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#1633977 - 03/05/11 07:31 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
rozina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 122
Loc: Slovenia
Hello again smile

I have a question about throw away pieces. Is the progress that much slower if you try to get every piece to a decent playing level? For instance I like to record everything I learn and post in on YouTube so I want to make it at least a bit musical and try to play it up to speed with as few mistakes as possible. Will that hinder me? Should I just pick a handful of pieces from one level and do that with them? I am working with Masterwork Calssics.


PS: Thanks II for the great recommendation! I really like the book you recommended! I didn't have much time to really dig into it with my hands hurting lately, but I like most of the pieces smile Also its great that it comes with a CD so I can hear how it can sound if you are a pro smile
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#1634260 - 03/05/11 03:41 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
No, the progress shouldn't be slower. This is because you are going to be working on them as if you were polishing them.

The idea behind a throw-away piece is that you just don't have the time to master every song at every level, but you also cannot proceed without gaining a lot of reading experience and technical practice at every level.

So, what you do is polish a handful of pieces (more at earlier levels, less at more higher ones) while reading through many pieces at that level.

Rozina, you could try and practice all your 'polished' pieces for Youtube and post those, while not recording things for your throw-away pieces. Now, you don't want your throw-away pieces to just be clunked notes - that's not worth it. You do want to work on them well enough that they do indeed sound musical and coherent.

The difference here may be the lack of a teacher. A teacher (can) provide a VERY picky ear. I am incredibly picky about the pieces my students polish and we will work on them until they are 'perfect.' Without a teacher, it may be hard to distinguish, but say that if you feel you've mastered:

1) rhythm (alongside a metronome)
2) necessary motions (the technique)
3) the written terms and articulation (the musicality)

you're good to go onto the next throw-away piece.

Polished pieces further require:

4) self-aware musicality
5) stylistic playing
6) more precise of 1, 2, and 3

Hope that helped!

PS: I'm so glad! I hope it goes well for you!
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1634315 - 03/05/11 05:08 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: ll
Secondly, I would definitely out the Greatest Hits on the shelves for a least a little while. It's a much harder book than its counterparts. But I also want you to know that the Keith Snell and Festival Collection books are not graded in order, but rather by time written/Composer's birthdate. So the first piece won't be easier than the second, for example.

Let's now discuss 'polish,' 'throw-away,' and 'passing a level.' I'll work backwards.


II - Thank you so much for all that information. You answered many questions of mine that I hadn't even asked yet!

The cool thing about the Greatest Hits book is it has a few songs from one of my favorite composers - Alan Menken. And Dennis Alexander is such a great arranger. He can make the level 1 pieces sound great. So I'm plenty motivated to polish those. The problem is many of the other pieces have terrible arrangements. And I feel like it'd be a waste of time polishing them.

Your second reply about the difference between polishing & throw-away was very useful too. And that makes me realize the things that a teacher can provide. I thought I could do it on my own but you make excellent points for having a teacher, especially "self-aware musicality" & "stylistic playing". This takes polishing to another level.

Here in France most piano is taught at the conservatory and I'm not sure I want to go that route although I should look into it just to see. My five year old daughter is learning solfege at the conservatory so I think the conservatory is great and I've changed my mind about not liking solfege based on her experience. It's just different from how Adults learn piano in the US (I'm American).

So after reading your replies I don't feel bad about skipping "throwing away" a few pieces from Greatest Hits and polishing my favorites (Rainbow Connection, A Whole New world, & Part of Your World).

For the Snell, it's too bad they're not in order of difficulty. That was the good thing about Greatest Hits. It gave the page number of Alfred's that one needs in order to play it. So it was easy for self-taught. On the other hand, having Snell & Festival books without order means I can just dive in!

Thank you very much for your recommendations on the pieces to polish which I will definitely follow. I'll post an update after I've made some progress on the prep level.

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#1634323 - 03/05/11 05:16 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
The thing about them not being in order is that while they aren't graded, they are all ROUGHLY at the same level!

So one piece isn't MUCH harder than another (with some exceptions here and there).

Are there no private teachers in France? I don't think a conservatory is necessarily what you need (unless it's just equal to a music school here, which are private businesses).

