Next Step Piano Course
Next Step Ed. is proud to use our own exclusive curriculum, The Magical Musical Tour, in our after-school programs. The Magical Musical Tour was written and compiled by Jacob Hunt with contributions from the entire Hunt family (over 75 years of combined music education experience) and has been refined & improved over the last 5 years to work seamlessly in the group & private lesson setting.
The Magical Musical Tour aims to make learning music fun for the young musician. Students follow Reeni, Li'l Frank, and his dog, Finny, around the world, visiting natural and man-made wonders while learning music fundamentals, piano technique, and note reading. The book acts as a "Passport" for the student, once he or she completes the objectives specified in each location, his or her teacher will mark their progress with a "Passport Approved" rubber stamp. This helps the parent keep track of where they are in the book and keeps the student eager to travel to the next location. Each song has a backing track which makes playing along even more fun while practicing to stay in rhythm and on beat.
In the latest edition, the 6th edition, new students will use the beginner book and students with some experience will use the intermediate book. Both books use the same songs, however, there are two different parts to each song. This allows us to accommodate for different skill levels in the same class. Students of the after-school program will receive a hard copy with registration. There are free downloads of the book's PDF and MP3 tracks. If you need another hard copy, it can be ordered from our store and mailed to you.
Listed below is a summary of what students will learn in each location.
The adventure starts with Reeni, Li'l Frank, and Finny take in a show at Carnegie Hall. Beginners learn about beat & rhythm, the musical alphabet, how to find "Middle C" on the keyboard, and finger numbers on the right hand. Intermediate students learn about making chords and playing a combination of chords & melody with their left hand.
Songs of Carnegie Hall: Magical Transport Song, Dangerous D's, and "C"ing a Concert.
While visiting penguins at the South Pole, beginner students begin to learn how to read music by identifying a note's rhythm & pitch values. They learn where "Middle C", "D", and "E" are located on the treble clef and how to identify quarter notes & rests and half notes. Intermediate students will reinforce their ability to switch between playing chords and melodies with their left hand.
Songs of the south pole: The 2 Note Waddle & The Penguin Party Song.
Next, students travel with Reeni, Li'l Frank, and Finny to the ancient mountain city of Machu Picchu in Peru. Beginner students reinforce the rhythm and pitch notes they have learned so far. They learn a new rhythm note, the whole note. Intermediate students continue to practice playing chords & melodies with the left hand. They learn a new type of chord, a first inversion chord.
Songs of Machu Picchu:
On the Mountain Top, Mary Had A Li'l Llama, & Incan Tribal Dance (as a bonus song).
As Reeni, Li'l Frank, and Finny take a turbulent rafting ride down the Amazon River, the beginner students learn to read new pitch notes in the treble clef, "F" & "G", and new a new rhythm note, the eighth note. Students also have a short quiz to review the rhythm notes they've learned so far and rhythm pattern exercises. Intermediate students will be challenged with second inversion chords and will play root chords, first inversion chords, and second inversion chords with their left & right hands. They also have rhythm pattern exercises.
Songs of the Amazon River: Crocodile Hunt & Over The Waterfall.
While visiting the Eiffel Tower, beginner students learn a new note in the treble clef and are introduced to the bass clef. They will also learn how to identify whole rests. Intermediate students learn about inverted melodies, where the melody in the treble and bass clefs move in opposite directions. They also learn about 2 note chords.
Songs of the Eiffel Tower: Skipping Along & Frere Jacques (bonus song).
Reeni, Li'l Frank, and Finny find themselves in the dark of King Tut's Tomb. Beginner students practice playing more notes with their left hand while learning a tricky finger pattern for their right hand. They also learn about staccato notes. Intermediate students get more practice with inverted melodies and switching between chords & melodies with their left hand.
Songs of King Tut's Tomb: The Pyramid & Nameless.
Students of all skill levels will have a gladiator's size challenge at the Colosseum. Beginner students review rest notes and practice reading bass clef notes & playing with their left hand. They are then introduced to the grand staff. Intermediate students will strengthen their ability to play chords by being challenged with some real tough chord progressions.
Songs of the Colosseum: March of the Gladiators and Gladiator's Shave & a Haircut.
Students get a little break after the Colosseum at Lake Superior. Beginner students practice more rhythm patterns and strengthen reading treble and bass clef separately.
Songs of Lake Superior: PB&J and Twinkle, Twinkle.
At the beautiful Taj Mahal, beginner students practice more rhythm patterns and learn a new rhythm note, the dotted quarter note.
Songs of Taj Mahal: Ode to Joy
In the desert of the Outback, beginner students learn about scales and the sharp sign.
Songs of the Outback: C Major Scale & G Major Scale.
Li'l Frank, Reeni, and Finny climb to the top of Mt. Rushmore while the beginner students learn a new rhythm note (the dotted half note), a new time signature, and tied notes.
Songs of Mt. Rushmore: Amazing Grace.
Li'l Frank, Reeni, and Finny find themselves in another desert, the Sahara Desert. Beginner students face a challenging last song of the adventure, and then decipher a story by Li'l Frank.
Songs of Sahara Desert: Desert Dub 2.0.