Comparing Method Books, Part 1

I teach with the Alfred’s Basic Piano Library series of method books, mostly because they are the series I used as a kid. I have other reasons for preferring it as well, but that’s a different blog post. For today, I’m just commenting that I often have students transfer to me, and they’ve often used other books, and it’s hard to know exactly how to transition them to Alfred’s. It would be just as hard in the other direction, so I have put together this table of concepts and skills taught in the first level of Alfred’s, Bastien’s, and Faber’s to make it easier to see what is taught and when.

The basic takeaway message is: While all the books are roughly the same length, Faber’s moves slowly and covers much less than the other two. Bastien’s covers the most, but in my opinion throws in several huge topics right at the end without a lot of explanation (e.g., triads, damper pedal, eighth notes). Alfred’s is the happy medium. Go with Alfred’s. 

You can see the page by page breakdown of the skills and concepts here.

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