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#1295360 - 10/28/09 10:43 AM transition out of Faber
DoReMi Katie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Illinois
I teach two siblings - the brother who is in 3rd grade, and in the middle of Faber book 1, and the sister in 1st grade who is just finishing Faber's primer. The sister has natural musical talent, loves to improvise and picks things up real quickly. The brother on the other hand, progresses much slower and usually doesn't even hear when he plays a wrong note. Each piece he works on requires a lot of effort, and he doesn't seem to enjoy it much.

I'm wondering what to do with the girl as she's about to finish her primer book. Usually I'd go right ahead to book 1, but because the brother is not really close to finishing it, and because I know she will overtake his progress, I really don't want them to be in the same book. Yesterday I was browsing at my local music store and trying to find a good method to transition her to.

I've heard positive things about Piano Town, but the corresponding theory book looked really dull. I want to avoid Shaum and Thompson as they progress at a much more rapid pace than what she could handle. Alfred level 1B looked ok, but I'm not a huge fan of their musical selections, especially the positions that are introduced. The one that I liked the most was Hal Leonard book 2, which seemed to pick up right were Faber's primer left off. The theory book also looked very interesting with a bunch of fun activities, which I know she'll love.

I've never used the Hal Leonard series before. Is there anything in that approach or style that I need to be aware of coming out of Faber? Or do you think I ought to stick with the Faber, but maybe take the girl through the performance book rather than the lesson book?

I want to call the Mom and talk to her about the situation but I want to be sure my professional opinion is established before I recommend anything.

Thanks for advising.
Full-time, independent piano instructor; church musician
MTNA, ISMTA, working towards NCTM!

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#1295366 - 10/28/09 10:55 AM Re: transition out of Faber [Re: DoReMi Katie]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1269
Loc: California
You might check out Alfred's new Premier Piano Course. I haven't used it myself yet but from what I've seen at music convention workshops it's different from their original series, and maybe a bit closer to the Faber series. In my opinion, it's Alfred's answer to the wildly successful Faber Piano Adventures. I know a couple of teachers who have put siblings in both series to avoid competitiveness.
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

#1295367 - 10/28/09 11:00 AM Re: transition out of Faber [Re: dumdumdiddle]
DoReMi Katie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Illinois
Great idea, Dumdumdiddle. I'll check out the Premier piano course and see what it offers. Thanks for the recommendation.
Full-time, independent piano instructor; church musician
MTNA, ISMTA, working towards NCTM!

#1295368 - 10/28/09 11:07 AM Re: transition out of Faber [Re: DoReMi Katie]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13343
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Hal Leonard book 2 is a good transition from the PA primer. I generally start out siblings in two different series for this reason.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1295470 - 10/28/09 01:45 PM Re: transition out of Faber [Re: DoReMi Katie]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7639
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: DoReMi Katie
I've heard positive things about Piano Town, but the corresponding theory book looked really dull.

Thanks for advising.

Really dull? It's just a workbook. I just checked it and it covers basic, year one, knowledge that piano students should have. The presentation is straight forward, no nonsense. The pretty pictures, etc., are in the Lessons and Performance books, and less so in the Technique book.

I would think that a student doing the assigned theory week to week wouldn't be put off by just having a page or two to fill out.

But you know what, there are so many theory texts out there, there is no reason on earth that you need to use the one the publisher supplies. Find one to your liking, especially if you like the method overall!
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

#1295507 - 10/28/09 03:04 PM Re: transition out of Faber [Re: DoReMi Katie]
Sparkler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 177
Take a look at the Keith Snell repertoire books (primer level).

I like the transition my kids as quickly as possible out of a method book and into playing real music. They seem to enjoy it a lot too and take off pretty quick.

It sounds like this girl is musical. I would really try not to keep her stuck in a method book for too long.

I usually start them out on scales asap too, and I like Theory Time for theory workbooks.
Piano Teacher
and best of all...

#1295535 - 10/28/09 04:02 PM Re: transition out of Faber [Re: Sparkler]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Take a look at Celebrate Piano. While I don't particularly care for the music in levels 1A/1B, the music improves greatly at level 2. I have a student in it and he just loves it! The artwork would particularly appeal to the younger student.

I find the music in Alfred Premier to be too much of the same stuff all the time. I didn't like it.
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

#1295541 - 10/28/09 04:09 PM Re: transition out of Faber [Re: Minniemay]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2651
I would also consider moving the boy to a different series, and let the girl who is progressing well continue with Faber. You could also talk with the parent...wait until the girl gets a bit closer to where her brother is before switching him to a different series.


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