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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: 1491
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.
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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: 1491
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: 1491
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: 1491
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: 1491
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: 1906
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 - Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Schubert Sonata D960 Andante sostenute (9/7/14), Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1



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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: 2278
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
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 Schenk

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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
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/10
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.
_________________________
Bachelor of Music (church music)
Master of Church Music (organ, music education)
Piano Teacher since 1992
Church Musician since 1983

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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
Full Member

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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
@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
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/10
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
Full Member

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
_________________________
YouTube channel

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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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 1101
@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.

Top
#1604632 - 01/24/11 01:37 PM Re: After Alfred's Level 1 - Am I ready for a repertoire book? [Re: ll]
MartinJB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/10
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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