A Piano Teacher’s Guide To Piano Method Books

Knowing how to find the right method book can be tricky – our guide will help you feel inspired to start your search.

A Piano Teacher’s Guide To Piano Method Books

“Which method book am I going to use?” This is probably one of the first questions you asked yourself when you first started teaching. It’s possibly even a question you ask yourself every time you get a new piano student.

You’re faced with a massive array of different method books to choose from, from Supersonics Piano, Piano Adventures, and Piano Safari (to name just the first three that popped into my head!)

But how can you choose the right method book for the right student?

you don't have to teach every student using the exact same method book

Table Of Contents:

  1. Piano Method Book Recommendations
  2. Should You Always Use A Method Book?
  3. The Brains Behind The Method Books
  4. What’s Your Method Book Of Choice?

Piano Method Book Recommendations

One way to discover new method books and hear about the features of each is from recommendations.

Your fellow piano teachers are always more than happy to help and give you pointers, especially when it comes to piano books.

Reading reviews on Amazon is one thing, but hearing firsthand from teachers who have tried and tested the books themselves is a great way to discover the good and bad points.

To get you started, here are TopMusic’s reviews for:

Teachers in the TopMusicPro community always share their thoughts on piano method books. This has led to the creation of the new feature, “Method Book of the Month.” Each month we’ll feature a method book and invite teachers to learn about it and explore whether it would suit their studio.

We predict there’ll be discussions on topics such as:

  • The best method books for young beginners
  • Which method books are suitable for adult beginners
  • How you can incorporate extra repertoire alongside method books

This feature is member-exclusive; sign up to join in the method book fun!

when it comes to method books, different students need different things

Should You Always Use A Method Book?

“Yes, absolutely. How else would I teach?” you may be thinking.

While we think method books are fantastic, we wanted to give you an alternate perspective:

Method Book Pros Method Book Cons
Provides a guideSometimes rush students through too quickly
Structures lessonsCan prevent creative exploration
Teaches new conceptsStudents miss out on repertoire they recognize (e.g. pop songs)

If you’re still wondering why you’d choose to teach lessons without using a method book, this blog will answer your questions and explain why starting beginner students with reading is just wrong.

And click here if you’re wanting to hear first-hand from a teacher how teaching beginners with no books revolutionized their studio.

The Brains Behind The Method Books

As we said, we think method books are great. And what absolutely love is hearing the thought process behind their creation, direct from the creator’s mouth.

Why they chose to create their method book. How they made certain decisions. The benefits of their method book. Learning all their reasons is not only interesting but also useful when it comes to selecting which method to use with which student.

We wanted to share with you three interviews with method book creators:

advantages of using a method book

What’s Your Method Book Of Choice?

We would love to know your thoughts on method books and which ones you find yourself using the most in your studio! Let us know in the comments, and come and join in the Method Book of the Month chat in the TopMusicPro community!

Tim Topham

Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular Integrated Music Teaching Podcast, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as integrated teaching, creativity, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

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  1. If you want to find method books that will revolutionize the way you teach, check out Wunderkeys by Andrea and Trevor Dow. Nearly every student in my studio is working with one of their books now!

  2. I love using piano town by Snell & Hidy for bright students. They focus early on on intervals, transposing, getting through all the keys and key signatures, and teaching kids how to find the primary chords in every key

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