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#1603614 - 01/23/11 10:54 AM After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book?
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
I am just finishing up Alfred's Adult All-in-One Level 1. I really don't like the alfred book, I find it boring. Either too easy or not interesting enough to motivate me to get it right. wink So I got "Greatest Hits" level 1 and I find it uninteresting as well. For example a few songs just have the melody split across left & right hands just to make it difficult. But it doesn't sound very interesting.

So I started learning some songs I like but the problem is I can't read the music fast enough so I memorize it and in the end I'm just memorizing which keys to push and when, and not really advancing in my piano skills.

I already bought Alfred's level 2 (adult all-in-one). Do you think I am ready to start a repertoire book? From what I read Keith Snell & Succeeding with the Masters are good as well as the Celebration Perspectives Series. I think that would be more fun for me. I'd still like to do the alfred's level 2 since I bought it, maybe do 1/2 Alfred's & 1/2 repetoire. Am I on the right track? I'm self-taught. Played sax for years in high school.



I know many will recommend a teacher but for now I prefer to learn on my own (for one I'm living in France and they teach a bit different here).

Thanks

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#1603631 - 01/23/11 11:18 AM 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: 1521
In my personal opinion, it's too soon. But I would try to find a teacher or just go right into book 2.
_________________________
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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#1603636 - 01/23/11 11:25 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
Originally Posted By: cunparis

So I started learning some songs I like but the problem is I can't read the music fast enough so I memorize it and in the end I'm just memorizing which keys to push and when, and not really advancing in my piano skills.


I don't understand this. Knowing which keys to hit and when IS playing the piano! So I don't understand how you are not advancing your piano skills by playing the piano.
_________________________
YouTube channel

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#1603645 - 01/23/11 11:36 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: rozina]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1521
Originally Posted By: rozina
Originally Posted By: cunparis

So I started learning some songs I like but the problem is I can't read the music fast enough so I memorize it and in the end I'm just memorizing which keys to push and when, and not really advancing in my piano skills.


I don't understand this. Knowing which keys to hit and when IS playing the piano! So I don't understand how you are not advancing your piano skills by playing the piano.

wow That's just the start and the tip of the iceberg. Playing the piano involves a lot more than that.
_________________________
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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#1603646 - 01/23/11 11:37 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: rozina]
cunparis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: rozina
I don't understand this. Knowing which keys to hit and when IS playing the piano! So I don't understand how you are not advancing your piano skills by playing the piano.


The problem is I'm not learning to read the music. I can only play the songs that I've nearly memorized. My weakness is bass clef since I never had to use that with the saxophone.

To combat this I've been looking at the music as I play even if I have it memorized, so that I can start getting used to recognizing the notes for left hand and recognizing the chords together. One of the songs I learned is Edelweiss which is very complicated (for me at least). I started with the simple version in Alfred's Greatest Hits Level 1. But when I googled for examples I stumbled upon the real version and it was so beautiful the Alfred's version just wasn't going to cut it! wink

Anyway.. I'm confident I can learn new pieces that are difficult, it's just tedious & time-consuming trying to memorize it etc. I think sticking to songs at my level, even if they're not as satisfying or interesting, would help my development so that I could learn to read the music and be able to play more songs (I can't memorize everything, it's a real handicap).

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#1603654 - 01/23/11 11:44 AM 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: 1521
Originally Posted By: cunparis
Originally Posted By: rozina
I don't understand this. Knowing which keys to hit and when IS playing the piano! So I don't understand how you are not advancing your piano skills by playing the piano.


The problem is I'm not learning to read the music. I can only play the songs that I've nearly memorized. My weakness is bass clef since I never had to use that with the saxophone.

To combat this I've been looking at the music as I play even if I have it memorized, so that I can start getting used to recognizing the notes for left hand and recognizing the chords together. One of the songs I learned is Edelweiss which is very complicated (for me at least). I started with the simple version in Alfred's Greatest Hits Level 1. But when I googled for examples I stumbled upon the real version and it was so beautiful the Alfred's version just wasn't going to cut it! wink

Anyway.. I'm confident I can learn new pieces that are difficult, it's just tedious & time-consuming trying to memorize it etc. I think sticking to songs at my level, even if they're not as satisfying or interesting, would help my development so that I could learn to read the music and be able to play more songs (I can't memorize everything, it's a real handicap).





Nobody can remember every piece they play, that's impossible. But your sight reading and note recognition will get better with time and practice. You need more time.
_________________________
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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#1603662 - 01/23/11 11:53 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
To answer your original question, I certainly think that you can move to a "early intermediate" level book following successful completion of Alfred's level 1. Some of the Easier Bach/Petzold pieces in the Anna Magdalena Bach notebook are doable at this level as are many of the pieces in the classics to moderns series, level "easy." Be careful with purchasing just any "easy" level book though as many of the pieces aren't as easy as you might imagine (often intermediate is called "easy"). Also, Burgmuller Op. 100 pieces are right for you at about this point too.
With respect to reading, why not pick up some Czerny pieces to build technique. In addition to perfecting your technique, these pieces improve your reading. I suppose, IMHO, the best way to improve your reading is to play many many many pieces. For satisfaction, you could have a more difficult piece you find quite nice to work on and at the same time you are "plowing through" some easier ones. This is my teacher's advice, anyway.
Best of luck.
_________________________
Christine











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#1603673 - 01/23/11 12:01 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
GradedPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/11
Posts: 123
Im currently playing Alfreds all in one book. I too am finding it very boring. There are some decent tunes but generally it is very dull. I find it helps with note reading as i have improved a lot since i bought it.

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#1603684 - 01/23/11 12:17 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
nipo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 63
Originally Posted By: cunparis
I am just finishing up Alfred's Adult All-in-One Level 1. I really don't like the alfred book, I find it boring. Either too easy or not interesting enough to motivate me to get it right. wink So I got "Greatest Hits" level 1 and I find it uninteresting as well. For example a few songs just have the melody split across left & right hands just to make it difficult. But it doesn't sound very interesting.

So I started learning some songs I like but the problem is I can't read the music fast enough so I memorize it and in the end I'm just memorizing which keys to push and when, and not really advancing in my piano skills.

I already bought Alfred's level 2 (adult all-in-one). Do you think I am ready to start a repertoire book? From what I read Keith Snell & Succeeding with the Masters are good as well as the Celebration Perspectives Series. I think that would be more fun for me. I'd still like to do the alfred's level 2 since I bought it, maybe do 1/2 Alfred's & 1/2 repetoire. Am I on the right track? I'm self-taught. Played sax for years in high school.



