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 Piano Safari Method for the Older Student.

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 in both private lessons and group classes.

What is included in the Older Student Pack?

The Older Student Pack is made up of two correlating books.

The Repertoire & Technique Book features pieces in a variety of styles and textures as well as the Animal Techniques from Piano Safari Level … Read More

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 … Read More

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 … Read More

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 … Read More

Jingle Bell Jazz, arr. Sean Parsons

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!

By Dr. Julie Knerr

The following video is an 18-minute condensed video of a 45-minute lesson of this 5-year-old’s very first piano lesson! A bit of background about this student. He just turned 5 in May. His mom is a piano teacher. Dad is also a musician. He has been taking early childhood music classes for a few years. He is homeschooled and is doing Kindergarten/1st Grade work. As you will see, he is very enthusiastic, well-behaved, focused, and he learns quickly. In other words, a dream student!

Everything you see in the video is real-life lesson! Bloopers, mistakes, and triumphs are all included. During the first lesson, I am assessing a student’s concentration, rhythmic sense, pattern recognition, physicality, and ability to follow directions. As you will see, he is above … Read More

By Dr. Julie Knerr

From experience, I know that Rain Forest Mystery, the Rote Piece corresponding to the legato Tree Frog Technique (from Piano Safari Level 1 and Animal Adventures) can be a challenging piece for both students and teachers. Over the years, I have fine-tuned my presentation of this challenging piece. It now involves teaching portions of the piece over the course of two to three lessons as well as creating a story with the stuffed animals to show the dynamics. In this 7-minute video, you will see this joyful and enthusiastic 7-year-old student learning the second half of the piece (she learned the first half the week before). Enjoy!

By Dr. Julie Knerr

Although stuffed animals are not necessary to teach Piano Safari, they do make things more fun, especially for our youngest students. Here are two short videos of a 5-year-old working on two of the Animal Techniques found in Level 1.

Lion Paw Technique

Larry the Lion is asleep, and when she plays a good Lion Paw arm, he wakes up scared! Kids love this!

Tall Giraffe Technique

This is my student’s first attempt at learning the Tall Giraffe Technique. First we play it non legato. Then we use Bumper the Tall Giraffe to add the graceful wrist lift in the Tall Giraffe Neck part.

If you have fun ideas for using stuffed animals, please share!

By Dr. Julie Knerr

I have a new batch of little Piano Safarians this year. They are a bunch of wonderful kids! Since my pianos got tuned last week (so excited!), I decided to get some new video clips.

The following is a video of one of my 6-year-olds with his first yellow Level B Sight Reading Card (pre-staff on white keys). A bit about this student. He started piano lessons on January 10, so he is at the beginning stages. His parents both play the piano, and he is very creative, has great ears, and draws great pictures of dinosaurs!! He is currently writing an 8-part-epic book series about dinosaurs. He loves to improvise and create his own music, always wants to learn the Teacher Accompaniments to his pieces, and loves … Read More