And yes, you definitely don't want to polish pieces you don't like! I want my students to really enjoy polishing the pieces they like. It's not worth it otherwise!
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1634416 - 03/05/11 08:10 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
rozina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 122
Loc: Slovenia
Thanks for the answer II. I don't think I have ever even polished a piece the way you wrote it smile I haven't really understood the deeper dynamics as of not so long ago. I guess I will try to polish a few, the ones I will really like and try to make them stand out from the rest smile
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#1634608 - 03/06/11 01:46 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: ll
The thing about them not being in order is that while they aren't graded, they are all ROUGHLY at the same level!

So one piece isn't MUCH harder than another (with some exceptions here and there).


That makes sense. I keep thinking like Greatest Hits which covers a range of difficulty.

Quote:

Are there no private teachers in France? I don't think a conservatory is necessarily what you need (unless it's just equal to a music school here, which are private businesses).


I'm not familiar with conservatory in the US but here in France there is not much music in schools. No concert, jazz, or marching band classes. The kids have far too much work in school for that. So for music education kids (and adults) do it after school at the conservatoire. Each city has one. They're "public" and subsidized by the government, which is a very good thing because it means everyone has access. I think it'd be hard for a piano teacher to compete with the conservatoire. I will look around. It's a bit old-fashioned here, private teachers tend to post small ads around the city on light poles and such. That may sound funny but I'm not joking. That's how people find nannies, plumbers, and lots of other professions.

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#1634678 - 03/06/11 06:16 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
I don't find it funny at all! People posts notes around here like that all the time. That's how I found my brother's violin and piano and voice teachers.

Conservatory in the US is basically a college solely for the performing arts (typically dance, music, musical theater/theater). It is definitely not what it is in France. If you can find a teacher at one, then by all means, pursue the opportunity. I don't know what or how they would teach, but I'm sure as an adult, you would get more say in how your lessons are constructed and what you want to focus on.

--

@rozina: trust me, most students don't polish pieces. They just learn them and toss 'em. It's really just a personal preference.

Someone around here once said "I can spend a 1 hour learning 90% of a piece, but it would take an additional 10 hours to learn the final 10%. I ask myself if it's worth it."

The problem is, if you NEVER start to do that, you never will! You WANT to polish some pieces! There are many pieces that drove me to study piano, and I want to do them justice. Half-assing it wouldn't be worth it to me. But if you don't do it with easy pieces, it will be impossible to do with hard pieces, especially as a late starter who didn't have 15 years of lesson before working on advanced repertoire.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1635295 - 03/06/11 10:58 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
Hyde Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 19
Just wanted to say thanks for the advice. I'm just finishing up Alfred's Book One and was looking for some classical pieces. I ordered the Snell books recommended here and they look great so far.

Cheers,
Hyde

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#1636074 - 03/07/11 10:27 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
gingko2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 68
Loc: MA, USA
This is such an informative thread. Thanks for all your suggestions II.

I've bought about 5 volumes of the Masterpiece Classics. I like the variety of pieces at the same level.

I was using the earlier books for sight-reading. I know sight-reading is not the same as practicing--but it is a good skill and it's fun to try out lots of music. How much of a practice session should be--can be--sight-reading? Or is it better to approach every piece as if one is going to learn it, knowing that some of them will be "throw-aways."
_________________________
gingko2

Kawai CA63

working on:

Khachaturian: Andantino, Ivan Goes to a Party
Bach: Invention #6
Bartok: Joc cu Bata
Pachelbel: Ciaccona
Debussy: Jimbo's Lullaby


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#1636106 - 03/07/11 10:56 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
A throw-away piece is different from sight-reading.

While it is worthwhile to sight-read EVERY piece you ever come across (reasonably) those first couple of times, you can't really get better at it without actually LEARNING a lot of pieces as well.

So in the end, yes, approach any piece as if it were a throw-away piece.

By the way, throw-away pieces don't have to be at your level. They should/can be any piece you can't sight-read extremely well!
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1636410 - 03/08/11 08:59 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1131
Loc: New Jersey
I'm following this thread with interest too, thanks to II's helpful suggestions. I too have finished Alfred I, and am several pieces into Book 2. I have purchased the Prep Snell Book, and Masterworks Classics 1-2, and am enjoying them a lot, and hopefully learning a lot too. I find the discussion about "throw away pieces" and "polishing" pieces very helpful.

