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#1443305 - 05/25/10 11:07 AM what method books are you using?
shy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 66
Loc: NYC
our local music schools seem to have something against teachers who do not follow method books step by step (maybe they feel insecure to hire such teachers)

the only method book i'm familiar with is Thompson's, which I use to improve students' reading skill

I would like to know everyone's suggestion. My target is kids from 5 to 10.
Thank you blush


Edited by shy (05/25/10 11:08 AM)

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#1443308 - 05/25/10 11:10 AM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: shy]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I use Bastien, Alfred, Faber and Noona (not in that order). I also like Piano Celebrations.

I don't have siblings use the same books, it's easy to tell them that some are harder than others if one child passes up another one. I also like to mix-up the technique, lesson and performance books depending on the child's strengths/weaknesses. I don't use theory books because I hand out worksheets each week.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1443352 - 05/25/10 12:17 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12200
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Faber & Faber is a very popular method. I sometimes use Hal Leonard, but I don't like it as much.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1443389 - 05/25/10 01:05 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: shy]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: shy
I would like to know everyone's suggestion. My target is kids from 5 to 10.
Thank you blush


Hi, and welcome to the teachers' forum. Although I have used all the previously mentioned methods, my current favorite is Piano Town, written by Keith Snell and Diane Hidy, and published by Kjos.

Younger and more imaginative students love to follow the adventures of the "piano students" who live in Piano Town (the illustrations). Pedagogically, it is quite sound, but doesn't hold the teacher's hand unnecessarily.

John
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1443458 - 05/25/10 03:05 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Smallpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/10
Posts: 270
Loc: California
I use Piano Adventure and Keith Snell Piano repertoire together. https://www.burtnco.com/snell.a5w
_________________________
English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks

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#1443486 - 05/25/10 03:46 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Smallpiano]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I use Piano Adventures. But I recently moved one of a set of twins into Alfred's new Premier Piano (level 1) and am liking it a lot so far.

I supplement with all sorts of things, depending upon the need of the particular student.
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1443516 - 05/25/10 04:29 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Lollipop]
shy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 66
Loc: NYC
Seems like Faber's Piano Adventures is really popular! I'll check on Piano Town and Alfred as well.

Thank everyone for great the input!

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#1443552 - 05/25/10 05:38 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: shy]
LawtonPianoTeacher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Lawton, Oklahoma
I've been lurking for a long time, so I think it's time I post something!

My favorite by far is Alfred's Premier Piano Course. Alfred has solved the biggest problem with its original series--it doesn't teach positions, so it forces students to read the notes and look at the fingering for each song. I also use Piano Adventures and Piano Town. I plan to start my next student with the new Helen Marlais series titled Succeeding at the Piano just to test it out. It looks rather promising.
_________________________
B.M., M.A., M.M., NCTM
www.LawtonPianoteacher.com
Yamaha C5 & Kawai KG-2A
Bach-Busoni: Chaconne
Beethoven: Sonata, Op. 111
Chopin: Preludes, Op. 28

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#1443571 - 05/25/10 06:12 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: LawtonPianoTeacher]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA


Nice to have you on board. Welcome to the forum.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1443608 - 05/25/10 06:59 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I'm using primarily Piano Adventures, followed by a few siblings in Alfred Premier. I'm trying out the Marlias series this summer. She's speaking at our MTNA state convention next weekend.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1443648 - 05/25/10 08:15 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Stanny]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I love Music Tree. So solid pedagogically and the students and I can be so creative with the pieces. I certainly get good readers with strong technique.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1443652 - 05/25/10 08:28 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Minniemay]
Sparkler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 177
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
I love Music Tree. So solid pedagogically and the students and I can be so creative with the pieces. I certainly get good readers with strong technique.


I love Music Tree too, but, I have not used it past the 2nd level. The primer level seems a little slow, but when the kids catch on they do get excellent reading skills! I do sometimes skip over some of the assignments/pieces depending on the student.

I also love that there are only 2 books in each level - lesson book and theory (Piano Adventures gives me an aneurysm because I feel like I'm flipping back and forth between 5 books).

My 2nd choice is Piano Adventures. I like both Music Tree and Piano Adventures because they encourage students to think beyond C hand position fairly quickly.
_________________________
Pianist
Accompanist
Piano Teacher
and best of all...
Mom!

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#1443710 - 05/25/10 10:28 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Sparkler]
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
I use a mishmash of everything, but my favorite method is Music Tree. The concepts are rock solid, but of course you too must have an excellent understanding of what Music Tree is trying to accomplish. I leave Music Tree once we get past green book because the rudiments should be established by then, and I'm itching to get to repertoire. Time To Begin (the primer) is the best primer book I have ever seen, however. Both the lesson and activity books are spot-on. Side By Side, the supplementary book, is also fantastic.

