Review: Interactive Piano Method

Every once in a while there is a method that stands out a little different from the rest. These are the methods that I tend to gravitate towards. I first like to figure out why a particular method is different and how it would benefit my students or maybe just a particular student. Many times when I begin a new method it is with a particular student in mind that I think can benefit from it. Then after I am able to experience it, the possibilities with other students open up.

Carol Matz has published a new method called the Interactive Piano Method. I was really excited to review her method because it is different and definitely stands out. The BIG thing that immediately stood out to me was the interactive online experience. She has taken a method and has created an experience for students.

Each of the levels includes everything you would need:

  • Printed AND digital PDF lesson book (download to iPad, tablet, etc…)
  • PDF Downloads: Performance pieces, activity sheets, sight-reading pages, technique pages
  • MP3 Teacher duet accompaniments

So how is this method interactive? It includes online activities which correspond to each unit in the lesson book. (See some of the examples below) The online activities are web-based so you don’t need to worry if students have an iPad versus a tablet. They can do these activities at home, in the studio, during lab, wherever works best for you.

Online activities-

  • Gives students immediate feedback
  • Can be done over and over (beat high score)
  • Web-based- can be done on anything where you can access the internet. (iPad, tablet, computer)
  • Help- visual glossary to help them with the activities
  • Theory Games, Ear Training, Sight Reading, Flashcards, Activity Sheets and Fun Facts that correspond with the pieces they are learning,

 

Inside the lesson books, you will find arrangements as well as original pieces by Carol such as this fun one called, Phone on the Floor.

Here are the concepts taught in each of levels available so far.


Level 3 will be released the beginning of the year and 4 will be released spring 2018. Just to get you excited about what will be coming soon in level 3….

Pro Piano Skills”- which will get more in-depth about playing from lead sheets, playing from chord charts, improvisation, composition, basic arranging skills, etc! Carol explained, “It’s intended to give students “real life” skills that can be applied to becoming a “gigging” musician, play weddings, play in a band, learn how to notate properly, etc. All the stuff they don’t teach you… the idea is to give teachers tools to easily teach these skills, and not just teaching students to become “reading” musicians.”

In addition to the main lesson books, you will also have access to performance pieces. The performance pieces are printable, downloadable PDF’s providing extra reinforcement repertoire.

Also included is access to the activity sheets which are also in PDF form. Activity sheets include but not limited to:

  • Guided compositional activities
  • It’s your Choice- Choosing tempo, Major, minor, customize lyrics, etc.

How does ordering work?

Parents or teachers can purchase at CarolMatzPiano.com. If you decide you want to order for your students, nothing you purchase will expire. So say like you purchased 3 copies of 1A but had a student drop out at the last minute before they began, no worries! Just use it when you have another student that can start.

The licenses are per student and include a hardcopy that will be shipped and a link to download a PDF version and access online materials.

You can also manage students and assign new materials and levels. Once you set up students account, the parent is emailed login info and link to access the materials for the student.

EVERYTHING you need is included.

What about Technique? 

Technique pages start in level 2A and include:

  • 5 finger patterns
  • Scales
  • Chords
  • Cadences
  • Arpeggios
  • Playing with a metronome and more

The technique pages also include 2 tracks- main and extended (extended is more in depth for motivated students or students in graded programs; includes power plays which has them play in a different way – staccato vs. legato…, target tempo- aim to play at a particular metronome setting).

You will find exercises to:

  • Strengthen fingers
  • Improve coordination
  • Increase dexterity

There are MP3 recordings included for all lesson and performance pieces. Includes practice tracks- just teacher duet (slow and faster).

Now if that wasn’t enough, Carol also includes an interactive online practice log called “My Progress”. It automatically resets every week. Student logs in the minutes then send their teacher their progress report before the lesson. This can be emailed or printed. Also included is a repertoire list that can be checked off if it’s memorized.

Carol gives two purchase options. A complete package which includes a printed lesson book or for a little less, a digital option which includes a single license PDF of the lesson book.

Have more questions on how this all works? Visit the FAQ page. 

And just in time for the holidays, Carol has released Christmas books for levels 1 and 2!

 

As you can see, Carol Matz’s Interactive Piano Method is jam-packed with so many great materials to support learning. Students will truly receive an interactive experience throughout the method.

Like free music? Go to carolmatzpiano.com and sign up for her free monthly materials!

 

 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are of my own and not influenced by the author. Thank you for your support and happy teaching!

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