Poco Piano for Young Children

With its developmentally appropriate, pedagogically sound, learner-focused presentation, this series encourages young children to take the first steps on a difficult, but thoroughly rewarding journey. It leads the child from the very beginning to Grade 1 level.

Philosophy: Students challenge to learn through preparation, discovery, interaction, and reinforcement.
Motivation: An appealing layout of double-page spreads, with attractive stickers, color-coded notes, and big note notation to keep the student engaged.
Technique: Begining with a braced 3rd finger of each hand to develop a natural, balanced hand position.
Musicianship: New chapter beginning with preparation to provide a simultaneous experience on note reading, rhythm patterns, music analysis, and theory.
Music Concepts: From known to unknown, use Performance Directions in music first introduces in simple English and then replaced with Italian to avoid “knowledge overload.”
Aural Development: Familiar nursery rhymes, folksongs, and tunes with lyrics to encourage singing and retain the interest of the child.
Musical Playing: Interesting information about music using illustrations appropriately matching the title and story of the pieces to encourage musical playing.

Poco Piano for Young Children, Book 1

Book 1 introduces the child to the keyboard, staves, clefs, simple time signatures, note values, and rests. Reading encompasses notes to a 5th above and a 5th below Middle C. The notes A and E are introduced first, played by a braced 3rd finger of each hand. This encourages free movement of the whole arm from the shoulder and develops a natural, balanced hand position before the 5-finger position is gradually mastered. The first line of the treble stave and the fifth line of the bass stave are highlighted, and further lines are similarly treated as the child learns more notes. Staccato, slurs, ties, upbeats, and repeat signs are all experienced in Book 1. Tempo and dynamic markings encourage musical playing, and are in English, in order to avoid “knowledge overload”.

Poco Piano for Young Children, Book 2

In Book 2 three new notes in each hand are mastered (up to “High C” and down to “Low C*) and the child experiences changes of hand position within a tune. Quavers are introduced in all the time signatures covered in Book 1. Sharps and flats are included, but no mention is made yet of keys, key signatures, scales, or triads. Dynamic markings are now in Italian, while tempo indications are still in English.

Poco Piano for Young Children, Book 3

Book 3 introduces the concepts of key, key signature, scales, triads, tones, and semitones in a novel and exciting way: each key is a group of characters or objects with note-names (i.e. a band, a birthday party, a clothes-line with garments). Certain notes belong, while all other notes (accidentals) are outsiders. Transposition is a natural outcome of this concept, with a tune moving from one group to another. The child masters eight new notes (up to Treble High G and down to Bass Low F), which facilitates the playing of a more adventurous repertoire The semiquaver, semiquaver rest, dotted crotchet, and dotted quaver are introduced, and tempo markings are now in Italian. As in the previous two books, ensemble-playing is encouraged.

Poco Piano for Young Children, Book 4

Book 4 reinforces and revises all concepts learned in Books 1-3. It contains an attractive repertoire in various styles and from different periods. Each piece has a comprehensive preparation section covering the musical, technical, and structural matters which will be encountered. The aim is to cultivate critical thinking and musical awareness in the student. As in previous books, the child is actively involved through the use of writing, coloring, tracing, and pasting, thereby making the preparation an enjoyable activity. The standard of the repertoire approaches that of Grade 1.