If you have piano students who are just about finished the WunderKeys Primer piano books or piano students who need a fresh and fun Level 1 method book to propel them forward, then you are probably pretty excited about the upcoming release of our WunderKeys Level 1A Method Book!
This book will be released just after Christmas on Amazon but we know so many of you just can’t wait for more details on what’s in store for your Level 1 piano students! Last week we answered your most burning questions in our post all about WunderKeys Level 1. If you missed that, you can find it here. Today we’re sharing even more!
WunderKeys Level 1A is divided into eight units. Each unit is split into two sections: 1) music-based exercises, activities, and games and 2) piano solos, duets, and “Move And Groove” music. In today’s post we are sharing a visual preview of the music-based exercises. Next week, you will be able to check out the repertoire!
Many Things Set WunderKeys Apart… But This Is The Most Important
When you open up a WunderKeys method book you can’t help but notice our “wunderfully” refreshing format!
Traditional method books typically use a “talk and play” approach. The piano teacher explains a concept by reading the provided instructions and then the student plays a piano piece that reinforces the skill. Students using traditional method books often interact with their music in only one way; by playing it. Rinse and repeat.
But this one-size-fits-all approach to learning music is leaving kids behind. So we decided to break the mold!
Will WunderKeys kids still be playing piano repertoire as they do in traditional method books? Of course! And a lot of it! But the interactions students have using our music activities, exercises and games before they reinforce skills with repertoire is where the magic happens.
In Level 1A, we’ve created unique ways for kids to engage with notated music based on research that shows that learning improves when skills are accessed and explored in different ways.
Tell Me More About Your Exercises, Activities, and Games!
The first thing you need to know about the exercises, activities, and games in WunderKeys Level 1A is that they are heavily integrated with notated music. You do not have to worry about students spending too much time away from “real music”. .. we’ve simply found ways to make that music a lot more fun!
WunderKeys Level 1A is divided into units, with each unit having clear a clear conceptual focus that takes approximately 3 weeks to complete. These units begin with a series of exercises, activities and games that reinforce the skills central to each unit.
These exercises, activities, and games include:
1. Introductory Teaching Pages:
The first page in every unit discusses the central skill, or skills, being learned. These are teacher-led explorations that involve a deep dive into important concepts that are central to the unit.
2. “Pick a Path” Sight Reading:
Traditionally, sight reading is one of the most difficult activities to teach to young piano students. This is a shame, because, (and I say this with no exaggeration) sight reading is a piano teacher’s secret weapon to success. But I don’t blame teachers for growing tired of teaching it. For years the lack of interesting instructional materials has led piano students to find sight reading boring and frustrating. But not anymore!
Your piano students will have a blast reinforcing skills with our “Pick-A-Path” Sight Reading pages. Using simple and accessible measures that are learned before the activity begins, we’ve created a fun way to incorporate sight reading while really solidifying a student’s learning. For students to commit a concept to memory they have to be actively engaged in their learning, and there is no better form of active engagement than sight reading as sight reading requires students to use their intellect, not simply their muscle memory to play music.
3. Technical Exercises:
The technical exercises in WunderKeys Level 1A reinforce skills in small, manageable chunks (one line of music) before moving on to complete piano pieces. If you’re coming from the Wunderkeys Primer Piano books then you’ll find they serve a similar purpose to the “Practice on the Pathway” pages.
In this section we always introduce secondary musical skills to compliment the main skills being learned in each unit.
4. Ear Training Piano Games:
We love piano games! (Everyone knows that!) So, we’ve incorporated game-based learning in WunderKeys Level 1A that functions as ear-training exercises. As Level 1 students have more material to move through, we’ve made our Level 1 games quick and easy to play. Every game in every unit requires nothing more than a piano, a pencil crayon and a few coins.
5. Rhythm Duets:
If clapbacks are the extent of your rhythm training then we are about to help you kick things up a notch. With our Level 1 rhythm exercises, you and your students will engage in rockin’ rhythm duets where one of you performs Clap-Tap Body Percussion while the other plays the piano accompaniment.
Because you and your students get to switch roles during these exercises, kids will have the chance to both reinforce their knowledge of rhythm through the body percussion exercises as well as practicing keeping a steady beat while playing the piano part for their teacher’s percussion performance.
Here Is Our “Part 1” Visual Preview…
A few samples of the activities above can be previewed by clicking on the image below. We hope you love the new artwork and enjoy our laugh-out-loud “fractured fairy tale” approach!
Remember this visual preview represents Part 1 of a unit and does not include the actual piano repertoire. Next week we will be sharing visual previews of the music.
Note: If you want to learn more about Wunderkeys Level 1 check out the FAQ session we did last week here on the WunderKeys blog.