Sophie has been messing around on the piano a bit lately. She's been adamant that even if she might possibly happen to want to learn to play the piano, she'd like to learn without a teacher, thank you very much. So when we were in Calgary last month I picked up a couple of primer books that looked simple enough for some self-teaching (a 1B and 2A level book). Sophie reads well on violin, but has never met the bass clef, nor has she had any orientation to the piano keyboard. But yesterday she pulled out the 2A primer and set to work figuring out how the notes on the page connected with the 88 keys in front of her. Before I really noticed what was happening she was playing with both hands together ... and sight-reading her way through the book.
She spent a lot of time at it yesterday -- maybe almost three hours. And she was back at it this morning. She's almost mastered the entire 2A book. I'm amazed that she can read "hands together," even if only at this basic level. As a violinist she's only ever had to play one set of notes at a time. I guess I'll look for a 2B book next week when we go to Calgary again.
We're using the Alfred books for now. If any of you lurking piano teachers have suggestions for alternatives, I'd be happy to hear from you. She already reads well with a strongly intervalaic approach. She doesn't need any help with rhythm or ear training. I looked at a couple of "Older Beginner" series, but they seemed to focus on a lot of teaching of basic music theory and musicianship -- stuff Sophie already has in hand. She just needs unintimidating incremental practice at reading on the piano. I wish the Alfred books weren't stuck in five-finger position on the white notes so much of the time, but perhaps she'll consent to me teaching her a few "all across the keyboard, with black notes too" pieces partly by ear.