Reading materials -- Options for EE students : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

If you'd like to introduce the five C's at the beginning as landmarks, these book will provide material. (this approach can give students a good idea of how the staff relates to the keyboard) I'm not 'sold' on the music itself, but for extra reading material it is helpful to have around (EXAMPLE = TRANSFERS!)

1. Music Pathways -- Discoveries, Solos, & Activities A (Carl Fischer)

Partial-staff reading and many short pieces (4-8 measures). All technic is presented with finger numbers only.

2. Louise Guhl's THE MAGIC READER Book 1 (Kjos)

Definitely "reading material"; not tuneful pieces! Some good suggestions for creative work and playing familiar melodies by ear. Supplies 5 "daily sight-reading" exercises; most are 8 measures.

3. John Robert Poe's ADVENTURE FOR 2 OR MORE FINGERS (Kjos)

This book is intended to use with MAGIC READER Book 1. Very few dynamic markings; Poe encourages students to add their own crescendos & decrescendos, etc. Nice BIG print!

Here's some books with sight-reading exercises.

1. Boris Berlin's FOUR STAR SIGHTREADING & EAR TESTS Book 1 (Frederic Harris Music)

When you want many 4-measure reading exercises in C, G, and F major. There are 5 daily examples (notation & rhythm only), Short writing exercises, and ear tests which require a parent or older sibling to play the examples. Traditional book to prepare for the Royal Conservatory of Music piano examinations. (10 levels + prep book)

2. Bastien's A LINE A DAY, Books 1-4 (Kjos)

"Daily Note Search" is interesting (imagine finding random flashcards with different note values for each). Has a box for "number of times played", which is helpful in seeing just how many times it takes students to get it right! (10 checks = SLOW THE HECK DOWN!)

3. Faber's LET'S SIGHTPLAY!, Books 1-4 (FJH)

Theme & variations are a nice feature. Also the "sightplaying chimes" asks student to note-find using finger 3 only. Best to try this with hands covered for an added challenge!

-- John Bisceglia (, March 22, 2001


I don't use any sight-reading material that's not tuneful. No need to bore my students to death when the same thing can be accomplished with real songs.

-- Music Educator (, March 27, 2001.

If I were a student, I'd rather take a potato peeler and scrape it up and down my shins than to ONLY be assigned some of these materials! BUT, it's helpful to be able to quickly pull out an 8-measure example which uses mostly 4ths for the transfer student who still thinks (guesses) that "line to space" notes are 3rds. And by improvising an accompaniment with a drum machine, I've never seen a student keel over yet! It is HOW we use the materials that is important. I only wanted to provide some interesting options in this thread. I've seen transfer students come to me with excellent materials who lack basic skills, and others who have come with outdated, pedagogically questionable materials that have had excellent training. As teachers, we benefit from knowing ALL of the materials out there, and we can pick and choose what and how to use based on our teaching style, studio equipment, and priorities.

-- John Bisceglia (, March 30, 2001.

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