Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Yamaha CP4 Rebate
Yamaha CP4 Rebate
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
148 registered (acortot, Amosdoll, anamnesis, Amir, ahoffmann, Abby Pianoman, 30 invisible), 1301 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1287486 - 10/15/09 11:14 AM Tale of Two Method Books
UpNorth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 70
Hi everyone - I'm an adult learner with some music background, and I'm pursuing piano instruction with emphasis towards classical music. I would like to ask a question about two method books: The Alfred Adult All-In-One (Book #1), and Frances Clark's Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner.

My piano teacher is experienced with the Alfred book, but has never (until now) seen the Clark method book. I'm pretty sure that my instructor would be open to the idea of me placing an emphasis on either one of these books for the next several months or more - he seemed intrigued with the Clark book when I brought it the other day. (Rather, I'll probably move through the Alfred Book #1 within a couple of months, so I'd likely move the Book #2 then, whereas with the Clark book, I'd likely be busy with it for a while longer.)

Given my desire towards building a solid foundation for classical music, which of these books would you suggest as being better suited to me? I can read music, but not yet rapidly enough to call it true sight reading, and I have a decent level of music theory under my belt. I have at least 2-3 hours a day to practice, and I'm motivated to learn.

Of course, I will discuss this with my instructor when we next meet, but I would like to have the benefit of other informed opinion for my own education. Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.


Edited by UpNorth (10/15/09 11:17 AM)

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1287489 - 10/15/09 11:19 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12553
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think Clark's book is much more geared to prepare students for classical music. Alfred does a lot of arrangements of pieces with LH chords which sound nice right away, but in the long run it leads the student to have a weak LH - something to be avoided, in my opinion.

I would definitely use Clark with supplemental material, however. Also, Clark starts out with landmark reading, which means you have notes that are landmarks (Middle C, Bass F and Treble G) and then you read intervallically from those (2nd above, 2nd below, etc.). Personally, I teach my students to read the first note in each hand to find out where to put their hands, and then read the intervals from there. Slightly different, but I can use Clark and just ignore the landmark comments.

Also, while both books have theory in them, you will want to have a supplemental theory book for practice. I recommend Keith Snells' Fundamentals in Piano Theory published by Kjos.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



Top
#1287513 - 10/15/09 11:58 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Morodiene]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
I am not a teacher, just another beginner fresh from 'graduating' from Alfred Book 1.

Morodiene is right about Alfred leading you to have a weak LH. The Alfred Book was all I used until I was about midway through the book. Then my teacher made me play pieces from the Frances Clark Library of Contemporary Literature book (not a method book but a collection of repertoire. It has works from Bartok, Kabalevesky, etc. made specially for children so I think it counts as classical). The first piece looked much easier than my Alfred pieces then, so I was horrified when I started the piece and realized I was struggling with a left hand that wouldn't cooperate and seemed to have a mind of its own. By the second piece, I knew the reason for my clumsy LH was my (lack of) training with Alfred. I have since continued playing from the Contemporary Lit book and other classical pieces assigned by my teacher so LH is in the process of recovery and is starting to catching up with my RH.

So while I still like Alfred and will continue my studies with it, I think it's better to have supplementary material that is NOT from the same Alfred series (Greatest Hits, Christmas and Pop Song Books corresponding to each level ) because then you'll only be practicing the same LH chords from the method book, without any chance to strengthen your LH.
_________________________
Alfred's AOI Course Bk 2
Frances Clark Contemporary Piano Literature, Bk 1
The Festival Collection Bk 3
30th Week Playing Piano
--------------------------------------------
+ CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
--------------------------------------------

Top
#1287521 - 10/15/09 12:11 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: marimorimo]
UpNorth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 70
One thing I forgot to mention is that I often play/practice the Alfred pieces by switching LH and RH. I wonder if this isn't as effective as I thought it might be?

Top
#1287525 - 10/15/09 12:14 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12553
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
What happens when you have to do two different things with both hands? How will playing chords in one hand and a melody in the other help this? It is a very limited way of playing in general, even if you swap, you're still only focusing your attention on the melody.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



Top
#1287554 - 10/15/09 12:45 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Morodiene]
UpNorth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 70
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
What happens when you have to do two different things with both hands? How will playing chords in one hand and a melody in the other help this? It is a very limited way of playing in general, even if you swap, you're still only focusing your attention on the melody.


Fair enough - I'm still an admitted dumbass at this. grin

Top
#1287684 - 10/15/09 04:06 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
The Clark book is much more comprehensive. I use it almost exclusively with adults.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1287932 - 10/15/09 11:09 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Minniemay]
UpNorth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 70
This is very useful information to me - thanks to everyone, and please continue to comment. Cheers!

Top
#1288905 - 10/17/09 05:42 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 337
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
UpNorth, I don't mean to be self-serving here, but you might consider having a look at the method I just published. If you really want to play classical music, my method is more geared towards that than either of the ones you mention. I find the Clark far FAR superior to the Alfred for classical training, but I tried very hard to come up with something even more focused towards classical studies. Please check out my link below if you are interested.
_________________________
Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method

Top
#1289574 - 10/19/09 12:18 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Rachel J]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Rachel,

I went to the site and looked at the preview pages, but the ones chosen for preview really do not communicate the approach well. It jumps from a diagram of the piano mechanism to about p. 50 in the text. Would really like to see some sample pages on how you get from page 6 to page 50!
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

Top
#1289737 - 10/19/09 10:01 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Minniemay]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12553
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
It is interesting that you wait until p. 50 to introduce dynamics, too. I often find that this is asked for too soon in pianists, children and adults, mostly to keep their interest I think. However, it is a dimension that few are ready to add when it appears in other method books.

Do you have any more info?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



Top
#1289834 - 10/19/09 12:41 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Morodiene]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 337
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Thanks so much for the insightful comments. I will try to see what I can do about the preview pages. I think my options there are limited, but I will certainly look into it. I agree that a more thorough preview would be great for people to see.

The best way right now to get a feel for the method is to watch the video at http://www.fundamentalkeys.com/videos/introfk.html

As for dynamics, I agree that most methods introduce them too soon. I teach my students to use a nice full, medium-level sound at first for everything. Then, when they have reached a certain degree of proficiency I introduce dynamics in a very methodical way. I find that if you introduce them too soon, they tend to get ignored since students are overwhelmed by too many concepts at once. Once they've been ignored for a while, it's harder to get a student to start paying attention to them later. By just waiting to introduce them, and then presenting them simply and gradually, I find the students develop a much broader palette of sound in the long run.
_________________________
Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
circle of 5ths coaster
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Hal Leonard Teacher VIP
Hal Leonard Teacher VIP Your Source for Piano Music
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
The Mellow sound of Chopin's piano
by acortot
6 minutes 7 seconds ago
OT- another short story
by PhilipInChina
28 minutes 24 seconds ago
IMA Enharmonia: top level Masterclass and Competition
by imaenharmonia
Today at 05:53 AM
Bringing out the melody
by Microdot
Today at 05:48 AM
Back pain when playing, how to relax?
by G-TEDB
Today at 05:44 AM
What's Hot!!
Trade Regrets: Gary Trafton - Piano Rep
--------------------
Historic Piano Documents
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Forum Stats
78,699 Registered Members
43 Forums
162,834 Topics
2,390,120 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission