New Piano Method: Piano Safari

Picture 2I recently heard about a brand new piano method series, called Piano Safari, written by Katherine Fisher and Julie Knerr, both grads from University of Oklahoma’s excellent Piano Pedagogy program.  The series looks very intriguing.  I would like to try out the series the next time I get a new beginner student!

The element that I find most unique about this series (based on what I’ve heard/read so far) is the technique exercises (suitable for beginners) which are utilized across the Musicianship and Repertoire books, and into later repertoire.  Each exercise is named in accordance with the safari theme.  An example: if you ask the student to play the “Zechariah Zebra” exercise, they would play the rhythm: eighth-eighth-eighth-eighth-quarter-quarter (think “Zech-ar-i-ah Ze–bra–” ) on Middle C, then on D, working up to G, and then back down to C.  Check out the technique tutorials they have on their website to see a this and more exercises in action!  Other exercises include: “Kangaroo,” “Elephant Stomp,” and “Monkey Swinging,” and “Ancient Tortoise.”  Just think how exciting it could to learn piano while going on a safari!

As an alternative to using the Musicianship and Repertoire books of the Piano Safari method, teachers may instead purchase the Technical Exercises and Rote Pieces book, which is designed to supplement whatever current method the student is using.  It contains all the technical exercises and rote pieces from the both the Musicianship Book 1 and Repertoire Book 1.

Joy Morin is a piano teacher in northwest Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1142 posts here.

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  1. Catherine
    Posted 4 December 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I am importing Piano Safari from the States- (I live in Gloucestershire, UK) and have started using it with my group beginners class – they have had 10 lessons and made the most amazing progress! I’m starting a new beginners group class in January and will be using it then too!

    I’ll keep an eye on your blog now- mine is piano-time.blogspot,com

    best regards

    • Posted 13 December 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Hi Catherine – Thanks for your comment. I bet Piano Safari works great for group settings! Thanks for the link to your blog – I’ll be following yours from now on too. =)

  2. Posted 8 February 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I had the privilege of learning the Piano Safari method from Dr. Julie Knerr herself. Not only has it changed the way I teach my students to play but I have noticed tremendous differences in the way I myself play piano. It’s fun and simple. The online videos are a helpful resource to encourage students to watch at home.

    • Posted 9 February 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      This is great, Emily! In what ways has it changed to way you teach your students? I am curious to know more!

  3. Joanne
    Posted 31 March 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I, like Emily, had the privilege of learning from Dr. Julie Knerr. Her method has helped me improve my own playing as well as my students playing. As far as technique goes, her technique book is the best I’ve seen or used for pianists. I would encourage any piano teacher to have this book in their library.

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