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#2181222 - 11/12/13 06:30 PM What is best method to start piano (for an adult)
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 170
Hello,

I am 35 years old musician. I've been playing in bands since I was 14. I play drums and keyboards in my band. I took piano very briefly when I was younger but am not classically trained by any stretch. I'd like to start piano again and learn properly. Of all the various methods out there, which would you suggest I start with?

My goal is not to be a maestro or anything. I simply would like to get better so as to have another tool to improve my songwriting skills, and to be more fluid at the piano.

Suggestions welcomed, thanks!!

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#2181232 - 11/12/13 06:51 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 602
Loc: Louisiana
Did you rely on sight reading those 35 years?
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2181293 - 11/12/13 09:38 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1515
Loc: Australia
The Alfred All In One series is worth a look, there are three levels/books and this forum has a thread for each of them. Ideal if you're not going to use a teacher but I suggest a teacher is a great benefit.

I also like, but do not use, Piano Marvel. An online interactive course there is a 30 day free trial before committing to an inexpensive monthly subscription.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2181312 - 11/12/13 10:29 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1830
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: johnbarnesiii
I'd like to start piano again and learn properly.


Using the word "properly" leaves only one choice ... get a teacher.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2181313 - 11/12/13 10:30 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: dmd]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: johnbarnesiii
I'd like to start piano again and learn properly.


Using the word "properly" leaves only one choice ... get a teacher.


And as soon as possible, I might add.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2181315 - 11/12/13 10:35 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: Polyphonist]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11753
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: dmd
Originally Posted By: johnbarnesiii
I'd like to start piano again and learn properly.


Using the word "properly" leaves only one choice ... get a teacher.


And as soon as possible, I might add.
It certainly can be done, but presumably you recognize that you've learned some bad habits over the years that are preventing you from progressing further. They are inevitable for everyone, and that is why having a teacher is necessary, because you need to be told what to undo that your'e doing wrong, and re-learn a better way to do it. It's not about notes and rhythms and things like that - although that's part of it - it's how you are playing that either helps or hinders your expressiveness.

As I always say: What makes you think you know enough about piano that you can teach yourself? And if you could, why haven't you already? Sure there's information on websites and books and youtube videos, but none of them can respond to what you're doing.
_________________________
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MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2181622 - 11/13/13 01:36 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 170
Thanks guys for the suggestions!

I forgot to mention that yes I will be studying with a teacher for sure. But of course different teachers teach different methods so I'm merely trying to figure out which method to go with.

So Alfred is good? How does it compare to John Thompson?

Thanks again.

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#2181634 - 11/13/13 01:58 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
I been working through Faber Adult Piano Adventures book 1 and have been having fun with that. I pretty much worked through Alfred All-in-one Books 1 and 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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#2181635 - 11/13/13 02:00 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11753
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: johnbarnesiii
Thanks guys for the suggestions!

I forgot to mention that yes I will be studying with a teacher for sure. But of course different teachers teach different methods so I'm merely trying to figure out which method to go with.

So Alfred is good? How does it compare to John Thompson?

Thanks again.
John Thompson is very old and outdated. Alfred is better, but there are other good adult methods like Hal Leonard, and Faber. Better to pick a good teacher and just go with their recommendation.
_________________________
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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#2181640 - 11/13/13 02:08 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: Morodiene]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 170
Thanks, yea I guess if the teacher is great and can get you there then the method is secondary. I will look into the Alfred books, actually I think I may have the first one from years ago still.

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#2185109 - 11/19/13 12:54 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 170
Update: I have started with a great piano teacher. He actually teaches the John Thompson method. I'm around 15 pages in, learning to sight read and finding it very fun. I'm practicing steadily 15-30 minutes per day everyday. I'll most likely practice more as I get further in.

Short term goal is in 6 months to a year from now have established a solid foundation on the piano using the JT books as well as my teachers great instruction.

Cheers for the comments, much appreciated!


Edited by johnbarnesiii (11/19/13 12:55 PM)

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#2185239 - 11/19/13 04:08 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1515
Loc: Australia
that's great news, finding a good teacher is simply the best
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2185263 - 11/19/13 04:40 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
alans Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 72
I agree about finding the right teacher, but I have also experienced that you can
really progress if you also find the right piano method book. Switching from the
adult series to the regular children series has made a world of difference for my
learning. The development requirements are so incremental in the kids' books that
I hardly feel I am forced to stretch in my knowledge from one page to another, and
yet I am progressing continuously.

