Book 1 is a tutor book ideal for young beginners aged 5 to 8yrs. (for 9yrs and above, begin with book 2). Notes are written in colour to represent each finger (see ‘The use of coloured notation’), each colour being introduced one at a time. Bar lines, rests, time signatures etc are introduced progressively.
The pieces in this book stay in a five finger, Middle C position throughout. Pages 4-9 use single staves beginning with right hand then introducing the left hand. From page 10-32 both staves are used. Initially the hands play alternately but the last few pieces in the book are hands together.
Legato and staccato are introduced in the early stages of the book.
Crotchets are introduced as ‘walking notes’ and minims as ‘waiting notes’. By page 16 dotted minims and semibreves have been explained. Quavers are introduced on page 21 and referred to as ‘jogging notes’. The correct technical names are used for these note values but the relationship with walking and jogging encourages children to play with steady pulse.
On each page theory exercises introduce new elements in the music and teach the basic rules of note reading (see ‘Ongoing theory exercises’). Children learn how to locate all notes on the treble stave by line number rather than letter name (see ‘The use of numbered staves’). On pages 14-23 the child finds and plays a series of treble notes as note reading exercises. From page 24-32 the child plays a line of sight-reading that is written without coloured notes . These notes move in step and remain in the Middle C position (see ‘Sight-reading’).