I know many will recommend a teacher but for now I prefer to learn on my own (for one I'm living in France and they teach a bit different here).

Thanks


I am in a similar situation. My teacher and I looked at grades 1-4 in both Celebration and Canadian Conservatory. We found the best fits were grades 2 and 3 with 2 being within a comfort zone and 3 being just outside it.

The problem was both grades were far outside my theory level and will need some catch up. To improve sight reading we decided on the 4 Star books which are put out by the same organization as the Celebration Perspective Series.
_________________________
My Practice Journal

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#1603767 - 01/23/11 01:40 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: GlassLove]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Some of the Easier Bach/Petzold pieces in the Anna Magdalena Bach notebook are doable at this level as are many of the pieces in the classics to moderns series, level "easy." Be careful with purchasing just any "easy" level book though as many of the pieces aren't as easy as you might imagine (often intermediate is called "easy"). Also, Burgmuller Op. 100 pieces are right for you at about this point too.
With respect to reading, why not pick up some Czerny pieces to build technique.


Bach and Burgmuller after just Alfred 1?

No.

Not quite yet.

I would suggest getting both the Prep level and Level 1 of the Keith Snell repertoire series. Use the Prep Level as 'throw away' pieces, that is to say, work on a few at a time (maybe one from each book) just for a week and get whatever you can from them in that time. They're all almost 5-finger patterns (save for a couple of songs), most are quite nice, and they will be within your grasp. Now, this doesn't mean just sight-read it a bunch of times like most people do with method book songs, but really practice them for a week.

Then, use the Level 1 as your main repertoire. Choose the ones you really like, polish those, and then use the rest as 'super throw-away pieces,' which means you'll spend more than just a week on them, but not necessarily bringing them up to performance level.

Bach and Burgmuller begin in Level 2, and those are the 'harder pieces' at those levels. Czerny isn't a bad idea, either, if you like that type of thing. Snell put selections into the series, but you can always just buy or print the entire opuses from multiple sources.

I would recommend keeping up with Alfred's. The good thing about a method book is that it is more progressive and also includes a lot of information you should be learning, whereas a repertoire series wouldn't usually contain that.

If you want to hold off for a bit, finish more of Alfred's 2, I would recommend the intermediate series 'First Impressions':

http://www.intermediatepiano.com/intermediatepianopedagogy/Mlous_books.html

This series will just have the one book with a few selections. It does move a little slower than the Snell series, but it has some excellent repertoire and also comes with study guides for each song, as well as theory books. I think it's a great series for self-teachers.

Good luck!

II
_________________________
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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#1603940 - 01/23/11 04:14 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Sorry, I didn't mean to misdirect someone to literature that was too hard.

II is more experienced than I, so I would go with the suggestions mentioned in that post to be certain, however.....directly following my completion of Alfred's all-in-one, I began playing pieces from Essential Piano Repertoire level 2 (Petzold Minuet in G major is in that collection as is Musette in D, Minuet in G minor, and Aria in F). I did so comfortably and with the guidance of a teacher.

They are nice collections, complete with CD recording. On sheetmusicplus.com you can even take a peak at a few pages of music. Perhaps you could better estimate which level you should play by looking there first.

Good luck with choosing some music you find rewarding to play.
PS- I hated the music in Alfred's level 1 too.
_________________________
Christine











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#1603941 - 01/23/11 04:18 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: GlassLove]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1521
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Sorry, I didn't mean to misdirect someone to literature that was too hard.

II is more experienced than I, so I would go with the suggestions mentioned in that post to be certain, however.....directly following my completion of Alfred's all-in-one, I began playing pieces from Essential Piano Repertoire level 2 (Petzold Minuet in G major is in that collection as is Musette in D, Minuet in G minor, and Aria in F). I did so comfortably and with the guidance of a teacher.

They are nice collections, complete with CD recording. On sheetmusicplus.com you can even take a peak at a few pages of music. Perhaps you could better estimate which level you should play by looking there first.

Good luck with choosing some music you find rewarding to play.
PS- I hated the music in Alfred's level 1 too.

I enjoyed a lot of the music in book 1. Book 2 is another story...
_________________________
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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#1603989 - 01/23/11 05:14 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Yes, Joe, I have heard far more complaints about the music in book 2 relative to 1.
I guess I can appreciate how either could be found a wee bit boring though.
_________________________
Christine











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#1603990 - 01/23/11 05:16 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: GlassLove]
ll Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Sorry, I didn't mean to misdirect someone to literature that was too hard.
...


Sorry, didn't mean to make it come off as rude!

To play Bach and Burgmuller well would take a lot more effort for some than others. Even the simple Minuets. At a couple of college courses around here, Alfred Level one is taken to about page 110-120 in one semester, and the Minuet in G is played as the final of the next semester course. Just as a reference point.

The Essential series are WONDERFUL! The only problem is, you need to practically buy all of them and also have a teacher who is very familiar with them so they can guide you through the pieces. They aren't gradual or even grouped logically. They just have everything you can think of, though, which can be a wonderful (and cost-effective) thing.

Other repertoire series are usually more graded, which is why teachers usually use them. Some more examples:

Keith Snell's Piano Repertoire
Dietzer's First Impressions
Bastien's Piano Literature
Faber's Developing Artist
RCM's Celebration Perspectives

There's quite a few around, and they all do vary within, but not quite as much as the Essential series.

Again, stick with Alfred's (don't polish, but kind of just read through so you can see the pieces, develop a bit of sight-reading, and gain the techniques/theory from all the pages throughout) but focus on the piano 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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#1603994 - 01/23/11 05:18 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: GlassLove]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1521
Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Yes, Joe, I have heard far more complaints about the music in book 2 relative to 1.
I guess I can appreciate how either could be found a wee bit boring though.

grin
_________________________
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

Top
#1604033 - 01/23/11 06:16 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
GlassLove Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 769
Loc: Michigan
Hi II....
I didn't think your comments were the least bit rude. I have appreciated your contributions (have benefited directly from them) and recognize you as being far more knowledgeable than I am (I have only been playing for a bit over a year, so I should probably not give such advice, but I simply shared what I had done, for better or worse).
And you make a very nice point, to play the pieces WELL you might need a bit more experience than level 1.
_________________________
Christine











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#1604156 - 01/23/11 09:30 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
FarmGirl Online   content

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Not sure it is a good advise to all the beginners but here's my 2 cents from my own experience. If anyone here has different opinion, please listen to them and not me. I am not a teacher.

