What Are the Proper Books for Homeschool Music Lessons?
If you're considering teaching your child music lessons, and you are proficient at an instrument, but don't know where to start with this undertaking, picking out the right books is the first and most important step.
Pick Out Books at the Proper Level. I use a local music store to get most of my lesson books, however you can also purchase books online. A well known company is JW Pepper. They can be found at www.jwpepper.com.. All instruments have beginning books. The following paragraphs give specific tips for instrumentalists, vocalists, and pianists.
Specific Books for Instrumentalists: Hal Leonard, Alfred Publishing, and Carl Fischer are all big names for beginning instrumental books. The book pictured is a beginner flute book from Alfred Publishing. It includes assembly information about the flute, how to take care of the instrument, proper posture, hand position, breathing, producing a sound, music theory and more. When choosing a beginnger book for an instrumentalist make sure it includes these specific pieces of information. Besides having a beginners instruction book, I would also recommend buying a beginners popular repertoire book or fun song book. If a student plays songs he/she enjoys, practicing becomes much easier!
Specific Books for Vocalists: As a former voice lesson student for eleven years (with many different teachers), I can tell you that I never used a beginner book, like the picture shows. Most voice lessons with a private vocal instructor consist of doing breathing exercises, vocal warm-ups, and then practicing repertoire from different song books. These song books would include classical selections, songs from musicals, or other selections that fit what the student is interested in singing. However, for a parent who would want to give voice instruction, and might not know what to include in a lesson, this type of book would be a good place to start. It includes two audio CDs, a DVD, and instructions on how to breathe, how to stand correctly for good breath support and other techniques for males and females. If you don't need a beginner course book, I would recommend an Italian Art Song book. Classical singing helps produce the rudimentary sound you want for all further types of vocal production. A picture of an Italian Art Song book is pictured below.
Specific Books For Pianists: For a beginning piano player I would recommend two publishing companies, either Faber or Bastien. Both of these I see used often by other teachers, and both of these I use with my own lesson students. The book pictured is a beginning book from Faber. I like these two companies because I think the progression of learning is well thought out for beginners, the songs are fun, and there's solid music theory taught. This specific book is for young beginners (ages 5-6), and includes finger positions, music theory, teacher accompaniment and a CD. Most music publishing companies also have beginner books for other older ages, which would have accelerated lessons. The one pictured below is "Accelerated Piano Adventures For The Older Beginner" by Faber. In the beginning stages of piano lessons, there is often only one or two books to purchase that include all the basics. However, as your child progresses be aware that there will be four or five books for study. These books will include a Lesson Book, a Performance Book, a Theory Book, a Technique Book, and often a Sightreading Book. There are always optional books on top of that which would include a Hymn Playing Book, a Jazz Book, a Classical Book, or a Popular Repetoire Book. Because there are so many books to choose from, make sure you have the first four or five basic books, and then pick one or two books on top of that, for fun selections for your child. Keep reading on page two for more tips on teaching homeschool music lessons.