Sunday, September 29, 2013

PIano Book Recommendations for Brand New Beginners!

Hello Piano People!

As far as piano methods, I have done my research and I prefer Keith Snell Piano Town.  He has a series beginning with the Primer, which is for brand new beginners, progressing to level 4, which is about the 4th year, depending on the student.

I prefer Keith Snell over most of the other methods because he provides a solid foundation in music without resorting to cheesy arrangements which in my personal opinion do not honor the composers. Also, Diane Hidy, the illustrator is extremely gifted. Part of the fun with this series is looking at the pictures as we progress through the book.  Often, they tell a continuing story!

I have my own twist on supplementing with games, stories, activities, and extra performance pieces.

And as my students progress and are ready for more classical piano literature, I recommend Keith Snell's Piano Repetoire series. I can discuss this in another post. This post is for my brand new beginners!

You can usually pick these books up at Portland Music Company, but I have been finding it more convenient lately to order online. If you choose the online route, here are the links:

For my brand new beginners, I use Keith Snell's Piano Town. The Primer Lesson Book is what we start with:

Once we've started lessons, some students want more options for performance pieces or just for musical enjoyment.  I would recommend the Piano Town Primer Performance Book:

I teach theory along with technic and performance. But some students benefit from a theory book, which is essentially a workbook to solidify what they are learning in lessons. For the beginner, I would recommend Piano Town Primer Theory Book:

Since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I'd include the Piano Town Halloween Primer. The pieces are just spooky enough to be lots of fun!

Ok, as painful as it is, I am just going to come out and say this. Christmas is less than 3 months awa! Aacck! Just kidding, I love Christmas. And for those of you that celebrate Christmas, here is a Piano Town Primer Christmas Book!:

And here is a lovely Hanukkah Primer book. Not Keith Snell, but a good book:

P.S. Students in group classes at the Community Music Center:  We use Faber Piano Adventures as the method book. All books can be purchase at the CMC office. It is a fine method, but I prefer Piano Town for my private students. However, to supplement Piano Adventures, feel free to purchase a performance book or one of the holiday themed books!

Happy Practicing!

Teacher Zita :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dog House Farm!

Here it is! A Youtube video of me (Teacher Zita) explaining and demonstrating Dog House Farm!

It's pretty silly, but I had fun making it.

Also, my piano is a bit out of tune. Sorry about that!


Please email me if you have questions!


Teacher Zita

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hindi Lessons With Alka Kumar

I just want to take this opportunity to mention Alka Kumar.  She and her family own the house where I rent my piano studio. The nicest family. They are from India.

If you study yoga or are interested in India, please consider lessons with Alka.

She is from India, highly educated, warm and friendly.  She teaches here at the house and her prices are very reasonable. :)


If you are not able to reach her through the website, please contact me and I will connect you.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Where Do I find the Music for...?'

Hi Piano People!

Happy Back to School! I love this time of year!

Just wanted to give you some advice on purchasing music.
Back in the day, I loved perusing the sheet music stores
and trying out music on the piano.

Nowadays, I find the best place to find music is online. is a good site for downloading and printing
music from your computer. This site is especially helpful
for popular music.

Sheet Music Plus is a good site for ordering lesson books. You can use the search box above to look for music. The link will take you to their site. You can check out music books at the library too. This is a fun way of trying out different styles.

Also, for beginners to intermediate pianists,, is one of my favorite sites. This site is run by a piano teacher, Gilbert DeBenedetti. Go to the site and click on Free Piano Music. You can listen to it online before you print. He has it arranged by levels. Most of it is public domain, that is why it is free! Mr. DeBenedetti also includes some of his own compositions to purchase.

Another site I use is This site is wonderful for young beginners and has some fun music worksheets. The teacher, Susan Paradis
also includes some of her own compositions. 

And the Community Music Center usually has stacks of used music for sale. I've
found some gems there! This is a good resource for sight reading material, but I've also found a lot of wonderful classical music collections.  

Have Fun!

Enjoy the music!

Teacher Zita :)