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#2295775 - 06/27/14 12:31 PM Faber Graduates
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
In the spirit of the "Alfred Graduates" thread, I was wondering if anyone out there has graduated either Level 1 or level 2 of the Faber Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner.

I studied under the Alfred's series over 20 years ago and passed Level one before I stopped. Starting up again about 10 months ago with my new teacher's preferred lesson books (Faber), I'm now through level 1 and am working on level 2.

And if no one out there has studied these books, well, this will be a short-lived thread shocked
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2295831 - 06/27/14 02:48 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
rpw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 91
I'm currently practicing review piece (Canon) from PA for adults lvl2. Not yet a graduate, but almost there.

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#2295843 - 06/27/14 03:55 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: rpw]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Do you have the spiral-bound all-in-one lesson book, or the individual lesson book? My level 2 lesson book does not have Canon.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2295884 - 06/27/14 05:56 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
rpw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 91
It's the individual book. Last unit introduces 16th notes followed by the three pages of Canon (in C major). I think review piece in level 1 was Greensleeves, but I'm not sure, will check later.

Here is what I'm using - http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/pa/adult.html

EDIT: I just realized it's the all in one book... silly me.


Edited by rpw (06/27/14 08:46 PM)

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#2295920 - 06/27/14 07:39 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: rpw]
PFred Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/19/14
Posts: 13
Loc: NorthEast PA, USA
I just graduated from Faber Accelerated Book One last week, working on book 2 now. I've been at it since January, I thought I'd never get to book 2.
_________________________
Roland HP504

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#2295941 - 06/27/14 08:55 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: PFred]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Congrats! There is some really neat stuff in Level 2. Just curious; For each accelerated level there 4 basic books (Lesson, Performance, Theory and Technique & Artistry). Are you using just the lesson book, or some combination of the four?
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2295942 - 06/27/14 08:56 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: rpw]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: rpw
It's the individual book. Last unit introduces 16th notes followed by the three pages of Canon (in C major). I think review piece in level 1 was Greensleeves, but I'm not sure, will check later.

Here is what I'm using - http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/pa/adult.html

EDIT: I just realized it's the all in one book... silly me.

My brother is using the Adult book as well. The pieces are arranged slightly differently than the "Older Beginner" series that I am studying.

Both are great lesson books, however!
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2295996 - 06/27/14 11:39 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
PFred Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/19/14
Posts: 13
Loc: NorthEast PA, USA
I'm using the Lesson book, Technique & Artistry and Performance, I am not using the Theory book. Perhaps I should buy that on my own to work with. I'll ask my teacher next week about it.
_________________________
Roland HP504

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#2296085 - 06/28/14 08:07 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: PFred]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
I would also highly recommend the Performance book. This book has roughly 20 pieces in it, some easy, and some I find quite hard for my playing ability.

However, not only does my teacher think that passing these pieces helps me overall in my goal to finish Level 2, but there are some real "keepers" that once mastered, might become part of your long-term repertoire collection.

Best of luck!
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2300325 - 07/09/14 04:05 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia

I finished Level 1 All-in-one (it took me about 8 months). And now I am working on Level 2. It is going much slower. I am maybe 1/3rd of the way through after 5 months. I think this is in part because many of the early pieces in Level 2 do not inspire me, and I am working on many pieces outside of the book because I'm getting enough confidence to want to play what I want to play.

One thing I have found frustrating with the Faber books is when I do find a piece that I like in the book, they often have it so truncated that it is not the full song. For example they only have the chorus of Sloop John B, but not the verse. So I feel like I'm only just getting into the song, and it ends frown I also find the theory discussion in book 2 is not as clear as book 1... probably because the theory in book 1 is so easy smile

Still, all-in-all, money well spent on these books. Looking forward to graduating from Level 2 some day.

Don
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2300344 - 07/09/14 04:49 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: Donzo]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Hi Donzo;

I do agree with your comments concerning truncated pieces. In my case, although they have a nice adapted version of "The Entertainer", they are missing the famous introduction measures that really set up the piece.

Maybe at the earlier levels Faber is afraid to present "page turner" pieces in fear of freaking folks out? I know that at Level 3A Piano Adventures and beyond there are plenty of multi-page pieces.

It seems they will come.


_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2300394 - 07/09/14 06:40 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
rpw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 91
Forgot about this thread. So I poorly played Canon and finally graduated from the Faber AIO 2 few days ago. Hooray.

It took me relatively short period of time (around 10 months) to go through the two books, but I didn't practice any of the pieces until perfection. I would say the way I played during lessons often was barely acceptable (in my opinion). I guess the intention of the method books is to get the basics and probably that's why my teacher never had me stay on the same unit for more than a week or two despite my poor performances.

Although it's not necessarily related to the Faber approach, at some point I started wondering if I'm really making progress or just spending more time on more difficult pieces. Since there are no well defined requirements, it's hard to measure progress in terms other than units and pages. Hopefully this will get better with my new route.

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#2300474 - 07/09/14 10:32 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: rpw]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Here is one thing I have done to try to measure progress;

I go back occasionally to older Level 1 pieces, and see how long it takes me to re-acquire them, or well I get by tricky sequences that gave me real problems several months earlier. I find it seems to be a bit easier as time goes by.

Or how about this: I now can play up and down the C, G, and F major scales without thinking much about it. Definitely not the case earlier on.

Finally, my teacher with 40 years of experience tells me I'm improving! smile
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2300533 - 07/10/14 01:12 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
rpw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 91
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Here is one thing I have done to try to measure progress;

I go back occasionally to older Level 1 pieces, and see how long it takes me to re-acquire them, or well I get by tricky sequences that gave me real problems several months earlier. I find it seems to be a bit easier as time goes by.


Sight reading Level 1 feels easier, still far from fluent, but not as difficult as it was at the time. Maybe I'll try to relearn something from the second book later on.

Originally Posted By: BrianDX

Or how about this: I now can play up and down the C, G, and F major scales without thinking much about it. Definitely not the case earlier on.


Well, I learned to play some of the major scales before I started taking lessons, so they were not a huge achievement for me. But you're right, there are things I couldn't do before.

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#2300753 - 07/10/14 02:18 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Hi Donzo;

I do agree with your comments concerning truncated pieces. In my case, although they have a nice adapted version of "The Entertainer", they are missing the famous introduction measures that really set up the piece.



Yes, I enjoyed that version of the Entertainer as it was very exciting to play such a well known piece, but I soon wanted more since what is in Faber 1 is just a fragment. I ended up finding the Lvl 5 Entertainer version on makingmusicfun.net which is quite similar to the Faber version but with the introduction and also includes the second "movement". I played that version for my 1 year recital. Its a crowd pleaser so hoped that would help my audience look past my mistakes smile

Don
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2300763 - 07/10/14 02:42 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: Donzo]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Two things I've already learned after two public performances (musicales smile as my teacher refers to them by):

First, unless you are playing a very well known piece, most of the mistakes you may make they don't even hear. Second, even if they do hear a mistake, as soon as the next correct note is played they tend to forget any past wrong notes.

It turns out that it is WE the performers that are the most hard on the performance. I'm really trying to get past that before the next public performance in December.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2301677 - 07/12/14 10:48 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: Donzo]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Donzo
Yes, I enjoyed that version of the Entertainer as it was very exciting to play such a well known piece, but I soon wanted more since what is in Faber 1 is just a fragment. I ended up finding the Lvl 5 Entertainer version on makingmusicfun.net which is quite similar to the Faber version but with the introduction and also includes the second "movement".

By the way: Thanks for the tip! This website has several interesting "easier" versions of classical pieces that I will work on this summer.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2305255 - 07/22/14 08:51 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Thought I would touch base again. Yesterday I made it to the final section of Level 2 (Key of F). Hopefully sometime next month I'll finish up this level.

I was wondering if anyone out there has experience in Level 3A or beyond? The Faber series goes up to Level 5.

