About The Method
Dear Piano Enthusiast,
How many times have you watched and listened to very young children singing
(to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) "A, B, C, D, E, F, G - , H, I, J, K,
LMNOP..." So goes the alphabet song as little children realize they are singing
something significant - a sort of rite of passage - as they know very well that they
are preparing to enter the BIG ADULT WORLD OF LEARNING TO READ.
As piano teachers, have you witnessed your students approach notereading with such
unbounded enthusiasm? I have! I have watched young students with glowing eyes
enthusiastically read and play on the keyboard (without prompting!) the new set of
notes they are about to study--with the excitement of independent discovery as they
see the logic and simplicity of seamlessly adding new notes to those already learned.
In my new piano method, Piano ABC's, students learn to identify, read, write, and locate
on the keyboard each new note alphabetically before playing it in a piece. Because
fingerings are varied from the beginning and throughout, students never associate any
finger on either hand with any particular note/key. In my own teaching, I encourage
reading the notes in a piece rhythmically before playing the piece. Reverse alphabetical
thinking is also emphasized throughout so students can read descending scale passages
Using the visual and alphabetical center D as a checkpoint, students actually learn to
identify all of the white keys on the piano keyboard in the very first lesson.
In Level One of Piano ABC's, we study the middle set of seven notes/keys: A B C D E F G.
Original compositions followed by note/duration check-ups first reinforce the notes
A B C, then A B C D, then A B C D E, and so forth.
Correct rhythmic conceptualization is facilitated through tapping rhythmically while
reciting memorized instructive chants (for instance, "Half-note, two-counts" or
"Whole-note-four-counts, one-two-three-four" spoken very evenly, "like a robot").
Conducting conveys intellectually and physically the sense of meter and of even pulse.
Students become a metronome unto themselves through learning (1) to conduct as they
count the beats, (2) to conduct as the teacher plays, (3) to play as the teacher
conducts, and (4) [in Level Two] to conduct as they count while tapping rhythmically.
Additionally, graphic proportional illustrations help students acquire a profound
grasp of rhythmic proportions.
As they have been learning piano through the Piano ABC's method, it has been extraordinarily
rewarding to watch students confidently and accurately read notes and rhythms as they
learn their new pieces, and to commend many students from my own studio or from other
teachers who "confess" with a self-satisfied grin that they have independently worked
ahead to learn new pieces before they were assigned.
Piano ABC's breaks new ground in several instructional categories differing markedly from
other current methods as well as those of the past hundred years. I would be honored
if you were to venture into fresh pedagogical territory by choosing Piano ABC's which
has been endorsed by some of the major pedagogues in this country as an original,
innovative, student-friendly, and unique 21st Century approach for beginning pianists.
© 2012 PianoABCsTheMethod.com Henkel - Patent No. US 7,453,036 B1