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#1216241 - 06/12/09 09:36 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: TTigg]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
Wow, y'all flew! I was hoping to get book 2 done in a year, and I am a little dubious at this point that will be enough time.

Of course, I have not been heads-down in it, as I focused on other things (job search, public recital). But it is my summer goal to complete more or less one piece per week in Alfred's Book 2, and we'll see where that takes me.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1216263 - 06/12/09 10:11 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
wj3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 313
Loc: Salem, Or
Congratulations Undone on your accomplishment. I wish I had a little of the talent that you and Tigg have.

AWTPP. I don't think that I will be able to complete a song a week. I guess it takes me longer to learn each song. I guess its not a race. I am still working on the first three songs. I am not working on Alfreds as my primary method. But I guess I need to give it a little more practice time. I'll be here for awhile.
_________________________
wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m
Alfreds AIO Level 2:
Working on (Simply Joplin) Solace, Peacherine Rag, A Breeze from Alabama:, (Burgmuller) Progres, Limpid stream.




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#1216267 - 06/12/09 10:13 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: wj3]
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
wj3, that makes two of us. I am on Solace, and therefore there is a LOT of Book 2 ahead of me.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1216268 - 06/12/09 10:14 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Always Wanted to Play Piano]
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Always Wanted to Play Piano
Wow, y'all flew! I was hoping to get book 2 done in a year, and I am a little dubious at this point that will be enough time.

Of course, I have not been heads-down in it, as I focused on other things (job search, public recital). But it is my summer goal to complete more or less one piece per week in Alfred's Book 2, and we'll see where that takes me.

You already play great so don't sell yourself short. I've learned a lot already but still so much more to go (that's the beauty of this journey). There are some things I do well and others not. Believe me, I've still got lots of work to do.. thumb
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"...I'm out there Jerry and I'm LOVING it!..."

My You Tube | My Box.net

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#1216269 - 06/12/09 10:16 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: wj3]
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: wj3
Congratulations Undone on your accomplishment. I wish I had a little of the talent that you and Tigg have.

You already do, I've heard your stuff thumb

Originally Posted By: wj3
I guess its not a race.

Nail, head, hit. Yep I learned early on that although the competitive side of me wants to move on quickly, I can't be skipping anything since it's theory, background that I need to ensure I pick up and learn.

Although I have now finished #2 I'm still going over the theory of the circle of 5ths (last part of book) and will do for a little while...
_________________________
"...I'm out there Jerry and I'm LOVING it!..."

My You Tube | My Box.net

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#1216427 - 06/12/09 02:04 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: TTigg]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
CONGRATULATIONS to TTigg and Undone!

Please continue to give criticism of my recordings, I still very much need it.
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#1216428 - 06/12/09 02:07 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: TTigg]
wj3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 313
Loc: Salem, Or
Thanks for the kind works TTigg. It helps with my motivatonn...
I will try to get a recording of Bridal Chorus today...
_________________________
wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m
Alfreds AIO Level 2:
Working on (Simply Joplin) Solace, Peacherine Rag, A Breeze from Alabama:, (Burgmuller) Progres, Limpid stream.




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#1216541 - 06/12/09 06:26 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: wj3]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
TTigg and Undone,

This might some slightly lame but... I thought maybe you'd like to reflect upon Book 2 as a whole. I am nearing the end (although I still have quite a while) but many others here are beginning or still have many of the songs left. Any major challenges, favorite works, interesting anecdotes etc. would be, at least for me, very lovely to hear! I'd especially like to hear your opinions of the top three HARDEST pieces and the top three most ENJOYABLE pieces in the book.

-W
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#1216602 - 06/12/09 10:05 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
/\ Ooh, nice question Waltz. I'm all ears and eyes. laugh

Congrats Undone and TTigg!!! Bon voyage and do come back and visit sometime.

Key Notes smile
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Music speaks where words fails.

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#1216607 - 06/12/09 10:11 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Mark...]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Mark...
I think it's great how people move from book to book. Its such a major accomplishment each time, no matter where you are at and how long it takes...



