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#1079570 - 01/07/09 05:22 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
Hi All!!

First of all: Happy 2009 to all of you!

I've been absent for a few weeks (Christmas holiday, skiing) but the kids are back at school, and everything is returning to 'normal' and that means some structured piano playing again, finally!

My only accomplishment during the last week (piano-wise I mean) was the famous prelude in C Major of Bachs Well Tempered Klavier (ambitious selection of Alfreds 3). I think I remember Oldfingers being pretty enthousiastic about it, well...so am I. What a beautiful piece!! I love it! I think it was a great experience learning to play it. It is a fun piece to excercise sight reading skills. It just has to go on and on and on at a more or less constant speed, so it really gets you in a certain trance-like state reading ahead and playing. And even more important, it really forces you to work on the dynamics and real emotion and musicality. If you play it in a boring flat way it just sounds like an etude or warming up exercise. But if you are able to turn it into 'real' music, it is a very exciting piece to play (and to listen to)

I am sure I will very obediently work my way through Alfreds 3, but I must say that I have the feeling I am getting more and more satisfaction out of playing 'real' pieces of music instead of the short 'very-special-song-like' stuff (see also my Satie-mania earlier in this thread).

I am next going to tackle the famous & beaaaauuuutiful Moonlight Sonata (also ambitious selection of Alfreds) and probably after that Fur Elise (which I told my teacher I thought was boring, because it is almost too famous, but she convinced me it's only the first 10 bars or so that everybody is always playing, but that tackling the whole piece wil be fun. OK. I'll go with her advice)

Ingrid

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#1079571 - 01/07/09 07:53 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by IngridT:
Hi All!!

First of all: Happy 2009 to all of you!

. . .

My only accomplishment during the last week (piano-wise I mean) was the famous prelude in C Major of Bachs Well Tempered Klavier (ambitious selection of Alfreds 3). I think I remember Oldfingers being pretty enthousiastic about it, well...so am I. What a beautiful piece!! I love it! I think it was a great experience learning to play it.

I am next going to tackle the famous & beaaaauuuutiful Moonlight Sonata (also ambitious selection of Alfreds) and probably after that Fur Elise . . . [/b]
Ingrid - glad you enjoyed the Bach piece so much - it's always really nice to hear when someone gets a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from their own playing of a great musical work - I've had the feeling myself on several occassions, although with less "ambitious" pieces.

Also, impressed that you're going to take on 2 other well-known and somewhat difficult (but probably equally enjoyable) works found at the end of Book 3. Good luck and heve fun!

 Quote:
I am sure I will very obediently work my way through Alfreds 3, but I must say that I have the feeling I am getting more and more satisfaction out of playing 'real' pieces of music instead of the short 'very-special-song-like' stuff (see also my Satie-mania earlier in this thread).

Ingrid [/b]
While I can understand in a certain way and to a certain extent your rather negative feeling towards the majority of the remaining pieces in Book 3 (especially since you are working successfully on more "ambitious" pieces now, which you refer to as "real pieces of music") I must state that I disagree totally with your implication [/b] that these remaining Book 3 pieces are not [/b] "real pieces of music".

You may not have meant this, but it's how it seems to come across (at least at first impression) - and those of us who are still plowing our way thru all or most of the Book 3 pieces (piece by piece, month by month) would like to believe that all of our dedicated time and strenuous effort are actually directed toward creating real music (even if it is of a shorter, easier, less-ambitiously arranged nature such as "very special song-like stuff", as you say).

At each stage of one's journey along the long road towards pianistic excellence every piece that one attempts is "difficult and ambitious" (at your current level) and is "real music".

We have to remember that "real music" is not defined by it's length or complexity or how long it's been around or the esteem with which it's held by "experts" or even the degree of technical skill required to perform it. Real music can be and is many things to many people, including very simple pieces - even the simplest very beginning pieces in Book 1.

It doesn't seem like a very helpful idea to "put down" or belittle the majority of Book 3 pieces, especially in a thread dedicated to their discussion - this would tend to discourage such discussion by those struggling with some of these pieces, thus defeating the whole purpose of the thread.

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079572 - 01/07/09 11:34 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
John,

Oh boy. I didn't mean it like that at all. You cannot imagine how excited i was bout my jingle bells in book 1! With 2 hands!!

