Book 1 introduces the child to the keyboard, staves, clefs, simple time signatures, note values, and rests. Reading encompasses notes to a 5th above and a 5th below Middle C. The notes A and E are introduced first, played by a braced 3rd finger of each hand. This encourages free movement of the whole arm from the shoulder, and develops a natural, balanced hand position, before the 5-finger position is gradually mastered.
In Book 2 three new notes in each hand are mastered (up to Treble C and down to Bass C) and the child experiences changes of hand position within a tune. Quavers (eighth notes) are introduced in all the time signatures covered in Book 1. Sharps and flats are included, but no mention is made yet of keys, key signatures, scales, or triads. Dynamic markings are now in Italian, while tempo indications are still in English.
Book 3 introduces the concepts of key, key signature, scales, triads, tones (whole steps), and semitones (half steps) in a novel and exciting way. Each key is a group of characters or objects with note-names (i.e. a band, a birthday party, a clothes-line with garments). Certain notes belong, while all other notes (accidentals) are outsiders. Transposition is a natural outcome of this concept, with a tune moving from one group to another. The child masters eight new notes (up to Treble High G and down to Bass Low F), which facilitates the playing of more adventurous repertoire. The semiquaver (sixteenth note), semiquaver rest (sixteenth rest), dotted crotchet (dotted quarter note), and dotted quaver (dotted eighth note) are introduced, and tempo markings are now in Italian. As in the previous two books, ensemble-playing is encouraged.
Book 4 reinforces and revises all concepts learned in Books 1-3. It contains attractive repertoire in various styles and from different periods. Each piece has a comprehensive preparation section covering the musical, technical, and structural matters which will be encountered. The aim is to cultivate critical thinking and musical awareness in the student. As in previous books, the child is actively involved through the use of writing, coloring, tracing, and pasting, thereby making the preparation an enjoyable activity. The difficulty level of the repertoire approaches that of Grade 1.
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