I feel that I am kind of at a crossroads here. My teacher is thinking it may time to go off in a different direction (not sure what that is quite yet). I'm thinking that at least part of the time should be used to continue on with Faber. We'll see how that goes.

It's kind of a shame that there does seem to be a lot of Faber students in this forum. I know that Alfred's is very popular and there is a lot of action in those topics.

Still, it that is the way it goes I'll discontinue posting in a week or so.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2305360 - 07/22/14 12:49 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Yesterday I made it to the final section of Level 2 (Key of F).


Congrats!

Quote:


I feel that I am kind of at a crossroads here. My teacher is thinking it may time to go off in a different direction (not sure what that is quite yet). I'm thinking that at least part of the time should be used to continue on with Faber.



I'm in the middle of Adult book 2 all-in-one and moving very slowly because I am spending most of my time working on pieces outside of the book. But both my teacher and I agree that it is a good idea to keep chipping away at pieces that come in a logical progression.

I guess the question is what direction does your teacher think makes sense? Is it a different program, or a build-your-own-structure thing?

Here's what I think - books are cheap compared to lessons. Even if you end up not using them, getting the next book in the series seems like it is worth the risk.

Quote:

It's kind of a shame that there does seem to be a lot of Faber students in this forum. I know that Alfred's is very popular and there is a lot of action in those topics.

Still, it that is the way it goes I'll discontinue posting in a week or so.


I guess it is true that most people talk about Alfred - but this thread will be around for people to post questions on going forward... don't despair too much smile

Does anyone know why Alfred is more popular than Faber? Is it more in line with RCM or something?

Don
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2305396 - 07/22/14 01:45 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: Donzo]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Just curious Donzo;

What type of pieces are you playing outside of the core lesson book?

As far as Alfred's popularity is concerned, first off it is a very good system of learning, embraced by teachers and self-learners alike.

However, I did not ultimately thrive in the Alfred's lesson books. After we hooked up with our current teacher and asked her why she only teaches from the Faber series, her explanation has mirrored my current experiences with these books after 11 months.

Keep in touch!
Brian
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2305424 - 07/22/14 02:24 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia

I bought several "easy piano" books from Amazon and also search the web for easy arrangements (my teacher always cautions me that there is "a lot of junk" on the web but the stuff I bring in often surprises her that it isn't that bad).

The pieces I've been working on in the last 6 months this way were (to varying degree of polish) (this is by memory, might have missed one)
- Waltzing Matilda
- Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
- The Entertainer
- People Aint No Good
- Hall of the Mountain King
- When somebody loved me (Toy Story 2)

Waltzing Matilda and Hallelujah (simplified) I got off some music blog. The Entertainer I used the Lvl 5 version (still simplified) off MakingMusicFun.net. I also got the version of Hall of the Mountain King from that web site (simplified again). When Somebody Loved me and People Aint No Good I got from music books (my kids are young so I'm trying to learn some disney stuff). I really enjoy the simpler Disney songs but the timing is often quite varying (lots of syncopation) and my teacher is a stickler for doing that right, which often makes me not bring those songs to her anymore wink People Aint No Good was too difficult for me so as a new experiment I'm working on my own simplified arrangement right now.

What I typically have on my plate is 2 pieces from Faber, one piece on my own, and some scale drills. I do practice my own selected piece more than the Faber ones - of the above, aside from People Aint No Good and When Somebody Loved me, I have them memorized and I try to refresh them once or twice a week.

Are you sticking to the book or are you mixing things up as well?

Don
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2305482 - 07/22/14 03:47 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: Donzo]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Up until now I have only been playing pieces from each of the four books that makes up the Older Beginner Advanced series for each level.

I will generally be assigned two pieces from the Lesson book, one from the Performance book, a couple from the Techniques book (mostly scales and drills). I also try to keep up with the Theory book, which has mostly write-in drills, and a nice piece here and there.

I can tell you for sure that once I'm done with Level 2 there will be some outside material integrated in. How much and from where I'm not all that sure yet.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2305675 - 07/22/14 11:16 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
rpw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 91
I had a choice, after finishing AIO level 2, to either continue with the other Faber books (accelerated level 4, I think) or switch to the RCM materials. I decided to go with the RCM. It's dry, methodical and the difficulty on a different level, but I think this is why it appeals to me. Faber is good, but it just feels as a preparation step to something else. Maybe because almost every piece is a simplified arrangement. I don't know.

Alfred is probably just older and more popularized than the Faber series. Some digital pianos have their lessons built in or include books. So it attracts more beginners, especially those who want to learn on their own.

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#2306800 - 07/25/14 02:54 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 70
I'm almost done with Book 1. My daughter's teacher uses it so I thought I'd stick with the same. It really helped me remember a lot that I'm forgotten and I liked the way it teaches note reading.

I am not crazy about how the songs are arranged though. I think I'm going to switch to Fundamental Keys.

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#2307668 - 07/27/14 07:31 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Just to clarify; Are you studying the Adult Piano Adventures all in one book?

Thanks,
Brian.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2307687 - 07/27/14 08:53 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
warlock214 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 105
Loc: Tennessee
I haven't graduated. Both my teachers liked the Adult Piano Adventures Level 1 all in one book.
_________________________

Casio Privia PX-150
Started Playing: November 2012
Completed Unit 6, Faber's Adult Piano Adventures Book 1

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#2307710 - 07/27/14 10:38 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: warlock214]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
No problem, glad to hear from you.

This is for "Graduates" and "studying to become" Graduates. Very interested in where you are in the books and what pieces you are currently working on.

_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2307900 - 07/27/14 06:59 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 70
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Just to clarify; Are you studying the Adult Piano Adventures all in one book?

Thanks,
Brian.


Oh, sorry to be confusing. Our local music store didn't have the Adult PA so I bought a copy of Accelerated PA for Older Beginner. It ends with Polovtsian Dance. I started from there and I could play it but rather badly. I've been learning violin so I remembered how to read the treble clef before I started but I was completely hopeless with the bass clef. I went through the book just to get my reading going again and it's starting to come back but very, very slowly. blush

I really like the method except for all the arranged songs. Do you think I'd enjoy using the Adult PA better?

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#2307955 - 07/27/14 10:52 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
No problem. I am also using the Accelerated PA for Older Beginners as well, which IMHO works better for me personally than the other "all-in-one" books for adults

Even though I did have some lessons over 25 years ago, my teacher decided 11 months ago to start at the beginning of Level One and see how it went. It took about six months to get through the four books (yes you need to get all 4 books smile ) that make up level 1. I then started Level 2 in February (all four books again) and am progressing very nicely so far.

I do understand the concern about the arranged pieces, but the "real" versions of these pieces are far too advanced at this level. There are lots of excellent pieces in Level 2 though, plenty to keep your interest up I think.

Although it is looking ahead a bit, starting in Level 3A Faber begins to introduce original versions of some classical pieces. At level 3B and beyond, plenty more non-arranged classical, jazz, and other types of music styles.

_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2307979 - 07/28/14 12:59 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 70
As I'm without a teacher for now, it's hard for me to decide if I am ready to move to Level 2 or if I should expand into the other Level 1 books. I can play the songs and they sound okay to me but maybe I'm missing something critical without realizing it. I'll look into getting the sight-reading and theory books.

My problem with their arranged pieces is that they seem over-arranged. Their version of Ode To Joy, for example, sounds "wrong" to me and I find myself fixing it as I play along, which is not a big deal. I know I'm a beginner in every sense of the way so I should just focus on learning and let all these little things go.

I did order the original education of Fundamental Keys but maybe I should consider using it along with Faber as DD is going to be on Faber for some time to come. She finished her first book after 5 lessons and I'm impressed by how far along she'd gotten in such a short time using Faber. smile

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#2308046 - 07/28/14 08:03 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Perhaps I need to understand a bit more of your piano history.

Did you start at the beginning Level One as a true beginner, and have worked your way through the lesson book with self-study, or is it something else?