It's just that I am loving the freedom and windows of opportunity that are apparently opening now that I am where I am piano-capability wise.

And for some weird reason I am getting indeed some additional satisfaction out of playing what I called 'real' music (please put the use of the word 'real' on the combined fact that I am a non native speaker, and on top of that dutch. We are well known for our blunt way to say things) ). What I meant with it was something composed by somebody more or less famous. Longer then one page. A 'complete' piece of music, not just a small theme from something famous reduced to 12 bars. Something I chose myself becaus I love it, not just because it's on the next page of the book to cover a certain learning aspect.
Hmm. It's difficult to explain.

But all of that NEXT to Alfreds.

My piano teacher told me by the way that she had few pupils who made it all the way through Alfreds 3. Apparently it's fairly common to add more and more personal favourites or interesting choices to the repertoire once you get a bit better at playing. With the method books slowly fading away at some stage.

So I guess my going through the Alfred 3 might be a bit slower because I might be adding more pieces next to it.

And OK, You're right, this is an Alfreds thread, so I can skip a bit on the non-Alfreds stuff I am working on. No problem! (although al the stuff I mentioned in my last post IS in Alfred 3! LOL! And I remember somebody else mentioning earlier that he/she was skipping all the 'just for fun' stuff, because the ambitious part was that much more interesting, so I am not that weird I guess!)

Again, sorry,sorry. I did not have the intention al all to insult or downgrade anybody.

Ingrid

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#1079573 - 01/07/09 01:27 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by IngridT:

What I meant with it was something composed by somebody more or less famous. Longer then one page. A 'complete' piece of music, not just a small theme from something famous reduced to 12 bars. Something I chose myself becaus I love it, not just because it's on the next page of the book to cover a certain learning aspect.
Hmm. It's difficult to explain.[/b]
I understood what you meant and I agree up to a point - playing longer and more complex and more advanced and more enjoyable and satisfying "complete" pieces by "famous" people is the goal of many people here, including me.

But to say that such pieces are "real" music as opposed to the shorter, less demanding, less enjoyable "unreal" study pieces found in a method book, is just undefendable and unhelpful (although mastering even these can be enjoyable and satisfying)

You apparently missed my main point that criticising study pieces unfairly and unjusifiably as "unreal music" (especially here in a thread devoted to helping people deal with and master them) is going to put a serious "damper" on participation here and discourage many from sharing their problems and conquests with this Book and the study pieces found in it that they are working on/struggling with.

 Quote:
My piano teacher told me by the way that she had few pupils who made it all the way through Alfreds 3. Apparently it's fairly common to add more and more personal favourites or interesting choices to the repertoire once you get a bit better at playing. With the method books slowly fading away at some stage. [/b]
I can understand how that could easily happen - I'm adding more "supplemental" pieces all the time, although (at this point) I have no intention of stopping work in Book 3 and plan to finish it out doing most of the pieces (sooner or later).

 Quote:
And OK, You're right, this is an Alfreds thread, so I can skip a bit on the non-Alfreds stuff I am working on.
Ingrid [/b]
I didn't say anything about not discussing non-Alfred pieces here in the Alfred 3 thread - please discuss any piece you wish, Alfred or not (I do and others too). Even criticize individual Book 3 pieces - just don't put them all down as a whole as third-rate stuff.

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079574 - 01/07/09 04:15 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 545
Loc: Boston, MA
As someone who has been systematically working my way through the Alfred's series I agree with John's point of view. Not having had a good musical background when I started this project I am feeling a certain satisfaction in nearing completion of what has here-to-fore been referred to as a fairly comprehensive introduction to the piano. Except for the the "Just for Fun" pieces which I have skipped with the blessing of my teacher, I have learned something from all the pieces I have studied.

I remember in particular working on "Dark Eyes" in Book 2. As someone who started this project not being able to read both clefs, my focus had been on being able to play the notes. Having played it more or less error free and feeling good about it, my teacher got very serious and said what I was doing was not musical. While a bit of a blow to my ego, I realized what he was saying was actually complimentary as he was implying that I now had the skill to make it musical. As short a piece as that was, it was a "game-changing" experience. Ever since, I never leave a piece until I am able to put some feeling into it. More recently in Book 3 "Shenandoah" is used to introduce the E Major scale. This is another short piece that isn't hard to play, but does allow for a lot of expression. For me to be able to work on that aspect of playing on a short piece is an opportunity. Now my teacher and I can talk about the best way to express the piece, not whether or not I had struck all the right notes.

