As a piano teacher, I have to say that I am often underwhelmed by music books for beginners. To be fair to the composers of such books, it is an extremely difficult challenge to write engaging music with such a limited palette of notes but having said that, young students still need to be inspired to build skill and move their music-making to the next level. So I was curious to take a look at a new series for young pianists from the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) entitled “Piano Star.”
There are three books in the series:
- Book 1 builds from a very basic skill level up to Prep Test (Pre-Grade 1)
- Book 2 is at Prep Test level
- Book 3 continues the journey building to Grade 1 standard
I have to say that I am veryimpressed and that takes a lot!
Some nice features include:
- Beautiful colour artwork on every page (great for engaging young students)
- Generous amount of songs per book (At least 24 per book)
- Several fun duets
- Musical activities to support the songs
- Evocative song titles
- Notation is enlarged and clearly presented
- Fun techniques are introduced like pedalling, tremolos, cluster chords, swing rhythms, arpeggiated chords, etc
A lot of work has gone into the compiling, editing and presentation to make it a very high-quality product. Several of my young pupils are using these books and with great results. There is much enthusiasm for the pieces so lots of practice is happening and good progress is being made. I will definitely be using these books for a long time in my lessons and can highly recommend them.