Thanks, II.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1636660 - 03/08/11 02:13 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: mom3gram]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: mom3gram
I'm following this thread with interest too, thanks to II's helpful suggestions. I too have finished Alfred I, and am several pieces into Book 2. I have purchased the Prep Snell Book, and Masterworks Classics 1-2, and am enjoying them a lot, and hopefully learning a lot too. I find the discussion about "throw away pieces" and "polishing" pieces very helpful.

Thanks, II.


I agree. II has been very helpful with everyone and is a great contribution to the forum. smile


Edited by joeb84 (03/08/11 02:13 PM)
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#1643551 - 03/18/11 01:07 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
I thought I'd post an update on my status. I've been at it for several weeks now and quite honestly I'm progressing slowly. I was splitting my time 50/50 between the Snell Classical Level 1 book and other work but now I'm on the Snell 100%.

It's ironic because the pieces look very simple. in fact I almost skipped the level 1 and went to level 2. I'm glad I didn't. I have a real problem playing with the hands together. I kind of feel like I was tricked by Alfred's (in a good way I suppose) because I feel like my hands played together well in Alfred's level 1. I think Alfred's was clever and had the left hand moving in an easy manner (up 2nds or 3rds and not jumping around). This is just my hunch. Also the alfred's tunes were familiar so it was probably easy to just "know" what to do.

Whereas with the Snell pieces I have to really focus & try to get my left hand & right hand working properly. For example sometimes I mix the rhythms and play the left hand rhythm in my right hand and vice versa. I often miss notes that aren't a 2nd interval.

It's a bit frustrating really because I am spending 30 minutes on a piece that is only 2 lines long! But I keep telling myself if I can learn these and get "hand independence" then what comes next will be easier. So I persist.

I say Alfred's tricked me but in a good way because if I had started with the snell book without a teacher I would have been quite frustrated. smile

I'm curious if anyone else has noticed this going from alfred's to one of these repertoire books? I think playing totally unknown music really does make it more difficult.

So all this time and I'm still half way through the first book (Snell Classical Level 1)! But I am enjoying the challenge and the exposure to new music. I learned to really appreciate the stoccato notes for example as that changes the piece quite a bit. Little things like that.

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#1643663 - 03/18/11 05:30 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Cunparis,

You are not alone. Alfred teaches, in the beginning, what is referred to as chordal playing or left-hand accompaniment. The melody in the right hand goes along while the left hand does simple chords.

Trust music is not always written this way! Don't worry - with time, you will gain independence.

Did you learn pieces in the Prep level before moving onto Level 1? That may be beneficial for you. Another idea to is work on the pieces hand-separately for a while as well.

And don't forget: "You will actually want to play more Baroque/Classical music because that is where your technique and independence will come from, while you play some Romantic and 20th Cent, and Etude, pieces."

The Baroque/Classical books are FULL of music that is hand-independent and requires good dexterity. It is not uncommon for students to take longer on the pieces from these books.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1643910 - 03/19/11 03:27 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
II - Thank you very much for the encouragement. It's amazing just how challenging these deceptively simple-looking pieces are!

I actually am dong Preparatory Level (the one starting with Bagpipes). I forgot that it starts at Prep and not Level 1. I apologize for the confusion in my previous post.

What you said makes perfect sense. It seems as time progressed and music evolved it went from being (almost) simultaneous melodies in each hand (counterpoint?) to the left hand just being an accompaniment. I hadn't known that before.

So now I know why I'm having problems and that I just need to keep at it.

So keeping in mind what you said, and the number of pieces from classical/baroque Prep level that you recommended to "polish", does that imply that you would polish less pieces from the Etudes & Romantic books?

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#1643918 - 03/19/11 03:56 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
It was accompaniment in the beginning too. Just very simplified. Counterpoint is another beast!

In the end, the number of pieces you 'polish' is up to you. There's just a lot more technique in the Baroque/Classical era.

I listed this before, but these are the pieces that I would suggest choosing from to polish in the Prep level of Snell:

Quote:
(Baroque Book)
1) all the Turk songs
2) Bagpipes
3) Wilton Sonatina
4) Der Hofe Canario
(Romantic Book)
1) Beyer Lyrical Piece
2) Bolck Five Note Sonatina
3) At least four of either the Bartok or Kabelevsky
(Etudes)
1) all of the Beyer
2) all of the Gurlitt
3) Either:
KONRAD KÜNz (1812-1875)
A Serious Event
or
LOUIS KöHLER (1820-1886)
A Pleasant Day


I definitely wouldn't say ALL of them, but definitely:
1) all the Turk and Sonatina ones from the Baroque/Classical book,
2) the Sonatina and Beyer from the Romantic book,
3) and all the Beyer and Gurlitt in the Etude book.