So Ingrid, Alfred Level 3 may seem limiting to you but for those of us relatively new to this kind of study, each and every piece is worth the time and effort needed to learn it. While I look forward to playing the pieces of interest to you, at the moment I am perfectly content to complete, what to me is a fairly comprehensive course of study.

Bob
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#1079575 - 01/07/09 04:24 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
Hi IngridT, I'm also working on Bach's Prelude in C. Its the kind of piece that really needs perfection to sound right. I have more work to do on it, but its very doable with practice.

Did you like the Prelude in D from earlier in the book? Its one of my favorites. It really makes you feel like a player.

Congrats on book 3, I still want to do Fur Eilis and the full version of Moonlight to complete Alfred 3.

Mark...

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#1079576 - 01/07/09 04:46 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
Hmm. All of a sudden I have the feeling that you are thinking that I am positioning myself 'above' Alfreds' level or something like that. No! No!

I feel like a true beginner. And I am a true beginner. I wasn't able to read one single note 2 years ago. I don't feel like a real pianist yet. If I encounter a piano 'in the wild' without a music book in my bag I can hardly play a single piece. I will finish Alfreds book 3 & work on my etudes (what you call hanon I guess) to improve on all those zillion things that I struggle with.

But on top of all that I cannot deny that playing some of this Satie pieces, and now the Bach Prelude has given me the greatest musical satisfaction I experienced so far. Maybe because I am an ambitious person, and I get a kick out of working on some of those 'dream pieces'. Which (again) doesn't mean at all that I don't enjoy doing Alfreds. Its how I learned most of what I learned so far. I am having the time of my life since my first lesson. I play so many wonderful pieces. Nasty pieces. Not-my-style pieces that still taught me something. Boring pieces that turned out te be interesting after all. I celebrated so many breakthroughs (the triplets. Whaaah! What a nightmare!) It broadened my musical horizon through the variety of styles. You name it.


Ingrid

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#1079577 - 01/07/09 04:52 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
IngridT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Netherlands
Mark,

I am no way near to finishing book 3. It's more like I am just starting. But apparently my teacher is giving me some freedom to play around already with the ambitious selection in the back of the book, even though I am just trying to get the alberti-bass under control...

You are so right withe the prelude in C major. it has to be perfect. Once I start playing it I sometimes play it 10 times, just on and on and on. It gets you in a kind of trance. I'll look up the prelude in D as well!!

Ingrid

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#1079578 - 01/07/09 05:48 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 545
Loc: Boston, MA
On a cheerier note, I finished "Prelude in A Major", "Blue Rondo", "Shenandoah" and "Laredo". I liked all of them. I'm now working on "Soldier's Joy" and I am starting to mess around with "Toreador Song" which looks as though it could be a deal-breaker. The triplets might be a little difficult for my "old fingers" to handle. Does anyone have some words of encouragement to keep me pressing onward?
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#1079579 - 01/07/09 08:16 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by OldFingers:
Does anyone have some words of encouragement to keep me pressing onward? [/b]
:D It would seem that you really don't need any - the way you're knocking off pieces we're going to have to do something real soon to "discourage" you and slow you down a little bit or you won't be around much longer to offer us words of encouragement! ;\) In a big hurry to get to Alfred 4, are you? :p

Keep up the good work Bob and keep on keeping us up to date.

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079580 - 01/07/09 08:27 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
IrishMak Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 1614
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
Don't get discouraged! I'm still working on page one of the Toreador Song, and at a fairly slow (tho a bit faster than when I started) tempo. Not nearly what it should be when done. It's not the triplets that are getting me. For some reason, triplets never really tripped me up. It's the danged rhythm! Keeping the left hand short but steady against the dotted rhythm in the right is a monster! Same advice as last time- slow, slow, slow! Start slowly enough that you can get the triplets right every time, and build speed gradually. As my teacher keeps saying to me: "What's your hurry?!?" LOL

And speaking of such things, I haven't had a lesson in 3 weeks! ARGH! I cancelled the first one- way too far behind on Christmas stuff! Then last week, my teacher called and said she was sick, so had to cancel. This week, she called as she was leaving her doctor- she has pneumonia! Hopefully, things will be right next week.

