of Succeeding at the Piano®
What teachers are saying about Succeeding
at the Piano®
Erklen from Colorado Springs, CO:
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. Phil Erklen, President.
Coates, from Clavier Companion July/August 2011 Issue:
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.
Irwin from Austin, TX:
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.
from Aberdeen, WA: “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!!! THANK YOU!”
from Lexington, SC: “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
Kathryn from Hampton Falls, NH: “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!”
from Muskegon, MI: "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 had a fellow
piano teacher who wanted to observe my teaching style this past fall.
As part of an awards recital every spring, I entered 6 students in 3
different levels, 5 of them placed, and 2 of them took 1st place for
their level. I think she wanted to see what I do differently- why my
students win that recital. She observed for many weeks, took lots of
notes, and even came to a group class and interviewed some students.
After all that, one thing she said to me was "I am so impressed
how all your students have such great hand shapes. Nobody has flat
fingers, and they all move their wrists the way they need to."
She asked how I am able to get them to do it, and I told her it was
directly because of Succeeding at the Piano®. In this
method students learn the correct hand position and wrist movements
as just a natural part of playing piano."
from Chico, CA: "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."
Rumsey-Riggs from Portland, OR: "I love your new series, I
have never seen a series that articulates technique so well, I have
started Grade 1 with several students and it is a WINNER!"
Bradfield from Whitehall, MI: "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!"
Alfa C from
Troy, Michigan: "It is excellent that the Lesson Books
combine together with technique!"
Maus, of Music Maker Studios from Temple Hills, MD:
"Succeeding at the Piano® is great! I
love to teach the children to sing with the songs and these
songs are easy for them to grasp and fun. I use the CD's,
so the students can hear the songs and learn quickly. I
really like the theory on each page and showing the position
each time. Keep up your great work!"
L Preston from
Raleigh, NC: "I find it wonderful the time you take to
explain how to play the piano. The illustrations are a joy and the
explanations simple yet accurate. I appreciate all the work, effort,
time and labor of love for us piano teachers."
Coan of firstname.lastname@example.org from Vernon, CT
"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."
from Chico, California: "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."
from Chicago, IL: "Congratulations on your new series. Your
presentation of technique within the lesson book is excellent.
Marvelous. Keep creating!"
from Chico, CA: "Just skimming it over makes me want to
start a new student. How landmarks are introduced, adding the other
notes in between the landmarks, slurs and tempos at this level,
listing the composers, birthplace and dates along with the arranger,
showing stepwise movement for intervallic reading, technique ideas
all along the way...and all this was just at a quick glance...I can't
wait to try it."
Wickham, founder of MusicMattersBlog.com from Derby, KS:
from Port Huron, MI: "Bravo. I love the way you incorporated
the technique and the connection to the composers. Fresh and bright
Kevin Coan of
email@example.com from Vernon, CT "I make it a
policy not to use materials until they are complete through level
four, but I am considering making an exception with this one. I
appreciate quite a few features of the course:
technical work right from the start. She also has some very practical
ways of making it happen.
An emphasis on
phrasing right from the beginning. It is impossible to over-emphasize
phrasing. With Helen's course, she gives phrasing its proper emphasis.
An emphasis on
artistry right from the beginning. She is teaching students to make
music, not just to type notes.
An emphasis on
multikey work as early as grade 1. This is how it should be!
music, especially in the performance books.
I love her
approach of using an imaginary "walk" through the world of
music under the guide of one of master composers. The effect will be
to make each composer one of the student's friends. Could you ask for more?
The avoidance of
relying on any one approach to music reading. The student could not
possibly get locked into any one position, and yet the student is
still given the ability to recognize the patterns that should become automatic.
of classical themes early in the course. It is plain to see that a
student using this course will emerge with an appreciation for the
classics. Again, what more could you ask for?
approach to musical concepts. Numerous topics are introduced at once,
with a spiraling return to each one. Research has shown this to be
Muskegon, MI: "I am amazed at how musically the students
play that use your method. Also, their hand shape and other technical
issues seem to be so much easier to deal with when your method is
used. I have to let you know, your piece "Jack, the
Muskrat", in grade 1, is a favorite of every student that plays
it! It is very cute".
piano teacher in Grand Rapids, MI "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!"