By Dr. Julie Knerr

At the beginning of the new school year, I realized that some of my students who are in Piano Safari Level 3 were a bit rusty after the summer with their technical patterns. Level 3 works through the keys of C, Am, G, Em, F, and Dm. But since students can spend a year or longer in Piano Safari Level 3, it is easy to forget the earlier keys as they progress through Technique Book 3 if they are not reviewed. I devised a beginning of the year technical review that worked really well for my students who are nearing the middle to end of Piano Safari Level 3 that I thought I would share with you.

It is simple, but something about gray blobs you fill with …

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By Dr. Julie Knerr

Happy New School Year!!!

My students begin Tuesday, and I am excited to see them again! As you begin your school year, we wanted to highlight the features of the new Piano Safari Method for the Older Student, which we released last month. By the way, the Labor Day Sale (20% off on all materials using coupon code weekend20) runs now through Sept. 3, so it would be a great time to try out the Older Student Books if you might have older beginners starting soon!

Piano Safari for the Older Student is designed for what age student?

Ages 10 through Adult beginners. It would also work well with an adult student who took piano as a child but needs a refresher course. The books can be adapted for use …

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By Dr. Julie Knerr

I trust all of you have settled into your new school year routines with your students! I wanted to share with you some things I am doing this year with my students. It’s nothing fancy, but I find that new charts and organizational structures are very motivating for students, and help me to gauge how the student is progressing throughout the year.

Parent Teacher Conferences

I had Parent Teacher Conferences with all my students the second week of lessons. I have not done this before, but I thought it would be helpful to set expectations for the new school year and talk with each parent alone. During the first 15 minutes of the student’s lesson, I asked the student to practice in my studio while the parent and I …

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Julie and I kicked off the new academic year with a trip to the eastern coast of Maine! We began every day with a Piano Safari planning meeting in the most idyllic coffee shop one can imagine, Sea Folk Coffee. In addition to perfect coffee and pastries, we had a wonderful view of Rockport Harbour from our table. The windows were open and we always had a wonderful sea breeze. Who could not be inspired at a place like this? My husband, Chris, and our two children also joined us.

We were able to finish planning Piano Safari for the Older Student Level 2, and have many exciting new ideas to implement in 2018-2019! It seems that several new projects grow out of every completed project.

The afternoons were spent exploring!

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By Dr. Julie Knerr

This week in my studio is the last week of lessons (aside from some snow makeups) and the week before the recital (which is this Saturday). What to do during this last lesson? Have a piano zip line!

It’s easy to do. It took me about 10 minutes to set up. I strung yarn around my dining room and clothes pinned directions to the yarn. The children follow the yarn with their finger and do what each sign says.

Here is what my dining room looks like now. Haha. I don’t think I’ll be eating dinner in here this week. It is adjacent to the living room (to the right), which is adjacent to my piano room.

After the first sign said they had to play their recital pieces three …

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By Dr. Julie Knerr

We have released new editions of the books in Levels 1 and 2, and we have updated the Piece Cards for Level 1 and Level 2 to match the new artwork in the books.

What are Piece Cards?

They are a motivational supplement for Piano Safari Levels 1 and 2 that have the name for each piece on a card.

Piece Cards are available for purchase, and you may affix them to the free downloadable Unit Maps. The Unit Maps are also available on the Teacher Guide Pages.

The new version of Piece Cards are in black and white to allow students to color the cards as they are assigned and to highlight Elisa Lara Campos’ beautiful artwork.

Because art is important to life (as is music), and children love to color!

Benefits of …

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By Katherine Fisher

We are excited to release the 2nd Editions of Repertoire Book 1, Repertoire Book 2, and Technique Book 2! One important things to note is that the Sight Reading & Rhythm Cards and Theory Books remain unchanged.

Here is a list of what is new in each book:

Repertoire Book 1:

The inclusion of Improvisation Pieces to accompany each animal technique (these are currently contained in Animal Adventures as well).
Contains several new Rote Pieces (taken from Pattern Pieces 1)
Contains a few new Reading Pieces
Slightly different order of pieces
Beautiful new interior illustrations
Updated fonts and layout
Larger size: 9 x 12 in. instead of 8.5 x 11 in.
Length increased to 133 pages

Repertoire Book 2:

Contains several new Rote Pieces (taken from Pattern Pieces 2)
Practice and analysis suggestions are added for many of the pieces
Slightly different …

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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 …

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Jingle Bell Jazz, arr. Sean Parsons

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By Dr. Julie Knerr

You may remember the first lesson video of my new 5-year-old student. He started in September and is just flying through Level 1, thanks to his awesome mom who makes him practice diligently! Plus, he’s just a bright and eager student. In fact, after just 2 months of lessons, he started Unit 3 and got on the staff! What an exciting day Staff Day is. This video shows a few of the activities I use to introduce reading sames (unisons) and 2nds on the staff as well as his first (unedited) attempt at playing My Dog Fritz. I hope you enjoy this window into the lesson of a fabulous little student!

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