This is the thread with the problem that hasn't followed the rules for screw ups that seems to be guiding the other threads. I noticed that it appeared here earlier today -- there were no posts for today, but all the January posts had vanished anyway. Inconsistency even among inconsistencies!
Fortunately I had saved a copy of this thread recently since I am most interested in Cubby's progress. You last said that "Cubby is still plugging along in MUSIC FOR LITTLE MOZARTS, and his Mom says he loves coming to his lesson, although he doesn't have the focus yet to practice much at home."
I think the MFLM pictures and stories might be used with an infant or toddler since they do aim more at music appreciation than actual piano playing. The CDs read the stories and play the music and might be good for those children who want to hear the same thing over and over. The Music Discovery Book teaches about instruments of the symphony orchestra and has excerpts of classical pieces, etc. They are designed more for children whose parents or other loved ones don't have a working knowledge of music.
Cubby (having you as an uncle) is more sophisticated musically than most 5-year olds. But he still has 5-year-old size fingers so it's a real challenge to find something suited to him. Perhaps you need to do for him something like what you do for your voice students -- create a learning plan just for him. If you think the MFLM stories are too musically elementary for him, don't use them but instead give him more in-depth info on composers both you and he like. Mozart and Beethoven are used for the series since they were both child prodigies. But I'm sure he would also be fascinated with Brahms and Mendelssohn. Although the illustrations aren't very good and the information is not very in-depth, I still like the Great Composers CD-ROMs from Zane. They are multimedia presentations that play on their own and include excerpts and brief biographies of 18 composers on 6 CDs. Meet the Great Composer series from Alfred is also good.
Do you think that he doesn't focus and practice at home because of his age or because the music is too simple and unchallenging for him? I do think that the MFLM moves way too slowly and spends way too much time with off-staff notation. But then I'm not a fan of off-staff notation. Does he know his ABC's yet? If so, then translating that to reading notes on the staff may not need to be as slow a process as suggested in the MFLM series.
Some of the classical pieces in the PA Accelerated Lesson Book One are really well arranged but very simple. The Brahms "Hungarian Dance" is super easy and the only hands together sections use parallel motion. Cubby may be ready for the PA Primer books now.
Please keep us posted.
[This message has been edited by Rhapsody (edited 15 February 2001).]