The Piano Course

What is Dogs & Birds?

Dogs & Birds is a fantastic piano course specifically designed for young children. Based in Kodaly principles, D&B is a simple and fun way of getting children started on piano, with amazing results. For more information, check out: https://www.dogsandbirds.co.uk/

What is Kodaly?

Or rather, who! Zoltan Kodaly is a Hungarian musician & educationalist who developed the Kodaly method, also known as the Kodaly concept. He is well known to have revolutionised music education in Hungary in the 20th Century. Kodaly’s aim was to make music accessible to everyone, by singing and using body percussion before externalising music onto an instrument. There is a focus on logical sequential progression and also utilises special rhythmic syllables, movable-do solfege and hand signs. A quick Google search will unlock a whole world of learning!

How are the lessons taught?

We deliver weekly one-to-one lessons, normally lasting for 20 minutes each. Lessons are fast paced and broken into a number of course elements including pieces, rhythm exercises, aural training, music map/composition and sung finger exercises.

How much are the sessions?

The piano lessons are £9 per 20 minute 1-to-1 lesson, or £13.50 per 30 minute 1-to-1 lesson.

What keyboard do you recommend for home practice?

Check out our guide on instruments here.

How best to facilitate practice at home?

Please check out our practice page

Where can I get hold of the Dogs & Birds teaching materials?

We recommend purchasing the Dogs & Birds beginners set which includes all the teaching resources we use in lessons including the animal tiles, music map, the two books (in both editions) and the parent/teacher notes. You can purchase here.

What happens after completing Book 2?

Starting in Year 4, we are offering two discrete pathways for children to take – an exam pathway and a non-exam pathway. The exam pathway increases lesson time to 30 minutes and gears children up for sitting exams on the Trinity board. The non-exam pathway continues in a similar vein to the piano lessons up to this point, focusing on a holistic music education – including completing pieces, developing rhythm, exploring composition/improvisation, vocalisation and aural skills.

We usually use Bastian piano course as the follow-on course from Dogs & Birds, whether the child is on exam pathway or not.

The question of which pathway to go down is a not necessarily a simple one. Please get in contact to start the conversation.

How do I monitor my child’s progress for home practice?

You can monitor your child’s progress using our progress tracker here. Please note this is a dynamic spreadsheet which constantly updates, so please bookmark it!

What assessment is involved in the lessons?

In addition to continual formative assessment by your child’s teacher, we also send out a full end-of-year report and a video showing them perform a piece, which is a fantastic keepsake and allows you to monitor progress year-on-year.

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