What Teachers Are Saying
I like “Succeeding at the Piano” method because the technical aspects are well emphasized and in the right way. I, especially, like the thumb position. Your book is the only method book that talks about the correct place where the thumb needs to press the key. Other books show the thumb being flat. I received a BM in Japan and an MM in the US. When I came to the US, I wondered why so many students play with flat hands. Your method is giving students stronger hands and fingers. At the same time, I also like the "Drip-Drop-Roll" for flexibility. We need both. I feel that even college students need to learn these important techniques.
In the book 5, I was so glad to find in the unit 8 the review of the different touch releases you often mention in the videos and the other concepts that are what a serious piano student should normally find in a book at this level. In my opinion, you set up the perfect balance : the method has a steady and well thought flow of concepts being introduced at the right time while keeping it challenging enough to pull students to reach a higher level of piano playing.
Just wanted to let you know how much I love and would recommend your piano book teaching series. I wish everyone would use it, especially bc of the technique hints at such an early start, making it easy for the student to really learn proper technique from the start. What a difference this will make in their later years, playing!
I am just writing to thank Helen Marlais and everyone involved in creating Succeeding at the Piano. Since I started using the method with my beginners two years ago, not one SATP student has quit, not one! They're playing happily with beautiful, solid technique, and I couldn't be more delighted with the help the method has given me in keeping them focused on the most essential aspects of piano playing. It has made a real difference in the life of my studio.
I have a student who I call my "Marlais baby" because I have only used SATP, SWTM, and all other Marlais material available. She is not going to be a piano major, but she is doing well and I think of you every time she is here. She is playing the Chopin Nocturne in E-flat for her recital and it has been a stretch for her. She has worked so hard on it. She will play all her life, I know. You have this next generation of well trained students going out into the world and making it a more beautiful place. What a legacy for all your hard work!
I guess an analogy would be that in the past, I had to gather all the ingredients and put forth a lot of labor to get a good cake. That would be equivalent to using several methods to get that good cake. However, the cake was never great. There were several ingredients missing. Now, I just go to the baker and the great cake is there, made fresh and ready for consumption. That would be SATP. SATP is now the official method at the International Music Syndicate.
One of the major strengths of this method is the combining of healthy technique with the lesson book repertoire. This integration brings attention to technique so that it is a must for student and teacher, rather than only a supplement.
I began two of my beginners last semester on this method. I was immediately impressed with the clean pages - not an excess of words and pictures.
I LOVE the Succeeding at the Piano® series — my students love this series as well, they like it a lot better than the method I was currently using and so do I. Everything is stated more simple and my students seem to comprehend a lot faster. My students are really pumped up about piano lessons since I switched method books!
I have received my copy of Succeeding at the Piano® 2A Lesson and Technique Book. Thank you for making it so easy for me to make use of the skills presented. I look forward to trying it out with one of my students. I believe it can save time that I spend writing directions in the assignment book, leaving more time for skill work. After leaving the studio, the student will see the instructions on the Lesson Book page, and hopefully remember the techniques and practice well.
I love the new Helen Marlais method books and so do my students. The graphics are great and the instructions are clear, plus great music. I look forward to the next books!
All I know is that Succeeding at the Piano® is the best thing that has happened to the piano teaching world. They are the most complete books with the best balance of everything a student needs to learn. My newer students that are using the books advance so much faster and have such a complete understanding of music than other students. This method is the only one I will use, and the parents are impressed, too.
I wanted to write a note and say how much I'm enjoying Helen Marlais' new method, Succeeding at the Piano®. She has addressed many of the issues we had as teachers with other methods. I appreciate the spiral learning approach and how she's introducing topics earlier than other methods such as key signatures, the concept of Major and minor, and many other issues. I also like how the technique is integrated in the lesson book. It makes it much easier to apply good technique to the pieces when it's right there on the next page.
I have 11 students in the Preparatory Level and 4 students in Grade 1. Never have I had students catch on to playing with "no dents" in their fingers...the picture says a thousand words!
My first impressions of Succeeding at the Piano® are extremely positive. It has avoided an emphasis on any one methodology, including fixed positions. At the same time, it includes areas of emphasis, especially in the area of technique, that are often neglected in beginning methods. The author is obviously a first-rate teacher, and she shares a lot of her secrets with us in this method.
I was favorably impressed with the pedagogy behind the method and the music included, which includes classical themes and folk tunes with which every music student should be familiar. One other thing that I would add that is unique with the CDs packaged with the Lesson and Technique Books & the Recital Books is that there are 3 tracks for each piece: 1) A slower practice speed; 2) A short verbal instruction by Helen Marlais; 3) Performance speed. The CD also includes authentic string quarter arrangements/ accompaniments so that students might imagine playing in the time of Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven.
Congratulations on your new series. Your presentation of technique within the lesson book is excellent. Marvelous. Keep creating!
The new piano method Succeeding at the Piano by Dr. Helen Marlais is absolutely wonderful. The technical exercises within the lesson books create and reinforce the correct position at the keyboard to achieve the desired sound out of the instrument. Children who begin with this method develop good posture, hand position, practice habits, and learn to really enjoy playing the piano. The mixture of classical themes as well as FJH composer originals is excellent, as well as the exposure young children get to composers such as Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Brahms. This piano method is truly superior to anything else I have seen on the market!