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#2185582 - 11/20/13 09:50 AM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: alans]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 541
Loc: Spanish living in UK
Just wondering if children's books feel a bit patronizing for adults? Are those Alfred's books for kids interesting enough for you?

I wouldn't mind a slow pace that actually makes it easier to progress rather than big jumps where I'm totally lost in between the lesson, the exercise and the practice.
_________________________
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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#2185746 - 11/20/13 01:55 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
A lot of teachers these days seem to be recommending the Alfred's Premier series over their Basic course -- they say the music is much better. But there are also many non-Alfred non-adult method series.
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#2185750 - 11/20/13 02:07 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 170
I actually have the first Alfred book from when I took piano a few years ago. However, my teacher at the time was not as 'by the book' as the one I have now. We seemed to start learning random songs right away, without first getting 'solid' with note reading.

I find the more methodical approach way better. Starting from book 1 (doing JT books now) and first getting the notes down solid. I guess there's a reason the books progress in the exact way they do.

Maybe I'll revisit Alfred's course down the line to compare with JT books, but for now I'm going to stick with my teacher's curriculum.

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#2185751 - 11/20/13 02:09 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: tangleweeds]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 713
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
A lot of teachers these days seem to be recommending the Alfred's Premier series over their Basic course -- they say the music is much better. But there are also many non-Alfred non-adult method series.


When I returned to piano in Jan 2011, I used the Alfred's Premier levels 4-6 to get back up to speed. They were excellent, and the pieces were actually quite enjoyable. I still play some of them for fun. I didn't find the fact that they were "children's" method books a problem at all. I think the music is better than the standard Alfred's or the Adult Alfred's. Just my opinion.
_________________________


Working on:
Handel - Allemande in A Minor
Bach - Inv. #14
Beethoven - Sonata #79 2nd mvmt
Kuhlau op. 88 - 3

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#2186442 - 11/21/13 04:14 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
joms Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 10
@john - just wondering, when your teacher teaches you the JT book, does he use do re mi or C D E in teaching? Thanks

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#2186500 - 11/21/13 06:20 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: joms]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 170
Hi Joms, if I understand your question right, he uses C D E. Right now I'm just learning & getting used to which notes are which. I start by clapping the notes without playing, then play the piece while reciting the notes, then finally play the piece while counting the rhythm. That way you're getting used to both reciting, playing & rhythm of all pieces.

I'm almost through the intro section which is about note familiarity in both clefs. The next section introduces playing with both hands at the same time.

I'm not too familiar with the do re mi approach. What I've been exposed to so far in piano instruction has all been C D E I think.

Hope that answers you smile Thanks!

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#2186947 - 11/22/13 04:09 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
joms Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/11/13
Posts: 10
Thanks. What is counting the rhythm ? Is it reciting if it is a quarter / half / etc note?


Edited by joms (11/22/13 04:09 PM)

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#2186950 - 11/22/13 04:12 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
255 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 93
Originally Posted By: johnbarnesiii
Update: I have started with a great piano teacher. He actually teaches the John Thompson method. I'm around 15 pages in, learning to sight read and finding it very fun.

Great! I've also used it till part 4, I've liked it very much. smile

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#2187528 - 11/23/13 08:34 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Jasper82 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 118
Loc: Ann Arbor MI
Good luck on your progress Johnbarnesiii, I'm using alfreds and it's fun to learn correctly after a long time of making up my own stuff on keyboard. Something nice about the correct finger positions to elegantly and easily play things that would be hard if you didn't have them.
_________________________
Yamaha CP20
Yamaha EL25
Baldwin Hamilton Studio Upright 1963
http://jdsy.bandcamp.com/album/solo-piano-improv

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#2188064 - 11/25/13 12:32 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: joms]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 735
Loc: Canada
Hi Joms, Counting rhythm is counting a regular beat as you play. If you're playing a line that's 1/4 notes in 4-4, you can count 1, 2, 3, 4. If there are a lot of 8th notes, you might want to count 1-and, 2-and, 3-and, 4-and (1-and for a quarter note or 2 eighth notes.)
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)



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#2188070 - 11/25/13 12:47 PM Re: What is best method to start piano (for an adult) [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
My teacher got me started with Beyer 101 and then Czerny, Katchaturian...

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