After many years of using the same theory series, I decided it was time to make a change to a differnt series.  I decided on Basics of Keyboard Theory by Julie McIntosh Johnson.  A self published series, it is available for purchase on  There are 10 books in the series.  The main reason I changed series is that I wanted something with clearer, cleaner pages without the extra boxes with creative supplements as well as a layout that included more review pages.

This series offers the following layout:

Lessons 1 -9  followed by a Review of Lessons 1-9.  The Review section offers a Review of Words Used in Lessons 1-9, followed by a multi-page (up to 6 or 7) worksheet that covers exercises from all 9 chapters.  My goal was to provide a thorough review opportunity in an effort to keep the skills learned.  Often students don’t revisit skills until they reach the next level a year later!

Lessons 10-17 follow with another 6 or 7 page review sheet.

Finally, a Review Test rounds out the book.  The additional pages of review offers me the opportunity to be certain students did not “slip through the cracks” with the concepts taught only to discover at the end of the book that they did not retain the contents of the lessons.

I am delighted so far with the layout of the book, the clear worksheet exercises, and most importantly, no space where I am tempted to skip supplemental items due to lack of time.  When I want to teach composition, I will provide those instructions along with the samples myself.  I believe my students are pleased to be trying something different in 2021.  It’s a “shot in the arm,” something we all need these days!