Even though the Faber books are very good for general piano education, there are numerous things i would have learned incorrectly without my teacher's help. She is probably well over 50% of the total learning experience.

I can tell you that for my case, if the basic pieces in the lesson book at the end of Level 1 are taking many hours to get the basic fingering then you may want to buy and review the technique book at the very least before moving on to Level 2.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2308133 - 07/28/14 12:32 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia
Originally Posted By: littlebirdblue
As I'm without a teacher for now, it's hard for me to decide if I am ready to move to Level 2 or if I should expand into the other Level 1 books. I can play the songs and they sound okay to me but maybe I'm missing something critical without realizing it. I'll look into getting the sight-reading and theory books.


What I found was book 1 was quite easy to skip way way ahead and not get into trouble. I had played the guitar before but had no knowledge of reading music and no knowledge of piano and found I could skip ahead to relatively "advanced" songs in book 1 and struggle through. With book 2 I'm about 1/3 of the way through and I'm realizing that if I want to do the next song, it really is a good idea to practice the drills they have first and understand what the subject of the next piece is. I.e. when the concept was "we're going to use 4th intervals this piece" its pretty brain dead & easy. But now I'm in the chord variations part and its a lot harder with out first internalizing some of their theory.

Originally Posted By: littlebirdblue

My problem with their arranged pieces is that they seem over-arranged. Their version of Ode To Joy, for example, sounds "wrong" to me and I find myself fixing it as I play along, which is not a big deal. I know I'm a beginner in every sense of the way so I should just focus on learning and let all these little things go.


Ode to Joy (like at the very beginning of book 1? We are talking All-in-one, right?) is super simple because they are just trying to get you excited about playing a familiar piece. At least that is my opinion. The timing is definitely simplified.

My teacher says that it is your obligation to always try to play music "the way it is written" first to prove you can do it and to be fair to the composer - trying it first they way they put it down for you. Then you can start modifying it as much as you like smile

My 2 cents.

Don
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#2308337 - 07/28/14 11:56 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Perhaps I need to understand a bit more of your piano history


It's a long, long story but to make it short, I took piano lessons from age 4 to 9. I tried again briefly when I was 17 before I left for college with a teacher but she didn't really know what to do with me. Back then, I still could play my childhood repertoire but I froze up in front of new music. I had an access to a crappy upright during my graduate school years but by then, I couldn't play anything except some scales.

I'm not happy with the way I'm playing but I don't know if I'm really playing badly or I'm frustrated that I sound nothing like I did when I was a child. I probably would need a teacher once I get stuck but I'm not sure when that'd happen.

Donzo, I'm doing the accelerated version for older beginners (age 11+). I do make DD play the modified versions because it forces her to read notes rather than play familiar tunes purely by ear so I do see the benefits but it's really not all that fun. I'm thinking about getting this book so I can scratch my itch for original classical pieces:

Essential Keyboard Repertoire


Edited by littlebirdblue (07/29/14 03:23 AM)

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#2308395 - 07/29/14 07:35 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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I took a look at the book you mentioned. It is for an early intermediate skill level.

To give you some context, Faber Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner (aka. FAPAOB) at Level 1 is for early to intermediate beginner level (approximately).

Level 2 which I am almost finished is for intermediate to late beginner.

I have already purchased Faber Level 3A (which from this point on is simply Piano Adventures as the two different PA lesson series merge at Level 3A). From what I can see Level 3A is late beginner to early intermediate. Therefore that book would fit somewhere into that level.

The reason I bring this up, is that for me, it is VERY important that I learn pieces in a very methodical way, so that I am not presented with a piece that is too advanced for my current skill level. With my teacher guiding me through FAPAOB I can be assured that this will not happen, so that I can slowly build my skills and confidence.

There were two basic reasons why I stopped taking lessons 25 years ago. First, my teacher moved out of the area. But second, I was spending a whole week on just one piece in the Alfred's Level two book, and eventually I got stuck and frustrated. Regardless, these are 25 years I can never get back. Don't ever make that mistake.

One example of my current progress: Last night I decided on my own to learn (not yet assigned by my teacher) the second-to-last pieces in the Lesson Book (Brahmn's Lullaby) and the Performance Book (Prelude in F). It only took me an hour to basically learn both pieces. Now, I will work on fine-tuning these pieces for weeks I suppose. But the fact that it did not take me hours and hours to basically learn the notes is a real achievement for me. And, IMHO sums up very nicely why I love the Faber books.

P.S. Although both pieces are arranged, they are versions which sound very rich and are instantly recognizable.
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2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2308505 - 07/29/14 12:50 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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I am four pieces away from the end of Piano Adventures Book 3A. I tried the adult books but I really didn't like them so I switched to this series, the one more aimed at children. I find it excellent. I am completely fazed by the popularity of Alfred's here. I have no idea why people are so crazy about that series. I've spoken to many teachers over the years and they all say Faber is the only way to go. So I'm really happy I stuck with this series. I started book 3A in May and
I predict I will be finished and ready to move on to the next level in September.
I do aprox. one new piece a week with a great deal of review of about four older pieces at the same time. With book 3A it sort of goes up and down.Every few pieces are quite straight-forward and then they throw one at you which is much more advanced, so it takes a bit of time to learn them..then they get easy again.
I guess that is a natural learning process. I am starting this week my first three
page piece(!). There are many two pages pieces in this book but only this one
which is three pages. I love the series. I'm not crazy about every song, but I think overall it is an excellent series...and they throw in some simplified classical style pieces which I really enjoy too.


Edited by alans (07/29/14 12:50 PM)

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#2308608 - 07/29/14 04:49 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Great to hear about your progress. Just curious; are you also using any of the other 3 supplemental books for Level 3A?

My teacher has been using all four books in each level, so combined that figures out to 250+ pages! shocked Not sure if we will keep doing that beyond Level 2.

I should be starting 3A in a couple of weeks myself.

I completely agree with your thoughts regarding Alfred's vs Faber.
_________________________
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2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2308725 - 07/29/14 08:58 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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I tried using the supplemental material because I love the series and I thought the more the merrier. But I found I just couldn't keep up with even two books.i try and learn at least one new piece and sometimes two for the next lesson and that is a tremendous amount of work when I try and do it hands Togerther. I just don't have the time to take on more. I wish I did but it isn't possible right now.
Faber also has other books and series which are wonderful.there is the classical series which I had started and loved. I guess the general ones are lesson,performance and technique.maybe when I move onto the next level I will try the supplemental books.

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#2308726 - 07/29/14 08:59 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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You said you are currently using four books. Can you list them please. I don't know what would be your fourth.

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#2308736 - 07/29/14 09:59 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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DD is done with My First PA Book A and instead of moving to Book B, she's starting from the middle of the Primer level. She is on the lesson book and the TA book. I am the overbearing mother who meddles during practice time so I might as well stick to Faber for a little bit longer.

I was thinking of splitting my practice time between reviewing the basics with Faber and playing classical pieces from my previous piano life. That way, I can enjoy playing Burgmuller (I never thought I'd ever say that in my life!) and fill many gaps I have in theory and sight-reading. It's probably time to for me to get a copy of FAPAOB Level 2. smile

I agree that when I feel stuck and frustrated, it'd be time to look for a teacher.

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#2308741 - 07/29/14 10:21 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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Originally Posted By: BrianDX
But the fact that it did not take me hours and hours to basically learn the notes is a real achievement for me. And, IMHO sums up very nicely why I love the Faber books.


That is a wonderful progress. smile

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#2308749 - 07/29/14 10:32 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted By: alans
You said you are currently using four books. Can you list them please. I don't know what would be your fourth.

Theory

There are also brand new books for both Level 1 and 2 for Sight Reading only. My teacher is evaluating these books to see if they would add any value to the overall experience.
_________________________
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2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2308752 - 07/29/14 10:35 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted By: littlebirdblue
DD is done with My First PA Book A and instead of moving to Book B, she's starting from the middle of the Primer level. She is on the lesson book and the TA book. I am the overbearing mother who meddles during practice time so I might as well stick to Faber for a little bit longer.