Hi Mark...,

It's so nice to hear from you again. JF was really worried about you, and me too. laugh I'm still plunking away at it whenever I get a chance.

Thanks as always for all of your inspirations and good sound advice and reminders. I hope your piano studies has been going well for you.

Cheers,

Key Notes smile
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#1216735 - 06/13/09 09:47 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Key Notes]
angelojf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/06
Posts: 742
Loc: PA
OK....just thought I'd add my first "Official Book 2 Progress Report."
Here it is: Finished "Down in the Valley" (the first piece in the book)......

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#1216750 - 06/13/09 10:40 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Waltz
TTigg and Undone,

This might some slightly lame but... I thought maybe you'd like to reflect upon Book 2 as a whole. I am nearing the end (although I still have quite a while) but many others here are beginning or still have many of the songs left. Any major challenges, favorite works, interesting anecdotes etc. would be, at least for me, very lovely to hear! I'd especially like to hear your opinions of the top three HARDEST pieces and the top three most ENJOYABLE pieces in the book.

-W

Not a bad idea so here goes....

Major Challenges
Staying focused! No really, I do love the Alfred series but as my experience has grown the "itch" to do other side projects was getting much larger. During #2 I had 2 live and 2 online recitals. With regards to the book itself it obviously progressed much slower than #1 since we were moving into much more theory such as chord progression, triads, diminished triads, augmented etc. I am finding that I still have a challenge with reading the timing of notes. By that I mean that I can sight read a piece, begin to play, listen to a different version and be "oh that's how" and then bam I'm doing great. My teacher and I are going to address this slight downfall during #3 but overall I'm not too worried. This part of my brain it seems is learning the details slower than the visual side which is just enjoying all of this great music it's being fed smile

Interesting anecdotes
I think it's uncanny that as I've progressed along the book with also doing scales (from another Alfred book) side by side each week that it's easy for me to build a scale, practice arpeggios, and generally understand where I need to be and what I need to be doing. For instance this week (now on #3) we're going to be practicing A Major. I literally played it straight off without even thinking up 4 octaves. Of course now I'll work on doing cadence patterns and both hands for this week.

Favorite works
Not fair :P (lol) there are too many but ok, here goes...(not in any particular order)
1. Tumbalalaika
2. Night Song
3. Swinging Sevenths
4. Musette
5. La Donna E Mobile
6. 1st Movement
7. Canon in D

Top 3 HARDEST pieces
This is also quite a tough one. Again, in no particular order but here is what I remember challenging me over the last 9mths.
1. Canon in D! (but was well worth the wait)
2. Musette
3. The Hokey Pokey (the timing is slightly different to the one you think you know!)

Top 3 most ENJOYABLE pieces
1. Canon in D (although I'm looking forward to learning the other version)
2. Night Song (I may search out the sheet music for the complete works, love it)
3. Tied between Le Donna E Mobile & Musette

cool SC
_________________________
"...I'm out there Jerry and I'm LOVING it!..."

My You Tube | My Box.net

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#1216927 - 06/13/09 05:35 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: TTigg]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
laugh
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#1217080 - 06/14/09 12:20 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Mark...]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
I have mostly lurked in this forum and have really enjoyed hearing others play the same songs I'm working on from Book#2. I am taking the summer off from lessons and my teacher gave me Canon, the last song in the book, as one of the songs to work on for homework over the summer smile

I thought I'd try to record a song and share it here. It's Braham's Lullaby - I have been playing it at bedtime for my son off and on for a while. It's probably my favorite in the whole book so far.

I recorded it using Voxie on my iPhone. I'm not sure what the small static crackle is in the very beginning; but it didn't happen again so I decided to not re-do it. (It only took about 25 takes to get through the whole song once).

http://www.box.net/shared/m52dvrrlgy

I'd welcome any feedback - I hope the audio is loud enough to hear well.

