I'm glad you asked! I incorporate a variety of teaching methods into my curriculum, and often combine more than one in lessons. Learning music isn't a "one size fits all" journey, and I strive to utilize the best materials for each individual student along every step of their journey.
With that said, there are a few different method books I've used with much success over the years, so here's a quick roundup of some of my most frequently-used books!
Early Piano (ages 3-6)
Alfred's Music For Little Mozarts series is the best I've found for students at this age. The stories, pictures, and supplementary materials really drive home early musical concepts and keep these youngest beginners engaged.
Beginning/Intermediate Piano (ages 7-16)
Alfred's Basic Piano Course is one of the fastest methods to get students playing songs. It is position-based, which means students learn notes in certain hand positions, so I often supplement with songs that require students to move their hands around so they don't associate one particular finger with one particular note. Still, this method is easy to follow and one of my most-used series.
The Wunderkeys series is a newer method that offers beginner methods and a ton of workbooks and resources. Although I haven't been teaching them as long as some other methods, they are extremely effective, engaging, and fun - which are very important when it comes to selecting methods!
I usually use Alfred's All-In-One course for adult students. It's more straightforward (no cartoons or stories - sorry, adult students!) and moves at a faster pace while still digging into the key musical concepts. Plus it eliminates the need for additional supplementary materials, which can be hard to keep track of.
Early Guitar (ages 6-10)
Alfred's does it again on the guitar side with the Kid's Guitar Course for early beginners. This method uses sheet music, which works for some kids (but not all), and some familiar melodies.
I also like the Hal Leonard Guitar for Kids series, because it focuses a little more on strumming, gets to popular music faster, and has students using full chords too.
For young girls getting into guitar, I also love using the Girl's Guitar Method - this one uses both tab and sheet music notation, and includes stories from contemporary female musicians, along with lots of pink, butterflies, and flowers. It's not for every young girl, but it's a lot of fun for the right students!
Beginning Guitar (ages 10+)
Progressive Beginner Guitar has been my go-to for years. It gets students to playing right away, learning tab and sheet music notation, familiar songs, and learning to strum and play melodies. This book is my favorite introduction to guitar because it moves fairly slowly while introducing a lot of important concepts to help guide students as they progress.
The Kjos Master Theory is my favorite theory introduction book. It moves very slowly and scaffolds knowledge in every lesson to ensure students are carrying what they've learned into new lessons. The series is inexpensive and a lovely introduction to the world of theory.
And there we have it! This isn't an exhaustive list by any means, but hopefully it gives you a peek into what I teach. If you're intrigued and want to learn more, contact me today to set up a time to meet!