The thing with the Prep level is that you should do as many pieces as possible because they remain relatively simple once you get your fingers working. The number of pieces I just listed here (in the quotes) is WAY more than I would suggest polishing in the later levels.

Also, are you only working on the Baroque/Classical book? I would suggest doing one from each era instead: a Baroque selection, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, and Etude. If you spend 10 minutes on each, that's 50 minutes + another 10 for technique. You can, of course, alter that, but don't JUST do the Baroque/Classical book, and THEN the Romantic and/or Etude book.

Have you had any luck talking to the conservatory? As a free resource, I highly recommend at least checking it out for yourself!
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1643927 - 03/19/11 06:05 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: ll

(Baroque Book)
1) all the Turk songs
2) Bagpipes
3) Wilton Sonatina
4) Der Hofe Canario
(Romantic Book)
1) Beyer Lyrical Piece
2) Bolck Five Note Sonatina
3) At least four of either the Bartok or Kabelevsky
(Etudes)
1) all of the Beyer
2) all of the Gurlitt
3) Either:
KONRAD KÜNz (1812-1875)
A Serious Event
or
LOUIS KöHLER (1820-1886)
A Pleasant Day


I have this list written out and sitting on my piano. wink

Quote:

The thing with the Prep level is that you should do as many pieces as possible because they remain relatively simple once you get your fingers working. The number of pieces I just listed here (in the quotes) is WAY more than I would suggest polishing in the later levels.


This makes sense to me. Polish more at the beginning levels to build skill and then I can polish my favorite pieces at the more difficult levels.

Quote:

Also, are you only working on the Baroque/Classical book? I would suggest doing one from each era instead: a Baroque selection, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, and Etude. If you spend 10 minutes on each, that's 50 minutes + another 10 for technique. You can, of course, alter that, but don't JUST do the Baroque/Classical book, and THEN the Romantic and/or Etude book.


Yeah I just started with the baroque/classical book thinking that I'd do that and then etudes and then romantic. But I see your point. I've also been doing 30 minutes on a piece, I guess that's too long?

I'm not sure I'd be productive in just 10 minutes but I'll give that a try. If not then one piece from each book 15mins each would make 45min and then my Alfred's Method 2 for 15 minutes would round out the hour.

Quote:

Have you had any luck talking to the conservatory? As a free resource, I highly recommend at least checking it out for yourself!


I haven't contacted them yet, thanks for the reminder. It's not free BTW but it's not as expensive as private teachers since it's subsidized by the government.

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#1643929 - 03/19/11 06:20 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: cunparis
This makes sense to me. Polish more at the beginning levels to build skill and then I can polish my favorite pieces at the more difficult levels.


Definitely. The truth of the matter is, the more pieces you polish at every level, the easier the later levels will become. Why? Simple. Progressive pieces and man hours at the piano. That's what it takes.

I have friends who can play competently (some music majors) who never practiced in their life, but just began at a young age. It's the truth - the more time you spend, the better you'll get. However, you can spend time WISELY and progress even quicker!

However, you don't WANT to take THAT long at every level - that's boring! You want to get to the real music you enjoy and love. The good thing about Prep level is that the pieces are short, which means you CAN spend a lot of time at it without it seeming to be too much.

Quote:
Yeah I just started with the baroque/classical book thinking that I'd do that and then etudes and then romantic. But I see your point. I've also been doing 30 minutes on a piece, I guess that's too long?

I'm not sure I'd be productive in just 10 minutes but I'll give that a try. If not then one piece from each book 15mins each would make 45min and then my Alfred's Method 2 for 15 minutes would round out the hour.


You COULD do that...but then you'd be on the same level for too long, and 'stuck' in one frame of mind. I like variety personally!

If you are practicing correctly, 10 minutes is more than enough, as is 15. 30 seems long to me. It just depends. You can always work on less songs than once, of course! Some things to definitely check into regardless are different practice methods as well as how much time you're devoting, when you're devoting it, and how to optimize that time in both quality and quantity.

