A Piano Course for Beginners
By Willard A. Palmer, Morton Manus, and Amanda Vick LethcoThere are five All-In-One books, and each one combines pages from the Lesson, Theory, and Recital Books of Alfred’s Basic Piano Course.
This All-In-One Piano Course was written in response to many requests by teachers for a single book that would include material from Lesson, Theory, and Solo books. By combining the concepts from the first three Lesson Books (1A, 1B, and 2) of Alfred’s Basic Piano Library, and spreading them over five All-In-One Books that also include selected pages from the Theory and Recital Books, a new course has been developed that offers several advantages.
- The student will only need to perform from one book.
- The need to carry multiple books to each lesson is eliminated.
- Assignments from the teacher can be simplified and shortened.
After completing Book 3 of the All-In-One Course, the student will be ready to start Level 2 of Alfred’s Basic Library. After completing Book 5 of the All-In-One Course, the student will be ready to start Level 3 of Alfred’s Basic Library.
Outline of Concepts in Book 1
Introduction to Playing (Pages 3–5)
Students learn how to sit at the piano, how to hold their hands, and about finger numbers. They are introduced to the concept of loud and soft tones by using more or less weight on the keys.
Finger Numbers and Black Keys (Pages 6–21)
Black keys are used for keyboard orientation and finger number recognition, while still avoiding the association of any finger number with a specific key. Tunes are played on the black keys for basic rhythmic reading and development of finger skills. Two basic dynamic signs are introduced: p and f. The student is introduced to reading and writing quarter, half, and whole notes, as well as writing note stems and bar lines.
Middle C Position and C Position (Pages 22–35)
Students practice fluent recognition of white key letter names. Tunes are played in Middle C position and C position for skill development and rhythmic reading. Notes move up or down on the page as if they were on a staff. This visual concept prepareds students to easily read standard staff notation. A new dynamic sign ( mf ), 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures, and writing & playing dotted half notes are all introduced and practiced.
Bass, Treble, and Grand Staff (Pages 36–51)
Students are introduced to the bass & treble clef, and the bass & treble staff, and grand staff. Students get to practice writing on the staff, specifically in C position on the grand staff, and they play songs with both hands in C position.
Intervals and Articulations (Pages 52–70)
The student is introduced to legato articulation, slurs, and tied notes. They are given opportunities to practice intervals in C position, specifically 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths. The difference between melodic and harmonice intervals is explained. Quarter rests are introduced.
Final Review (Pages 71–72)
Students are provided with some final review and a certificate of promotion to the next level.
What Makes Alfred’s All-in-One Course Special?
1. New musical terms are enlarged and highlighted in a pink box. The definition is simple, precise, and clear.
2. A clapping exercise is sometimes included to introduce a new rhythm term or symbol.
3. First the new musical symbol is defined. Then there is a clapping exercise incorporating that symbol. Lastly, the new symbol is included in a piece.
4. The duet part can be played by the teacher, a parent, or a more advanced student. Duet playing will help the student learn to keep a steady beat and to enjoy the fun of making music in an ensemble.
How Does the All-In-One Course Interacts with the Basic Course?
After completing the All-In-One Course, Book 3, if the teacher feels the student would benefit from more extensive reinforcement with separate Lesson, Theory, and Recital books, a smooth switch can be made to Alfred’s Basic Course, Level 2.
- Find the All-In-One Course on the chart below, then move right to Book 3.
- Follow the dashed lines and arrows to see where a switch between the courses can be made.
- After completing All-In-One Course, Book 3, a smooth switch can be made to Alfred's Basic Course, Level 2.
- After completing the All-In-One Course, Book 5, a smooth switch can be made to Alfred’s Basic Course, Level 3.