I have been teaching private lessons since 1995, and have used a very wide variety of materials
in my instruction. Much depends on the age of the student, whether they are starting from
scratch, or if they have some previous musical training.
Here is a sampling of the materials I have used the most over the years.
Method Books (Elementary)
Piano Adventures (Faber & Faber) -I feel these are the best, most thorough, method books on the
market today. The music is of very high quality, and the course
develops technical and artistic skills not found in many other books. Accelerated Piano Adventures (Faber & Faber) excellent for older (or precocious) beginners, starts a
little slow but is very thorough, and music is excellent quality. Hal Leonard Piano Course - Very good methodin terms of quality of music. Great teacher duets. Bastien Piano Method - Quality of music is not very good, but fairly thorough treatment of musical
concepts. Sometimes good for an older beginner if other methods
move too slowly. Mikrokosmos (Bartok) - great for helping older beginners with sightreading, coordinating the hands,
learning to phrase, use in conjunction with other method books Alfred's Premier Piano Course (Alexander, Kowalchyk, Lancaster, McArthur, Mier) very slow paced,
good for young beginners, quality of music is much better than all other
Alfred books. Alfred's Prep Piano Course (Palmer, Manus, Lethco) - good for young beginners, moves rather slowly,
and with the addition of technic and solo books, the pace can be
slowed further if need be. Alfred's Basic Piano Course (Palmer, Manus, Lethco) - Thoroughly covers musical fundamentals, but
lacking in technical and artistic merit. Quality of music is often poor. Alfred's Complete Course (Palmer, Manus, Lethco) - Good for older beginners, overall musical quality is
improved if supplemental Repertoire Book is added. Alfred's Adult Basic Piano Course (Palmer, Manus, Lethco) good treatment of musical concepts,
music is adequate, though the use of three "primary chords" in various
keys gets rather tiresome.
Supplemental Books (Elementary)
Pageants for Piano (Waxman) good introduction to more modern sounds Kaleidoscope Solos (George) Alfred Solo, Recital, Classic Themes Books Faber Supplements "Pretime" to "Advancetime" - good Jazz, Blues, popular supplements
Classical Collections (Elementary)
Very Easy Classics to Moderns (Agay) Faber Developing Artist Series Bastien Piano Literature Alfred Complete Repertoire books
Dozen A Day (Burnhan) - I believe these date back to the 1950's and kids still love them Piano Adventures Technique & Artistry books (Faber) Alfred's Piano Course Technic books Hal Leonard Piano Course Technique books
Faber Piano Adventures Theory books - does a great job with theory fundamentals, as well as sight
reading, ear-training Alfred's Basic Theory book Hal Leonard Piano Course Theory books Theory Time series - series of books from "Primer" through "Grade 12" - highly recommended
As students begin to grow into the intermediate level, I generally move away from method books, into classical collections and other supplemental books.
Classical Collections (Intermediate)
Classics to Moderns (Agay) - some editorial markings (eg., articulations, ornaments in Baroque works)
are not good, but nice collection of pieces Bastien Piano Literature Faber Developing Artist Series - excellent, accurate modern editions Four Centuries of Keyboard Music (McGraw) Sonatina Album (Schirmer) Bach - Anna Magdalena Notebook Burgmüller Op. 100
Bigtime Jazz & Blues (Faber) Joy of Jazz, Joy of Jazz 2 (Agay)
Hanon exercises Czerny exercises Scale, Arpeggio, Chord studies based on ABRSM guidelines
Theory Time - middle levels
Examples of repertoire taught to more advanced students:
Bach Preludes and Fugues (WTC I & II), Italian Concerto, Suites Haydn Sonatas Mozart Sonatas, Variations, Sonatas for 4 hands Beethoven Sonatas, Sonata for 4 hands Chopin Preludes, Waltzes, Mazurkas, Nocturnes, Etudes Brahms Rhapsodies, character pieces, Hungarian Dances (4 hands) Schubert Impromptus, 4-hand works Schumann character pieces, 4-hand works Khachaturian Toccata Debussy Preludes, Petite Suite (4 hands) Bartok Roumanian Folk Dances Copland Passacaglia Gershwin Preludes Joplin Rags Milhaud Scaramouche (2 pianos) Lutoslawski Paganini Variations (2 pianos)
All of the music listed above is available at www.burtnco.com - I order all my music from them!