There are sight reading books if you are keen on developing sightreading skills (see the link below). Of course, the best way to develop sightreading skill is to read lots of different kind of music. But many adults tend not to have so much time. IMHO, these books are excellent. I have Level 4 through 8. When I came back to Piano after 20 years of not playing, I used to do this everyday in addition to the pieces I am working on. Each page contains 2-line excerpts from known/unknown pieces. It will ask you to fill out the key signature, time, dinamics, patterns etc. Sometimes it even asks you to clap the hands with the rhythm before you start. It's quite fun. You can start very slow but your goal is to keep up with the notes, rhythm and expressions to the best of your ability. From the first day, it may not work perfectly but in time you will get there. Just remember to start extremely slow and do not spend more than 5 minutes (If your practice, it's not sight reading). If you just finished Level 1 then I recommend starting form the Level 1. I heard it's always best to start it 1 or 2 grade below your current level.

http://www.amazon.com/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-Piano-Course/dp/0739009796
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


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#1604418 - 01/24/11 08:34 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. I hope this won't be too OT.

I am currently learning to play piano without a teacher and I am learning pieces from the book Piano pieces for children. Mostly I don't find them interesting to play and I find that the jump from grade 1 to 2 is quite a big one and is giving me motivation problems. II has recommended a few graded piano literature books and I have found out that I can get my hands on Faber's Piano literature Developing artist books. However, I can not find any reviews or inside looks into this books, so I would appreciate if anyone can give any information on them. Are they useful for a self taught piano player. Do pieces progress nicely or do they have some strange jumps in skill level required to play them? I am in the same boat as the OP, I have been about a year and find my current sheet music source boring (which could be dealt with if they didn't get a bit hard now as well :)).

I appreciate all your comments smile
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#1604488 - 01/24/11 10:50 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
@TheMostImprovedDog: That is an excellent suggestion! However, even while incredibly beneficial, those workbooks would just not be enough. There is not enough at that level to work on to bring up sight-reading and technique.

Remember, you can practice those sight-reading books all the way from the beginning to the end, but if you haven't worked on enough pieces along the way, you won't ever have the technique to do it well anyway.

And don't forget, Alfred Level 1 is not the same thing as an examination's level/grade 1.
_________________________
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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#1604493 - 01/24/11 11:00 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2401
Loc: SoCal
I took an eight week group piano course at a community college using Alfred's. After that I got a teacher. I showed up at the first lesson with my Alfred's 1, she looked at it and tossed it to the side. We started immediately with the Anna Magdalena Notebook, some Kirnberger, and The Burgmuller Op. 100.

It was slow at first, took months working on The Minuet in G 114, but she was stressing playing musically, and it has paid off. You'll learn more from a teacher than you can imagine.

Good luck.
_________________________
Gary

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#1604500 - 01/24/11 11:09 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
@rozina:

The Developing Artist series was Designed by the Faber duo to be the main introduction to students following the 'Piano Adventures' series, though of course it can be used by anyone. It is designed of two books per level: 1) Piano Literature and 2) Piano Sonatinas. You can begin using the Prep Book around level 2 of any children's method book (level 1 for gifted children).

The first book remains in 5-finger position, which will be a great thing to review and brush up on basics, paying particular attention to tone and musicality. You can also transpose the pieces to multiple keys to get a good finger and brain workout! However, by the end of the series, you are basically late-intermediate piano repertoire: something similar to levels 5-8 of Keith Snell.

The problem is, there is much less selection in this series than in other repertoire series, which means not only will you pretty much have to learn all the pieces, but you'll probably need more at every level. However, for a self-learner with internet access, this can be easily remedied by free online music resources.

The link I provide below has the listings of all the books. You can click on the title to find what's within each.

http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/devArtist.html

While technically graded, within each book, the pieces are arranged first by era, then by life-dates of composer. This shouldn't present too much of a problem because you can check the gradings on the internet, on these forums, or just by 'eye' if you can tell whether or not the next piece is more or less suitable for you than another.

I also would not recommend the "Bach Selections from AMBN" from them, as it only has a few songs. Instead, you can find those pieces online or buy another book for a few dollars more.

--

All in all, they aren't bad books if you know what you're doing with your pieces, and if you seek help on these boards if it ever feels like they are getting to be 'too much' at any one point. While I do prefer other piano repertoire series, it's not because of the pieces themselves, it's simply the selections. They're great books, and you won't go wrong with getting them.

However, if you have a classics book already, I suggest just going through the table of contents on each of those books and highlighting what's already in your books and working on those first.

Rozina, you're right. Those pieces on that website jump A LOT between levels (Avalanche by Heller next to Clementi's first sonatina?!). You'd be better off from other resources, I think.
_________________________
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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#1604511 - 01/24/11 11:25 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
rozina Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 122
Loc: Slovenia
Thank you for the extensive answer, it is greatly appreciated! I will check the link for further information on the series!

I do have a follow up question regarding what you wrote in this paragraph:
Quote:
The problem is, there is much less selection in this series than in other repertoire series, which means not only will you pretty much have to learn all the pieces, but you'll probably need more at every level. However, for a self-learner with internet access, this can be easily remedied by free online music resources.


Does that mean after I learn all of the pieces from one book I might not be ready for the next level book from the same series? That would be a bummer, but not that huge, since the books are not that expensive. The first two go for €10 both smile

The major reason why I would like to have a series like this is, because it is a pain to select your next piece to learn not having a teacher to do it for you. And I seem to overestimate my skill level when looking at new sheets. And it sucks a lot to learn a new piece and after 2-3 weeks realize you can't really finish it because it is a bit above your skill level.

I did listen to some pieces from book 1 and 2 and I must say they sound fun! smile
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#1604519 - 01/24/11 11:38 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
Anytime! And I'm always around to answer questions if you need help figuring out which piece would be best next for you.

In reply to your follow-up: I want to say both yes and no.

See, I'm of mind that you need a few pieces at every level that you REALLY REALLY REALLY polish. Beyond performance ready. Nit-pick at them so much you almost want to scream. Not a lot of pieces, mind you, but a handful. I believe it's incredibly useful because it forces you to really pay attention to everything you're doing and also just to learn that skill - because trust me, it IS a skill to take a piece to that quality, which isn't something you're going to learn how to do easily with only hard pieces some years from now.

But, you should also learn many other things at every level. Not to performance level, but to gain a lot of reading and practicing experience, and also the techniques with each piece (compare the Baroque Bach to Scarlatti...very different!).