I was thinking of splitting my practice time between reviewing the basics with Faber and playing classical pieces from my previous piano life. That way, I can enjoy playing Burgmuller (I never thought I'd ever say that in my life!) and fill many gaps I have in theory and sight-reading. It's probably time to for me to get a copy of FAPAOB Level 2. smile

I agree that when I feel stuck and frustrated, it'd be time to look for a teacher.

May be a dumb question: What do you mean by "DD"? Is that your daughter?

I remember the first time I felt stuck and frustrated: About 5 minutes into my first lesson wink
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2308967 - 07/30/14 02:33 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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DD = Dear Daughter smile

She's too young to be practicing on her own so it helps that I'm relearning - at least I hope so. She probably won't be able to practice truly independently until she is 6 or 7 so unless she quits, I'd be tagging along for a few years.

I was thinking about what to do about this all night. I flip-flopped a few times in my head and I decided to go with Adult All In One Book 2. I probably should add on theory and other elements from this point on and I don't think I can manage 4+ books and stay disciplined without a teacher. I polished up the last few songs from FAPAOB Level 1 last night and I feel okay about moving on.

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#2309031 - 07/30/14 04:47 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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You should be in good shape here. Just a word of note: My brother has the Level 2 All-in-one book (he just started it last month). I noticed that this book basically starts where FAPAOB level 2 almost ends (but not quite).

In other words, if you go from FAPAOB level 1 to the all-in-one level 2 book, there is a gap. Not sure if this will be a problem for you; I just wanted to point this out.

Best regards,
Brian
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2309102 - 07/30/14 09:09 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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I finally found the table of content:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/halleonard-closerlook/00420242/420242-2-TOC-z.jpg

and I can see that I really didn't cover much since I only did the lesson book. I don't know if I really want to go through 160+ pages to but since the book is only $12 from Amazon, it'd probably worth having as a reference book and to pick up as much gaps as possible. Seems like I have a curriculum now for the fall semester, so to speak. Thank you for your input, Brian, you've been a big help. smile

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#2309238 - 07/31/14 08:08 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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Glad to be of help!

The good news is that the books are relatively cheap.

The only issue that I have with Faber is that at the beginner level there are three different paths to choose, and these paths are not completely interchangeable using their numbering system.

1) You can do the Basic PA for level 1, 2A, and 2B or;
2) Accelerated PA for Book 1 and Book 2 or;
3) Adult PA All-in-one Book 1 and 2.

For the first two series, they merge perfectly at Basic PA Levels 3A and beyond.

However, based on what I can see the end of Adult PA all-in-one Book 1 or Book 2 does not match the other two PA series, either Basic or Accelerated Adult as far as their "level" or "book" numbering.

So my advice would be to plot out your overall path through these book and either stick with Basic or Accelerated PA all the way, or stick with Adult PA All-in-one until the end of book 2, and then move over to Basic PA somewhere in the middle of Level 3A. Confusing to say the least. shocked

If you go to www.pianoadventures.com it explains this a lot better than I could.

Regardless, Faber rocks and I'm 100% with this approach.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2309525 - 07/31/14 09:18 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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I've never looked at the Alfred books but why are they so hugely popular here?i have started to learn a piece from Per Gynt in book 3A. It is very recognizable. But almost all of the notes are with ledger lines above the staff and it's a little daunting.

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#2309560 - 07/31/14 10:43 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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Brian,I'm going to stick to the Adult All-in-One. smile I'll be helping DD with the regular children's PA books so I'll be going through the process twice. That would probably be good for me.

alans, I've read that the Alfred's series for adult is more suitable for self-teaching?

DD's teacher has been teaching over 40+ years and she puts all her beginning to intermediate students on Faber but I haven't asked her why she likes Faber over other series.

My order of Fundamental Keys Piano Method has shipped so I'm curious to compare the two methods.

As for my progress, I've been practicing Arabesque by Burgmüller, which was my first childhood recital piece. I try not to think of it as being back to where I was when I was 7.

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#2309682 - 08/01/14 07:36 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
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littlebirdblue;

Sounds like a plan to me. I actually think Faber is more suitable for self-study IMHO.

Coming up this month: Hopefully finishing up Book Two for FAPAOB. Hopefully some new things will be introduced into my curriculum, in addition to PA Level 3A.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2309743 - 08/01/14 09:21 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
fizikisto Offline
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LittleBirdBlue
I really like the fundamental keys method. I also think it works great as a complement to other methods like Fabers and Alfreds. I suspect that you'll find it to be useful. smile
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#2309869 - 08/01/14 04:24 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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So BrianDX, you are working with four or five books for weekly lessons? Does that mean you learn one piece from each so in total you are studying four (I think you said one is theory)pieces at any given time? How do you find the books apart from
the lesson book, which is the only one I know. And can you please tell me the title of the four books you are using..I imagine one is technique, one is performance..

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#2310012 - 08/01/14 09:50 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted By: alans
So BrianDX, you are working with four or five books for weekly lessons? Does that mean you learn one piece from each so in total you are studying four (I think you said one is theory)pieces at any given time? How do you find the books apart from the lesson book, which is the only one I know. And can you please tell me the title of the four books you are using..I imagine one is technique, one is performance..

The FAPAOB series for Level 1 and 2 (actually Book 1 and Book 2)consists of four books each that work together as an integrated set.

Generally each week my teacher will start with the Lesson book for the main course curriculum. The Technique/Artistry and Performance books have footnotes as to what pages they go with in the Lesson book. She will normally assign a couple of pieces from each of these books each week as well. The Theory book does have some pieces as well, but mostly deals with written exercises and self-composing.

So for example, this week I am studying F Major. The Lesson book explains the scale fingering and major chords, and then has a complete piece in F Major. The Technique/Artistry book has a short one-page exercise piece in F Major. The Performance book has a complete two page piece in F Major. The Theory book has a written exercise, as well as a simple piece with a lead sheet in F Major.

So if I spend the week studying and practicing these 8-10 pages (spread over the four books) I am getting a nice complete F Major primer.

Hope that gives you a rough idea of how the four books work together as a unit.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2310022 - 08/01/14 11:09 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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8-10pages a week is a lot. How much time do you find you have to Practise?

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#2310024 - 08/01/14 11:12 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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Randall Faber gave a talk at a music store near me this past week. I would have loved to have heard ( even lunch was thrown in and the event was free) but I just found about it today. A fellow working in the store told me the Iplace was packed with over 80 piano teachers and it was pretty wild.he said Randall is an amazing speaker and incredibly knowledgable on piano education.

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#2310145 - 08/02/14 08:55 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted By: alans
8-10pages a week is a lot. How much time do you find you have to Practise?

At this stage of my life I try to practice about an hour per day on average. Some days I spend more time while learning a new piece, once in a while I'll take a day or two off, not counting times when we are out of town.

There are a couple of thing to understand about my routine. First, not all of the pieces in the 8-10 pages are difficult. Some take only a minute or two to practice. Plus, if I spend five to ten minutes per piece, that can be easily fit into one hour. Also, because I generally pass less than 50% of my pieces at my lesson in a given week, some of those 8-10 pages are repeats where I'm simply trying to perfect a piece I already know.

As I said, once in a while I spend extra time learning a new piece from scratch. This week for example, I sat down for an extra hour or two and figured out the fingering for two new compositions that had not yet assigned to me. That's how I keep my momentum going forward.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2310307 - 08/02/14 05:01 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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Brian,

Were there specific pieces outside of Faber that you wanted to learn? Is there a piece that you wanted to learn that triggered your piano journey?

fizikisto,

Thank you for the encouragement. I hope it'd click with me. smile I can't wait to get started but book hasn't arrived yet. I'm learning without a teacher but if I manage to get back to near the end of my previous piano life, I might contact Rachel to ask about her Skype session rate. I could use some feedback. Right now, as I practice scales and Arabesque, I hear my old teacher's voice yelling at me, "Your left-hand pinky, how many times have I told you? It's TOO QUIET." Yikes.