Anyway, back to the question at hand; I've used Music Tree, Faber and Faber (less and less now that I can pick what I want), Piano Town, Noona, Russian Piano School, Alfred Premier, and Mikrokosmos. Does Mikrokosmos count as a method?
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina

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#1443736 - 05/25/10 11:29 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Minaku]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
As far as pacing in Music Tree, I tend to use the Discovery section at the lesson and the Using What You've Discovered section for the home assignment. I, too, like having just the 2 books. It's more fun for the student to have something else for supplementary work.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1443763 - 05/26/10 12:07 AM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Stanny]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
I work more like Ebony and Ivory with many different method books and not the same books to the same siblings except maybe one or two. I try to also find the students strengths and weaknesses and taylor pick the books that will motivate each student to their maximum. I am not a real keen fan of Noona but have also used Steiner, Schuam, Faber, Snell, Bastien, Alfred,Fletcher, Glover also not in those orders. Certain artists books like Celebrate America Bk 1 and 2 or Spanish Songs Books 1, 2, and 3. Piano Solos we like to play, Book 1 & 2. Cream of the Crop Book 1 & 2. Are just a few. I do use theory books, but many different kinds of those as well. It helps there to be no gaps in the students knowledge and lends to more interest to have different books to choose from visually as well as factually.

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#1443882 - 05/26/10 08:46 AM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Roxy]
shy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 66
Loc: NYC
Millions of thanx for these wonderful feedbacks. It's amazing that everyone is willing to share these thoughts and experience. laugh
I'm probably gonna order Piano Tree and Piano Adventure first, and take a trip to the music store to see what they have there when I have the time.

And thank you John, for the warm welcome. smile

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#1444252 - 05/26/10 06:54 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: LawtonPianoTeacher]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: LawtonPianoTeacher
I've been lurking for a long time, so I think it's time I post something!

My favorite by far is Alfred's Premier Piano Course. Alfred has solved the biggest problem with its original series--it doesn't teach positions, so it forces students to read the notes and look at the fingering for each song. I also use Piano Adventures and Piano Town. I plan to start my next student with the new Helen Marlais series titled Succeeding at the Piano just to test it out. It looks rather promising.


Has anyone started using the Helen Marlais Succeeding at the Piano method? I'm still waiting for my free shipment in the introductory offer. Was told today when I phoned the publisher that they are "back-logged" and will try to have the rest of their freebies shipped out by the end of next week.
I'm curious, has anyone used this method yet?

(my favorite is Piano Adventures series, combined with Pop if they request it, Masterworks Classics, and Celebration series.
Not the same for all students of course).
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1444274 - 05/26/10 07:40 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Barb860]
CarolR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 350
Loc: wisconsin
I haven't had a beginner in 2 years! I have used N. Jane Tan, since I took her class for two years, as a foundation and then do lots and lots of branching off, to Snell theory and scales, repertoire all over the place, Christopher Norton, Celebration Series. But I'm starting a new student in the fall, and his mom (a pianist) has him started in Alfred. I'm kind of curious just to see what it's like. I think in general, I do a lot of more of just teaching through the repertoire, instead of following a book.
I looked at Piano Town today at our music store - remembering that John V. liked it. I didn't have much time, but it seemed the lesson book focused more on introducing notes and intervals than rhythms. Where does that come in?
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin: Barcarolle
Schubert: Sonata D959
Rachmaninoff: Daisies
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for 2 pianos


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#1444379 - 05/26/10 10:32 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: CarolR]
Selah411 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 27
I absolutely adore Piano Adventures - but I only go up to book 2B. After that I transition them to Celebration series. Love how they set up that curriculum - I also have my students take NMCP exams which this particular curriculum prepares you for. Very high integrity...
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Currently working on:
Chopin Etude Op 10 #12
Beethoven Sonata Op 53

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#1445231 - 05/28/10 03:26 AM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Selah411]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5587
Loc: Orange County, CA
My beginner students are currently using different sets of books. A girl is using Hal Leonard; two boys and a girl are using Piano Adventures; and a pair of brothers are using hand-me-down copies of Bastien (horrible!!). I am experimenting as I go along, trying different activities and supplementary materials with each student.

I stopped using John Thompson years ago. It advances too quickly for most kids and the music is not very "modern" sounding.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1445632 - 05/28/10 07:19 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Selah411]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1214
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Selah411
I absolutely adore Piano Adventures - but I only go up to book 2B. After that I transition them to Celebration series. Love how they set up that curriculum - I also have my students take NMCP exams which this particular curriculum prepares you for. Very high integrity...


Selah, is that the name of the Method "Celebration Series"? Who is the publisher? Thx.