One of the reasons I like the Keith Snell series is between the three books, I can find a handful of songs that kids really love and won't mind learning, while the rest can be used as throw-away and quick-study pieces.Another excellent series is Masterworks Classics:
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Masterwork-Classics-Level-1-2/3507984

However, the Faber books are a good 'diet' of repertoire if you work on both the Sonatina books (lots of fingery goodness, a la Classical style!) and the Literature books at the same time, and supplement it with Bach pieces (which you can find for free online) and a handful of other pieces. And you're right - that's why these repertoire books exist. To assist teachers (and students!) to better see levels of the repertoire in order to benefit the student in learning.
_________________________
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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#1604524 - 01/24/11 11:41 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
bmbutler Offline
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Posts: 226
Loc: North Carolina
I have a few adult students. The first ones I had thought the Alfred book was boring also. I switched to the Bastien All in One as I gained new students and they have really enjoyed it.
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#1604540 - 01/24/11 12:00 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: rozina]
MartinJB Offline
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Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern California
Hello, rozina

I'm also in the self taught stage now and I'm using the Alfred's Adult All in One, Masterwork Classics, Pathways to Artistry by Catherine Rollin.

With Pathways it teaches you how to use technics and gives you pieces to play with details on where to apply each one. It comes in three levels of Technique, Repertoire, and Master Works. I just learn the technics in these pieces and move on the other series and use what I learned there.

If you have your technics down then I would suggest Masterwork Classics . It has better pieces to play and it comes in 10 levels. Book one levels 1-2, 3-10 a separate book.

Goto to sheetmusicplus.com . They usually have reviews and sample pages of a lot sheet music and books.

Martin
_________________________
"Music is the shorthand of emotion."
Leo Tolstoy

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#1604547 - 01/24/11 12:07 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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@MartinJB:

All songs will teach you technique. You will never have you technique 'down.' It will continue to grow and improve.

Pathways is just another example of a repertoire series, more designed like a method book, very similar to First Impressions by Dietzer, who includes study guides for all the pieces in her books and matching theory books that use the pieces as examples.

However, all the repertoire in the Pathway Repertoire book is written by Rollin herself, if I'm not mistaken...and why would you want to play Rollin when you can play Kuhlau, Turk, and Bach? Just my opinion.
_________________________
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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#1604583 - 01/24/11 12:49 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
MartinJB Offline
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Posts: 66
Loc: Southern California
II
I’m new to this. So maybe I’m not explaining this right.

You’re correct all pieces will teach you technique. I guess what I was looking for was the actual physical motion to perform it (i.e wrist lifts, arm weights, wrist rolls ect ) to get reactions.

I’ve had a couple of teachers so far and I told them in the first interview that I want to learn this right, show me everything. I’m a beginner, I don’t know better. All I got was “ok, play this” and not showing me the physical aspect of it. I just had the wrong teachers, no brainier there. There’s about three close to me and I went thru two, I'm not going for strike three. I hope that explains a little better

Someone suggested the Rollin series on the form and I purchased it. It showed me step by step physically. That’s all I use it for because you’re right again, I don’t want to play all Rollin when there’s a slew of others.

I’m trying to do this the correct way with the resources that I have which is this form and as been very helpful.

If you have any suggestion(s) on a way to proceed I would greatly appreciate any comments that you recommend.

Thank you
Martin
_________________________
"Music is the shorthand of emotion."
Leo Tolstoy

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#1604606 - 01/24/11 01:15 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
rozina Offline
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Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 122
Loc: Slovenia
Thank you again for all the information!

I am very much leaning towards the Faber books at the moment. I don't mind finding extra material before going into another level as long as I know the progression in the book is the right one and the book itself wont slow me down or make it difficult to progress. I also don't mind playing all the pieces form one book, to be honest I prefer that laugh I have a hard time selecting what will be good for me, so playing everything kinda avoids that.

I am however having seconds thoughts about the way I am going about learning to play the piano. I am basically only playing pieces. I don't dedicate much time to playing scales. I mostly play them as warmup. I focus to play them evenly tempo wise. I have only learned C and G major. And lately I have given some time to F major. I also started to play C major hands together a month ago, so I can practice playing notes at the same time. I realized I have some problem with that, since I learn every piece hands separate first and one hand can be a bit behind through a whole section or piece! smile I also never played any arpegio exercises. What I am beginning to think, after seeing the First impressions series you mentioned II, is that I might be doing myself harm by skipping the theory part in playing. I really like the way First impressions made. However, it is a bit too expensive for me (money is also the reason why I am not looking for a teacher).

The reason for the paragraph above is basically to hear your (a teacher's) thoughts on that way on learning on my own smile
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#1604616 - 01/24/11 01:23 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: MartinJB]
ll Offline
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@MartinJB,

No, I know what you meant wink I was just teasing a bit. A lot of people around here ask what the songs that will teach you...and the answer is, all of them!

I understand that you want to know the difference between wrist staccato and finger staccato, and what this arm roll will do against that arm roll...but the reality is, you don't just learn that from studying it out of a book. It comes from playing more and more music where these things are used, and seeing the differences between them. To ignore myself for a second, a technique series I love to supplement with is called 'Finger Power,' by a series by Schaum. Comes in Books 1-5.
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Schaum-Fingerpower-Level-One-Book/1564997

These books will have isolated exercises for each of the specific kinds of techniques one finds in piano music. I prefer it over other exercises like Hanons, but even then, I still don't use it too often.

Now, I know you probably disliked that your teachers didn't go over specific motions to create specific sounds with you, and that makes sense. I teach my students different attacks, but through the application of their music, not the other way around. I suppose my main point is: give it time.

I'm sure the Rollin books are great. And I'm sure she is a fine composer, too. Wouldn't hurt you to use them, as she probably wrote them with far more pedagogical uses than a lot of other pieces. But it's sometimes best not to get TOO caught up in the "what technique did I just use there?" mode.

It sounds to me like you're on the right track. I'd probably ditch Alfred's after page 120 or so since you have Rollin, and use that for your main 'method book.' Then, just keep working on your Masterworks Classics books. That would be more than enough for the 'learning techniques and repertoire' portion of the piano.
_________________________
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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#1604632 - 01/24/11 01:37 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
MartinJB Offline
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Posts: 66
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: ll
@MartinJB,

Alfred's after page 120


Why page 120.

