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Why Get Set! Piano?

Key features of the Get Set! Piano Series:

• Written by practicing Piano teachers and tried and tested with children.
Beautifully designed and illustrated with lots of interactive activities so children can make it their own.
Systematic and Progressive – going from the known to the related unknown, making sure that progress is steady and solid.
Multi-sensory – includes seeing, hearing and doing activities such as marking high and low pitch on the body or tapping heart beats on a page to recognise the pulse.
Holistic – includes rhythm, pitch reading (find/say/play activities) aural, theory, technique and composing/improvising skills alongside child friendly and teaching rich repertoire.
Includes music that inspires that’s fast to learn (some 4 bar) – from new composition such as Red Sox Rock or Shine alongside much loved traditional melody like Row Row Row Your Boat and Bobby Bingo.

Get Set! Piano Tutor 1 and Pieces book 1 and Get Set! Piano Tutor 2 and Pieces book 2

Get Set! Piano first hit the shelves back in 2013. It was birthed out of a chance conversation with two Piano Teachers and writers, Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond, who lived just 6 miles from each other in York, UK. Both practicing or former Primary Music Specialists in school as well as being piano teachers, the books were tried and tested with several of Karen and Heather’s own piano students. They taught the piano but so much more with singing, composing, improvisation, theory and rhythm work all weaved in due to Karen and Heather’s classroom music experience.
After studying over 40 different other methods, exploring traditional Kodály folk melodies, the work of Mrs Curwen and Walter Carol, plus Karen’s own Piano Teachers pedagogical approach, the late Christine Brown the first four books (Get Set! Tutor 1 & 2, Get Set! Pieces Book 1 & 2) were written week by week over 18 months. Already a successful educational composer Heather Hammond systematically wrote material to enthuse and inspire. This was complimented by Karen’s contrasting composition with much of the words to the melodies written by Heather and Karen’s students. The two teachers weekly sat at a dining room table with laptops close to hand, writing the next pages to be road tested along with amending the previous week’s work. Valuable feedback was gained from their students and changes were made for the better!

My First Piano Book and My First Pieces, Puzzles and Activity Book – Age 5 to 7 pre-reading

After the success of the first four books Karen embarked on writing two books for younger beginners aged 5 to 7 years that could come before Get Set! Tutor 1. These books took five years to complete having tried and tested the material over and over in small group lessons and one to one lessons in two primary school as well as in Karen’s private practice. This was done to ensure the two primer books seamlessly move to Get Set! Piano tutor 1 and Pieces book 1 or any other tutor with the child having a foundation in musicianship and the workings of the piano (eg. Where the notes are on the keyboard). Many teachers (including Karen and Heather) have already had much success using these books before Get Set! Tutor 1 (launched in May 2020). Parents too have enjoyed using the books at home with their children. Here’s some quotes from a Mother and Daughter who have previous used the titles.
“These piano books are a real delight. I can’t believe how quickly my daughter has progressed on the piano. She really enjoys the setting in Music Town and being able to colour and draw in the books. The books are so interactive we enjoy doing activities together.” Hannah (Mum)
“These are the best books ever! I love all the characters as they help me to remember all the things I’m learning about music.” Isabelle, age 7

Get Set! Christmas

Get Set! Christmas arrived in 2018, shortly before My First Piano Book, and works alongside books 1 & 2 of the tutor/pieces. Virtually all the pieces in there are arrangements. Being one of the most experienced and celebrated early Piano arrangers, David Blackwell joined Karen to provide this bumper volume starting with 5 finger pieces right up to Grade 1 plus (late elementary) music. There’s a whopping 30+ carols with many including duet accompaniments, plus quizzes and colouring activities to encourage practising throughout.

Ongoing Feedback

The books continue to be improved based on teacher feedback, but also Karen and Heather’s ongoing use of the books in their own teaching. Do contact Collins Music with your feedback. We very much want to hear what we can do to improve the books!

Free resources

Karen, Heather and David (supported by Collins Music) all believe in giving ongoing resources free of charge to teachers. Thanking them for the support they give the series. Do check out all the free materials here from hundreds of free additional tunes and pieces to quizzes, practice charts and even an advent calendar. There’s lots to explore and to enjoy!

Look out for Karen Marshall’s new regular blog series on the Musicroom Blog

Karen will soon be writing a regular blog series called “Karen Marshall’s Music Room”. Look out for first first blog post very soon!



Get Set! Piano

Get Set! Piano is an incredibly popular course by Heather Hammond and Karen Marshall, written specially for the twenty-first century child. The tried and tested progression guides beginners from their very first lesson through to Prep test level. Note learning is taught alongside aural, theory and composing skills providing a holistic approach to music.

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