Dogs and Birds Book 1 is a first piano tutor for very young children that is fun yet systematic. The Dogs and Birds approach, allows very young children to learn the piano, even before they know the alphabet. The music is suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 7. The method uses animal symbols to represent the musical notes, for example Cat is C and Dog is D. The animal names are monosyllabic and children are encouraged to sing the names as they play the tunes on the piano or keyboard. This helps children develop musicality and their inner ear. As well the musical pieces, rhythm exercises are dispersed throughout the book - important for establishing a good sense of pulse and rhythm. This blank notes edition of the book is recommended for ages 6 and 7. An animal notes edition is also available, for ages 3 to 6, which is the same as this book, but with animal symbols printed in the notes, which aid the children in remembering the musical notation. The book contains full colour illustrations throughout, which are an important stimulus for the child. Discussing the illustrations is an essential part of the learning process.
A few words describe each picture and the book includes various suggestions of questions to ask the child to stimulate discussion. There is an appropriate musical game or exercise to carry out with each piece and a description of the elements of the Dogs and Birds approach is included. The method is designed such that parents can teach these pieces to their children. However the parents do not need to have a musical background. All musical notation necessary to play these pieces is contained in the Notes for Parents and Teachers available separately, which also contains a set of lesson plans including many musical games. Working through the material in Dogs and Birds Book 1 can provide a good parent child bonding opportunity.