I love the John Thompson series for young children beginning their study of music. For 3 and 4 year olds, I start out with John Thompson's Easiest Piano Book. We also work on keyboard orientation, understanding and mastery of the musical alphabet, note values, and rhythm. I've found for very young children, drawing notes with crayons, clapping, singing, keep lessons fun and engaging. My 5 and 6 year old students respond well to Thompsons's Teaching Little Fingers to Play. We also begin work on scales and cadences. Since dexterity and interest in exploring the keyboard usually exceeds note-reading ability. I use a chart to spell out scales and chords instead of a scale book at this point. Students enjoy progressing through the songs and ask for new scales. By the time they've completed "Teaching Little Fingers...." and have learned single-octave C major, A minor, G major and E minor scales, we're ready to move on to John Thompson's First Grade Book. I supplement this work with flash-cards to help with note recognition, sight-singing to aid understanding of how bass and treble complement each other. I also use composition to help students develop ownership of the skills they're acquiring. Nothing says "I know how to do this" like writing your own song. Thompson's First Grade is also the starting point for my 7, 8 and 9 year old students. They enjoy the melodies, and the challenge of combining hands. For older or more advanced students, I find the Guild Series to be quite effective and interesting. With these students, following their interest, we continue with sight singing, composition and improvisation. With adults, we work on what they're interested in (classical, rock, blues, gospel), but with a firm grounding in fundamentals: scales, cadences, etc. For all my students if they don't respond to one set of materials, we switch to another until we can find a good match. I've used Bastien, Schaum, Bartok as supplemental or primary materials.