-Nancy

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#1217135 - 06/14/09 08:46 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: angelojf]
Undone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 415
Loc: USA, CT
Originally Posted By: angelojf
Excellent Undone ! ! ! !

C O N G R A T S ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Yea ! !! ! !

And how long did it take you to get through Book 2?


Angelojf - I spent about three months on book 1, then it took me about a year and three months to complete book 2. Working on my “A Bag of Rags” took up a lot of my practice time over part of this period.

Undone
_________________________


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#1217136 - 06/14/09 08:52 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Cour [Re: Waltz]
Undone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 415
Loc: USA, CT
Originally Posted By: Waltz
TTigg and Undone,

This might some slightly lame but... I thought maybe you'd like to reflect upon Book 2 as a whole. I am nearing the end (although I still have quite a while) but many others here are beginning or still have many of the songs left. Any major challenges, favorite works, interesting anecdotes etc. would be, at least for me, very lovely to hear! I'd especially like to hear your opinions of the top three HARDEST pieces and the top three most ENJOYABLE pieces in the book.

-W


Waltz – Allow me to stray a bit from your direct inquiry and instead list a few of the lessons I learned during the course of my time in Book 2.

1) I can take a week’s vacation, not worry about doing any sort of practicing, and pretty much pick right up where I left of once I return.

2) It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to progress through these books. There will always be those that move much faster than me and those that move slower, just as there will always be those that can play better than me and those don’t play as well. What matters is the enjoyment and personal satisfaction that I get each time I sit down to practice. If I think “I’ll start enjoying this when I get to such-and-such a level” I’ll probably never get there (or there will always be that “next level” in which I expect something magical will happen).

3) Getting the notes down is often the easy part. Making a piece sound as musically pleasing as I can is what takes the most work (and I can almost always make it sound even better through more work). A great pianist can make Twinkle Twinkle Little Star sound special (and I’m referring to just the basic version of the song here), and a hack can hit every note in a Chopin Etude yet leave it sounding dead and uninteresting.

4) Be my own worst critic. Some people really want direct critical feedback, others need to hear that they’re doing well. It’s difficult to know which is which, and safer to give the latter, so that’s what most people do.

5) It’s okay, maybe even beneficial, to work on some things outside of Alfred’s while going through this series. I just need to find out how best to budget your practice time accordingly.

6) There will always be good days and bad days, and I can never be quite sure what type today will be until after I’ve finished the day’s practice session.

7) Participating in the PW-ABF is a fantastic way to stay motivated.


HARDEST pieces (hard to say - some pieces seemed very difficult at the time but no longer are, and it's tuff to remember how I felt about some of the earlier pieces when I first started working on them. So it's only natural to think of the more recent challenges as being more difficult.):
Canon In D
Etude Op10, No 3
Danny Boy

Most ENJOYABLE pieces (also hard to say):
Etude Op10, No 3
Ballin the Jack
Theme from Symphony No 6 1st movement


Undone
_________________________


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#1217137 - 06/14/09 08:54 AM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: nancy_w]
Undone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 415
Loc: USA, CT
Nancy w - Wonderful job on Braham’s Lullaby! When I read that the recording was made using an iPhone I thought “a oh”, but I must say it worked very well.

Undone
_________________________


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#1217279 - 06/14/09 05:21 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: nancy_w]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: nancy_w
I have mostly lurked in this forum and have really enjoyed hearing others play the same songs I'm working on from Book#2. I am taking the summer off from lessons and my teacher gave me Canon, the last song in the book, as one of the songs to work on for homework over the summer smile

I thought I'd try to record a song and share it here. It's Braham's Lullaby - I have been playing it at bedtime for my son off and on for a while. It's probably my favorite in the whole book so far.

I recorded it using Voxie on my iPhone. I'm not sure what the small static crackle is in the very beginning; but it didn't happen again so I decided to not re-do it. (It only took about 25 takes to get through the whole song once).

http://www.box.net/shared/m52dvrrlgy

I'd welcome any feedback - I hope the audio is loud enough to hear well.

