By Katherine Fisher
How do I transfer students into Piano Safari from another method?
This is definitely one of the questions teachers ask us most often, especially when they are taking new students at the start of the term. We have hesitated to make a correlation chart, however, because it is too much of a “one size fits all” approach, which doesn’t really work considering the variety of ages and learning styles in students. Also, Piano Safari is quite different in approach from other methods, especially because of the inclusion of Rote Pieces alongside Reading Pieces. Comparing Piano Safari to other methods is difficult because of this fact. For example, a student might have a grasp on reading notation from the other method they started in, but may not have a well developed technique or understanding of patterns and form, which are benefits of playing the more difficult Rote Pieces at the start of study. On the other hand, their reading may be weak, or perhaps the other method used an entirely different reading approach. We do have some suggestions, however, that teachers may consider as they decide what level of Piano Safari is best for their students!
- Students need to know the 7 Animal Techniques from Level 1 before they proceed to other levels of Piano Safari. This provides an essential technical foundation that must not be skipped. These techniques may be found in Repertoire Book 1 or the supplemental book Animal Adventures.
- The majority Level 1 Rote Pieces should be learned by students before they go on to Repertoire Book 2. This is especially true of the Rote Pieces that correspond with the animal techniques. These Rote Pieces are found in Repertoire Book 1, or in the supplemental books Pattern Pieces 1 and Animal Adventures.
- Eighth notes are introduced from the beginning in Piano Safari, which is different than most other methods. This is something to consider when deciding which book to use with students.
- To decide where students fit in the Piano Safari reading approach, you can take them though levels of the Sight Reading & Rhythm Cards until you find the place where they need more reinforcement.
- Repertoire Book 2 introduces metric counting and how to find notes on the Grand Staff early in the book. Students begin to use the entire range of the staff at this point, so they are starting off the Landmark Notes (Treble G and Bass C) used in Level 1.
- Piano Safari Level 3 is about the level of RCM Level 1-2.
- All of the materials have sample pages at the bottom of the individual product pages (i.e. Repertoire Book 1). This will help you decide where your individual student fits best!