I would 'ditch' the Alfred book if you're not loving it. By that, I mean for you to simply read through it at your pace, kinda sight-read the pieces to get the idea, in order to learn the theory and technique that you can apply to your repertoire. It's not worth the effort to really work on those pieces, in my honest opinion.


Edited by ll (03/19/11 06:23 AM)
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1644210 - 03/19/11 05:00 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
KHen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 183
Loc: North America
Great thread BTW! I stopped by my local music store and found that they have the Keith Snell series, Piano adventures, Alfreds and Master works, as well as composer books, Debussy, Chopin, Czerny, Rach etc.

I thought it was a great find! All I need now is a piano at my home instead of me riding my bicycle to the college to practice.

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#1649599 - 03/28/11 02:57 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Just wanted to post an update. Since I had done most of the Baroque/Classical book I decided to finish that. By finish I mean I can play all the pieces with minimal mistakes. I didn't polish anything yet. To be honest most of the pieces were very uninspiring. I think the simple melodies I write are more interesting.

I next opened the Etudes book. I was expecting it to be more difficult, since it was written to teach technique. Much to my surprise, I found it to be much easier than the baroque/classical book! I was able to play each song after about 5 minutes of practice. It was a great feeling to know I won't be stuck in that book for many weeks. A few I could play hands separately perfectly the first time.

I finally feel like I will make it out of the prep level!

I got level 2 tonight in the mail, it was out of stock so it shipped separately than prep & level 1. I was pleasantly surprised to see some famous composers in there. I'm really looking forward to being able to play level 2. It's very motivating.

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#1649613 - 03/28/11 03:11 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Originally Posted By: cunparis
Just wanted to post an update. Since I had done most of the Baroque/Classical book I decided to finish that. By finish I mean I can play all the pieces with minimal mistakes. I didn't polish anything yet. To be honest most of the pieces were very uninspiring. I think the simple melodies I write are more interesting.

I next opened the Etudes book. I was expecting it to be more difficult, since it was written to teach technique. Much to my surprise, I found it to be much easier than the baroque/classical book! I was able to play each song after about 5 minutes of practice. It was a great feeling to know I won't be stuck in that book for many weeks. A few I could play hands separately perfectly the first time.

I finally feel like I will make it out of the prep level!

I got level 2 tonight in the mail, it was out of stock so it shipped separately than prep & level 1. I was pleasantly surprised to see some famous composers in there. I'm really looking forward to being able to play level 2. It's very motivating.




which series are you working out of again?


Edited by joeb84 (03/28/11 03:12 PM)
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#1649625 - 03/28/11 03:33 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: findingnemo2010]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: joeb84

which series are you working out of again?


Keith Snell.

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#1649706 - 03/28/11 05:17 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Cunparis,

I'm so glad things are going well for you!

I'm sorry the melodies weren't too interesting. They always won't be. But level 2 is, yes, where the 'real classics' begin. There are Bach minuets, a Burgmuller etude, and quite a few other pieces that are very nice and staples to a good background.
_________________________
II. As in, second best.
Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1649714 - 03/28/11 05:30 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1131
Loc: New Jersey
Was the material in the etudes book actually easier, or did your playing improve enough from playing the Classical/Baroque book that your were able to pick them out easier? Either way, congratulations, and good luck with levels 1 and 2.
_________________________
mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1649979 - 03/29/11 02:09 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: mom3gram]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: mom3gram
Was the material in the etudes book actually easier, or did your playing improve enough from playing the Classical/Baroque book that your were able to pick them out easier? Either way, congratulations, and good luck with levels 1 and 2.


I think it's a combination of both, but the Etudes book is definitely easier. I spent a 30-60 minutes on each piece in the classical book and I'm already half way through Etudes. Maybe at the next levels the Etudes would be as or more difficult, I do not know. I'm just enjoying a "break". smile

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#1655064 - 04/05/11 01:18 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
I "finished" the Etudes book. My goal was to work through all the songs before I go on vacation. Next up is the Romantic Book. And then I'll have to pick some pieces to polish and work on them for a few sessions. And I also have festival collection prep book to do.

I was not that motivated for Etudes because I thought it'd be hard and not real songs, just exercises. I was wrong. They were easier than baroque/classical and they were melodical (somewhat). The reason I really enjoyed the Etudes is because I could work through the book quickly. It wasn't frustrating for me. I feel like I'm making progress. I feared I had purchased too much music at the prep level getting Snell + Festival Collection but now that I can work through the pieces quickly it's actually quite fun to play a variety of pieces. And I feel like I'm building a good base.

