: Hours with the Masters, Classics to Modern, More Romantic Pieces, Graded piano solos, Really Easy piano
For aural training: ABRSM aural prep.
For the complete to early beginner: John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course, Me and My Piano, Piano Time