Till then, I am working on Toreador, have looked a bit at Rock-A My Soul (next in Alfred's and one I have enjoyed in all the Alfred's books, so I look forward to this more complex arrangement, too), opened Book 2 of Martha Mier's Romantic Impressions and started on the first piece, and following a recommendation from someone else, discovered I have a book of music by Catherine Rollins. It's her Sounds of Spain, Book 1. Admittedly easy arrangements, but lots of those rhythm things that can trip me up, so I thought these might help me nail some of that technique, plus it will be good sight reading work. Hmmmm, seems even without lessons every week, I manage to keep busy!
_________________________
-Mak

1889 Mason & Hamlin screwstringer upright
Kawai MP-4 digital

---------------------------
When life hands you lemons, throw them back and add some of your own. Stupid life.

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#1079581 - 01/07/09 08:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 545
Loc: Boston, MA
JF, my lessons got all messed up over the holidays so I had three or four weeks to work on my pieces. Usually it takes me about two weeks to get approval to move on. Actually I am in a bit of a hurry, as I'm trying to gain access to the course of study my teacher has for his "normal" students, i.e. kids younger than about ten. He has a rather unconventional approach as he gets young promising students who don't want to pursue classical material. In order to get on the same track as the eight-year olds, I had to learn how to read all the notes. Hopefully I'll be ready when I finish Alfred 3, probably in the spring. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Bob
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Aspiring Retirement Home Lounge Pianist

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#1079582 - 01/07/09 09:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
piano4 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 358
Loc: Hampton, Virginia
Hi Oldfingers! This forum is one of the things I look forward to for positive energy! My major struggle is not so much with the pieces I am working on, but trying to figure out things such as "Youtube"!!!..

It will take me a little while to get through Alfred 3 and I am wondering just #4 would be like?

Keep on hanging in there! I know I am:-)
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#1079583 - 01/08/09 10:17 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by piano4:

It will take me a little while to get through Alfred 3 and I am wondering just #4 would be like?

Keep on hanging in there! I know I am:-) [/b]
piano4 - I was just teasing OldFingers about being in a hurry to get to Alfred 4 - as far as I know there isn't an Alfred 4 (and I'm not too awfully sure I'd want there to be! ;\) )

Saw your video in the January Piano Bar - nice work!

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079584 - 01/08/09 10:27 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
piano4 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 358
Loc: Hampton, Virginia
Okay! Point taken! And thanks again:-)
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#1079585 - 01/13/09 03:19 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
Don't forget, we can always use additional recordings for any and all Alfred pieces for the opening pages. Duplicates are welcome.

Thanks!

Mark...

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#1079586 - 01/13/09 03:23 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 545
Loc: Boston, MA
Oh, Oh, all this talk of being in a hurry has gotten me into a great slow-down. I've made my first pass through "Soldier's Joy" and am now working on dynamics, which is fine, but the next piece, "Toreador Song" is not yielding to my efforts. I have spent a week on the first eight measures and can barely get through it at a very slow speed, and the triplets are still ahead of me. Can anyone tell me what's going on here? Why am I finding it so hard? The next three pieces might even be more difficult. Has anyone else found this section of the book to be at a substantially more difficult level than the preceding? I need some encouragement here. JF, I think you have jinxed me.
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#1079587 - 01/13/09 07:28 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by OldFingers:
"Toreador Song" is not yielding to my efforts. I have spent a week on the first eight measures and can barely get through it at a very slow speed, and the triplets are still ahead of me. Can anyone tell me what's going on here? Why am I finding it so hard?

JF, I think you have jinxed me. [/b]
:p You can't blame me - I'm innocent - you can tell just by looking at my avatar, can't you? Can't you? OldFingers? ;\)

As far as "Toreador" I haven't gotten that far yet, but my educated guess is that you need to slow down even more \:D

Seriously, maybe you need to concentrate on one phrase at a time or even just one or two measures, and then slowly take on one or two measures more, etc. Isn't that the piece with the syncopated rhythm or something "off" like that? Or maybe if you just let it rest for a little while and then come back to it fresh?

I'm sure one or two other who've been there and done that will be able to help more specificaly.

Good luck, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079588 - 01/13/09 08:58 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 545
Loc: Boston, MA
JF, "innocence" is certainly not an attribute I would associate with your avatar. But you, on the other hand, well ...

