Book 2 develops the skills of playing hands together. This book is designed to be used to follow on from book 1 but also as an initial book for older beginners (9yrs and above). Treble and bass clefs are now used in place of the pictures of hands (see ‘Pictures of the right hand and left hand instead of clefs’).
The pieces remain mostly in five finger positions but now begin to explore the keyboard and different keys. In some pieces the hand position moves up or down a step within a piece. In others the thumb only moves one step and later returns to position. Children become aware that they must begin to read the stave and not simply follow the colours.
The use of staccato and legato are further developed. Some pieces require the right hand to play legato while the left hand needs to lift between chords. Some require legato in both hands, others staccato in both hands. A simple syncopated rhythm is also introduced.
Simple time is used throughout this book. Rhythms are generally fairly simple and repetitive in order to develop confidence in reading the music and playing with a secure feel for the pulse. Both a dotted rhythm and a simple syncopated rhythm are introduced along with relevant theory exercises that explain how to clap these rhythms.
Locating notes on the bass stave is introduced and treble note-finding is reinforced. Most pieces are accompanied by an ‘activity page’ (see ‘Ongoing theory exercises’). This comprises of questions and practical exercises that are designed to introduce new elements in the music, reinforce earlier learning and further develop sight-reading without the use of colour (see ‘Sight-reading’).