-Nancy

Very, very well played! An appropriate gentle and soft texture combined with an excellent performance smile

And I agree with Undone: it was fine sound quality.
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#1217282 - 06/14/09 05:31 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Undone]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Hi Nancy w: Very nice performance of Brahms's Lullaby. A lucky child your son is.

TTigg and Undone: Thanks for the wonderful summaries and reviews. As well as the always grounded advice from Undone.

As for me, I'm having fun learning Alexander's Ragtime Band. And although I believed that I've already fingured out all of the fingerings for it, I wanted to double-check with you all anyway.

Specifically the melodic fingerings for the last phrase in the last three measures of the last bar. For the D, C#, D, C, A, G, F, I've selected to use 5454321. Is this correct? Or what have you all found to be more effective and comfortable to use?

AWTPP: You have a wonderful recording of it. Any recommendations?

Thanks,

Key Notes smile
_________________________
Music speaks where words fails.

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#1217283 - 06/14/09 05:35 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Undone,

Thanks for taking the time to write that, I am very happy to have read it and believe it was candid and thoughtful. I thought #4 was both interesting and a tad alarming. Yet it is true. ABF, and especially Alfred's 2 thread, tends to be a very supportive environment where we see the best in each others playing and progression. I believe, for whatever it's worth, that both aspects of critical evaluation are important. Everyone I've heard on this forum had done, at minimum, fine jobs with their performances submitted. Yet occasionally, certain aspects of their performance could be given criticism that is constructive. But, you're right, it's hard to do so, due to the extreme benevolence and solidarity of the forum and thread. Yet, I feel that many of us do try to offer both. Acknowledging the fine performances while also, when necessary, providing appropriate criticism.

Many times, I feel like the "hack" in #3, hitting the notes correctly. I think this is directly linked to the sentiment of #2: demanding progression of myself faster than is appropriate and thus not taking the time to stress the dynamics of a piece or play it in the elegant manner for which it is meant. Sometimes I am a hack that simply hits keys in the correct order, and it makes me feel negative about my own playing.

I am now looking forward to the Theme from the Sixth Symphony and dreading the final two pieces; they will both probably take a while and be frustrating. Most things in life worthwhile are so, however.

Thanks again for your post, I liked it.
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#1217286 - 06/14/09 05:41 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Oh goodness, I almost quiver to submit this, after such discussion, but here is my rendition of La Donna E Mobile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkvDK1luWQY

The ending is not perfect, but I became weary of, every time I retried, having to play the beginning part three times repeatedly.
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#1217289 - 06/14/09 05:50 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Ooh, that looked and sounded like a hard piece to play Waltz. Was that pause near the beginning intentional?
_________________________
Music speaks where words fails.

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#1217308 - 06/14/09 07:00 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Key Notes]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Yes smile ! There is a three beat (an entire measure in this triple time piece) pause near the beginning. There is a short explanation of its purpose in the book.

I read your question regarding ARB. I hesitate to answer, because I am not sure that I remember how I played that selection. I do remember the fingering to be hard and tricky, however. I believe AWTPP modified the fingering to better suit his/her hands. Occasionally, I will do that as well, if the indicated fingering "just doesn't work". My past instructor has also, herself, written in modifications to indicated fingering in my book, when she felt there were other valid ways to play the piece. For me, I use fingering that minimizes pain and maximizes agility, whatever that may be. Sorry I'm not that helpful, but hopefully others here will have better advice.
_________________________

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#1217321 - 06/14/09 07:57 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Thanks Waltz. I see what you mean regarding the pause in La Donna E Mobile after taking a look at the music and the write-up.

And no problem regarding ARB, I can definitely understand since it's near the beginning of the book. Yes, while I recognized that we are entitled to find the most practical and comfortable fingering postions, I didn't want to be too off-base at the same time. I kept wanting to switch the fourth finger to be the third for the C# since it felt and sounded a lot better and stronger.

Thanks again. smile
_________________________
Music speaks where words fails.

