Sometimes, let's face it, lessons get.....boring.
Not because of the students skill - but they're playing a piece you've assigned a MILLION times. I absolutely love the Faber Piano Adventure Series but for my own sanity you better believe I assign supplemental music to spice things up. For the benefit of my students AND my sanity.
Supplemental pieces should be engaging, fun, challenging and addictive! I try and find pieces that my student can't wait to sit at the piano and play. Finding teacher GOLD like this will catapult your students learning forward and add life to your lessons.
Here are some GOLDEN books you should add to your studio:
1. Preludes for Piano - Catherine Rollin
You can tell how much I LOVE these books by the way that first one looks. I use it ALL the time. Here's why I love them - they are all gorgeously composed, students LOVE playing them (even my adult students), repetitive easy to teach motives, impressive sounding and a fantastic introduction to prelude collections.
2. Sounds of Spain - Catherine Rollin
Can you tell I like Catherine Rollin? She's a great composer for pedagogy works sooooo naturally I'm a big fan. Her Sounds of Spain series are so much fun and engaging. What's nice is the series ranges from elementary to late intermediate players. So you can really capture that Spanish sound in your studio! Engaging fun fast Spanish flair pieces that will really WOW! As well as beautiful elegant lyrical Spanish pieces that you're student (and their parents) will fall in love with.
3. Grand Solos for Piano - Melody Bober
I will admit that the first of this series is somewhat bland and disappointed me - although my students still loved book 1 - but the rest of the series is very fun and engaging. I especially use Grand Solos For Piano when recital/festival time comes around. Each book has a wide variety of songs that make it fun to work through with the student. Melody Bober also composed a series called Grand Duets for Piano that is worth while to have!
4. Be A Star! - Kevin Costley
Be A Star series is an easy win! Kevin Costley really nailed it here with doing a series on intervalic reading. With the emphasis on easily understood intervalic learning students can learn far faster and progress quickly through the books. The pieces are all interesting to play and have the player moving all around the keyboard - which students love! So it's an easy win - easy to learn, engaging pieces, students learn how to read faster by reading by intervals and they sound impressive! I use the first book of the series with my beginners to boost their confidence on the piano - it always works!
5. Fantastic Fingers - Christopher Goldston
Christopher Goldston really did something special with this series. Often times I will get a book and just have a few favorites to each but almost all of these in the series are winners. I love teaching from these books and highly recommend getting the entire series!
6. Just Imagine - Martha Mier
I don't love clowns.... but I do love these books! So yeah, the cover kinda throws me off but the pieces inside are definitely expressive and imaginative as the book claims. Really fun programmatic pieces that evoke images and have been loved by many of my students. It's a great book to grab for your elementary, late elementary students.
7. Musical Snapshots - Martha Mier
These are SO fun!! I had an entire recital where I picked several pieces from this series called "All Around the World". It's a fun theme to a recital - visiting other nations music around the world - not to mention its great for the students to learn the many different tones, rhythms, colors, scales and sound of different cultures.
8. The BEST of Martha Mier
One more of Martha's - can't help myself. These are fantastic solos ranging from early elementary to intermediate players. Martha Mier is just a genius when it comes to creating beautiful, fun, engaging music.
9. Especially in the ... Series - Dennis Alexander
I just bought these and have been impressed with the variety of sound and teacher friendly they are. I think they'll make a great addition to the library and I'm ESPECIALLY excited for his "Especially for Boys" series. I've got several young boys who will be happy to see a book made just for them!
Hope this list helps! Please let me know your personal GOLD in the comments below. Thanks!