Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why have the prices increased for some of the packages?

The prices have increased because there are more items in the packages. Madonna Woods has been working very hard to develop new courses to meet the various needs of her customers. She has developed her own music theory courses called Adventures in Music Theory for each level of her Piano Course for Christians. She has also developed more courses for levels 3 through 5 of the Piano Course for Christians to prepare the student for playing in church.

2. What age should children start piano lessons?

Though students of all ages have used the Piano Course for Christians, the Preparatory Level of the course is directly primarily to the 6-9 year age group. Sometimes younger child of 4-5 years show an aptitude and interest in learning to play the piano and I feel this should be encouraged. At times, piano lessons are not feasible until age 10-13. I think when a child shows interest is the best sign to begin piano lessons.

3. If I have had some music instruction as a child, would I be able to tutor by own child using the Piano Course for Christians?

Yes. The explanations of music fundamentals in the Piano Course for Christians are so complete that you will be able to tutor your child. The cassettes are a great help because they give more explanations and demonstrate all the songs and exercises. Lesson guides are included that lay out how to tutor the whole course and notes to parents on how to present new material, how to encourage practice and how to assess progress.

4. If I have no musical background, can I still tutor by child using the Piano Course for Christians?

Yes. Even if you have no musical background you can tutor your child if you are willing to study the Piano Course for Christians and stay one page ahead. Many parents have done this and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The course materials provide complete explanations of the music fundamentals and with the cassettes you hear exactly how everything should be played and how the rhythm is counted. Lesson guides are included in with the course materials that explain how to tutor and lead your child through the course.

5. If my child took piano lessons for one year, where would I start in the Piano Course for Christians?

The music fundamentals are covered in the Piano Course for Christians at the same time as in most of the other piano course books. So if your child has finished the very first level (Preparatory or Primer level) in any other piano course, then he would be ready for Level 1 in the Piano Course for Christians. If your child has finished level 1 of another piano course then they would be ready for Level 2 in the Piano Course for Christians.

6. Is the Piano Course for Christians suitable for teenagers?

Certainly. But they should realize that it was written originally for younger children. However, the music fundamentals and the method of learning the piano is the same for teenagers, except that they will progress at a much faster rate.

7. Can adults use the Piano Course for Christians to learn to play the piano?

Yes. Many adults have used the Piano Course for Christians to learn the piano. Some have gone through the course for the purpose of teaching their child. Others have simple wanted to learn on their own. The text and content are directed at children but the music fundamentals presented are the same. An adult will usually progress much faster than a child.

8. Can an electronic keyboard be used with the Piano Course for Christians?

Yes. The Piano Course for Christians is easily adapted for use on an electronic keyboard. You can use an electronic keyboard throughout the first 2-3 levels with no difficulty if you have a keyboard with at least 62 keys. Music fundamentals are the same for a piano, an organ, or an electronic keyboard. Most of the course work is done in the center part of the keyboards. In later levels of the course, more notes are learned in the upper and lower areas of the keyboard so the electronic keyboards must have more keys. Also the sustain pedal that holds and sustains the notes is also learned. The sustain pedal is an optional accessory for electronic keyboards.

9. Is the music in the Piano Course for Christians and the supplementary courses Christian?

All of the music in the Piano Course for Christians has a Christian nature. By that I mean most songs and music pieces are well-known hymns, gospel songs or other religious works. When music is not an actual hymn, the music still is of a nature to enhance Christian values. The subject might be love of nature, love of our fellow man, trying to do right, and so forth.

The music of the supplementary courses has been chosen in the same way. There are many books of Sunday School songs, well-known hymns and gospel songs, Christmas carols, as well as themes from famous religious works like oratorios, cantatas, and the like. Some supplementary courses have been chosen because they are useful to the development of good piano techniques such as the finger exercise courses. Other courses are songs of America, fine classical music, folk songs or other worthwhile children's songs. The entire curriculum has been selected with a careful regard to its musical content, and to its complete compatibility with Christian and family values.