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#1217325 - 06/14/09 08:12 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Key Notes]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks Undone, Waltz and Key Notes. I'll stick with my iphone for recordings since it seems to work - gotta work with the tools I already have smile


Waltz - I liked your La Donna E Mobile. I never got that one very well polished. My teacher sometimes has me move on when I've got the concept enough and on that one I have to say I was relieved smile

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#1217342 - 06/14/09 09:02 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: nancy_w]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Thanks Nancy smile

Are you currently on Canon in D? I remember you saying your instructor gave to you it to work this summer.
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#1217343 - 06/14/09 09:06 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
The fourth finger, for me, is one of the weakest and with least agility. I can see why playing with the third would feel much better, especially on a black key; so I can relate to what you mean there.
_________________________

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#1217358 - 06/14/09 09:42 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
I am working on Canon in D. I can do the first page reasonably well; and then I start slowing down after that.

In my last lesson I played both hands together for my teacher as we ran through it the first time (I always tell her I'm torturing her when we do that as I play it soooooo slowly and with no semblance of rhythm, so it can't possibly sound like music) and we talked about how it's basically repeating the same pattern throughout, just adding extra notes as it goes. My brain can see that; but getting my fingers to cooperate is another thing.

We also spent some time on just the left hand until I had that down reasonably well; and I repeated that exercise in my practice at home too. For the first 2.5 pages, the left hand is all the same and if I don't have to think quite as much about the left hand, I can focus on what the right hand should be doing.

It'll be a fun piece to work on over the summer. We skipped a few pieces towards the end of book#2 to get to Canon for my summer break; and she said I can do those as desired. smile I'm also going back and playing a lot of the pieces in book#2 for fun.

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#1217367 - 06/14/09 09:59 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: nancy_w]
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 707
Loc: Massachusetts
Thanks for the update Nancy. So are you not going to have piano lessons over the summer? If so, you'll be like me, I haven't had a lesson in 4 months or so. I've actually done, at least to me, as well without my teacher as with (as regards to my subjective interpretation of my progress). I think once I finish book 2 (probably at the end of the summer), I will look for a new teacher, and this time, thoroughly explain to her/him my goals and learning propensities. My last instructor was not a great fit. If you don't mind my asking, which pieces did you skip?
_________________________

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#1217377 - 06/14/09 10:36 PM Re: Alfred's Basic and All in One Adult Piano Course Book #2 [Re: Waltz]
nancy_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 67
Loc: Seattle, WA
Due to financial restrictions, I decided no lessons this summer. My daughter is also taking lessons (she's 7 yrs old and just starting out) and since we do our lessons at the same time (but with different teachers) it's double the cost smile

I started last October with book#2; and we haven't done every song in the book. We'd skip ones that she didn't like, or I didn't like. Not all the pieces were done to recital level; some were "Ok, you've got that enough - let's move on" after a week. Others she would have me stay on that song for another week or so to fine tune the dynamics or timing or something. We've also been doing Scales and Theory as we go from other books which I think has been invaluable. It makes me understand why music is written the way it is, and has made certain parts easier to play because they follow along the scales.

Some songs we skipped:
Alexander's Ragtime Band
La Bamba (don't remember it at all and no scribbles on the page; so must have skipped)
Rock-a My Soul
Calypso Carnival
Hokey Pokey
Hava Nagila (this was a lot of repetition; she felt it was better to move on)
Olympic Procession
The Riddle
He's got the whole world in his hands (I told her I'd go nuts if I had to play this one)
Ballin' the Jack
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've seen
Black is the Color of my true love's hair
When Johnny Comes marching home

All the songs from Fascination up to Canon are on the work on them if you feel like it list.

I've also played a few songs that I wanted to (like Hedwig's Theme - which is something else I need to work on over the summer - need to work on it with the metronome, and that end part is supposed to be played super fast - and I'm a medium speed right now).

I anticipate starting book 3 in September when lessons start back up again - after she corrects any thing needed on the stuff I did over the summer smile

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