Piano Books for Kids
John W. Schaum Piano Course: Leading to the Mastery of the Instrument
John Schaum's Piano Course is a nine book series designed to be used for traditional, classical style piano instruction. Schaum created the series in the 50's and 60's, and his son Wesley revised the series in the 90's to make it a little more current with new graphics and minor tweaks here and there. Although these books are written for teaching young students, they can also be used to teach adults. John Schaum also has a series of piano lesson books designed specifically for adults and a huge selection of other books and arrangements.
NAMM's Oral History Program has a great video of John Schaum's son Wesley telling the story of his father's career in music publishing.
Chris's Piano Lessons has kindly provided videos for the entire John W. Schaum Piano Course on YouTube.
You may want to go ahead skip this book unless the lessons are for very young beginners aged 6 and under. It is very basic and The Red Book - A will still start beginners off with everything they will need to know.
Many students may want to start here instead of Pre-A. These songs are traditional curriculum for the classical beginner aimed at providing a solid foundation. Each song has an optional sing-along and many songs are traditional American children's songs with original words.
On a side note, these early lesson books pair nicely with Meridee Winters books.
A continuation from A - The Red Book, these songs are also very rudimentary in order to establish a solid foundation. The basic nature of the songs in these early books can be uninteresting for young students, but if you are able to get them to push through to C - The Purple Book, they will be well rewarded with the solid foundation provided by these early books.
I took piano eons ago, when I was a kid. I was never that good, but there were a few songs that I still sit down to play once in a while. One of them is the abbreviated version of "The 1812 Overture" in this John W. Schaum book E. If you want a song that is not real difficult, but not too easy either, and will bring down the rafters and leave everybody clapping, it's this song!
I have been a piano teacher for almost 7 years now and I can't find a better piano course than John W. Schaum. It is what I was trained on as a child, so I really tried to find a different series because I didn't want to carry a bias. However, in my opinion, there is just not a better course! Most of the songs are fun and yet educational at the same time.