Chester the frog is well known to thousands of beginning piano students everywhere. The fun designs and clear instructions are very easy to follow making the series of piano tutors a winner with both students and teachers. I picked up the practice book hoping for more of the same.

In some respects it does deliver what you’d expect. There are some fun elements to the design. I particularly like the tick boxes at the end of each lesson where the teacher indicates how the student did in this weeks lesson – useful and younger learners will enjoy the drawings. The lesson pages are very easy to follow, perhaps too simple for my liking.

Each of the twenty five lesson pages has space for date, exercises/scales, pieces, other work and the lesson tick boxes. I’m not sure how publishers decide on the number of lessons to include in a notebook. It strikes me as odd to have space for three quarters of the year.

Why not expand the book to 36 lessons and remove the need to buy a new notebook part-way through the year?

I’m also sure there is a missed opportunity here. Whilst this book will allow teachers to make a few notes at each lesson it does miss any mention of practice. How are pupils supposed to know how exactly to practice between lessons?

I find myself having similar feelings about this notebook as I do with others. Those younger pupils who it is aimed at will benefit more from having this than a plain notebook but it is again a missed opportunity to communicate the real requirement of practice between lessons.

Chester’s Music Practice Book, (1990, Music Sales Limited, ISBN: 978-0711922780) is available from:[amazon asin=0711922780&template=htp price]