Review and Giveaway of Piano Safari Level 3

Even though I believe that a good teacher can effectively utilize any method or curriculum to help a student achieve success, there is something invigorating about having well-designed resources that capture a teacher’s philosophy and vision for their teaching. That’s how I’ve felt about Piano Safari ever since it’s debut a couple of years ago. It has been the perfect complement to my desire to help students develop creative freedom, technical ability, and musical artistry at the piano while also building a solid foundation of reading and rhythm skills.

I don’t know who has been awaiting the release of Level 3 with more anticipation – me or my students – but it’s finally here! The pack includes a Technique Book, a Repertoire Book, and a set of Sight Reading Cards. I’ve had a blast looking through the materials and preparing to teach it. It’s also exciting to see some of the same Classical Education principles that I’m discovering are essential for true learning applied in this method. Namely, repetition, both of content and of processes, is necessary in order for students to attain mastery. I love how this is emphasized in the Technique Book through the use of cool images that the students are instructed to color one small section at a time for every accurate playing of a scale.

For this reason, I see the Technique Book being used not so much sequentially, but more in a spiral learning approach where a student continues to revisit the previously learned scales and exercises to develop increased speed, fluency, and familiarity. The Technique Book also references the animal techniques to instruct the students how to play each scale. The visuals are attractive and helpful while maintaining a clean, uncluttered page layout. I also appreciate the various practice strategies emphasized throughout the book. Another great feature is the way that each introduction of a new scale/key includes the same process as previously learned, while also incorporating a new accompaniment style, demonstrating to the student how the chords and chord progressions can be used in a musical way. All of this is then woven together into the Technique Extravaganza at the end of the book that gives the student an opportunity to showcase all that they have learned in a fun, energetic duet!

The Level 3 Repertoire Book is a fabulous compilation of original compositions, duets, and Classical pieces in their original form. The pieces are in major and minor keys (C,G,F, and a,e,d), and there are helpful bits of information and questions for the student to consider, along with brief biographical sketches about the various composers. This thoughtfully designed book will leave students well-prepared to continue their exploration of every musical style!

Last, but not least, perhaps the most versatile element of the Piano Safari method – the Sight Reading Cards. Whether or not you use the method in its entirety, these cards are a must-have for any piano teacher! We use them in a variety of ways in our studio, and they have done wonders to help my students improve their rhythm and sight reading skills in a sequential and manageable way. Each card includes a 4-measure musical excerpt for the student to play hands together that incorporates dynamics, articulations, and the rhythms they have learned. There is also a single line of rhythm only that can be tapped, played on single notes, or used for a musical improvisation.

Now, for the best part! If you’d like a chance to check out Piano Safari Level 3 for yourself, Julie and Katie have graciously offered to give away a free Level 3 pack to one Music Matters Blog reader (a $45.50 value!). Just leave a comment below to be entered. One winner will be chosen using a random number generator at noon (CST) on Friday, June 3, 2016. This could be just the thing to re-energize your teaching this summer or in preparation for next fall!

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69 thoughts on “Review and Giveaway of Piano Safari Level 3

  1. I started a beginner on Level 1, and am really enjoying it! I also appreciate all the resources on their site. I would love to win!

  2. I am so excited to learn about Piano Safari. From the materials I see, Level 3 will be perfect for 3 students I’m teaching this summer. I’m anxious to learn more about Piano Safari. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Safari Level 3 giveaway. 🙂

  3. I’ve never used Piano Safari, but am always looking for new, refreshing methods to motivate my students. Would love to win this!

  4. I have a few young students starting with me this fall, and I’m thinking Piano Safari might be a great fit for them!

  5. I just started using Piano Safari with some of my students and am loving it so far! Can’t wait to use Level 3 soon!

  6. I’ve been looking at Piano Safari for quite some time and would love to win this!

  7. Hello,

    It would be great for my students to be introduced to other books, materials.

    Sophi A.

  8. I’m just starting to explore piano safari with my beginners and would love to see how the ideas are developed in level 3. This is a really useful review – thank you!

  9. I’m curious to see the Piano Safari way to transition from a method to “real” classical music 🙂

  10. I much prefer to use “current” materials where I can contact the authors and ask lots of questions!

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