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John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano/FIRST Grade Book Paperback – 1 Jul 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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  • John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano/FIRST Grade Book
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  • John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano - Second Grade (Book Only)
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  • John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano - Third Grade (Book Only)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Willis Music Company (1 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877180059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877180050
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.6 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I have used John Thompson's grade books over the years with my tiny group of young Turkish students and still find it a very good grounding tool for all the important basics of piano. The information given for each piece combines fact, history and teaching technique. The English is short enough and easy to simplify in translation, and there is consistent encouragement to perform the pieces and add expression right from the start, so that children do not get into the habit of just ploughing through the pieces as mechanical exercises. Thank you John Thompson for all your books.
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This book first came out in the 1930s, I guess, and it's charming for being so much of its time. What I really love about the book (and probably why it's still in print) is that with each piece, you clearly learn something new - and the melodies are quite often very lovely. It makes getting the sound right even more of a joy, when the result is something so pretty!
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Yes it's really old, twee and out of date culturally so a magnificent time capsule. I find I come back to it time and time again when searching easy pieces for beginner students, it's well laid out with fingering and gives students such immense confidence. The tunes are cute too. Highly recommended.
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i actually love the traditional look and feel of this series of books.
they are absolutlet charming in their illustartions and just add something special that seems missing in more modern piano tutors.
i have just started to learn and intended to follow the complete set.
well john thompson.
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I first used this book as a child in the late 60's when I started piano lessons. Having recently bought a piano after a gap of 40 years, it is a bit like starting again. Decided I needed a good grounding in the basics and was amazed but delighted to discover this book was still available. Playing the tunes again is a huge nostalgia trip. Yes, it is a bit old fashioned but the fact that this year it will have been in print for 80 years is testament to how good a teaching book this is. Highly recommend!
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I am writing this review to warn potential customers of one thing. While the book appears entirely competent, going into plenty of theory while still being full of examples, the TONE of the book is outdated and extremely twee. Many of the songs are about fairies, little birds and the like.

You may well consider this to be an entirely petty complaint, which would be fair enough, but I personally find this kind of content far less engaging than the other book I purchased (The Classic Piano Course, Carol Barratt) as I cannot help but feel patronised! (I am self-teaching)

Other than that, beware: this series of books comes in different grades, but with the same basic title. Make sure you purchase the right ones - the grade is written on the cover.
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The only point to make about this book is that it is a first class teaching tool. I taught myself from this series and play competently and confidently in public and with others, as do several people I know who have used it over some 30 years of musical life. I presume it is as excellent to teach from as to learn from and recommend it unconditionally - I tried a number of others but this is something special - its long life tells you so.
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