The difficulty is not due to its rhythmic structure, but rather, I think, that the two hands are moving in different directions. That's why it took me several weeks to finish "Trumpet Tune". For many pieces the left hand is just strumming chord tones, but that is not the case with "Toreador". I actually have to concentrate on reading the left hand notes, rather than just recognizing the chords from which they might have come.

OK, I'll take some time off. Actually I'm traveling tomorrow and will be away from a piano for a couple of days. A rest will do me good. I'll be away from cyberspace for the next two weeks, but if I haven't mastered "Toreador" by the time of my return you might never hear from me again.

Bob
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Aspiring Retirement Home Lounge Pianist

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#1079589 - 01/13/09 11:38 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
IrishMak Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 1614
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
Hey, Bob, don't be so hard on yourself! I started Toreador Song before Christmas and we only added a few measures on page 2 today! My teacher says it's one of the more difficult pieces in the book, so it makes sense that it will take some time to get it right. Just take it slow and easy- I'm nowhere near up to correct speed on the thing. The triplets are really not bad. The left hand is the bugger on this one. Hang in there- we'll get it in time.
_________________________
-Mak

1889 Mason & Hamlin screwstringer upright
Kawai MP-4 digital

---------------------------
When life hands you lemons, throw them back and add some of your own. Stupid life.

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#1079590 - 01/14/09 06:41 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
Don't forget, we can always use additional recordings for any and all Alfred pieces for the opening pages. Duplicates are welcome.

Thanks!

Mark... [/b]
Mark - since you ask, here's my version of "Fandango" - it's the Book arrangement with a slightly extended (and hopefully enhanced) ending:

Fandango

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079591 - 01/15/09 07:05 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Finishing up "Grand Piano Band" (one of the Just For Fun pieces) - just like the 1st JFF piece "Simple Song" it's not too bad musically (you just have to ignore the somewhat corny lyrics) -

Mmoved on to "A Very Special Day" but not far enough into it to form an opinion yet - also trying to get a good recording of "Serenade" but that confounded middle section (actually only 3 measures - Oldfingers knows the ones I mean) are making it a little troublesome.

Also, still working on the Beethoven Minuet in G and the hymn "Fairest Lord Jesus" (lots of RH harmony notes making it slow going).

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079592 - 01/16/09 10:35 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
piano4 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 358
Loc: Hampton, Virginia
Hi all! I've given up on "Star Spangled Banner" for now. Will begin working on "Toccata" and my instructor wants me to continue with "O Holy Night" for one more week.

And yes, that "Serenade" middle is tricky. I had trouble with that too! I may go back on that just to see how much I remember!

Good luck JF
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#1079593 - 01/16/09 11:28 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
Wimbwicket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 76
Loc: Netherlands
Hey guys! I've just finished The Classy Rag and was just wondering what level an average Joe has when he finishes The Alfred series. Could anyone give a few examples of well known songs which you will be able to play when you're done with the Alfred? \:\) I've seen some topics about this but they weren't really answering my question. \:\(
_________________________
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

Mark Twain

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#1079594 - 01/16/09 03:55 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
 Quote:
Originally posted by Wimbwicket:
Hey guys! I've just finished The Classy Rag and was just wondering what level an average Joe has when he finishes The Alfred series. Could anyone give a few examples of well known songs which you will be able to play when you're done with the Alfred? \:\) I've seen some topics about this but they weren't really answering my question. \:\( [/b]
I hope this isn't a repeat of what you have already heard.

The consensus seems to be, that when you are done with Alfred you are a late beginner/early intermediate. The pieces at the end of Alfred three in the ambitious section are in the grade 3-4 range.

As for how this works in pop or rock, it would be hard to say, but you would probably have the tools to play some very nice stuff with concentrated work.

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#1079595 - 01/17/09 05:42 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Wimbwicket:
Hey guys! I've just finished The Classy Rag and was just wondering what level an average Joe has when he finishes The Alfred series. Could anyone give a few examples of well known songs which you will be able to play when you're done with the Alfred? \:\) I've seen some topics about this but they weren't really answering my question. \:\( [/b]
I hope this isn't a repeat of what you have already heard.

