A couple of years ago, I reviewed some lovely sheet music by British teacher/composer Elena Cobb (read the review here). She is the author of the Higgledy Piggledy Jazz books, the “Blue River” book of solos, and more.
Elena has recently released a new book: a piano method called “My Piano Trip to London.”
“My Piano Trip to London” contains 40 pages. The pieces throughout the book are based on various landmarks and themes from London.
The first piece in the book is a black-key piece to be learned by rote.
The accompanying graphics are simple and charming, providing the perfect amount of color and fun to the pages.
The method uses a Middle C reading approach, meaning that students learn to read on the staff from the beginning, starting with Middle C and adding new notes outward from there. Unlike most Middle C approach methods, however, “My Piano Trip To London” does not limit the student to a hand position with the thumbs sharing C. Instead, the fingering is left up to the teacher and student to decide together.
Both British and American terminology are used for the rhythm values (e.g., quarter note and crotchet note) throughout the book. Nearly every piece in the book has an teacher duet part provided on the opposite page.
Above each piece, there are graphics and comments to be used as the teacher explains new concepts. The provided rhythm exercises use the rhythm syllables from the Kodály approach (ta’s, ti-ti’s). There are also “Top Tips” and “Fab Facts” for students to enjoy.
Occasional “quizzes” provide a way to review concepts and assess the student’s learning.
By the end of the book, students are reading a range of notes covering nearly the entire range of the grand staff, and playing basic rhythm values including both single and beamed eighth notes.
Although I haven’t used the book with a student yet, I have the impression that the pace is rapid, yet well-sequenced. I think this book would be a great resource especially for somewhat older beginners (I’m thinking ages 8-10), but younger or older ages should certainly not be excluded from using this book.
I’m very impressed with the pleasing layout and graphics throughout the book. A sticker page of various London graphics is also included with the book. The London theme will provide great interest and learning moments for the teacher and student to enjoy.
To learn more about purchasing hard copies or digital copies of “My Piano Trip to London,” please visit ElenaCobb.com, where you will find extensive screenshots and audio samples. Currently, the e-book with studio license is 50% off.
Elena has generously offered a hard copy of her book for a GIVEAWAY. To enter, please leave a comment on this post stating what appeals to you the most about this book. The winner will be randomly chosen on Friday, December 26, 2014 and will receive a hard copy by mail.