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#2310340 - 08/02/14 06:57 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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I opened up my Faber technique and performance book today, thinking I could probably sight read the opening sections. No way! They both require really careful study. Even though they match pages in the lesson book these pieces are not a breeze. So although I only have four pieces left in the lesson book, I feel I have to return to square one with the other two.

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#2310398 - 08/02/14 10:07 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted By: littlebirdblue
Brian, were there specific pieces outside of Faber that you wanted to learn? Is there a piece that you wanted to learn that triggered your piano journey?

Not really, although I would love to learn the opening 12 bars of Claire De Lune smile

Actually, I'm very interested in how the next month goes. My teacher has stated that after finishing Book 2 she will start introducing "additional material" beyond Faber.

Very much looking forward to that. After somewhat "racing ahead" to try to get from the beginning of Book 1 to the end of Book 2 within one year, it's almost time for me to chill just a bit and move forward with patience and attention. To give you an idea of how intense it is right now, I have 12 pieces left in the four books in order to graduate from this level. I'm working each night on all 12 pieces. Good grief shocked
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2310403 - 08/02/14 10:14 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: alans
I opened up my Faber technique and performance book today, thinking I could probably sight read the opening sections. No way! They both require really careful study. Even though they match pages in the lesson book these pieces are not a breeze. So although I only have four pieces left in the lesson book, I feel I have to return to square one with the other two.

My guess is that you will do quite well with this additional material in not a lot of additional time. Most of the material in the Book 2 series is hard for me to sight read unless I go extremely slow at first. My goal at this point is to try to learn one page pieces within a half hour to an hour, and then spend more time fine-tuning the dynamics and other details.

Understand that at this point it is very hard for me to pass a piece the first time I play it at my teacher's house. There are always things to work on, and most of the time these corrections can't be made in "real-time" during the lesson, so off I go for another week to fine-tune the piece. Hopefully at the next lesson I'll hear those magic words "very good, we're done with that piece" smile
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2311337 - 08/05/14 06:37 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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So, did you hear those magic words?

DD officially graduated My First PA Book A and started on all 4 primer books. She wanted a strawberry float to celebrate. She was high on sugar all day.

I got inspired and polished up the last few songs of Level 1 book to a recital-ready quality. I'm going to get myself a decent bottle of wine later. laugh

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#2311403 - 08/05/14 10:05 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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Not yet. Lesson is tomorrow evening. I'm hopeful however smile

Keep up the good work; yeah, BIG bottle of wine!

Enjoy your time with DD. We have two grown daughters who both live overseas whom we are very proud of, but miss a lot. Savor the time you have, it goes fast shocked
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2312097 - 08/06/14 08:07 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: littlebirdblue
So, did you hear those magic words?

DD officially graduated My First PA Book A and started on all 4 primer books. She wanted a strawberry float to celebrate. She was high on sugar all day.

I got inspired and polished up the last few songs of Level 1 book to a recital-ready quality. I'm going to get myself a decent bottle of wine later. laugh

Well I heard them on four pieces tonight. smile

Eight more to go to finish Level 2. Too many pieces on my plate according to my teacher. I think it's time to wind down a bit, stay focused on fewer pieces each week.

One nice thing is it appears some classical music in its original form will start to be integrated in starting next week. I'm excited about that. smile
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2312651 - 08/07/14 08:44 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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You have a good teacher. She is holding you to a standard. At the same time, she acknowledged your progress by moving you to original classical pieces. I am starting to feel limited by not having a teacher. I've actually been looking but it's hard to find someone. I think DD's piano teacher is fantastic but 1) she doesn't teach adults and 2) she has a long wait-list. She squeezed DD in but I don't think she'd do the same for me. You're very fortunate to have found your teacher.

I downloaded sample pages from Suzuku Book 1 piano accompaniment for violin and I got so frustrated trying to remember how to play A Major on piano. I really need all the help I can get. My copies of Book 2 should be coming in the mail soon. smile

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#2312673 - 08/07/14 09:33 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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I'm thinking that DD's teacher may be able to recommend a colleague who teaches adults and may have space available. I know many of the teachers down here in lower Delaware network and know the teaching situations of others.
_________________________
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#2314303 - 08/11/14 08:05 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
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Tonight my teacher introduced the new Faber Sight Reading Book 2 (Accelerated Adult) into our lesson. My initial impressions were favorable. Folks might want to check it out.

Also will start Faber Piano Adventures Level 3A next week.


Edited by BrianDX (08/11/14 08:06 PM)
_________________________
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2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2314390 - 08/12/14 05:16 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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Congratulations! You've accomplished something really wonderful. smile

I got my copy of Adult All in One Book 1 and 2 today in the mail.

So I took your advance and asked my DD's teacher is she knows someone who wouldn't mind giving two lessons a month to an adult restarter. To my surprise, she is willing to accommodate me so hopefully, we can set something up by next month.

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#2314417 - 08/12/14 08:05 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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Excellent! smile

I think the combination of your past experience, work ethic, quality teaching material, and a teacher to guide you through all of it albeit on a part-time basis should be a very nice combination.

Keep us up to date when your lessons start.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2315004 - 08/13/14 12:57 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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Book 3A of Piano Adventures has some really lovely pieces. I haven't practised
myself in weeks because I am without a teacher, but I need to start tonight again.
I have no idea what my new teacher's approach to my material will be when I start with her in two weeks.

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#2315031 - 08/13/14 02:38 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
Donzo Offline
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Loc: British Columbia
Originally Posted By: alans
Book 3A of Piano Adventures has some really lovely pieces. I haven't practised
myself in weeks because I am without a teacher, but I need to start tonight again.
I have no idea what my new teacher's approach to my material will be when I start with her in two weeks.


Are you referring to the Popular Repetoire book? i.e. from here:
http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/pa/level3A.html

I was just interested in looking up the table of contents, which they do have online.

Thanks,
Don
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Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2316701 - 08/17/14 08:49 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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I was actually referring to the lesson book.

By the way, how long do people take for their weekly lesson? I am used to thirty minutes butvi've been advised 45 is better for a beginner.

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#2316743 - 08/17/14 10:33 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted By: alans
By the way, how long do people take for their weekly lesson? I am used to thirty minutes butvi've been advised 45 is better for a beginner.

Initially our lessons were 45 minutes. Just recently we moved to one hour. Much more time for instruction, sight-reading, etc.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2316918 - 08/18/14 12:21 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
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I do 30 minutes. Luckily I'm the last student so often we go over by a few minutes. I keep it to 30 minutes because I'm there with my son and he is waiting while I have my lesson, plus its close to bed time. But I would love to have 45 or 60 minutes. Could get into more details I would expect. 30 minutes is usually just review what was worked on last week with some critique, add some new things for next week, and maybe 5 minutes if we are lucky to talk about any general theory or new topics and times up.
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#2317106 - 08/18/14 09:42 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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Just finished my Practise with my beloved Faber. My last piece is battle of Jericho.
I start with a brand new teacher next week and I just hope she doesn't want to throw out this series. I was interviewing teachers online and I asked one candidate who I was really close to deciding to study with and he told me it is better to avoid Faber. I asked him which he prefers over Faber but because I didn't sign up for his lessons he never responded to me.glad I crossed him off the list.

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#2317621 - 08/20/14 08:12 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
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I have discussed this with my teacher as well. It turns out that I'm the only student who currently is beyond Faber Level 2.

The 8-10 students that are more advanced than Level 2 are studying outside of a basic series so to speak. They are learning specific pieces in different genres.

I told her that I prefer the structured "step-by-step" approach with Faber, and at even just Level 3A there are several new concepts and skills (e.g. odd time signatures, triplets, D Major) to be learned.

