Review by Angela Fogg in Piano Journal Review – Vol 31. No. 96 2012
Dogs and Birds Nursery Rhymes and Famous Melodies Elza and Chris Lusher
The Dogs and Birds books are designed for teaching young children from as early as the age of three. They take a Kodály approach with ear-training and singing being an integral part of the class. Children learn to sing the music in solfa (doh re mi fa so etc.) before they play it. The books are produced in two forms: one for very young children where each note’s letter-name has an animal – d for dog, b for bird etc, and the music is printed with a little picture of the animal in the note-head or an ordinary version where the animals are still used but not printed in the note-head. The tutor’s books have been available for a few years now and the latest books are arrangements of songs the children will know already. There is a great collection of 23 pieces, Hot Cross Buns, Ode To Joy, Happy Birthday to name but a few which children will love. They will also enjoy the colourful pictures and the rhythm exercises which can be clapped as duets or as two parts for one person. Note-stalks are printed pointing upwards for the right hand and downwards for the left – a little unusual but it does make it clear for the little ones which hand should be playing which note. Really great and lively material for teaching small children!