I wrote the “First Piano Book” with one goal in mind; to create a progressive collection of solo piano pieces for beginners that are both pleasing to listen to, and which allow beginner pianists to gradually gain confidence in both playing and reading music while developing the skills necessary for exploring more advanced repertoire in the future.
The pieces in the First Piano Book have been composed to develop each hand equally and as students progress through the Volumes they will be introduced to new elements of reading and new technical aspects of playing piano. The great number of pieces here will also allow students to choose their favourite pieces while still gaining the benefits of structured and progressive practice.
Each part of the “First Piano Book” consists of a set of sixteen pieces and has been composed with a specific constraint. In Volume 1, each of the four Parts introduce a new note value beginning with Whole Notes (or Semibreves) in Part I, Half Notes (or Minims) in Part II, Quarter Notes (or Crotchets) in Part III, and Eighth Notes (or Quavers) in Part IV. All of the pieces in Volume 1 can be played with just two fingers (one in each hand) eliminating the need to memorise complex fingerings without limiting the music to just a few notes in close position.
In Volume 2, students begin to play with all fingers in what is popularly known as "five finger position". In Part I students play a five finger melody in one hand and a single repeated note in the other. In Part II, a five finger melody in one hand is accompanied by a single repeated two note chord. In Part III, two five finger melodies are played in parallel. And in Part IV, the student will break free of the five finger constraint, playing a free melody in one hand and a simple two note pattern or chord in the other.
In Volume 3, the student begins to move into the intermediate level, first playing simple two part inventions in Part I, melodies accompanied by two note chords in Part II, three voice chorales in Part III, and in Part IV an ostinato in one hand and a melody or chordal accompaniment in the other.
Click below to listen to the audio and for more details on each Volume and Part.