The Discovery Piano System is a 10 volume collection of compositions specifically written to prepare beginning students for the varied musical challenges of the Musical Masters.
The Discovery Piano System
The Discovery Piano System is the program I designed for beginners 6 and older. There are 5 levels of books in The Discovery Piano System series. The series is much more than a series of compositions of progressive difficulty. The series presents a huge variety of interest in the way the compositions are arranged. This places greater demands on the reading skills of the performer.
The Discovery Piano System's first major sections is called Repertoire. This section contains a very steady, graded progression of compositions composed with an eye toward building the students knowledge of the basic elements of learning to read music so the new language of music becomes a language of familiarity and fluency. The Discovery Piano System contains many compositions I wrote for my students to answer the specific needs that came up in their musical development. There are also arrangements of some of the great moments found in the masterworks of the great composers.
In the Repertoire section there is also contained a great deal of folk music. Not only are there American Folk Songs and Patriotic Songs but there are many folk songs from many countries; beautiful melodies that are unknown to American children.
When I was getting my college education there was a revival of interest in folk songs. Major educators were admonishing students to bring to their student's attention the natural enduring beauty of folk songs. We were also encouraged to made sure these melodies, that seemed to spring directly from the well of human experience, were interestingly arranged. Being one who liked to dabble in composition I arranged scores of folk songs from all over the world. I tried to imitate what I learned from the music I was learning and studying only bringing the technical and musical demands to a student's level.
The unique feature of The Discovery Piano System are the innovative sections that come after all the repertoire selections. A Closer LOOK provides students with historical and analytical exercises that helps broaden the students understanding of specific pieces in the Repertoire section. Many of these Closer LOOKS helps students to learn to look at the music page and understand it in ways that will aid his reading skill. This is a skill that is not developed without direction. It's much like young grade school students learning reading comprehension. It's only through perceptive questions from a skilled teacher to help students understand the words they are reading. A Closer LOOK develops and sharpens a student's analytic music reading skills.
A third major section of the books in our Discovery Piano System is simply called Discovery. This section teaches students to understand music in musical and important academic ways. One section is called Euphonic Sounds that teach students the sounds that sound pleasant together and why. They are given the melodies from the Repertoire section and they are enhanced with Euphonic Sounds.
Another way we enhance the compositions of the Repertoire section is through our Piano and Percussion section. In this section we add a rhythm section to various selection from the Repertoire section of the book. These are designed to develop a students rhythmic sense. Student and teacher exchange parts. Each has a chance to take the Piano Part or the Rhythmic Percussion Part.
Another innovative section in the Discovery section of The Discovery Piano System is our BASSLINE section. Understand BASS LINES is so foundational to music that we take up its study and this very beginning stage of learning. Again, taking various selections from the Repertoire section of the student's books BASSLINE are added so student's discovery of this important element of music.
The Discovery Piano System is all about Discovering Music.
Discovering Music through the beautiful melodies found in FOLK SONGS.
Discovering Music through analysis in A Closer LOOK.
Discovering Music through the Euphonic Sounds of harmony.
Discovering Music through rhythm in our Piano and Percussion selections.
Discovering Music through experiencing the exhilaration of BASSLINES.
To help the student to deal with the reading demands I wrote something unique to most standard piano methods. I wrote a READING METHOD to accompany The Discovery Piano System books. The READING METHOD gives students a progressive series of exercises to methodically introduce a thorough "phonics" of sounds, shapes and forms encountered in reading music. The READING METHOD fully develops the concepts begun in MY FIRST THEORY book from the KEYBOARD KIDS series. Students are exposed and drilled in the basic "shapes" found in music until these "shapes" become part of the students visual and aural vocabulary when reading ther music assignments. All my students realize a dramatic jump in their reading ability after going through the READING METHOD series of books.
The Discovery Piano System series also contains MY FIRST THEORY. The MY FIRST THEORY are a little bit different than the ones I've seen that accompany other piano methods. The exercises in the theory books are not simply designed to teach theory facts, but rather, show the students those fact in the context of a musical composition. After we learn the fact that, for example, a C chord comprises the notes C, E and G, we look at excerpts of musical composition and see the many ways a composer can creatively utilize those three notes. This method of learning theory enhances understanding.
CLASSICAL ANTHOLOGIES also accompany The Discovery Piano System. My CLASSICAL ANTHOLOGIES is a graded repertoire of classical music. The first book of the series begins at a mid elementary level. The unique feature about my CLASSICAL ANTHOLOGIES is that I take several of the classical pieces in each book and arrange a folk song in imitation of the classical composition. These little mini units are called Theoretically Speaking. Each mini unit begins with a Theoretically Speaking page that explains what musical concept is being shared between the two (or more) pieces. For example - A classical piece may feature syncopation so I will take a folk song, such as Cockles and Mussels, and arrange it is a similarly syncopated way. This little interchange between the two pieces allows students to see how techniques found in classical music can be applied to music they may already know. Then students can better understand the effects of syncopation in a way they can more readily grasp.
A major theme running through all The Discovery Piano System series of books is not only to have a graded series of a wide variety of diversely arranged compositions and arrangements but also to have a repertoire that promotes, in uniquely creative ways, musical understanding.
To enroll your child in The Discovery Piano System and its accompanying books and contact me at (724) 524-3500 or fill out and send me the contact form at the bottom of this page.