Remember when I blogged about Jennifer Eklund’s music last Winter? Today, I want to tell you a little bit more about her self-published piano method, Piano Pronto.
I haven’t been experimenting with the Piano Pronto books for very long yet, but already I can see some reasons why Piano Pronto is unique from the piano methods available from the major publishers:
- It is an all-in-one book. Lessons introducing new concepts, prep exercises to learn, and simple theory questions to answer are all included within the book. This makes it easier for the teacher to supplement with a variety of types of music. Or, the method can even serve as the supplement to a different method!
- It begins with on-staff reading. Some students do not need a period of pre-staff notation — especially older beginners or those who have learned staff notation at school.
- It uses a huge variety of familiar folk tunes and classical themes. This allows students to use their ears a great deal as they learn to read music. It also can be motivating for students to be able to play tunes they are familiar with.
- It does not shy away from teaching rhythm concepts such as eighth notes (taught in the Prelude book) or 6/8 time (taught in the Movement 2 book) early on.
- It teaches key signatures early on (in the Movement 1 book).
- It requires students to move around the keyboard early on (starting in the Prelude Book).
If you haven’t taken a look at Piano Pronto before, you can learn more by browsing the preview pages and audio samples on Jennifer’s website.
Being self-published has its advantages, including being able to interact directly with one’s audience. Jennifer manages an active forum on Facebook where teachers can ask questions and share success stories. A few weeks ago, I posted there to ask Jennifer if there was any chance that she would be releasing teacher duets anytime soon to go with her method books. Jennifer responded almost immediately and set to work writing teacher duets for the “Prelude” book. The eBook for those teacher duets is now available here! After purchase, you can print a copy from the PDF or load it onto your favorite score reader on your iPad.
In celebration of this new release, Jennifer has offered to sponsor a giveaway. Two randomly-chosen winners will receive a FREE copy of the Piano Pronto “Prelude” book and the corresponding teacher duets (U.S. winners will receive hardcopies while international winners will receive digital copies). To enter, please leave a comment on this post describing which unique aspect of the Piano Pronto method (from the list above) intrigues you the most! Enter by Wednesday, August 6 at midnight Eastern time.
Don’t forget to visit Jennifer’s Piano Pronto Discussion Group on facebook and request to join. There, you will find many other resources relating to Piano Pronto, including a transfer assessment guide and a guide to Jennifer’s supplemental music.
Update: Jennifer is running a rare 20% off sale from August 1st through August 5! Use the promo code SCHOOL20.