We use the Alfred piano curriculum for our lessons, which are 30 minutes weekly. Students should practice at home for 30 minutes a day, or long if necessary until each song is smooth, even and easy.
Most of our students use the Alfred Basic series; check with your piano teacher to see which series is best for you or your child.
Each student needs a Lesson, Technic, Theory, Recital and Fun book to get started. Levels 1A and 1B have an optional Lesson Book with CD to help students whose parents don't play the piano to hear the songs at home.
In addition, students who are struggling with the names of the notes should get a Notespeller book and a set of Flash Cards. There is also a Keyboard Chart available.
After that, most students select 2-5 additional books for fun, such as Popular Hits, Solo, Duet (two piano players), Top Hits! Solo, Top Hits! Duet, Patriotic Solos, Classic Themes, Repertoire, Hymn, Praise Hits, and the various Christmas books. (See also the Premier series for Pop & Movie Hits, Masterworks, and Jazz, Rags & Blues).
We typically begin learning Christmas songs at the start of November and have a recital with a carol sing-along in December.
Students with friends who play other instruments may be interested in the Ensemble or Christmas! Ensemble books. Those who are interested in more advanced skills may be interested in the Ear Training, Sight Reading and Composition books.
This series is designed for very young or slower-paced students and splits each of the first two Alfred Basic levels into two easier levels.
Each student needs a Lesson, Technic, Theory, Solo, Activity and Notespeller book to get started. Level A has an optional Lesson Book with CD to help students whose parents don't play the piano to hear the songs at home.
We strongly recommend the Flashcards and the Keyboard Chart for students using this method.
In addition, there are Sacred Solo and Christmas Joy books. We typically begin learning Christmas songs at the start of November and have a recital with a carol sing-along in December.
After completing Level D, most students will transition to Level 2 of the Alfred Basic series. Books can also be mixed and matched across series for students who want more songs at their level before learning new skills.
This series is designed for older or fast-paced students. It combines levels 1A and 1B into a Complete Level 1, and levels 2 and 3 from the Basic series into a Complete 2/3. It provides fewer songs at each skill level so students can progress quickly to new ideas. It is best for teens and adults who have played another instrument already.
While the books are a little more expensive than the Basic series, you will only need two sets instead of four two get through levels 1A, 1B, 2 and 3.
The Alfred Basic series is being updated and improved in the Premiere series. The best feature is that all six levels of the Lesson book are available with a CD; each song is provided at a slower "practice" speed and a faster "performance" speed.
These books can be mixed and matched with the Basic series for the most complete set of songs at each skill level. If using Premier for your main series, you need a Lesson, Technic, Theory and Performance book to begin.
Then choose 3-5 additional books from Notespeller, Sight Reading, Pop & Movie Hits, Duet, Masterworks (begins in Level 3), Christmas, or Jazz, Rags & Blues; plus the Basic series books Popular Hits, Top Hits! Solo, Top Hits! Duet, Solo, Duet, Classic Themes, Repertoire, Patriotic Solos, Folk Songs, Hymn and Praise Hits.
New or struggling students might also like the Flash Cards and Keyboard Chart.