International Piano Review

Review by Maggie Williams in International Piano July/August 2007

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. Described as a ‘preparation for keyboard study’, Dogs and Birds gives each note of the C major scale the name of an animal (D for Dog and C for Cat, for example). Large wooden note heads with the respective animals cut into them plus an A3-sized stave are provided as a part of the method to familiarise children with the notes, and the music books at the heart of the method are printed with the pictures of the animals inside each note to help young learners to interpret the music. There’s also an essential accompanying book plus CD of supplementary materials and teaching plans that goes into depth about the method, as well as providing ideas for musical games and other supporting activities. The method is suitable for four-to seven-year-olds and can be introduced either by a music teacher or parents.

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