Achiever Piano

Follow-on/Advancing

The Achiever Piano Series is thoroughly rewarding. It is the follow-on course from either the Junior Piano, Primary Piano or Accent Piano Series

This four book program takes students to a higher level of artistry, technical proficiency and creative flair.

It is suitable for a wide variety of age groups and includes styles that range from Baroque to Rock.  The authentic recordings allow students to play along with a rock band, jazz trio, orchestra and other combinations.

Keyboard harmony is one of the foundation elements of the Achiever Piano Series, and this is what sets it apart from other piano methods.  Rather than simply playing sequences of notes, students learn to understand the musical structures that underpin everything they play.  This extends to transposing, reading chord charts and improvising at the piano.  Other practical musicianship skills include playing by ear, sight reading and exploring different voicings when playing standard chord progressions.

THE CURRICULUM

The range of tonalities and chord structures explored in each of the Achiever levels is carefully selected to ensure there is a clear relationship between the solo performance pieces, scales, cadence chords and other keyboard harmony elements.  This integration ensures that the students gain a thorough understanding of the music theory that underpins each piece, skill or chord progression.  Ensemble playing completes the learning cycle with students becoming equally proficient performing individually or as part of a group.

Book 1 initially focuses on root position chords, with inversions introduced in the other levels.  By the end of the series, students are able to play and recognise a vast number of chord shapes both within keys and in isolation.  This gives them the ability to learn pieces faster because underlying structures are immediately apparent.  It is also one of several ways in which Achiever Piano bridges traditional and modern styles.

Achiever Challenges are used to extend learning by encouraging students to think ‘outside the score’.  Challenges may include playing a piece in several keys, changing between major and minor modes or swapping the parts between the hands.  This in turn, leads to improvisation and composition.

The Achiever curriculum is carefully graded so performance pieces and technical skills are closely aligned with several examination syllabi such as the AMEB and ANZCA.  At the completion of the series, students will have achieved a playing standard equivalent to Grade 3 or 4 depending on the particular requirements of each examination board.

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE ACHIEVER PIANO SERIES ARE:

  • Repertoire Pieces – solo performance pieces in a variety of styles
  • Piano Duets and/or Keyboard Ensembles – develop part-playing skills, group interaction and team playing
  • Keyboard Harmony – cultivates skills relating to tonality, harmony, chord relationships and chord structures
  • Finger Zips – technical skill development in a variety of keys
  • Improvisation – fosters creativity
  • Chord Sight Reading – assists with reading contemporary music charts
  • Scales and Cadence Chord Playing – confirming tonal and technical relationships
  • Sight Reading – builds essential reading skills
  • Backing Tracks – provide authentic aural models that feature outstanding arrangements.
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