This fascinating set of materials from Elza and Chris Lusher is based on the principles of Kodály teaching, enabling very young children to start their musical education before they can read notated music or understand the alphabet. Maggie Williams, International Piano magazine
All recommended starting material sold together at a 16% discount:
I was so excited to try this out with my little boy who has just turned four. He loves it - as do I - this approach is really wonderful: it encourages creativity; puts rhythm practice at the fore and develops a child's ear by encouraging singing and implementing the Kodaly method along side piano playing. I also really like the fact it begins with two hands straight away (D and B which outlines the So - Mi interval). I can already tell that this approach is going to be really beneficial in developing a reliable inner ear. Thank you for giving me such an exciting way to teach little ones the piano! I hugely recommend this approach. Laura Pietrek on 10th Sep 2015
235In three lessons I have a child committed to singing and reading dog/bird in rhythm and on pitch! Both his father and I are so pleased with the child's success!!!
My older students enjoyed reading through the first book .
This series is a winner !!!! Unknown on 16th Aug 2015
I'm a teacher with 30-yers of experience and always looking for that perfect method for young beginners. Recently I came across "Dogs and Birds" and ordered this set. I use it succesfully with students from 4 to 7 y.o. It's fun to teach and learn. Four-years olds use book with pictures only. For 6-7 y.o.beginners I alternate two books from level one so students introduced to notes with pictures and without them at the same time. The board with the staff is useful to reinforce the note placement and composition. Unknown on 19th Jan 2015
I'm a piano teacher but also teach early years Kodaly and these materials are ideal for my pupils, who have mostly done 2-3 years of Kodaly before starting piano. This method has obviously been very thoroughly thought-through and is a joy to use.
The illustrations and the stories in the Pupil books are delightful and really engage young children's imaginations. Really nicely put together. It's great to have the two books identical save for the animal notation as it gives children bags of confidence!
The Teachers book is a useful resource some great ideas for additional exercises and games and really enrich the use of the Pupil books.
The tiles are helpful and its nice to have each one slightly different - just as every D sounds slightly different, each dog is an individual too! Placing the tiles on the keys is a great way to find the notes but not practical for playing (they slip around too much), so we tend to prop them perpendicular to the key (slipped behind the black notes).
The stave is nice to have and it's great that you can use the tiles straight from the piano onto the stave. It would have been even better to have them made to stick on the stave (velcro? magnets?) rather than fiddling with blu-tack though.
My only other comment would be that, as this is a Kodaly-based technique, it would be nice to see the sol-fa (solfege) names used as well as the Dog & Bird, which would help with the cross-over for pupils who've already had Kodaly training.
The only other Kodaly-based piano book I have previously used the Colourstrings Piano ABC book but Dogs & Birds is far superior - it's far more engaging and (also important) much more reasonably priced! Unknown on 19th Jan 2015
My 4-year-old son and I are enjoying the materials enormously. With all the different types of exercises it is no problem to keep him interested. He loves discovering new animals and finding out what they get up to in the stories. They really fuel his imagination, which makes it very easy to let him discover all the different parts and aspects of the piano in a systematic, but playful way. Thanks a lot for creating this method! Margriet Groen (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) on 5th Jan 2015
It seems quite the thing these days to start young children on the piano with various figurines representing the notes or dancing round the classroom pretending to be an elephant just to get the pupils to pay attention, and I'll admit I've not been a fan of a lot of such methods. However I've now started with a handful of pupils from their first ever lesson with this method and it has been superb. The parents are blown away by their children's ability to pick things up so quickly, and so far I've not had much of a problem leaving the tiles behind and going onto proper notation.
So my review - if you're a teacher about who's about to take on pupils from scratch, there's no better method on the market. Alexander Hill-Knight on 30th Nov 2014