I think we will be spending about 1/2 of our time on Faber, and the other half on selected classical pieces (in their original form but at my skill level of Elementary D).

I'm thinking this should work well for me.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2327662 - 09/15/14 08:03 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
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Just checking in with you fellow Faber students if you are still out there in the cyber world...
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2327714 - 09/15/14 01:31 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
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Loc: British Columbia

Yep, still here.

I have not made a lot of progress through All-in-one book2 since my last post. I'm around Coffee Shop Boogie and Kum-ba-yah. So... less than 1/2 way through. But I have been working on a couple of songs outside of the lesson book as well. I find I spend 60% of my time working on songs outside of the book as they are pieces I"m excited about.

I also just got from Amazon the first Faber book of Christmas music, since I thought it might be time to start working on that for December. The book is roughly broken into 3rds
- super easy (mostly melody, no chords)
- C-major chord-based
- F or G-major chord based

Have only tried the super easy ones to start because I am trying to evaluate them to see if I should push them on my 8 y.o. son. I'm trying to get him to do something outside his method book. This is my first foray into getting a "repetoire" style book.

Back to All-in-one, Coffee House Boogie is a pretty neat song. I like the swing. The changes are a bit challenging for me but I'm getting it.

Don
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#2327729 - 09/15/14 02:22 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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Funny this thread should reappear just when I was planning on looking for it.i haven't touched the piano in a month and just today I started reading my Faber excercises again. I haven't had a teacher or a lesson in several months but if things work out I will be starting again this week. As I am at the midway point of book three A I thought I would be finished by September but there is no way now. I think I will beon this level until close to the end of this year which is fine. Tonight I am going to start to look at the supplementary books for my level.

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#2327734 - 09/15/14 02:34 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Nice to hear from you folks. All we need now is littlebirdblue, rpw, and PFred to chime in and everyone will be accounted for. smile

I've spent a month at Level 3A and the pieces are getting a bit harder. However, in typical Faber fashion this new material is presented in a logical, manageable way.

Where things really get a bit hairy is toward the end of this level. I took a quick peek at Level 3B and this is a whole new set of challenges. I'm hoping the Faber approach still holds up at that point.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2328148 - 09/16/14 04:38 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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Posts: 89
Just stick with Faber..I too was really daunted by how difficult things *seem* to
get but the book follows a logic and with a bit of practise and dipping your toes
so to speak in the water-hands apart, that sort of thing..you will find your way.
The current piece that is new to me is I think based on the piece Mars..I can't
remember I have it at home and at first I thought this was insane because the notes are way above the ledger lines and I had no idea how to read that high. But
Faber always provides us with a wonderful parachute and what seems really hard isn't so far from where we just were.
Tomorrow I start with a brand new teacher who I know absolutely nothing about except for the fact that she was very friendly in her email back to me. I have
no idea what she will think about the Faber series. One potential teacher I spoke
with told me I shouldn't be using this series and I'm glad I didn't go with him because I do believe Faber is the best method. So I will see.A little past the
middle point of the book 3A there is this piece, I think it might be by Scarlatti,
where you feel for the first time that you are playing a truely lovely classical
piece. It's great fun. You have lots to look forward to Brian..the pieces are all
lovely in this book. Just take them slowly and you'll be amazed at how far you can go.

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#2328150 - 09/16/14 04:41 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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Last night I also started to look at the Performance book for 3A. These aren't easy to sight-read. I also have the technique book and I hope I can incorporate them into my lessons because they look they are really useful. They turn piano technique into fun exercises.

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#2328193 - 09/16/14 07:21 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
PFred Offline
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Registered: 03/19/14
Posts: 13
Loc: NorthEast PA, USA
After my teacher's vacation, Labor Day and my vacation, I haven't moved on much this month. I'm in Book 2 working on the Mysterious Casbah and the Flight. Also working on Cm, Fm and Gm Pentascales. Aside from the lesson books, I'm working on a piece by Diabelli and the Bach Minuet, BMV App 114, the first in the book First Lessons in Bach. Still staying busy. cool
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#2328248 - 09/16/14 10:25 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: PFred]
BrianDX Offline
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Loc: Lewes DE
Nice to hear from you all. I'm about 1/5 of the way through all of the Level 3A books. The three performance pieces I've worked on so far have been lots of fun and somewhat challenging.

Allegretto by Diabelli has been a particular challenge, as the left/right hand independence is a bit harder than I've experienced before.

BTW: The Mysterious Casbah was one of my favorites in Level 2. However, I needed to use the metronome to fully gain and keep control of the timing, which was getting away from me.

_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2328256 - 09/16/14 11:05 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
rpw Offline
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Still here, although not in Faber anymore. I switched to the Grade 3 RCM Celebration Series few months ago after completing Faber AIO 2 book. I have repertoire, etudes and technique books and usually get something to work on from each one. I assume they are similar to the different Faber books you are using. I like that all the pieces are in their original forms, even though they require considerably more effort to learn.

Aside from the assignments, I try to do some sight reading every day. I've got a bunch of books for this long time ago and, based on my pace, they will probably keep me busy for another few years smile.

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#2328324 - 09/17/14 07:49 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: rpw]
BrianDX Offline
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rpw;

Nice to hear from you. Sounds like you are making great progress.

In addition to Faber I am also beginning to work on pieces from the Festival Collection By Helen Marlais. All the pieces are in their original form, but are ability-appropriate for me.

Continued success!
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2328915 - 09/19/14 05:06 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
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I'm here but barely alive. laugh

Actually, I have been fighting a horrible cold for a couple of weeks. My DD's teacher understandably has no sick student policy so I haven't started my piano lessons yet but I have been practicing!

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#2328932 - 09/19/14 08:18 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
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Registered: 04/14/14
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Loc: Lewes DE
Best wishes! Hope you feel better real soon and get back in there....
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2330353 - 09/23/14 04:56 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
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Loc: British Columbia

Finally have got past "Coffee House Boogie" in AiO2. What I found funny was I totally nailed it at my lesson - I did much better than I do at home in practice. This is weird because usually I choke up at lessons.

Anyway, I think its because at the lesson I was using a freshly regulated grand, and at home I have a 100 year old piano that has some action issues that make playing "piano" (i.e. quietly) very hard. There are a lot of dynamic changes in that piece and I had been trying so hard at home to make it sound right without a lot of success. But when I did it on the right piano, no problem.

I feel like my piano is like the weight you put on a baseball bat when you are warming up to go to the plate, now smile

Don
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Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2330391 - 09/23/14 08:09 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: Donzo]
BrianDX Offline
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Loc: Lewes DE
Congrats on your lesson.

I'm wondering if it may be possible to have a RPT regulate your action for a reasonable price.

The action on my grand is a bit heavier than my teachers, but only to a small extent.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2330660 - 09/24/14 03:43 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
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Loc: British Columbia

I've had my piano tuned only once since it is a new addition to the family (last spring), before that I used a digital (btw, this old piano was free although moving it wasn't cheap).

The technician looked it over, said I didn't do too bad for a free piano, but he explained why the keys were difficult to get to work with a light touch - he blamed it on felt compression at the fulcrum of the key. He explained it like "the keys are like a marble balanced on the top of a hill, you just need to touch them to make the marble roll down. your keys are like the marble is a bit on the far side of the hill, you need to push the marble up the hill before it starts rolling down. that is why it feels like it does".

He said next time I get a tuning for another $100-$150 he can do a cleaning of the action (blow out the dust, etc) and try to see what he could do about the issue. But he also says that it doesn't make sense to do too much work on that piano. It would be too expensive, and I'd be better off looking for a new one.

