The First Piano Book is a collection of 192 progressive pieces in three volumes for beginner to intermediate pianists. Each volume consists of four sets of sixteen pieces. Each set of sixteen pieces builds in some way on what came before, and as the student progresses from one set to the next they will learn something new or have some new skill to practise.
It is not necessary to learn all 16 pieces in each set. Instead to student should choose their favourite 4-8 pieces to learn. However, I have gone to great lengths to ensure that the music in this collection treats the left and right hands equally. Therefore the student (with their teacher) should take care in choosing which pieces to learn so as to allow both hands to develop equally.
Volume One introduces different note values from Whole Notes (Semibreves) to Eighth Notes (Quavers). These pieces are meant to be with a two finger (chopsticks) style of playing.
Part I: Whole Notes (Semibreves) (PDF, Video)
The music in this set consists entirely of Whole Notes or Semibreves. This allows the student to focus on learning to find notes and move around the keyboard as well as learning to read pitch.
Part III: Quarter Notes (Crotchets) (PDF, Video)
Quarter Notes or Crotchets are introduced in this set. As in Part II, one hand will play whole notes only while the other hand plays a combination of whole, half, and quarter notes.
Part IV: Eighth Notes (Quavers) (PDF, Video)
The final part of Volume 1 introduces Eighth Notes or Quavers. With a few exceptions, Part IV follows the same pattern as Parts II & III, with one hand playing wholes notes while the other plays a combination of quarter notes and the other note values introduced in the pervious sets.
In Volume 2 the student starts to use all five fingers. In Parts I to III the hands play in a closed five finger position, then in Part IV the hands open up and start moving around the keyboard a little more.
Part I: Five Finger Melodies I (PDF, Video)
In these pieces one have will play the main melody in a closed five finger position while the other plays single longer sustained notes. The hand playing the melody alternates between the left and right hands from one piece to the next.
Part II: Five Finger Melodies II (PDF, Video)
Part II follows a similar pattern to Part I only this time the hand not playing the melody will play two-note (or in the case of No.16, three note) chords.
Part IV: Simple Melodies (PDF, Video)
In Part IV we depart from the limits of the five finger position and single repeated notes of chords. In these pieces one hand plays a free and open melody while the other alternates between two different notes (or in some cases plan a two note chord).
In Volume 3 the student begins to transition from beginner pieces to intermediate pieces.
Part II: Simple Songs (PDF, Video)
Here one hand plays a melody or arpeggiated chordal accompaniment while the other hand plays two note chords. For first time in the series both hands are allowed to move without limit around the keyboard.
Part IV: Ostinati (PDF, Video)
Finally, in Part IV of Volume 3, one hand plays a repeated pattern throughout the piece (the ostinato) while the other hand plays the melody. As in virtually every part of this series the hand playing the main melody alternated between the left and right hands.