Contemporary Piano Method Book 1A
By Margaret Brandman.
The overall objective of the material in Book 1A and 1B is to enable the student to play within the five-finger hand position over the range of four octaves, with extensions to the intervals of sixth, seventh and octave, in all major keys, using note-values from the whole note to the sixteenth note.
BOOK 1A: keys - C, G, D, A, E.
Interval Reading in the five-finger hand-position
- including such aspects as:
* reading without looking at the hands
* playing by feel
* developing the ear by having to listen for the intervals for correction
- awareness of combined direction for both hands: up, down, in, out, same or oblique
- in this level of the course, the tunes presented include a mixture of intervals between the hands ( the majority of the songs in the preparatory book, the Junior Primer, have matching intervals in both hands)
- as preparation while using finger -tracing and as the student is playing the directions should be identified (preferably said out loud) for instance: step up (both hands) or skip out
- when the music uses varying intervals students should say - mix out or mix down etc
- once the piece has been rehearsed and the student knows the mixture intervals, then the process should be streamlined so they are saying direction and counting only
- proportional notation for easy understanding of timing.
- playing in all areas from Very High C to Very Low C ( over the range of four octaves)
Introduction of Scales
- for hand-position changes
- to learn scale pathways on the keyboard
- to learn key signatures and the cycle of fifths
- to find chords in root position.
Extension of the five-finger position using the larger intervals: sixths, sevenths and octaves.
(a) Chords in Inversions, Block and Broken forms.
(b) Primary Chords in Major Keys and the Chord Table
- how to find chords on the written music
- Chordal analysis of each piece
- 12-Bar Blues
Playing in all major keys via scale pathways and interval reading
- using the key signature in the original sense of the word, as a 'key' to unlock the puzzle
- more hand-position changes along pre-learned scale pathways
- Chromatic scale.
(N.B. During the entire course there is a progressive introduction of musical signs, touch markings, etc. plus the pieces give experience in reading in many time-signatures and all styles of music.)