So I just struggle along... its not that bad. I really like the sound, the price was right, and this key heaviness is the only issue that I notice.
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2330741 - 09/24/14 10:05 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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It looks like I might not be a part of this discussion much longer. Went to my first lesson with a brand new teacher and she is very knowledgable and kind but she is completely against Faber and that makes me so distressed.i love this series because it has been so easy to follow and the gradations are minor and I like the fact that itbis a series. But what can I do,change teacher's until I find one who will use Faber?i'm just worried about my study being all over the map. For my next lesson I was given one piece from the performance book,just to learn something cold for her.but it is out of sequence and really out of my range right now.i hate the idea of having to jump around,it's what another teacher did and I couldn't keep up. Oh well,have to see what will happen next week.

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#2330764 - 09/24/14 11:33 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
Jonathan Baker Offline
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Loc: New York City!
Originally Posted By: alans
It looks like I might not be a part of this discussion much longer. Went to my first lesson with a brand new teacher and she is very knowledgable and kind but she is completely against Faber and that makes me so distressed.i love this series because it has been so easy to follow and the gradations are minor and I like the fact that itbis a series.


Did your new teacher clarify why she is against the Faber series?

The saying goes "Everyone is entitled to their opinion" but opinions should be backed up by logical reasons.
_________________________
Jonathan Baker
http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#2331716 - 09/27/14 09:18 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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She did give several reasons one of which was that she thought they don't do enough work with the left hand.i just thought that at this beginner's stage they concentrate on the right hand for good reason,it is probably easier.but she didn't give a lot of other reasons and I am lost at sea. She pulled two pieces randomly from the book and one of them feels above my level although it is coming together a bit.i told someone my concern who has a great deal of experience with music and he said you go to lessons for the teacher and not the book.i liked the book because it offers a consecutive series. Now I just feel likei don't know what I am doing.

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#2331791 - 09/28/14 07:02 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans]
BrianDX Offline
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Loc: Lewes DE
Hi Alans; I'm not quite sure I agree with the teacher as far as the first two levels, as the left hand does get some nice workouts, albeit not too difficult. However, now that I'm level 3A I can tell you more complicated left hand patterns are being introduced. They are tough enough to master as is, I hate to think of trying to learn this earlier in the series.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2331853 - 09/28/14 12:08 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: alans
Went to my first lesson with a brand new teacher and she is very knowledgable and kind but she is completely against Faber and that makes me so distressed.
Originally Posted By: alans
...She pulled two pieces randomly from the book and one of them feels above my level although it is coming together a bit...Now I just feel likei don't know what I am doing.
What you're doing is missing your comfort blanket. smile

Your teacher doesn't need a method book because she can see what's needed and what's not. You can tackle more advanced pieces because she can show you more things while you're learning them. It may feel slower for each piece but you'll be stronger faster by not having to spend time on pieces that teach you only one small thing at a time. You'll be learning at your own rate instead of that of the slowest learner (that the method books must cater for).

There is absolutely no harm continuing with the Faber series on your own but at a slower rate and as a separate part of your practise, and one more geared to reading, perhaps, than learning. Think of it more as part of your technical section along with your scales and sight reading instead of as part of your repertoire.

Give it a little time and see how much better you get and how much faster in the not too distant future.
_________________________
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#2331922 - 09/28/14 03:48 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: zrtf90]
BrianDX Offline
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Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Your teacher doesn't need a method book because she can see what's needed and what's not. You can tackle more advanced pieces because she can show you more things while you're learning them. It may feel slower for each piece but you'll be stronger faster by not having to spend time on pieces that teach you only one small thing at a time. You'll be learning at your own rate instead of that of the slowest learner (that the method books must cater for).

There is absolutely no harm continuing with the Faber series on your own but at a slower rate and as a separate part of your practise, and one more geared to reading, perhaps, than learning. Think of it more as part of your technical section along with your scales and sight reading instead of as part of your repertoire.

Give it a little time and see how much better you get and how much faster in the not too distant future.

Not sure if you have the timeline right. I got the impression that the teacher voiced opposition to Faber BEFORE any evaluation took place. Now if that determination was made AFTER fully evaluating alans, then that is quite a different story.

Alans, please elaborate.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2331927 - 09/28/14 03:59 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
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I am not aware of all of the different method books out there, but I have studied with two of them (Alfred's 25 years ago, and Faber for the past year).

In these two cases, both were designed I think to teach baseline skills, up to a point.

In Faber's case, that point is completed at Piano Adventures Level 5, which gets you to the Intermediate level based on the research I've done in the past year.

Beyond that, well, I'm hoping to find out some day... smile
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2331954 - 09/28/14 05:31 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
alans Offline
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Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 89
My teacher evaluated the book before hearing me play from it. She just doesn't care for the series and I don't know how well she knows it. But she is an extremely advanced player.i feel more positive today and I'm going to take Richard's advice and depending on how much she assigns at my next lesson I will comtinue with Faber on my own. He is right it has become my security blanket and I feel lost without it.i just hope a good substitute is suggested at my second lesson this week.

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#2331966 - 09/28/14 05:48 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Not sure if you have the timeline right.
I don't need the timeline. The point is that a teacher doesn't need a method book at all because they can evaluate technique quickly enough anyway.

There's a whole raft of material for a knowledgeable teacher not to have to touch a method book. The European tradition is repertoire based, not method based. Methods developed in the US where the burgeoning piano industry needed more customers than could be satisfied by teachers.

Glad to see you more positive, alans.
_________________________
Richard

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#2332002 - 09/28/14 08:46 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: zrtf90]
BrianDX Offline
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Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
Not sure if you have the timeline right.
I don't need the timeline. The point is that a teacher doesn't need a method book at all because they can evaluate technique quickly enough anyway.

It appears that for this teacher (who I certainly do not know) it doesn't matter what the student knows or not, she flat out does not believe in methods books, period. I know there are some teachers here in lower Delaware that teach in a similar way.

What I care about most, is the position alans was in. If I had to find a different teacher, and the first thing she/he did was look at the twelve+ Faber books I have worked in over the past 14 months and basically threw them in the trash can, I would sure be concerned. Now if it turns that for students like alans and his teacher there are better ways of methodically teaching the many skills required to advance in piano, great. I wish alans all the best!

But now that I have taking lessons for 14 months, I have a better perspective of things. There have probably been over 50+ specific technical skills that I have had to learn. In my case, the order in which these skills were presented in the Faber books, together with countless hours of instruction from my teacher have worked very well for me.

Now that I am moving into a combination of Faber Level 3A pieces plus a repertoire book of her choosing, the ratio seems to be shifting to a 50/50 mix.

Hopefully by the end of this year I'll have a beter feeling of how this is working for me.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2332110 - 09/29/14 05:15 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
It appears that for this teacher (who I certainly do not know) it doesn't matter what the student knows or not, she flat out does not believe in methods books, period.
I cannot think of a better recommendation for a teacher! I would certainly look askance at any teacher that offered me a method book.

But flat out not believing in a method book is a strong statement in this context and makes a very black and white reading of a grey area. The teacher may have used Faber enough times in the past to know that for her teaching it doesn't offer the most effective path, especially for an adult. Teachers aren't trying to make money by extending the time taken to learn the instrument. Teaching is a vocation and they struggle to bring each student up to his own individual potential in an optimal time frame.

Honestly, method books are better geared to younger children who are closer to a learning norm, walking by two, talking by four, reading and writing by six, et cetera. Once we're at the teen years our learning potentials differ more widely and more unevenly and our talents and leanings are more individual. At this stage methods are more a case of holding you back to a recognised norm and a prescribed pace than pushing you forward to your potential in a path suited to your talents.

It is highly unlikely that any method book will satisfy a good teacher who knows the repertoire and the available material for approaching it.

The Suzuki school, for example, has a series of books using progressive pieces but all you get in those books are the pieces. The method is not the pieces but the approach to them - and that doesn't come in a book. The material is unimportant (though there are better pieces to learn than others).

The most important thing in making progress on the piano is not what you play and learn but HOW you play and learn. The material is secondary. With a teacher you get a hand crafted approach to making music.

