I'm a big advocate for using method books with beginners. These book series are designed specifically to take students completely through the beginner stages of learning piano. New concepts are presented in a manageable and logical way, to build a solid foundation of understanding and applying the basics.
What do method books include?
They cover: note reading, time values, key signatures, accidentals, rests, dynamics, articulation, pedalling, scales/ chords/ arpeggios/ inversions, hand independence and hand co-ordination. And introduce students to different types of music.
What method books do I use with students?
Method books can be targeted towards different groups of students. At my studio, I teach Piano lessons in Sutton and Piano lessons online. The main method books that as of start of June 2020 I am currently using are:
Young beginners (ages 6-8): John Thompson or Me and My Piano
Young beginners (ages 8-10): Piano Lessons (Waterman)
Adult beginners: Faber's Piano Adventures All-In-One
With any beginner, the method books are always supplemented with additional repertoire. Easier repertoire which is used for sight-reading, often in a genre I know the student will enjoy to encourage the daily habit of sight-reading. My supplementary books along the method books are:
Young beginners (ages 6-8): for 10 fingers, Me and My Piano, John Thompson
Young beginners (ages 8-10): Oxford Piano Method
Adult or normal beginners: Classics to Modern, Really Easy Piano
Buying and testing new method books?
As a piano teacher in Sutton and online, I'm always on the search for better method books. For my studio, the largest expense is buying piano books. The teaching library is constantly expanding as I grow as a teacher and want the best learning experience for my students.
Recently in June 2020, I've come across a method book series called Faber's Piano Adventures. From reading the feedback from the piano teaching community, this series is very well regarded in America. The main points are the selection of music is very good, introducing simplified versions of classical pieces from an early stage. And it combines theory, technique, sight-reading and performance skills into one package.
So stay tuned as this series will be tested out amongst my studio. I have high hopes for this, particularly for beginners between ages 8-12.