The Learning To Play Piano Book for the Very Young came to me at precisely the right time. This fantastic book written by Debbie Cavalier (of Debbie and Friends) is the perfect tool for teaching a 3, 4, or 5 year old how to play the piano, and why shouldn't it be given Cavalier's background as the Dean at Berklee College of Music and one of the top children's music artists in the nation.
The 24-page book is a steal at $9.95 and comes with a pull-out Keyboard Tent that you place on your piano (or keyboard) that fits right over the black keys! It is constructed of thicker gauge paper, which I liked, and it did stand up to a beating from LaLa (3 years old) who as it turns out was too hyper to follow the lessons.
LoLo (age 4.5) did an amazing job with these lessons, and below is a list of the features that got him from zero knowledge of the piano (except that it was fun to bang on), to playing songs within 15 minutes! Seriously!
- The Keyboard Tent idea is fantastic. It lines up correctly with C and goes up from there.
- The notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) are correlated to a picture which starts with the letter (ex: A for apple). This concept really helped LoLo learn the notes.
- The lessons began by teaching the types of notes and rhythms, as well as correct finger numbers. I really appreciated that it kept it all at a very basic preschooler-friendly level. *One change I would have made was to make the area to "draw your hand and label your fingers" actually the size of a kid's hand so that we could trace it!
- The book taught the notes C, D and E first then had a song following with only those notes. This made him feel really successful that he could "play a song" so quickly.