Romantic & Festival Collection will have to wait until after my vacation.

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#1680171 - 05/18/11 03:35 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
I thought I'd update this thread with my progress. I had to take off for 3 1/2 weeks while we were on vacation to see my family. It turned out to be a wonderful vacation. While near the canyons and national parks in northern Arizona I was introduced to the native american flute. I just had to come back home with one. Which I play daily. That has taken some time away from the piano unfortunately. Once one goes 3 1/2 weeks without practice it's hard to get back in the habit, especially with a new toy. Fortunately I'm pretty bored at our weekend meals with the grandparents and they have an old out of tune piano. So I still get a few hours of practice a week, much to the dismay of the family who'd rather watch TV. smile

I "finished" the Snell Prep romantic book which concludes the Snell prep level. I'm a bit ashamed to say I didn't polish any of them. So I decided that I will pick pieces from the Festival Collection (prep level) for polishing. The main reason is that it comes with a CD and I can use that to get an idea of what my playing should sound like. I didn't realize that would be so important. With the Snell books I did not get the CD and I could be missing out on things such as phrasing, dynamics, etc. I hope the Festival Collection with its CD will help that and I can finish off the Prep level.

I also realized that playing one song for 30-45 minutes isn't that much fun. As II has suggested, I want to split it up. I plan to play one song from the repertoire book and one song from Alfred's Level II. I'll see how that goes.

PS: For anyone interested - the native american flute is really simple to play. Mine, as most, is tuned to a pentatonic minor scale. With 5 notes (6 including octave) you can pretty much play any combination of notes and it sounds good. I use it to practice improvising and or just relaxing. I don't try to play western music with it but rather just play whatever I feel. I highly recommend it. If anyone is interested they cost around $100 and I can give you the name of the flutemaker who made mine. If I can get my microphone working I will try to record something. I just got a new mic and it's not working so I have to exchange it so it'll be another few weeks. My goal is to play something on the piano as an accompaniment and then play the flute on top. smile

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#1860682 - 03/12/12 07:53 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
chris84 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 26
Loc: Romania
Hi cunparis,

I know this thread is pretty old now, but I was reading it with so much interest and I was wondering how its going with your Keith Snell books? What level have you reached so far?
I myself am doing the Masterwork Classics series and just finished the Level 3 book last week, I just have to polish some more pieces and then I'll start the Level 4 book.

All the best.
_________________________
Masterwork Classics Level 4
-------------------------------------
Feurich 115 Upright

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#1866462 - 03/22/12 08:11 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: chris84]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: chris84
Hi cunparis,

I know this thread is pretty old now, but I was reading it with so much interest and I was wondering how its going with your Keith Snell books? What level have you reached so far?
I myself am doing the Masterwork Classics series and just finished the Level 3 book last week, I just have to polish some more pieces and then I'll start the Level 4 book.


Hi, sorry for the late reply. I hate to admit it but I've slowed down on the repertoire book. But I haven't stopped piano. I've just been playing out of song books that I like and I've been learning some accompaniment patterns in order to make some simple backings for the other instruments I play. I guess I'm not that motivated by the classical music pieces. But I really do want to finish the books I have. I got through Snell's level 1 and I'm half way through the Festival Collection level 1. I already purchased level 2 so I really need to finish level 1 and get on with it. (It starts at Prep which is like level 0 so I'm about half way through the books I purchased)



Edited by cunparis (03/22/12 08:11 AM)

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#1886579 - 04/25/12 08:40 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ragtimefordrones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 27
So the RCM's Celebration Series and Masterwork Classics are the only series that have their pieces organized by level of difficulty in their books whether in the book itself or in the teacher handbook, is this correct?

Because I wanted something like this except the RCM series seems better because it has studies, allowing the student to refer to those pieces when he needs to revise a specific technique. Besides it also has another thing in the teacher handbook I wanted, which is small notes about each piece and what concepts it introduces.

[EDIT] Never mind, I just found out about Masterwork Practice & Performance books that complement the Masterwork Classics series. Still, I'd like to know about more series similar to these two. smile
I might be wrong, which is why I'm posting this. Is there another series that fits these requirements?


Edited by ragtimefordrones (04/26/12 08:46 AM)

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