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#1445636 - 05/28/10 07:24 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: AZNpiano]
BLUEPIANIST Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/08
Posts: 44
Loc: NH, NEAR OCEAN
I love the music tree for children under the age of 8. Some of my other beginners are using piano adventures. One is using Bastien.
I agree ugh>>>> but good for a very slow learner that need a lot of reinforcement. I have 2 students in the fourth book of the alfred series. Next year I plan to introduce the the celebrate series. I doubt any of this helps....::)
_________________________
Jeannette Lambert
MA-NCMTNA-Adjudicator for the National Piano Guild
www.jlambertpiano.com
Atkinson, NH. USA

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#1445693 - 05/28/10 09:25 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: BLUEPIANIST]
ToriAnais Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Australia
I loveeee Piano Adventures. Can't stand Bastien. I'm very curious about Piano Town but haven't ever seen it in Australia. I'm thinking I might order myself a copy from the states so I can check it out.
_________________________
Piano teacher since August 2008.

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#1445726 - 05/28/10 10:23 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: ToriAnais]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
There are two series that are quite different from each other.

One is Celebrate Piano, a piano course that takes the student from the very beginning to early intermediate level.

The other is Celebration Series: Perspectives. This is a graded piano literature series, not a "method" as such. It has 11 levels, Preparatory through Level 10. Each level (except the Preparatory Level) has a repertoire book, an etude book, and a student workbook. There are also CDs available for each level and there is a fabulous Teacher's Handbook. The series is associated with the Canadian version of RCM.

They are both published by Frederick Harris.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1445930 - 05/29/10 10:09 AM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Minniemay]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I haven't ever used the Celebration Series but would be interested in looking at it. It doesn't seem to be available at my local music store, so I am looking at online options. When you transition from PA to Celebration, how do the levels match up? Do you move from PA 2B to Primer Celebration? Or to level 1? Or do the grades match up pretty well?
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1445939 - 05/29/10 10:21 AM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Lollipop]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I have a student working in PA2B transitioning to Celebration Series Preparatory Level. There is no primer as it is not a method series. If you haven't used it before, I would strongly recommend you purchase the teacher's handbook (make sure you get the one for the current series: Perspectives). It's a bit pricey, but it's worth every penny and you will learn tons from it.
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#1446134 - 05/29/10 03:25 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: Barb860]
sarah_elizabeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 466
Loc: Texas, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Barb860

Has anyone started using the Helen Marlais Succeeding at the Piano method? I'm still waiting for my free shipment in the introductory offer. Was told today when I phoned the publisher that they are "back-logged" and will try to have the rest of their freebies shipped out by the end of next week.
I'm curious, has anyone used this method yet?

(my favorite is Piano Adventures series, combined with Pop if they request it, Masterworks Classics, and Celebration series.
Not the same for all students of course).


I've used it for about a month with two students. It was an especially great fit for one of the boys, I think, and so far I'm quite pleased. I especially appreciate the fact that they get out of C position in a hurry. The technique sections do a great job of explaining beginning piano technique in an easy-to-grasp way, too.

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#1446950 - 05/30/10 10:07 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: sarah_elizabeth]
Yvonne Nadine Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Akron, OH
I like to use Piano Adventures. I like the speed they move at and the emphasis on interval reading. I also like that they don't stick in "Middle C" position and move around some. One of the negatives I've found with the method is that it takes until level 2A to introduce eighth notes. I always wind up introducing eighth notes a lot sooner. I also tend to use a lot of material from other methods as supplement, mainly Alfred's. Another negative (to me) is that the theory books aren't long enough so I end up supplementing with worksheets and such. I've also used the Accelerated Piano Adventures and find that this works well for exceptional students and older students as the books progress faster.
_________________________
Yvonne
B.M. - Music Education, Piano
M.M. - Piano

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#1660612 - 04/15/11 11:37 AM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: shy]
scotpgot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 129
I've been taking a good long look at the Celebration Series. Are there any more people that have used it in the last 10 mos. or so? It definitely seems like something to start AFTER 2B/3 or so of, for example, Piano Adventures (which I love).

Took a look through the Teacher's Handbook, though, and don't quite like the hand-holding. Of course, I don't HAVE to use it.

Looking for opinions...

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#1660644 - 04/15/11 12:25 PM Re: what method books are you using? [Re: CarolR]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: CarolR
I looked at Piano Town today at our music store - remembering that John V. liked it. I didn't have much time, but it seemed the lesson book focused more on introducing notes and intervals than rhythms. Where does that come in?

Carol, sorry, I missed your question. Rhythms are introduced gradually as you progress through the series. By Level 2, students are routinely playing dotted rhythms. The biggest problem with methods like Jane's is that it requires huge amounts of parental involvement in the earliest stages, something which many parents simply cannot give. I have found that Piano Town motivates the students through the adventures of the kids living in Piano Town, and is structured so that the parents don't need to hover. Of course, progress is much slower when younger students are providing the primary motivation without mom & dad.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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