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Introducing Piano Patterns 

Piano Patterns Book 1 is the latest contribution to the world of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory pedagogy by Andy Mullen, and offers a book of sequenced reading lessons for the private piano teacher’s studio.

Following the “sound before sight” methodology of MLT, Piano Patterns teaches students to audiate function-based musical patterns, and then provides carefully sequenced instruction to read the notation of those patterns, and, more importantly, to make generalizations about what they are reading so students can teach themselves. 

What is in this book?

Students learn to speak, play, read and write a musical vocabulary. 

In Book 1, students read tonic and dominant patterns, as well as stepwise scale patterns, in 7 DO-signatures and 5 LA-signatures. Rhythm patterns are kept simple in this introductory book, only consisting of macrobeats and microbeats in 2/4, 6/8, 4/4, 3/4 and Cut Time. 

Students read in both treble and bass clef, and have the opportunity to put both hands together to challenge their notational audiation across several octaves.

This book is a natural next step for teachers and students already using Marilyn Lowe's ground-breaking audiation-based series, Music Moves for Piano, as students will already have a vocabulary of tonal patterns and rhythm patterns in their ears, fingers and eyes.

If your students do not already have this, there are over 50 pages of music vocabulary building in the beginning of the book so that students are reading musical words they can already audiate and play.  



When you buy Piano Patterns, you get access to additional online content, including:

  • 14 additional Keyboard Cards in all tonalities. 
  • Printable writing sheets (up to 3 sharps and flats)
  • Teacher courses
  • Patterns in major, minor, duple, triple and uneven meters.

Here’s what people are saying about Piano Patterns

Celeste Watson

Piano Teacher

We have been using Piano Patterns in our group reading classes at Watson Music, and our students have grown in confidence and accuracy.

Andy Mullen's Piano Patterns is a sequential guide for teaching notational audiation to piano students. Adaptable for students with a variety of hand sizes and experience levels, it correlates beautifully with existing MLT-based piano curricula, including Music Moves for Piano™ and Ars Nova de Audiation. Learning to notationally audiate requires a well-developed ability to generalize, and Piano Patterns focuses on helping students become more comfortable with generalization from the very first unit. Like Andy's other books, it includes clear descriptions of notational audiation for both teachers and parents.

Scarlette Kerr

Piano Teacher

My students feel empowered after completing reading exercises and are not intimidated by the idea of reading!

Andy has thought of everything! Piano Patterns takes everything the elementary piano student has learned through audiation-based instruction and directly transfers their knowledge of familiar tonal and rhythm patterns (and technical patterns) to notation. This book is a golden resource that I know will be a core part of my teaching arsenal!

Abby Hodge

Piano Teacher

WOW. What a gem you've given us!!

I feel so equipped to take reading into individual lessons this semester! Thank you, Andy!

Sarah Boyd

Piano Teacher

Piano Patterns has clearly laid out the path from audiation to notational audiation for teachers and students alike.

Music Moves for Piano™ teachers looking to clarify their understanding of how to teach reading need look no further! My students have been using Piano Patterns alongside Marilyn Lowe's Reading and Writing Book. The two go hand in hand and support each other for a thorough, creative approach to reading with an audiation foundation.

About Piano Patterns, Book 1 

In Piano Patterns Book 1, students learn to read music in the same way that they learn language. Before they learn to read, they develop both a listening vocabulary, and a speaking vocabulary of tonal and rhythm patterns which they can play on their instrument. Once students have this vocabulary, they are taught to read patterns (words) and then put those patterns together and read piano music (sentences). 

Build the Audiation Foundation

The Audiation Foundation slideshow provides students with skills, context and content in major and minor tonalities, and duple and triple meters. Parents can logically follow along and do the embedded video lessons with the children. 

In this book, students will develop a basic vocabulary of tonal and rhythmic contexts and words so that they can speak the language of music. This is done through tonal patterns and rhythm patterns, or "musical words." Students will learn rhythm patterns, harmonic patterns and scale patterns that they will be able to sing, improvise with, generalize in order to teach themselves new patterns, and use as the preparation with reading for understanding just as they do in language. 

Learn to Read Patterns

Piano Patterns guides students in how to read (notationally audiate) all of the tonal and rhythm patterns they can already audiate.

If we follow the language analogy, we learn to read words that we have already heard, spoken, understand, and improvised with. We will learn to read rhythmic words and tonal words separately, and then make generalizations about new patterns, new keys, and new time signatures.

Combine Tonal Patterns and Rhythm Patterns into Real Music

After students read tonal and rhythm patterns separately, they are combined into real musical examples for the keyboard.

Reading Benchmarks start very simply with the right hand playing familiar patterns in unfamiliar order, and then progress logically. Soon, students are playing the same content in the left hand, and then both hands in both major and minor tonalities and duple and triple meters (in a variety of key signatures and time signatures). Students will have the opportunity to generalize unfamiliar content, a necessary skill at the keyboard. 

See the Book For Yourself

Interested in these materials? You can flip through the book and see it for yourself.

The Book

Audiation Foundation Slideshow

Purchasing Options

You can either:

  • Purchase the Piano Patterns Book 1 license separately.
  • Sign up for The Faculty Library, and get access to Piano Patterns Book 1, The Choral Musician Book 1, and The General Musician Book 1 and all of my teaching materials. 

One time purchase




  • Includes teacher license for Piano Patterns Book 1
  • Lifetime access to The Audiation Foundation slideshow
  • Immediate Access




Includes Piano Patterns Book 1 and all of my teaching materials




  • Includes teacher licenses for Piano Patterns Book 1, The Choral Musician Book 1, and The General Musician Book 1.
  • Lifetime access to all Piano Patterns, Book 1 materials 
  • Includes future teaching materials and all Book 1 projects
  • Immediate Access
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About Andy Mullen

Andy Mullen is an audiation-based music teacher in Burlington, MA, a suburb north of Boston, where he teaches both general music and choir to middle school students. He loves singing weird songs about snails and bubble gum to his students, hearing them sing, improvise and compose, and seeing them grow every single day as musicians.  

Andy is on the Elementary General and Choral faculty of GIML, the Gordon Institute for Music Learning, for which he also serves as chair of the Media and Communications commission, and is President-elect.  

He is a composer, semi-retired singer-songwriter, and is an active folk musician, often seen playing old time fiddle, banjo and guitar. 

He also loves to cook, is an avid chess player, and keeps cats.  


What format are these materials in?

The book is in PDF format. The Audiation Foundation slideshow is a Google Slides file, with embedded audio and video files. This gives you the opportunity to display these on a SmartBoard, or give them to your students to work independently. 

WAIT, THESE are included in the Faculty Library?

Yes, you can either buy Piano Patterns individually, or just subscribe to the Faculty Library and get access to this book and so much more. 


I understand that outside of the US, this seems like a lot of money. I'm sure it is. Please reach out to me, and let me know what you can afford, and we will try to work something out.