Also can you suggest something else similar to Masterwork Classics.
_________________________
"Music is the shorthand of emotion."
Leo Tolstoy

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#1604633 - 01/24/11 01:38 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: rozina]
ll Offline
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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
You won't go wrong with the Faber books, but if possible, I would get the Masterworks in its place (if it's cheaper. if not, don't worry about it too much and just go with the Faber's).

The First Impressions series is really useful and great. I love its design, but in actuality, if it's too expensive, then it may not be worth it. It requires 2 books per level (repertoire and theory) for levels A-C, and 1-3, and 1 book per level at levels 4-6. Alongside each two levels is a supplemental book, Discovering Piano Literature. The repertoire books have study guides to help you pay attention to things like technique and theory. The theory has ear-training and composition and application.

Now, if it's too costly, don't worry about it. It's nothing you can't replace.

If you decide to go with the Faber's, you can easily fill in your theory from other (free) resources. One workbook I've been recently more interested in is below. You can print it for free online, in chapters, and just work your way through it. It's a nice and thorough introduction that I've just started using with an adult student who really seems to be 'getting it.'
http://www.gmajormusictheory.org/Fundamentals/workbooks.html

Of course, there are many more resources available for that too.

As for technique, I've been (very slowly!) writing a document that details how to 'go about' doing it for a self-learner. It's nothing you can't find on the internet, of course, just in one place for piano on the forum who frequently ask. What I recommend is finding out what key your pieces are in.

For example, in Faber's "Prep Piano Literature," the first song is in C major. So play C major, penta-scales (5-finger pattern), HS, then HT, gradually speeding them up throughout the week. Play the C-major triad. Play the inversions of the C-major triad. Play the one-octave scale HS, then HT. Then try a one-octave arpeggio.

Technique, however, SHOULD be a warm up. Your focus on pieces will help you greatly because that's what pieces are made up of: scales and chords! I think you're just worried that you're not 'getting to them all' fast enough, but give it time and pace it for the level you're at.

On the notes of practicing, practice however feels 'smartest' to you. That is to say, if you don't NEED to practice a piece hands separately, then don't. Spend your time drilling the parts you have trouble with. Sometimes it's a line, sometimes it's just two measures. Sometimes it's the left-hand, so you just focus on that and work it up, and then you put them hands together. There's really an endless combination of practice methods that work - it just takes trail and error and dedication and practice to figure it all out!
_________________________
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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#1604639 - 01/24/11 01:53 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: MartinJB]
ll Offline
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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: MartinJB
Why page 120.

Also can you suggest something else similar to Masterwork Classics.


Because I think that after that point, the Rollins picks up nicely. However, you could probably stop as early as 115. There isn't anything wrong with finishing it, either. It just depends on what you want to focus on (I personally don't like the books, but then again, I'm a teacher who can see and supplement for a student). For a self-learn, it wouldn't be a bad idea, but the Rollins can easily replace it at that point.

I've suggested many different series here. The two I like the most are:

1) Keith Snell's Piano Repertore, Levels Prep, 1-10:
http://kjos.com/sub_section.php?division=5&series=147
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=keith+snell+piano+repertoire
-Fundamentals of Piano Theory
-Baroque and Classical
-Romantic and Contemporary
-Etudes

These four books are the bulk of what students need, though I supplement the Contemporary portion A LOT because there is very little that students like in there (I love Jon George though, so it works out as I have a lot of pieces to give them!). On every other front, this series has almost EVERYTHING one would need to gain a good amount of technique and repertoire at many levels. However, there's absolutely no guidance within the series itself.



The one I love, and suggest to self-learners, is:
2) First Impressions
http://www.intermediatepiano.com/intermediatepianopedagogy/Mlous_books.html
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=first+impressions

You can see my description of it above, but essentially it's composed of three books:

a) Main Repertoire book, which includes study guides for the song.
b) Theory book
c) Supplemental Music Repertoire books (Discovering Piano Literature, where each level of this matches to two levels of First Impressions).

This series can be used pretty much after page 100/115 of the Alfred AIO. It was designed to be used by Alfred's Basic (the children's series) level 2. It also moves at nice and steady pace compared to other books, which is a good thing for self-learners.




Another one that I see, but don't like as much as the First Impressions one, is: Keys to Stylistic Mastery:
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=keys+to+stylistic+mastery

It has more songs than First Impressions per level, but only three levels, so I always feel as if it's not enough for a student. There are study guides that go along with each song, though, if I'm not mistaken.
_________________________
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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#1604644 - 01/24/11 01:59 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Jon George, by the way, is a modern composer who recently passed away. He wrote many contemporary pedagogical pieces that are beautiful and fun.

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=jon+george

Particular ones I use are:
1) A Day In The Jungle
2) the Musical Moments series
3) I've also used various 'Artistry at the Piano' books with students, but don't recommend these for self-learners

--

Another modern composer I want to suggest is a forum member by the name of Elissa Milne:

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=elissa+milne

She has some beautiful and VERY FUN pieces, particularly the 'Peppers' books.





Both of these, among many others, would do great to supplement the 'Contemporary' portion of the Keith Snell series.


Edited by ll (01/24/11 02:03 PM)
_________________________
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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#1604666 - 01/24/11 02:27 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
MartinJB Offline
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Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern California
@II

I'll keep at the Alfred's AIO, they have a thread on this series I can get help from.

I'm going to add the Keith Snell's Piano Repertore for a main with my Masterwork Classics.

Not feeling the Rollins pieces at least in level one for now. I'll spend just enough time to get the lesson and apply it to the mains.

Thanks for the tips.
Martin
_________________________
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Leo Tolstoy

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#1604682 - 01/24/11 02:43 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
rozina Offline
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Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 122
Loc: Slovenia
II you have been very helpful! Thank you for that! I have a feeling your students have a great teacher wink

I will put some more taught into which series I should get based on availability and budget and then get one. Thank you for the free theory resource as well! And good luck with writing your own! smile

By the way, thanks for the rough idea on how to take on scales and arpegios. I think I will enjoy them more now smile
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#1604686 - 01/24/11 02:47 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Posts: 1101
@Rozina: glad to have been helpful. Let me know what you end up deciding, I'd be interested in knowing!

@MartinJB:

The Rollins I was referring to was her 'Masterworks' book, as that is standard teaching literature. Alfed's, again, won't hurt you to continue.

As far as repertoire series goes, it's probably not worth it to have more than one. The pieces are not ones you'll get too attached to, and there will be A LOT of overlap. Choose one and stick with it, I think.

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.

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#1604696 - 01/24/11 03:02 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
MartinJB Offline
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Posts: 66
Loc: Southern California
II,

I see now. I'll try the way you suggested.

