April 24, 2024


I Fall For Art

Title – The Picture of Music – Author – Lesley Anne Sears – Book Reviews

“The Picture of Music” is an ultimate step-by-step guide to playing piano that cannot only help teach the beginner, it can brush up the advanced player as well. Lesley Anne Sears has changed my view of sheet music from one of undecipherable symbols with only faint recognition to one of order, patterns of notes, and beauty. For most of us, the adages “How soon we forget” or “Use it or lose it” applies to music. Like many children, I took piano lessons during my single digit years, played a few other instruments in my teens, but now, decades later I can’t read a note.

Lesley Anne Sears writes from a humble, non-threatening and clearly entertaining introductory level, unpretentiously assuming no prior musical knowledge or skill exists with the reader. Using the most clever examples and simple demonstrations, she starts with locating on the keyboard and Clef Middle C. Once you see C, you got it. From there it’s all about intervals – up and down. She calls this “The See C Piano Method.”™

If this sounds too easy to be true, it’s true it is so easy. The work and genius has all gone into the Herculean effort creating this book. Her teaching skills using the visualization of musical descriptions, the orderly progression of exercises and the extensive use of drawings, graphics, keyboard diagrams, and kitty cats make for a uniquely effective method. Yes, kitty cats – the line drawings of playful cats put the reader at ease, defusing any frustration, and provide love and support. Plus you don’t feel as if you’re playing music alone!

“The Picture of Music” is not a book to read, but a philosophy of instruction to savor, absorb, assimilate and cherish. The work that went into the course curriculum needs to be matched with the desire to learn by the student. In essence, I shall learn to play as I teach my child — what fun!

Lesley Anne Sears unselfishly offers her prized “See C Piano Method”™ of instruction so one’s innately human aspiration of playing music by converting written music to the keyboard becomes effortlessly possible. Thoughtfully, even the spiral binding of her book enables you to place it upright on a piano or a music stand thus having the pages remain open. Her varying use of type, font, boldface and italics to punctuate her words adds expression and feeling to her book, from her pianissimo (soft) common font to a mezzo forte (moderately loud) bold, larger type.

Laden with graphics, musical notes and given an uncrowded, spacious amount of room per page makes her work a “multimedia” presentation – or as much so as can be achieved by a book. And the Kitty, ah yes, the most playful of relaxing line drawings imaginable, adds the depth of a warm and fuzzy feeling and love to her work. I would highly recommend this book and will keep it in my music reference library to use for instruction in the future. To Lesley Anne Sears, from her readers’ standing ovation praising her masterpiece, we shout Bravissimo!