I’m really excited to tell you about a piano method that you might not be aware of. It is called Piano Pronto. About a little over a year ago, I had bought a few Piano Pronto books but hadn’t had the chance to really look and play through them until I got a couple of transfer students this year that I really was stumped in what method I wanted to put them in. So I brought out the Piano Pronto books that I had bought and began to play and explore what was inside. The more I explored, the more excited I got about the books so I wanted to share what I found.
First a little background…
Piano Pronto is the brainchild of Jennifer Eklund who you can read more about here. The series start out with the primer book, Prelude that starts students reading on the staff right away. After Prelude, the books advance through the Movement levels 1-7. You can read more details about each level here.
There were 3 big things that made me really excited about this series.
First would be the music itself. Jennifer is a talented arranger and uses many songs that students will recognize and be motivated to play. Traditional folk songs and classical pieces are found numerous throughout each level in addition to her own compositions.
Second, the theory is not only built into the books but applies directly to the new piece that they are learning. For example in the Prelude book for Ode to Joy there is a “Before You Begin” on the page prior where students will do or answer the following to their music:
-Find the eighth notes and circle them
-Write the correct letter names under the notes in measures 8 and 16.
-Does the repeat sign at the end of the piece take you back to the beginning?
-What is the tempo (speed) of this piece?
Third, would be the Pronto Prep section that students will work on before they learn the full piece. Jennifer has taken the more difficult sections of the piece and has broken them into one line “exercises” if you will, before they even learn or look at the full piece. I really like this because even though I may tell the student to practice difficult sections first at home, chances are high they just tackle the entire piece. Piano Prep literally preps the student so they are more successful when it’s time to learn the new piece. Love this!
Keep in mind Piano Pronto does move a little quickly, thus the Pronto… So depending on the student you may need to supplement with other pieces if there is a concept a student is struggling with or needs more reinforcement.
Now for some of the supplemental materials that are available. The Greatest Hit books are a compilation of favorites from books 1-4 and 5-7 that would make a great supplement for students that weren’t in the Piano Pronto series.
Jennifer has also created another supplement book with more to come. The first one is on Beethoven. It is designed for late beginning to intermediate level students. It features twelve individual lessons that teach students about the life and historical context behind some of Beethoven’s most well-known pieces. The Mozart book is due to come out next week.
I would encourage you to take a look at the series. If you go to the Piano Pronto website you will notice that you can peak inside many of the pages to get a feel for the books and levels.
Now for the best news! Now through Labor Day, Jennifer has offered the readers on my blog a “Buy one Get one Free” “Free e-Book” of your choice (any book in the series or the Beethoven or Mozart book) with the purchase of another book (hard copy or eBook). All you need to do is email her personally at: [email protected] and let her know your name and that you were referred from my blog and she will send you the book of your choice! All hard copy books are now offered with free shipping within the U.S.
What are you waiting for? Go check out Piano Pronto. Pronto!
Jennifer, thanks for reviewing Piano Pronto. I also have used it, with a couple of students, and like the things that you like about it. It worked best with a bright fifth grade beginner; unfortunately we couldn’t coordinate schedules to continue lessonsm, but she thrived with the method. This summer I testdrove the Beethoven series and loved it! I plan on using the Mozart next summer.