By Katherine Fisher

Last week I wrote a article introducing the Interval Cards, so this second post is intended as more of a practical “how to” for use of the cards.

Before a student begins using the Interval Cards, it is very helpful for him/her to understand a few basics about notation such as:

Treble Clef
Bass Clef
Line and Space Notes
Landmark Notes Treble G and Bass C
Intervals: 2nds

Repertoire Book 1 has several Musicianship pages that cover these concepts, (pg.52-56) so it will work well for students to complete these first.

If you have ever seen Julie and I present at conferences, etc. you know we suggest a very specific system of marking and analyzing our Sight Reading & Rhythm Cards. We use this system for the Interval Cards as well. If you have not read … Read More

By Katherine Fisher

As Julie and I began writing Piano Safari more than ten years ago, our original intent was to create a product for the average age beginner (6-10). As we began testing Repertoire Book 1, however, we quickly realized the method works brilliantly with preschoolers as well! The combination of Rote Pieces with a systematic intervallic reading approach lends itself well for use with very young students. The Rote Pieces sustain interest and motivation while the slower-paced Reading Pieces provide a strong foundation.

While the Sight Reading & Rhythm Cards that accompany Repertoire Book 1 provide substantial reading practice, we found that many young beginners need an additional aid to strengthen their reading skills. As a result, we designed a new product called “Interval Cards.” These small cards … Read More

By Dr. Julie Knerr

In the previous blog post I wrote about how to use the newly released Piece Cards with the Unit Maps.

I have always thrived on presenting new pieces to students and finding the most interesting and effective ways to present each new piece to each individual student.

However, as we review the pieces on the Unit Maps each week, I have been experimenting with how to keep review pieces exciting by enhancing the pieces through creative repetitions (the Teaching Strategy I like to call, “Fun Repeats).

At the NCKP Conference last week in Lombard, Illinois, creativity in manipulating pieces seemed to be one of the overarching threads of the conference. Forrest Kinney and Elissa Milne both presented lectures on this topic. I had already been thinking in this direction, … Read More

by Dr. Julie Knerr


We recently released Piece Cards for Piano Safari Levels 1 and 2.
This post will discuss how these cards are enhancing our teaching.Piece Cards for Level 1 have the Title and Picture of each piece in Repertoire Book 1. For Level 2, both pieces from Repertoire Book 2 and exercises in Technique Book 2 are included.

Why Piece Cards?

The Piece Cards came about because of the “Did I pass it?” Syndrome. I have in the past rewarded students for passing pieces, because although some students love moving on to new pieces, other students prefer to play the pieces they already know. Rewarding students for passing pieces was a way to motivate those students who would rather just play the pieces they know.

However, this backfired with … Read More

by Dr. Julie Knerr

This summer has been fabulous! I resigned my position at the Hartt Community Division to work from home and have been setting up my studio. I love practicing and teaching in this room, and since I’m at home, I get to teach in my slippers!

I also bought a few more Ikea bookshelves to reorganize the Piano Safari inventory/collating/packing station in my basement

But the highlight of the summer so far has been my trip to Ohio to visit Katie and her family. We planned Piano Safari Level 3, which we hope to release by next summer (or possibly by MTNA San Antonio!).

At NCKP, Katie and I presented a lecture entitled “The Role of Rote Teaching in the Development of Reading, Technique, and Artistry.” It was well attended … Read More