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Edly's Music Theory for Practical People Edly Paints the Ivories Blue, Book 1 Review by Dr. Anne Margaret Wright

Ed Roseman
Musical EdVentures
5 Morning Star Drive
Hadley, MA 01035-9657

My husband, Ronny, is the musician in the family, having played several instruments, performed in many choirs, and played in marching band for years. He tells of his mom paying more than she could probably afford for a set of music theory books for him as a child so that he could learn the deeper things of music. Unfortunately, these well-respected and highly recommended books were so dry and uninteresting that, to this day, they are sitting on a shelf in her house, having been barely opened. He was eager to review Edly's Music Theory for Practical People and Edly Paints the Ivories Blue, Book 1 to see if they really could make music theory fun and appealing, as the website claimed. Wow, what a difference a book can make! Fun and theory at the same time--what a concept! Edly's Music Theory for Practical People ($25) covers a broad range of music theory, from very beginning information (such as simple scales and basic notation) to advanced material (such as chord progressions, harmonizing melody, and improvisation ideas). Edly Paints the Ivories Blue, Book 1 ($12) teaches beginning piano skills using the Blues "because it's a great introduction to many styles". It is designed as either a stand-alone book or as a supplement to other programs. Edly covers the keys of C, G, D, A, E, and F, as well as learning to read notes, rhythms and symbols, improvisation, melody, and chords. Both are intended as self-study books, which would be very appropriate for teens or beginning adult students.

We really enjoyed the very positive nature of the books, as Edly's love of music and teaching shone through on every page. He uses witty text and amusing pictures to clearly convey complex ideas and to keep the student involved and wanting to learn more. Caution: a few of the pictures or comments tend toward the slightly crude, but nothing drastic. Both books effectively present a wealth of knowledge in a small amount of space and always with encouragement and a grin. Music theory is often what makes kids grow tired of learning to play an instrument; so having resources that can teach them important concepts in a fun and motivating manner is fantastic. We highly recommend Edly's Music Theory for Practical People and Edly Paints the Ivories Blue, Book 1 if you or your child wants to learn music theory or learn to play the piano without losing his mind!

Product review by Dr. Anne Margaret Wright, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2010