Also are the keith scale series worth getting?
_________________________
"Music is the shorthand of emotion."
Leo Tolstoy

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#1604698 - 01/24/11 03:05 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Posts: 1101
Depends. If you already have all the Masterworks, then no.

But, if you don't and you want more pieces at each level to choose from, they're really good.

There's a few note mistakes in each level, not to mention some pieces are the 'harder' ones at each level in comparison, but it's a good one.

Masterworks is great too.

Again, for a self-learner, First Impressions (or the less-used Keys to Stylistic Mastery) are probably more useful because of their study guides, but not absolutely necessary.

In the end, as long as you choose one and stick with it, you really can't go wrong.

Edited to add:
I forgot to say, for those who like to have the scales written out in a graded fashion, the Keith Snell also has a 'Scale Skills' book at each level which is really a useful tool too.


Edited by ll (01/24/11 03:06 PM)
_________________________
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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#1604702 - 01/24/11 03:19 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
Gyro Offline
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Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I am of the view that after any book 1 in any piano instructional series, the player can then move on to anything he wants. That is, skip book 2, 3, etc. and go right to what you want to play, and learn the rest of what you need on the job, so to speak.

The reason for this is that any book 1 seems to be designed with the above in mind. That is, some players will simply refuse to continue on into the next book and work on pieces that are seemingly not that much more difficult than the ones in book 1. So the first book in any instructional series is deliberately designed to give you all the basics of playing, so that impatient players can go from there into anything they want. (Furthermore, there is a certain hazard in continuing on in book 2 when you can't stand more of what you got in book 1, because this can turn you off to piano forever--you then might start to associate piano with tedium and drudgery, and when that happens, the chances are high that you'll eventually quit playing.)

So go ahead and play anything you want from now on and learn as you go.


Edited by Gyro (01/24/11 03:20 PM)

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#1605034 - 01/25/11 01:21 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
cunparis Offline
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Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
This thread has been a goldmine of information and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. II - I particularly want to thank you for all your detailed explanations which I have found extremely helpful. Your students are lucky to have found you.

I did a lot of research reading about the various repertoire series and thinking about my own development. I think my problem was that being able to play saxophone, I was not satisfied with the basic pieces in the Alfred's book & the Alfred's Greatest Hits Level 1 book. Which BTW, I'm surprised no one mentioned the Alfred's Greatest Hits. I also have the level 2 and some of the songs are really nice. I guess people here are more oriented to classical?

I realize that my problem was not being satisfied with the pieces, however I realize that each one is used to reinforce a technique learned in the method book and that I shouldn't expect too much out of them. As someone said, some pieces are just "throw away" pieces.

So first step for me is to work through all the pieces in Greatest Hits level 1 and learn from them before moving on.

Since I already purchased Alfred's Level 2, I'll use that as my method book and I'll supplement it with the Greatest Hits Level 2 and a piano repertoire series. I think a repertoire series will keep me motivated and stimulated. It will be my reward for doing a lesson from the method book.

I'm leaning towards Keith Snell's series based on the recommendations of II however it's not available here in France so I would have to order it from the US.

I haven't heard anyone talk about "Succeeding With the Masters" which is another repertoire series I read about in these forums. I'm curious what others think about that series.

The challenge for me is to find a good series here in France so that I can avoid shipping & duty costs ordering from the US. Masterworks Classics is available here in France and so far it's the only one I've seen mentioned in this thread that I can find here. So now I just have to find what is available and make my decision. If Masterworks Classics is almost as good as Keith Snell's then I may just stick with that.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread and these forums. You make it possible for self-learners. I know a teacher is best but it's not always an option for everyone and we self-learners really appreciate all the feedback from the teachers. You all are very generous with your time and your passion for the piano really shows.

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#1605042 - 01/25/11 01:45 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
cunparis,

Bonsoir mon ami(e)!

The thing with the piano is: the more you read and play, the better you'll become. Finishing the Alfred book and the Greatest Hits will be good for your reading and your playing. I personally wouldn't polish the pieces in there unless you particularly like them. By the way, the Greatest Hits Book 1 is better used with Alfred Book 2, in my opinion.

The Masterworks is a great series. You won't go wrong with it if it's all you can find. I just prefer the Keith Snell because there are more pieces at every level, which makes it easier to find pieces for kids (they're WAAAAY more picky than adults!).

I personally don't like 'Succeeding with the Masters' too much. I don't like the setup, and the pieces are available elsewhere. I dunno. However, some people like them.

On the other hand, "The Festival Collection" is WONDERFUL if you can get your hands on it. Those books are much better designed in my opinion, however, I don't think there's enough pieces at every level. The Masterworks would probably be better.

Bests,
II
_________________________
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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#1605094 - 01/25/11 05:20 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
cunparis Offline
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Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Bonjour II, vous parlez français?

The keith snell books are less expensive than the masterworks, I guess because the CD is separate. Do you think the CD is necessary? I think I could find the songs on you tube or elsewhere on the internet to have a listen.

So Keith Snell has études, baroque/classical, & modern. Would you recommend getting the first few levels of all three? Or just picking one style (say classical) and going through the levels? To compensate for shipping I'd like to order several at the same time and order them in advance (takes several weeks to get them here from SMP).

Merci beaucoup!





Edited by cunparis (01/25/11 05:20 AM)

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#1605283 - 01/25/11 12:37 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Un peu, mais pas tres bien smile

I know the Masterworks will seem more expensive, but I think that if you are going to buy the required books for the Keith Snell series, it may balance out.



For Masterworks, you need just one book, but can get two per level: the Repertoire books, and the Technique books:
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=masterwork+classics
http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=masterwork+technical+skills
There are 9 books in total (Level 1-2 = book 1, then Levels 3-10 are separate books).
Level 1-2 has 27 songs. Until level 10, there is about 18-28 songs per book.




Keith Snell, on the other hand, requires at least two books:
-Baroque and Classical
-Romantic and Contemporary
and can benefit from the third:
-Etudes

To see an easy listing of what's in every level, please refer to this chart:
http://kjos.vo.llnwd.net/o28/pdf/brochures/snell_reper_index.pdf

This series moves a bit quicker and goes further than the Masterworks collection, and has more pieces to offer if you get all three books. Again, that's why I prefer it.

I personally don't ask any students of mine to buy the CDs. And the Masterworks will have enough pieces at every level so long as you at least 1) read through them all a bit, gain some technique from each song, not performance ready but playable, and 2) polish handful of pieces at every level, maybe 3-4.

