A Piano Course for Young Beginners

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

Core Books: Lesson, Theory, Solo, & Technic books for each of the 6 Levels. 

Supplementary Instructional Books: Activity & Ear Training, Notespeller.

Supplementary Performance Books: Christmas Joy, Sacred Solos. 

Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Covers

Shop Prep Course

Brief Description

Alfred’s Basic Prep Course was written to answer the demand for a course of study designed especially for students who are five years and up. It takes into consideration the normal attention span as well as the small-sized hands of the young beginner. Most pieces have DUET parts that may be played by the teacher, parent or another student.

Outline of Basic Concepts in Lesson Book A

Pages 4-5  Introduction to playing. Finger numbers. Piano Tones.

Pages 6-15  BLACK KEYS are used for keyboard orientation and finger number recognition, avoiding the association of any finger number with any specific key. Tunes on the black keys for basic rhythmic reading and development of finger skills. Introduction of basic dynamic signs: p and f. Introduction to quarter, half, and whole notes.

Pages 16-17  Introduction to the identification of white keys in relation to black keys.

Pages 18-25  MIDDLE C POSITION. 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. Introduction to time signature: 4/4 time. New dynamic sign: mf

Pages 26-30  C POSITION in both hands. Tuneful pieces introduce new rhythmic patterns and build technical skills. New time signature: 3/4 time. New: dotted half note.

Pages 31-35  Introduction to the Bass Clef sign, Bass staff. Pieces for LH alone in bass clef. Letter-notes in bass clef gradually phased out.

Pages 36-39  Introduction to the Treble Clef sign, Treble staff. Pieces for RH alone in treble clef. Letter-notes in treble clef gradually phased out.

Pages 40-48  GRAND STAFF. C Position on the Grand Staff. Pieces in C position using the hands alternately. Certificate of promotion.

What Makes Alfred’s Prep Course So Special?

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

Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course Musical Terms and Symbols

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 Prep Course Illustration

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

Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course New Musical Symbol Included

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 Prep Course Duet Part

How the Prep Course Interacts with the Basic Course

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

  • Look down the LH column of the chart below to the Prep Course, then right to Level B. Just follow the dashed line from the bottom of the Level B box to the side of the Alfred’s Basic Level 1B box, and it will point out where the switch can be comfortably made.
  • Also, the completion of Prep Course Level D, a smooth switch can be made to Alfred’s Basic Level.
  • Finally, at the completion of Prep Course Level F, a smooth switch can be made to Alfred’s Basic Level 3. 

Alfred's Basic Piano Course Level Chart