Piano Course Vols 1–24
We had some particular priorities in mind, when we created our piano course. Firstly, we wanted a course which would give even the youngest children to make music at the piano. When children first try to play the piano, they are full of enthusiasm and curiosity about the sounds they can make over the full range of the piano keyboard. It can be quite disappointing when formal piano lessons begin if they are limited to playing on a few keys in the middle register of the piano. Their initial exploratory attitude may disappear and never be recaptured. The first books in the Ebony Music Piano Course Vols 1–24 give children lots of fun ways of playing music all over the keyboard, whilst allowing them to develop their technical skills and musical perception unhampered by having to read what they play.
We don’t ignore the importance of learning to read music notation. Some of the pieces are written for five fingers in each hand, centred around middle C and form a gentle introduction to playing music from notes on the page. Stories and pictures are children’s way of making sense of the world and of communicating their responses to what they find. Our first books with their lively words and humorous illustrations suggest to children that music also can enhance their view of life and give them a means of expression. Even the simplest pieces can paint pictures and tell stories. Long before children have the maturity to understand abstract ideas, they can interpret and respond to the world through music. We value the inclusion of famous traditional tunes which are part of our musical and cultural heritage, but also introduce upbeat and contemporary music from the start. Our course moves very gradually, especially in the early books; there are lots of tunes of roughly the same level, and each new feature is presented one at a time and with lots of repetition.
As soon as they are able, the pupils are introduced to easy and appealing classical pieces. The course includes the most familiar classical piano pieces though there are some lesser known gems too; the later books in the course are weighted towards mainstream classical repertoire but with a variety of other styles of music.