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#1460313 - 06/21/10 01:17 PM Looking for good beginner's classical book
JoeThePro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 298
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I tried searching but kept seeing alfred's book everywhere! Many people love the series, but I dont really want to learn the type of music in that book right now, Im wanting to start with some classical. Any recommendations for a good book that has some theory and general beginners lessons in addition to music?

Edited by JoeyIsFunny (06/21/10 01:18 PM)

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#1460315 - 06/21/10 01:26 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: JoeThePro]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
How about the Classics to Moderns series ?
I have book one and there is a guide listing them in order of difficulty.

ETA sorry , didn't see the bit about lessons until after I has started my reply.

This series is a good supplement to a method. The only classical method books I have seen in person, aimed at adults, jump ahead even faster than Alfreds. I have Thompsons and Schaums, but they contain no more actual teaching than Alfreds.

Edited by Ejay (06/21/10 01:30 PM)
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou

#1460319 - 06/21/10 01:38 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: Ejay]
JoeThePro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 298
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Do you think Alfred's adult beginner one book would be good to pick up anyway because of the lessons and information it provides?

I will pick up that book you linked to and others in the series, thanks!

Edited by JoeyIsFunny (06/21/10 02:04 PM)

#1460324 - 06/21/10 01:59 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: JoeThePro]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
Personally I like Alfreds , it is not perfect, but I think you would struggle to find any one method book, that by itself alone, would meet everyone's requirements

I'd recommend looking at suppliers of second hand books and buy a few to see which suits you best. I picked up Alfreds series second hand, with no marking on the pages, for a reasonable price.
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou

#1460348 - 06/21/10 02:49 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: Ejay]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 774
Loc: Canada
If you live near a library, you might be able to sign out Alfred's from there, too. I did book 1 on library loans, then bought book 2.
(Started playing July 2008)

#1460360 - 06/21/10 03:08 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: Ejay]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1275
Loc: Portland, OR
I tried Alfred's but I hated playing the music in it (sounded ugly & primitive to me), so switched and taught myself using the Keith Snell repertoire series. The Snell repertoire books don't have the added teaching material that Alfred's does -- they're just plain old sheet music for the pieces. I had had maybe a year or so of piano lessons as a kid, and played some tin whistle as an adult, so I didn't need to learh how to read music (at least the treble clef).

There are supplementary scale and theory supplements by for the Snell books, but I chose my own different ones, because i had a head start in theory. They're meant for use with a teacher, but I am pretty self-directed.

I like books that come with CDs, so I can hear what things are supposed to sound like. The beginner repertoire series with CD's that I found are listed below.

Keith Snell - Piano Repertoire Series. Each level has 3 books & a CD (available separately), a book of Baroque & Classical, a book of Romantic & Modern, and a book of Etudes. There is another similar series with only one book per level, which includes CD, but has less pieces and none of the modern stuff (which is fun).

Helen Marlais - Succeeding with the Masters -- focuses on easier pieces by big name composers. Beginners start with On the Way to Succeeding with the Masters.

Festival Collection, also edited by Helen Marlais -- this does NOT overlap material with Succeeding with Masters).

Masterwork Classics, edited by Jane Magrath.

Edited by tangleweeds (06/21/10 03:09 PM)
Edit Reason: meant to hit preview
Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.

intermittent piano blog

#1460377 - 06/21/10 04:01 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: tangleweeds]
Plowboy Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2814
Loc: SoCal
You might like The Joy of First Classics by Denes Agay.
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach

#1460383 - 06/21/10 04:15 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: Plowboy]
JoeThePro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 298
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Thank you all for the help. Time to start looking!

#1460474 - 06/21/10 06:57 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: JoeThePro]
bbuckis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 81
For my lessons I work out of Alfred's Group Piano for Adults Book 1. this gives me more than enough theory.
At home on the side I work out of The Joy of First Classics, books 1 and 2, by Denes Agay, also Classical Music, (Adult Piano Series) Book 1 Elementary, Arranged and Edited by Robert Schultz. These three books have no theory, but appear to have progressively more difficult pieces for the beginner.

#1460554 - 06/21/10 09:02 PM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: bbuckis]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 580
Loc: piano bench, usually
I like The Joy of First Classics too, and use it for several students. No commentary or instructions, just pieces, but a great intro to classics book.

Another book you might like is an Alfred book called "Masterwork Classics Levels 1-2," compiled and edited by Jane McGrath. It's only $9.95 and comes with a CD, which might come in handy if you're without a teacher.

If I may make a suggestion: If you're new to classical music, start with works that seem extremely simple in order to train yourself to pay attention to the smallest details - every phrase mark, every staccato, every accent, every rest. Better to play a "simple" piece well than a challenging piece sloppily.

Best of luck to you as you explore!

Edited by heidiv (06/21/10 09:02 PM)

#1460658 - 06/22/10 01:15 AM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: heidiv]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Alfred's Adult Group Piano books 1 and 2 for lessons.

Keith Snell Piano Repertoire for pieces.

More than enough right there. And always having one piece from each 'era' going on, particularly the Baroque and Classical early on.

Good luck.
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

#1460680 - 06/22/10 03:12 AM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: ll]
tonkempen125 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/10
Posts: 4
Hi Joeisfunny,

I might have a very different starter's method you might be interested in.

I started playing piano a little less then a year ago and I asked my teacher to please provide me a method without the really childish songs but more classical and technical type of book.

So I started out with: "Carl Czerny: 100 recreations", or "100 erholungen" as it sometimes has been sold. A true startersbook. Although a little old-fashioned (Czerny was a 19th century piano composer/teacher, one of the teachers of Liszt). This method seems to be a little out of fashion these days but Czerny has been the start of many great pianists in the past.

As far as I am concerned this book is ideal for the adult starter who wants to develop a real classical basis.

I myself after a year of hard practice am almost finished with this book and I have learned a lot!

Edited by tonkempen125 (06/22/10 04:52 AM)

#1460693 - 06/22/10 04:24 AM Re: Looking for good beginner's classical book [Re: tonkempen125]
marcus123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 2
First joy of classics 1 and 2. I would highly recommend.


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