The consensus seems to be, that when you are done with Alfred you are a late beginner/early intermediate. [/b]
Drats! And I was hoping after all this time and work and energy expended that we would at least be in the "too good to be at the intermediate-intermediate level but not quite good enough to be at the advanced-intermediate level" level, which one might refer to as the advanced-intermediate-intermediate level (just to simplify things) - maybe we need an Alfred's 4 after all ;\)

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079596 - 01/17/09 06:22 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
piano4 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 358
Loc: Hampton, Virginia
I agree with you JF ;\) And especially after getting through the ambitious section ;\)
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#1079597 - 01/17/09 09:25 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
piano4 - well, if you agree with me then you're obviously a very wise and perceptive person indeed

Seriously, whatever else you might rate yourself after going thru the 3 levels of Alfred I don't think the word "beginner" should even remotely apply, and should not be allowed in the discussion :p Even "early intermediate" seems a slight understatement. I like my rating system a lot better (and that's a totally unbiased opinion ;\) )

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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#1079598 - 01/18/09 05:28 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
Wimbwicket Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 76
Loc: Netherlands
haha Nice one John \:D . Thanks for answering my question guys. Just a quick little question.

We don't have an official rating system here in the Netherlands. So are you referring to a grade system of the US, or maybe the 'grade system' of www.sheetmusicplus.com or what grade system Mark...? And is there some sort of list of things you are able to play when you're grade 3-4? And since late beginner / intermediate are kind of relative terms i don't know what i will be able to play. I've got a teacher and i know she will give me nice pieces to play when i'm done with Alfred, i just would like to know what kind of pieces :p .

And what grade of www.sheetmusicplus.com will i be able to play :p ?
_________________________
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

Mark Twain

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#1079599 - 01/18/09 06:18 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and ALL in One Adult Piano Course Book #3
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3539
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Wimbwicket - I don't know much at all about the various "grading systems" (sheetmusicplus or otherwise) and I'm really not too concerned about them, so I'll let others here who are more familiar with them respond specifically to your questions.

But, it would seem obvious even to the most casual observer that what any given person will be able to play in terms of the "graded rating" of pieces after one completes the 3 Alfred books will be highly variable and thus difficult to be precise or exact about. This is because, while there might be some "average" level of ability for those finishing Alfred, and so a certain general grade of pieces that one could possibly play (say level 3-4), this average might not be that usefull and may not apply in any number of cases for several important reasons: natural talent, differences in speed and accuracy of learning, motivation, dedication to practice schedules, actual practice techniques, outside help & encouragement or lack thereof, thoroughness with which one "went thru" the Alfred series, etc., etc.

Take that last item I mentioned: the thoroughness or completeness with which one went thru the Alfred series. There are a number of ways to do that. For example, one can go thru it slowly and steadily playing all or most of the pieces and pretty much getting good control of each piece before moving on to the next, and spending some time as one moves forward reviewing previously "mastered" pieces from earlier in the books. Using this method one could be reasonably sure of being an "average" graduate of Alfred at a certain level of technical skill and musicality and ready to take on other pieces at the same or a more demanding level with some degree of confidence.

But, others might not be so thorough or dedicated or demanding of themselves on their journey thru Alfred, skipping a lot of pieces, or not really "mastering" them and moving on to other pieces out of boredom or frustration, not reviewing too much, not actually developing all of the skills and tecniques which are gradually presented in the series, not developing the ability to sound musical in their performances (musicality), etc. So, you can see that there is "going thru Alfred" and then there is "going thru Alfred" - and there will be a lot of variation in pianistic abilities of those who do.

In conclusion, where you will be and what you wil be able to play when you "get thru Alfred" will depend mostly on you and your efforts over an extended period of time, and may be greatly different from where I will be and what I can play. But, just how important is it to know one's current "level" - it's not going to help you at all to master the next piece you take on or become a better musician able to play your pieces with any degree of "musicality".

I try to play each piece as well as I can at my current level (whatever that is) and have fun doing it. If you take this approach at each stage of your developement and with each piece you attempt to play, your skills will slowly improve and the "levels" will ultimately take care of themselves.

Someday you'll play a piece for some piano "snob" and they'll say: "Hey, you play that fairly well - you're at level x". And you'll say: "So what, ask me if I care - now listen to this piece and tell me if it sounds like I'm in control & know what I'm doing!".

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

As good at piano as I am at golf - very high handicap!

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