I have been teaching piano lessons for 13 years and highly recommend the Piano Adventures series. I have used several different method books, including Alfred, Bastien, and David Carr Glover. As a piano student, I learned music on the David Carr Glover method, and that was initially my first choice when I started teaching. I actually tried Piano Adventures last of all the methods, but when I finally did, it immediately became my favorite method.
Areas where Piano Adventures excels above other methods:
*APPROACH TO NOTE READING: As every teacher knows, some beginning piano students are ready to start reading notes from the staff on their first lesson, and others need it to be broken down in a very slow, step-by-step approach. The Piano Adventures method offers this breakdown in a comprehensive, thorough way. It not only moves slowly enough for the students who struggle the most, it also teaches the notes independent of finger number, which saves the teacher from having to break a bad habit later. (Notes on the staff are introduced about halfway through the primer level book.) Even for students who can learn the staff right away, the preliminary material is so valuable that I usually choose not to skip it with them.
*TECHNIQUE: The tips and technique helps in the Piano Adventures books are not only solid and necessary, they are easily understandable and easy to implement. The authors use word pictures, diagrams, and explanations in a very effective way. This not only helps students to use better technique, it also makes you a better teacher of good technique.
*MUSIC: The songs in Piano Adventures are more fun to play! They sound better. Students like them more. The duet parts are more satisfying and interesting to the teacher. True musicality is encouraged right from the very beginning, so that children learn to play artistically, not mechanically.
*APPROACH TO MUSICAL CONCEPTS OTHER THAN NOTES: Bar lines are not introduced in the first few pieces, which helps to avoid the common mistake students make of viewing them as stop signs. Time signatures, dynamics, and other concepts (such as staccato and legato) are introduced step by step, but not too early, so that children can develop a solid grasp of playing each one before moving on to the next. Sight reading is built right into the curriculum. Ear training is offered in the Theory books. These two skills are essential for all musicians to develop, but all too often, it is easy to overlook them in the busyness of the lesson. Since they are right there in the book (no need to purchase separate sight reading and ear training books), it saves cost and incorporates naturally into the student's skill set.
*UNIVERSAL APPEAL: Before trying Piano Adventures, I would have a first lesson without books, and then determine which method to use based on what I evaluated in the student's learning style. For quicker learners, I would choose Glover, for slower learners I would choose Alfred. (After using Bastien for one or two students, I just plain didn't like it at all.) However, with Piano Adventures, I have a method that I can trust to work with practically any student of any skill level.
All in all, I truly think that the Piano Adventures books result in students who play better, practice more successfully each week between lessons, and enjoy the instrument more. Fantastic job, Faber & Faber!