Hope that helped in deciding!
_________________________
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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#1605310 - 01/25/11 01:07 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
cunparis Offline
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Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Thanks for clarifying. I looked at the contents and now I understand it better. The Masterworks Technical Skills is the "études" (if comparing to Keith Snell's. So 2 Masterworks books or 3 Snell's. The Masterworks includes a CD, but Snells has more pieces in each book.

I'm going to have confidence and order the Snell books from Sheet Music Plus. I'll order a few levels so I can save on shipping.

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all this. I never even knew these graded repertoire books exited (apart from Alfred's Greatest Hits) until I started reading about it when I created this thread. I've learned a lot about how to study the piano and I'm really excited.

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#1605337 - 01/25/11 01:26 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
JimF Offline
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Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1828
Loc: south florida
Those that have finished or almost finished Alfred 1 and are looking for something other than Alfred 2 might consider book 1 and/or book 2 of "The Festival Collection" edited by Helen Marlais. Here's the link at SMP festival collection books 1-4
I think you get a lot of bang for the buck with these. Each book has selections from all four eras (baroque, classical, romantic, 20th cent.) and the number of pieces is better than average. Each comes with a well played CD. I've been using these for either sightreading practice or as 1 week "throwaways" and have found them to be fun, varied and far more musical than anything in Alfred ever showed me. None of the pieces are dumbed down - all are in original form but with dynamics and fingering suggestions. Here's what you get for less than $7 in book one:

Old German Dance Composed by Michael Praetorius

Allemande Composed by Johann Hermann Schein

Canary Composed by Hove, Joachim van den

Petit Minuet Composed by Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy

Intrada Composed by Paul Peuerl

Petit Rondo Composed by Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy

Minuet Composed by Turk, Daniel-Gottlob

A Carefree Fellow Composed by Turk, Daniel-Gottlob

Sonatina Composed by Turk, Daniel-Gottlob

Song Composed by Anton Diabelli

Allegro Composed by Alexander Reinagle

Agitato (T349/1) Composed by Bach, Johann Christian / Ricci, Francesco Pasquale

A Song (Op. 36, No. 3) Composed by Alexander Gedike

The Young Dancer (Op. 117, No. 7) Composed by Cornelius Gurlitt

Kitten Play (Op. 117, No. 9) Composed by Cornelius Gurlitt

Valsette Composed by Vogel, Moritz

Spring Waltz Composed by Fritz Spindler

Trumpets Composed by Kutnowski, Martin

Snowflakes Gently Falling Composed by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee

The Sparrows Composed by Rubbach, A.
Hungarian Song Composed by Bela Bartok

Arabia Composed by Alexandre Tansman

Air for Southpaw Composed by Frackenpohl, Arthur R.

The Shepherd Plays Composed by Salutrinskaya, Tat'iana


Edited by JimF (01/25/11 01:27 PM)
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#1605343 - 01/25/11 01:33 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: JimF]
JimF Offline
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Since I suggested it, here's the 36 selections in book 2. These are more challenging than book 1, so I'd suggest the latter as a first step.

King William's March Composed by Jeremiah Clarke

Rigaudon Composed by Georg Philipp Telemann

Burleske (from Leopold Mozart's Notebook) Composed by Unknown

Gavotte Composed by Speer, Daniel

Minuet in F Major Composed by Johann Kuhnau

Menuet en Rondeau Composed by Jean-Philippe Rameau

Sarabande Composed by Arcangelo Corelli

The Village Prophet Composed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Sonatina in C Major Composed by Andre, Johann Anton

Allegro Composed by Alexander Reinagle

Sonatina in G Composed by Thomas Attwood

Lesson I Composed by James Hook

Bagatelle Composed by Anton Diabelli

Swabian Tune Composed by Bach, Johann Christian Friedrich

Scotch Dance No. 1 Composed by Friedrich Kuhlau

Little Dance Composed by Turk, Daniel-Gottlob

Russian Folksong, Op. 107, No. 3 Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven

The Hunting Horns And The Echo Composed by Turk, Daniel-Gottlob

A Hymn Composed by Schytte, Ludwig

Petite Prelude Composed by Schytte, Ludwig
The Hunt, Op. 117, No. 15 Composed by Cornelius Gurlitt

Etude Composed by Ferdinand Beyer

Mazurka, Op. 36, No. 23 Composed by Alexander Gedike

Song without Words Composed by Fritz Spindler

Theme and Variation, Op. 300 Composed by Louis Kohler

Hunting Horns Composed by Oesten, Theodore

Night Journey Composed by Cornelius Gurlitt

Timid Little Heart, Op. 47, No. 5 Composed by Robert Fuchs

To the Garden Composed by Alexandre Tansman

Rippling Waters Composed by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee

Mister Czerny in New Orleans Composed by Manfred Schmitz

Waltz Time Composed by Manfred Schmitz

The Bear Composed by Vladimir Rebikov

Long Gone Blues Composed by George Frederick McKay

Two's Company Composed by Alec Rowley

Una Capricciosa Nuvola Estiva (A Capricious Summer Cloud) Composed by Ermirio, Federico


Edited by JimF (01/25/11 01:35 PM)
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#1605404 - 01/25/11 03:12 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: JimF]
cunparis Offline
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Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: JimF
Those that have finished or almost finished Alfred 1 and are looking for something other than Alfred 2 might consider book 1 and/or book 2 of "The Festival Collection" edited by Helen Marlais.


Thanks for the recommendation. I compared the song list with the Keith Snell series and surprisingly there was very little overlap. For $7 w/ CD it doesn't sound like a bad idea.

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#1605463 - 01/25/11 04:51 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
Ejay Offline
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Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
I'm in the UK and was getting fed up with Alfred. I do a lot of scale /arpeggio practice and some Czerny too. It is difficult to get hold of Keith Snell here ( and I loathe paying customs charges) , but am enjoying Helen Marlais' Succeeding with the Masters series and intend getting the Festival collection too.
It is easy and musical and satisfyingly different to the Alfred style , without attempting pieces beyond my reach.
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#1605488 - 01/25/11 05:29 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Posts: 1101
As I mentioned before, I agree that The Festival Collection is wonderful. Very diverse and interesting pieces. If you can buy that as well, you'll have PLENTY of repertoire to last you a while.
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#1610121 - 02/01/11 09:09 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
cunparis Offline
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Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
To update the thread for those who may be interested, I ordered Keith Snell prep, 1 & 2 classical, romantic, & etudes. I also got festival collection first few levels as well. Shipping is 10 euros to france. I'll probably have to pay 19.6% VAT tax. I couldn't find Keith Snell in France and the other songbooks I found in france were 2x the US price. I should get them in 3-8 weeks! I'll be busy with Alfred's in the meantime.

