Alfred's Basic Piano Course

A Piano Course for Beginners

By Willard A. Palmer, Morton Manus, and Amanda Vick Lethco

Core Books: Lesson, Theory, Recital, & Technic books for each of the 7 Levels. 

Supplementary Instructional Books: Composition, Ear Training, Flash Cards 1A & 1B, Notespeller, Sight Reading.

Supplementary Performance Books: Duet, Fun Solos, Hymn, Merry Christmas, Patriotic, Popular Hits, Praise Hits, Repertoire, Top Hits, Top Hits Christmas, Top Hits Duet.

Alfred's Basic Piano Course Covers

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Brief Description

This is the first book ever published in Alfred’s Basic Piano Library, and it is still the most popular. It introduced a quick way to learn to read by recognizing music intervals of 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths. As you leaf through the book, you will notice a number of attractive features, such as the clean and uncluttered pages, the clear music engraving, and the attractive art work, all designed to appeal to young students. Most pieces have DUET parts that may be played by the teacher, parent, or another student.

Outline of Basic Concepts in Lesson Book 1A

Pages 3-5  Introduction to Playing. Finger numbers. Piano tones.

Pages 6-17  BLACK KEYS are used for keyboard orientation and finger number recognition, avoiding the association of any finger number with any specific key black or white. Tunes on the black keys for elementary rhythmic reading and development of fingers skills. Introduction to elementary dynamic signs: p and f. Introduction to quarter, half and whole notes.

Pages 18-26  Fluent recognition of WHITE key-names through letter-notes that move up or down on the page as if they were on the staff. This visual concept will lead smoothly into staff notation. Tunes in MIDDLE C POSITION for more skill development and rhythmic reading. Time signatures: 4/4 time, 3/4 time. New: dotted half note. New dynamic: mf.

Pages 27-32  Introduction to the Bass clef sign, Bass staff, Introduction to the Treble clef sign, Treble staff, GRAND STAFF. Page 33-49 Using the hands alternately. Interval reading in C POSITION: 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths. Melodic & harmonic intervals. Legato, slur, tied notes. Introduction to rests: quarter rest, whole rest.

Pages 50-58  Interval reading in G POSITION. Sharps & Flats. Staccato playing. Incomplete measure. New rest: half rest.

Pages 59-64  More dynamics: crescendo, diminuendo. Review pieces. Test. Certificate of Promotion.

What Makes Alfred’s Basic Course So Special?

NEW musical terms are enlarged and highlighted in a blue box. The definition is simply phrased but the meaning is precise and clear.

Alfred's Basic Piano Course Music Terms and Definitions

 A colorful and witty illustration accompanies most every piece. They are related to either the title or the lyric. They are bound to bring a smile to the student and fun to the lesson.

Alfred's Basic Piano Course Illustrations

Identifies the new musical term in the music. First, the musical term is defined. Next, there is an illustration about the title or lyric. Lastly, the new musical term is included in the piece.

Alfred's Basic Piano Course Key Terms

The duet part can be played by the teacher, parent or advanced student. Duet playing will help the student learn to keep a steady beat and to enjoy the fun of making music.

Alfred's Basic Piano Course Duet Parts

How the Basic Course Interacts with the Prep Course

At the completion of Alfred’s Basic Level 1A, if the teacher feels the student would benefit by using a slower approach, a smooth switch can be made to Prep Course Level C.

  • Look down the LH column of the chart below to Alfred’s Basic, then right to Level 1A. Just follow the dashed line from the top of the Alfred’s Basic Level 1A box to the bottom of the Prep Level C box, and it will point out where the switch can be comfortably made.
  • Also, at the completion of Alfred’s Basic Level 1B, a smooth switch can be made to Prep Course Level E.

Alfred's Basic Piano Course Level Chart