10 Is there any anti-Christ music in the curriculum?

No. The supplementary courses that are not specifically religious are all compatible to Christian ideals and values. The songs may express the beauty of nature, love of our fellow man, Christian fellowship, good fun, joy in living, tolerance toward others, and love of God. As the student advances through the higher levels, church service music is frequently introduced and used in the lessons. Service music is a piece that would be suitable for part of a church service, such as a prelude, offertory, postlude, or quiet meditation.

11. Does the student receive help in learning to play in a church?

Yes. Starting with the beginning levels, the student is taught music that is appropriate for playing in church. At the upper levels of the Piano Course for Christians, the student is given specific service-type music and other assistance in what would be expected of a good church pianist. It is the long-range mission of the Piano Course for Christians to train not only good pianists but also musicians who are trained to play in church.

12. Why are supplementary courses needed?

Supplementary courses are very useful to help the student truly master all the music fundamentals, finger techniques, expression, and range of piano literature presented at each level of the Piano Course for Christians. The student needs repeated opportunities to practice the notation reading skills, counting of rhythm, finger coordination and other techniques he has learned before progressing to the next level.

13. What does "coordinated to go with" a certain level mean.

This means that the notes, hand positions, fingering, key signatures, rhythm, and other music basics will contain only those that are being taught in the main course book itself. When a student is at a certain level, he should be able to learn to play most of the material from the supplemental courses at that level.

14. If I learn to play by ear, can I still learn to read notes?

Yes. You can learn to read notes if you wanted to do so. Playing by ear does not limit your note reading ability. Learning to read notes does take time and patience but it is such a worthwhile study.

15. If I already play the piano by reading notes, can I still learn to play by ear?

Yes. You can learn to play by ear at any time you wish. We offer beginning courses on playing by ear such as Play Gospel Songs by Ear Course 1 (MWS-103) which uses religious songs. Or there is How to Play by Ear (MWS-105) which uses primarily secular songs. We also offer a video, How to Play By Ear Video (MWVD-304) for students who want to see how the techniques are done. For those students who have an electronic keyboard, there is Play by Ear On Your Electronic Keyboard (MW-183). All can be purchased through our secure website.

16. Should my child be taught to play by ear?

As a rule, no, not when they are beginning. You want your child to get a solid foundation in note reading first. If you start them playing by ear before the student has made a good start in learning to read notes, he may very well get the idea that picking things out by ear is much easier that learn to read music, so why bother to read music. It would be like giving a child a calculator instead of learning math basics. Yes, a calculator is useful, but only after math basics are mastered. So be sure the student has a good foundation in reading music before introducing short cut ways to play the piano. In Level 5, learning to play by ear is be introduced.

17. Do we need the CDs to the Piano Course for Christians if I (the parent) know music?

That choice is up to the parents and the students. The cassettes demonstrate how all the music and songs should sound which is so important when learning music. If you are a parent who knows the piano and can demonstrate the music for the student then that's wonderful!

However the cassettes also give additional information about piano and music techniques but Madonna Woods also gives advice and encouragement just as a teacher in person would. Sometimes parents, even those that know how to play the piano, have opted to use the cassettes with the books because they have found that the student will more readily follow the instructions on the cassette than what the parent tells them.

18. If I have already purchased the Preparatory Level of the Piano Course for Christians, can I still get a discount on purchasing the rest of the course?

Yes. If you purchased the Preparatory Level and wish to purchase the remaining five levels - that is Level 1 through 5, books and cassettes, we are happy to offer a discount. Please call 913-262-4982.

19. Can I order items from both the website and the catalog on the same order?

Not all of our products are listed on the Davidsons Music website. However you can order from both the website and the catalog by calling 913-262-4982 or mailing your order to Davidsons Music, 6727Y Metcalf, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, 66204.