About Succeeding at the Piano ®

Welcome to Succeeding at the Piano®, the FJH fully-integrated system of pedagogical success written by Dr. Helen Marlais. Succeeding at the Piano® covers every aspect of beginning and intermediate level piano playing! There are two ways to start a student in Succeeding at the Piano®. The chart below highlights the different approaches used in the Core method and the All-in-One Approach.

Core Method
All-In-One Approach
Six leading pedagogical composers writing in a variety of musical styles engage students! Whatever style they gravitate to, Succeeding at the Piano® provides the perfect foundation for success at the piano.

MUSIC

Classical music is the focus in this method, along with
a variety of other musical styles.
  Different musical styles are experienced. Student solos and teacher duets are much easier than in the core method. This approach is perfect for students who have little time to practice but still want to achieve success.
READING
Students begin with intervallic note reading
and then combine that with conventional note reading to become strong readers. Students learn the intervals of a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th in the Preparatory level. The introductory pre-reading focuses on a child’s physical and aural development at the keyboard first, so they are better equipped to read on the staff.
  Students begin with conventional note reading and then combine that with intervallic reading to become strong readers. Reading is taught gradually-students learn the patterns of steps, skips, and repeated notes in the Preparatory level. The patterns of 4th and 5th intervals are not introduced until Book 1A.
TECHNIQUE
Specific information for correct, healthy technique is
incorporated in all books. Jump right in and teach technique! Introducing students to these concepts early ensures their success and allows them to progress easily and learn classical repertoire in a timely manner.
  The technique is simplified and more gradual. Attention is still given to correct, body friendly technique that incorporates the basic concepts of the core method.
MUSICALITY
Students are introduced to the elements of musicality as early as the Preparatory level with “student- centered” Before playing and After playing questions. As a result, students listen well and have excellent rhythmic skills. This leads to more engaged practice. Students learn how to shape phrases early, how to play two-note slurs, how to bring a piece to life musically, and how to actively listen to themselves play.   Students learn how to listen with the help of visual icons and follow-up “student-centered” questions. Pieces are taught in the Preparatory books without slurs so that you can concentrate on their reading and rhythm skills
THEORY
Strong theory, ear training, and creativity skills are presented in a fun and practical way. Lesson book concepts are actively reinforced through supplemental fun activities in the Theory and Activity books   Theory concepts are introduced in each book through short, interesting and fun activities that engage students in theory, rhythm, ear training, and creativity skills perfectly paced for a 30-minute lesson
PRACTICE
Both approaches teach students how to practice through specific practice steps and “student-centered” questions. We all know that student success increases when they learn how to practice efficiently and progress confidently
CD's
Included in each book features play-along practice tracks as well as play-along string quartet accompaniments performed by live musicians. These accompaniments help students to understand classical music and provide a perfect way for students to enjoy their practicing at home   Included in each book features play-along practice tracks as well as play-along orchestrated background accompaniments in a variety of different musical styles, from country to folk to classical to jazz. These accompaniments provide a perfect way for students to enjoy their practicing at home.
PEDAGOGY
The Core method is a detailed and comprehensive step-by-step guide and support system for piano teachers to foster successful pianists and musicians. It provides a complete curriculum with a greater focus on intervallic reading, correct technique, and discovery learning. The three books of each level allow more detail and more information   The All-in-One Approach offers a practical approach for teaching students reading, technique and theory through simplified music and short exercises that move at a gradual pace which is perfect for the 30-minute lesson
TEACHER SUPPORT
Videos of actual lessons, downloadable accompaniment tracks, CD's, and MIDI's are available.
CORRELATION CHART
The two methods are fully-integrated so you can switch a student from one method to the other at any level if you feel that they need more or less of a challenge. If the All-in-One Approach seems to progress too gradually, you can easily move the student into the Core method. If the Core method seems too rigorous, you can move the student to the All-in-One Approach. It’s that simple!
All-in-One Approach Core Method Succeeding with a Notespeller
Preparatory A and B Preparatory Level Preparatory
Books 1A and 1B Grade 1 Grade 1
Books 2A and 2B Grade 2A Grade 2A
Book 2C Grade 2B Grade 2B
After 2C, move students to the core
method, Grade 3
Grade 3  
  Grades 4 and 5  
For your students’ well-rounded education, please see the Helen Marlais Correlation Chart [PDF] to see how all of the books
in The FJH Pianist's Curriculum® correlate.



View Tables of Contents for All-In-One books

The All-In-One Approach to Succeeding at the Piano, Preparatory Book A

The All-In-One Approach to Succeeding at the Piano, Preparatory Book B

The All-in-One Approach to Succeeding at the Piano, Book 1A

The All-in-One Approach to Succeeding at the Piano, Book 1B

The All-In-One Approach to Succeeding at the Piano, Book 2A