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Dogs and Birds - Book 1 (Animal Notes Edition)

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It is a real treat to discover a new and imaginative approach to teaching the piano which really works and is completely accessible and user-friendly.
Faye Caley, Music Teacher magazine

Dogs and Birds - Book 1 (Animal Notes Edition):

  • is recommended for ages 3 to 6
  • has animal symbols printed in every note-head
  • includes pieces, rhythm exercises and musical games
  • has a storyline with beautiful coloured illustrations to stimulate the child
  • uses blue and red to distinguish between left and right


Download pdf of sample pages: Book 1 (Animal Notes Edition)


As they work through the material children:

  • start playing music using both hands from day 1
  • learn the position of notes on the keyboard and staves using animals
  • sing the animal names as the play thus developing musicality and their inner ear
  • learn to count, understand rhythm, and feel the pulse
  • love the animals and stories, and learn in an enjoyable and fun way
  • can practice unaided using this simple approach


There is a blank notes edition of Book 1 which:

  • helps the child to progress to using conventional music
  • is best used together with the animal notes edition
  • contains the same material but without animal symbols and colours
  • can be purchased with the animal notes edition at a discount

Info on blank notes edition

The material in Book 1 is supplemented by other products:

  • Notes to Book 1 for Parents and Teachers, Including CD - info
  • Small Animal Tiles and Coloured Staves - info


All the material relevant to Book 1 can be purchased together at a substantial discount as the Complete Music Set for Beginners. This contains:

  1. Dogs and Birds - Book 1 (Animal Notes Edition)
  2. Dogs and Birds - Book 1 (Blank  Notes Edition)
  3. Notes to Book 1 for Parents and Teachers, Including CD
  4. Small Animal Tiles
  5. Coloured Staves
  6. Music Manuscript Book (4 Staves per Page)

Link to Complete Music Set for Beginners




50 pages
Product Dimensions:
30.5 x 22.9 x 0.6 cm

14 Reviews

  • 5
    Perfect starter book for young learners

    Posted by Catherine Palmer on 21st Dec 2020

    This is a beautifully presented book that is very engaging for younger children. Naming each key as an animal is an easy way to teach and the book has a natural progression. Very pleased with how this is working with a very young pupil I teach- thank you.

  • 4
    Great first piano book for children!

    Posted by Tony Qunta on 9th Jul 2020

    This is an ideal first piano book for younger children. It is amazing to see a five year old instantly being able to read music! The way the material is presented in a fun and colourful way ensures it captures a youngster's interest, whilst teaching the musical basics. Highly recommended!

  • 5
    sing and play

    Posted by Alison Davies on 23rd Jun 2019

    My youngest pupils and I are very much enjoying using Dogs and Birds. It is the perfect transition from my initial Kodaly/ Dalcroze/improv based lessons for 4-5 year olds. The children who have used it so far have instantly been able to sing and read the little tunes. The most able boy "wrote" "Rain rain go away" with the tiles on the big board. They love talking about the pictures on every page when they need a little break from concentrating on "music" and the supplementary ideas are great to jog my memory as to how best to encourage their wider musicianship skills.

  • 4
    Great method for little children

    Posted by Ana on 24th Oct 2018

    I love this method and my students do as well. The only downside is the printing notes, as sometimes stems are too close to the barline and is difficult to distinguish them.

  • 5
    Children love the animal characters

    Posted by Janet L on 17th Oct 2017

    I have used the animal notes edition several times. Children can play simple tunes right from the first lesson and enjoy its colourful layout and the animal characters. It is an excellent resource for using with young beginners.

  • 5
    Wonderful resource for teaching young children piano

    Posted by Anna Loomis on 10th Aug 2017

    this book has been a wonderful resource for me - I am a piano teacher who mainly works with young children and this book has been particularly helpful with my just turned 4 year old, who was struggling with my other materials due to her shorter attention span. The animal characters and stories incorporated in the book really helps to keep her attention and she loves her lessons, and in addition is making good progress too. Thank you very much!

  • 5
    Very appealing to young children

    Posted by caroline on 26th Jun 2017

    My four year old pupil is making good progress with this method and loves the pictures and stories. The red and blue staves are a good idea for children who struggle with left and right.

  • 5
    Love it- so easy to use and great fun

    Posted by Sue Ross on 2nd Oct 2016

    Been using this book with my daughter since age 3 and she loves it. Yesterday I removed the tiles and she knows where all the notes are....I was surprised! Ready to move on to book 2 now. Also started using these books for my teaching and with the same results we'll have happy kids and happy parents.

  • 5
    Wonderful, fun method for the young beginner

    Posted by Sarah Davis Early on 13th Dec 2015

    Dog and Birds Book 1 is a clever and fun way for young children to begin their piano studies. The Des Moines Symphony Academy (Des Moines, IA) has been using this method for four years. We like that the students sing the music before playing, developing their inner ear. The range is suited to the children's vocal range and the melodic movement excellent, starting with a descending minor third (sol - mi). The pieces move in a logical and sequential progression, appropriate for children as young as three years old. Each piece adds one new concept at a time, allowing the student to master it in their own time. Students can practice independently and successfully. The Academy uses this method for their Group Lessons for Young Beginners program. Students have 45 minute lessons weekly in groups of 2, 3, and 4 students. We use the supplementary materials for Dogs and Birds as well as other materials. Thank you for creating this wonderful method.