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#1187653 - 04/26/09 12:19 PM American Popular Piano
Sundew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 281
Loc: England
Does anybody use this series or know something about it?

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_...ts+Item-_-Title

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#1187784 - 04/26/09 04:01 PM Re: American Popular Piano [Re: Sundew]
jotur Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 6029
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Hi, Sundew -

If you use the "Advanced Search" and enter American Popular Piano in quotes into the search field you'll get some really interesting threads, many in the teachers forum. I also limited my search to posts newer than 1 year. One of the posts there also had a link to a teacher's site (I think he wrote many of the pieces) that I found to be really fun:

http://jonmichaeliverson.com/default.aspx

Cathy
_________________________
Cathy

Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous

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#1187811 - 04/26/09 04:56 PM Re: American Popular Piano [Re: jotur]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2462
Loc: Denver, CO
I have books 1 - 5 of this series and it looks like it would be really good for someone interested in being able to play more popular styles.

Christopher Norton is the primary author and Scott McBride Smith also contributed. From what I've seen online, Jon Michael Iverson did some of the videos on the website.

Here is the APP website:
http://www.nvmusicgroup.com/NVWeb/Home.html

There are a lot of ensemble pieces in the Repertoire books and the Etude books are mostly about improvisation. For example, the level 5 Repertoire book has 8 lyrical pieces (which focus on melody, legato, etc.), 8 rhythmic pieces (which focus on popular rhythm styles), and 8 ensemble pieces (which focus on ensemble and duet playing). The cd included in the Repertoire book includes two backing tracks for each of the ensemble pieces (at a practice and performance tempo) and backing tracks for the improv examples in the Etude book. The level 5 Etude book has 8 improvisation modules based on pieces in the Repertoire book, with 4 modules for each improv piece. It then has a fifth example of these pieces, part written out and part to be improvised as a performance etude. Finally, 8 classical pieces/etudes and 8 additional etudes by the authors finish up the Etude book.

From what I can see, this series starts at beginning level and progresses pretty well. I am waiting to be able to get levels 6 & 7, as from what I have seen this corresponds to the level 4 Keith Snell books I am working through.

These books would work fine for an adult student under the guidance of a teacher. There is little to no direction for technical skills in the books I have. (This may be included in the Technique and Skills books, which I do not have.) There are no pictures on the pages; however, the pieces have titles that are suggest that it was written with children in mind. If you are looking for familiar tunes, this is not the series for you. To get the most out of the book, you want someone to play the ensemble pieces with; however, the backing tracks on the included CD would help.

An alternate series that would provide similar material is Christopher Norton's Connections
http://www.christophernortonconnections.com/index.html

Rich
_________________________

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#1188104 - 04/27/09 03:36 AM Re: American Popular Piano [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
Sundew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 281
Loc: England
Cathy, I can't get on with the search function, even using the advanced gives me odd results. Things might improve now I've learnt to use quotes rather than the +, but I gather I am not alone in finding the function less user friendly than the one from the old forum.

Thanks for the link. Excellent resource for the early series. I'm almost tempted to buy some stickers to award myself. LOL. Great to see kids having fun. Music for me is about "lightening up" and finding the joy. As I can't respond to you in the now closed thread, just a thank you for your input there.

Rich, thank you so much for the useful synopsis. It was primarily the improvisation aspect of the Etudes which attracted me, and the possibility that the Technic and Skills books would be useful and more comprehensive for a self-learner than methods such as the ubiquitous Alfred. Pieces which are fun to play and re-enforce the learning curve are more important than whether or not I am familiar with the music.

I'm not sure the connection series is readily available in the UK. Popular Piano is.

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