Aspiring pianists embarking on their musical journey often face the challenge of building a strong foundation in piano technique and sight-reading skills. In the realm of piano pedagogy, the 'Dozen A Day' series by Edna Mae Burnam is a beacon of excellence. These books, comprising a series of exercises designed to be practiced daily, offer a multitude of benefits that make them indispensable for piano students. In this article, we will explore why 'Dozen A Day' books are regarded as great resources for piano learners.
1. Progressive Skill Development - One of the standout features of 'Dozen A Day' books is their meticulously designed progression. They start with simple exercises and gradually increase in complexity, allowing students to develop their skills at a comfortable pace. This gradual progression ensures that learners build a strong technical foundation while experiencing a sense of accomplishment as they advance through the books. This structured approach helps students stay motivated and engaged in their piano studies.
2. Focus on Key Techniques - Each 'Dozen A Day' book is devoted to specific technical aspects such as finger strength, hand coordination, and agility. By breaking down piano playing into manageable components, these books allow students to concentrate on one aspect at a time. This focused approach not only accelerates skill development but also ensures that students master each technique thoroughly before moving on to more advanced exercises.
3. Effective Sight-Reading - Sight-reading is a crucial skill for any pianist, and 'Dozen A Day' books emphasize this skill from the very beginning. The exercises are designed to improve sight-reading abilities by introducing new patterns and musical motifs gradually. As students progress, they become more adept at reading music, which is invaluable for playing pieces beyond the scope of the 'Dozen A Day' books.
4. Versatility and Customization - 'Dozen A Day' books are versatile and can be adapted to suit the individual needs of each student. Teachers can use them in various ways, tailoring the exercises to address specific weaknesses or challenges a student may encounter. This customization ensures that the books remain effective tools for pianists of all levels and backgrounds.
In conclusion, the 'Dozen A Day' books by Edna Mae Burnam are indispensable resources for piano students. Their progressive structure, focus on key techniques, emphasis on sight-reading, and adaptability make them great assets in the journey of piano education. Through these books, aspiring pianists can build a strong foundation, hone their skills, and develop a deep love for playing the piano, ensuring a fulfilling and successful musical experience. I can tell you firsthand after using these books for many years, that they are a great place to start if you're hoping to get back into playing the piano, or if you're looking for some great exercises for your students.
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A Dozen A Day - Mini Book