Thanks to everyone for the input. The Festival has very little overlap with Keith Snell so I think the two complement each other well. I'm a total newbie on classical music so I'm looking forward to discovering classical while learning to play.

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#1610264 - 02/01/11 01:13 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
mom3gram Offline
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Loc: New Jersey
The Snell prep book has a little overlap with the Masterwork Classics too.

Looks like you have a lot of fun music to look forward to.
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ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1611382 - 02/02/11 06:31 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
steveMac Offline
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Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 154
Loc: El Paso, TX
I did almost exactly the same yesterday but never ordered the level 2 books, i'll get them later. Good luck with these books, they should be fun.
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#1611555 - 02/02/11 10:57 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
Arctic_Mama Offline
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Posts: 379
Loc: Alaska
I'm glad you found a combination of books, let us know how you like each of them!
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#1611560 - 02/02/11 11:04 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Posts: 1101
cunparis,

Glad you got your books!

I'd focus on your Alfred book for now, try to get as far as you can with that. When the repertoire books come in, pull back on the Alfred's and get a good balance going.

Good luck, keep us updated!
_________________________
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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#1627144 - 02/24/11 01:31 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: MartinJB]
hawgdriver Offline
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Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 638
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: MartinJB
You’re correct all pieces will teach you technique. I guess what I was looking for was the actual physical motion to perform it (i.e wrist lifts, arm weights, wrist rolls ect ) to get reactions.

I’ve had a couple of teachers so far and I told them in the first interview that I want to learn this right, show me everything. I’m a beginner, I don’t know better.


ii just directed me here--this is exactly what I want to learn. It reminds me of golf, something I love. There is a correct way to swing the golf club. I don't want to screw up that part of playing the piano.

Can you have a good golf game with a weird swing? Sure. But your odds of success are a lot higher with a good swing.
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#1627158 - 02/24/11 02:20 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
A series I really like is called 'Fingerpower.'

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?q=Schaum+Fingerpower

Sounds exactly like what you're looking for.

But remember, doing these exercises is pointless if you're not also learning pieces.
_________________________
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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#1627272 - 02/24/11 09:33 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: hawgdriver]
MartinJB Offline
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Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 66
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: hawgdriver
Originally Posted By: MartinJB
You’re correct all pieces will teach you technique. I guess what I was looking for was the actual physical motion to perform it (i.e wrist lifts, arm weights, wrist rolls ect ) to get reactions.

I’ve had a couple of teachers so far and I told them in the first interview that I want to learn this right, show me everything. I’m a beginner, I don’t know better.


ii just directed me here--this is exactly what I want to learn. It reminds me of golf, something I love. There is a correct way to swing the golf club. I don't want to screw up that part of playing the piano.

Can you have a good golf game with a weird swing? Sure. But your odds of success are a lot higher with a good swing.


You will defiantly need the right teacher; you just can’t learn this out of a book and feel confident that you have it
right.

@ II

Thank you for the suggestion about the Snell series. I'm using them with the RIGHT teacher now that has corrected my technique.
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#1627434 - 02/24/11 01:41 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
findingnemo2010 Offline
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Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1521
alfreds 1 is like pre k for adults lol
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#1633892 - 03/05/11 01:52 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
cunparis Offline
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Registered: 12/25/09
Posts: 104
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: ll
I'd focus on your Alfred book for now, try to get as far as you can with that. When the repertoire books come in, pull back on the Alfred's and get a good balance going.


I finally got my books.

Now my question is how do I preceed? I'm starting at prep level so I have:

Snell classic & baroque
Snell Romantic
Snell Etudes
Festival Collection

I started with Snell Classical & Baroque. The first piece was Bagpipes and it's also the first piece in Festival Collection. That was way too simple but the 2nd piece in Snell Classical & Baroque "Echo Dance" was not easy for me. I think in the alfred's pieces most of the time the fingers in both hands don't move at the same time, but in this one they are constantly moving and in different directions. The 3rd piece, german march was not too difficult.

So I'm wondering if I should do a few songs from each book at prep level and then do the next few songs? That seems most logical if they're in order of difficulty. If I finish one book and then do another I'd be starting over with easier pieces again.

I'm really struggling to polish some pieces from Alfred's Greatest Hits Level 1. I was hoping to get some of my favorites at a level where I could record it but I'm not there yet. I either make mistakes or I have to slow down to avoid mistakes. I'm practicing with a metronome to try and keep time and that makes it harder. So I'm debating putting these on hold for a while so I can work on the easier pieces in the Snell books. Any advice on that?

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#1633927 - 03/05/11 03:41 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
ll Offline
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Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
Hi Cunparis!

First of all...congrats!

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.

Passing a level does NOT require you to learn all these pieces in each book. A good selection, maybe 4-5 in each book, at this level would be fine. 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. However, in the Prep level, I would recommend learning more than just 4-5, if you aren't too bored by that point!

Now, a throw-away piece is a piece that...well, you throw-away! It is a piece you AREN'T going to bring up to total speed, work on to that 100% point, heck you may not even take it 90% or 80%. Maybe not even 70%! These are just pieces that you will read and learn so that your fingers KIND OF get them and you will gain the reading experience. You may want to do this with almost all the pieces in the level. Don't spend long on them, maybe just a few days at prep level, a week or two later on.

However, you will want to choose some pieces to polish. These are the pieces that count for 'passing' a level. You need a good combination of both throw-away pieces (a lot of these) and polished pieces (a handful).

One idea is to polish all the pieces in the Festival Collection (though I hope you know there will be a lot of overlap later on), and use the Keith Snell pieces as throw-away pieces.

On the other hand, in the Keith Snell books, I would suggest polishing:
(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 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

These are just suggestions.

Another idea is to read through all the pieces, and choose the ones that were the most difficult for you!

Hope that helps! Good luck! Keep us updated, and let me know if you have more questions.
_________________________
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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#1633977 - 03/05/11 07:31 AM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: cunparis]
rozina Offline
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 97
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."
_________________________
gingko

Khachaturian: Andantino, Waltz
Bach: Invention #6
Bartok: Joc cu Bata
Debussy: Jimbo's Lullaby



Switch mindset from "play correctly" to "play musically." (arghhh....!)

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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
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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: 1136
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: 1521
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: 1521
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: 1136
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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