With a method book you get generic path along progressively harder material (not geared to the strengths and weaknesses of the player but of the population as a whole in the experience of the authors) and not a clue as to how to learn it effectively other than meeting certain requirements before moving on.

For many, the requirements may be none other than getting most of the notes right most of the time. For a beginner this is a really slow method of progress because getting notes right is not a matter of diligence in their practise (though that does help) it's a matter of experience and confidence with the instrument over time. The right notes do matter but they're not as important as shaping a phrase and approaching a piece.

A book can't describe concepts that an inexperienced beginner will not understand without a few years playing experience but a good teacher can demonstrate them in person and pass on the benefits of that experience in an instant.

At the end of the day we want to look at a score, hear it in our heads and play it with expression and passion. We want to realise the curious and simultaneous mix that music has of pleasure and pain, of joy and sadness, of impaired but idiosyncratic beauty. This doesn't come by working through harder and harder pieces but by choosing pieces the teacher knows well enough to deliver these qualities and by showing the student how to look for them and how to bring them out while covering increasing technical demands.
_________________________
Richard

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#2332122 - 09/29/14 06:39 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: zrtf90]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Thanks for your thoughts here Richard.

I don't want to turn this thread into a "European model vs. U.S. model" discussion, as that is not why I started this thread.

I don't agree that somehow method books are for younger learners. The Faber series I have studied so far has been geared very specifically for older learners, and so far I have really benefited from it. I think you also underestimate the amount of interaction between teacher and student, method book or not. At least in my case, the books are not just "following the numbers". In other cases, I can't say.

Finally, your post seems to imply that I'm saying that with the right method books chosen, the choice of a teacher is somehow less important. In my experience the ONLY critical choice is the teacher, period.

For example, in another thread there is much discussion about shaping phrases, and most of the folks discussing it do not have a teacher. Well, of course Faber has several sections about this concept, but without my teacher really putting my feet to the fire as to HOW this is REALLY done, the book would not really help in the long run.

This is how I will summarize my feelings about this. We can agree to disagree as to the most effective way to acquire the tools necessary to advance piano skills, method vs. something else. However, I think we can probably agree that the teacher accounts for 80-90% of the total learning experience at the very least.

Brian

_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2332142 - 09/29/14 09:11 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2458
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Brian, I think we must have misunderstood each other.

Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
Did your new teacher clarify why she is against the Faber series?
Originally Posted By: alans
She did give several reasons...
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
It appears that...this teacher...flat out does not believe in methods books, period.
I don't see where you get that.

Originally Posted By: BrianDX
I don't agree that somehow method books are for younger learners.
Presumably you meant "only" for younger learners here. But what I said was that they were better suited to younger learners. The older you are, the wider your range of experiences, musical tastes, physical skills and talents, intellectual leanings and emotional sensitivity and expressiveness, the less likely you are to fit that norm and, in a one-to-one situation with a good teacher, a tailored approach will outstrip a method significantly.

The teacher can bypass teaching the skills you have developed naturally, the method book cannot. The method book must use separate lessons for each little facet but a teacher can skip a few lessons and make sure you don't miss anything by watching and listening to you. A method book must perforce be generic but a teacher can mould and craft an individual method to the student.

If you happen to be north of Rome you can get there by going due south. The method must take you round to the east first if that is it's planned course. It matters not that you've already been there. Faber has suited you so you may not see this in the same light. That's OK.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90
At the end of the day we want...to realise the...music...by choosing pieces the teacher knows well enough to deliver...by showing the student how...
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
...you also underestimate the amount of interaction between teacher and student
Again, I don't see where you get that. I thought I showed it to be most important thing.

Originally Posted By: BrianDX
If I had to find a different teacher, and the first thing she/he did was look at the twelve+ Faber books I have worked in over the past 14 months and basically threw them in the trash can, I would sure be concerned.
She wasn't trashing them.
Originally Posted By: alans
She pulled two pieces randomly from the book
How random her choice was is questionable. She clearly knew the series and must either have known what to pick or could see at a glance what would do the trick but she didn't throw it in the trash can, nor did she write off what he's already covered.

Originally Posted By: BrianDX
I am not aware of all of the different method books out there, but I have studied with two of them (Alfred's 25 years ago, and Faber for the past year).

In these two cases, both were designed I think to teach baseline skills, up to a point.
Yes, to a point. But the longer you stay with a method the slower your progress is unless you just happen to progress in the same order as the generic student the course is aimed at.

Originally Posted By: BrianDX
I think we can probably agree that the teacher accounts for 80-90% of the total learning experience
Yes, we can! smile
_________________________
Richard

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#2332173 - 09/29/14 11:17 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: zrtf90]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Originally Posted By: BrianDX
I think we can probably agree that the teacher accounts for 80-90% of the total learning experience
Yes, we can! smile

Yes, we can agree to agree on that point! smile
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2332226 - 09/29/14 02:09 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia

I do use the Faber books - but they are the only adult books I have experience with, so I would be hard pressed to say that they are better or worse than anything else. I have to admit being a bit disappointed with the All-in-One book 2 because it doesn't seem that the theory section is engaging me as much as book 1. This could be because its harder, or because I'm less interested smile

I am spending more and more of my time on pieces outside of the method book. I question myself whether this is a good idea or not. My teacher seems fine with it. The issue, I wonder, is whether by not collecting pieces that have a similar and progressive theme, by learning things piece-meal - will this hurt my progress?

For example, not learning a number of pieces with the same key.

Anyway, I'm saying all this just because - yes, I am learning with Faber books and so I'm following this Faber Grad thread. But that doesn't mean I believe Faber to be the be-all and end-all.

So if your teacher doesn't like Faber, I would keep an open mind, see how things progress, and form an opinion in a few months after giving your teacher's approach the best shot you can.

Don
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2332430 - 09/30/14 02:00 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
littlebirdblue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 70
I'm back. smile

I had my first lesson with my teacher. I brought 3 method books with me. We're skipping book 1 but we'll be going through book 2. This week's homework is Brahm's Lullaby since I didn't know how lead sheets work.

Her priority for me is to learn all the cords...all of them. Good thing I only have lessons every other week. I won't be able to show much progress in a week.

She also has me doing Hanon and work on classical repertoire songs. We'll also be going through the Suzuki piano accompaniment for Violin Book 1 and 2. So yeah, tons of work ahead but I'm really glad that I'm working with a teacher.

BTW, Brian, you have a new avatar. Did you take that photo?

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#2332481 - 09/30/14 06:48 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Nice to hear from you littlebirdblue! smile

Yes, that photo was taken during my 2005 trip to Japan.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2332484 - 09/30/14 07:09 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Last night's lesson was very significant in several ways, as my teacher and I had a very detailed discussion along the lines of Richard's comments about method books and learning in general.

Here are the highlights:

For the older beginner my teacher has come to really like the Faber books. This comes after many many years of her studying and trying about a dozen different learning methods.

She basically said that Books 1 and 2 are kind like a lesson plan that a teacher would use to teach an adult to read and write properly. Along with the lesson plan (which sequentially introduces required skills) there is much one-on-one instruction needed which only a teacher can provide. This is where the self-learner can get into trouble.

However, once you progress beyond Book 2 things start to change. Faber Level 3A and beyond still does a good job of slowly introducing more advanced skills, however she generally starts moving toward repertoire books and away from method books. According to her, Faber is very good for the early elementary to late elementary student, but not beyond that.

In fact, starting next week we will be splitting my studies 50/50 between Faber Level 3A and repertoire books by Helen Marlais.

Apparently I'm the first student she has had in a long time to move into Level 3A, mostly at my insistence. Her more advanced students are completely out of method books. However, for me the Faber approach so far has been very much in sync with the way I learn and process information.

So here is my 5 year goal:

Keep progressing through Faber Level 3B, 4, and 5. At the same time, start moving a larger percentage of my studies into carefully chosen repertoire books. Of course, depending on what happens, I may leave the Faber series earlier than that, we'll see.

And finally, if I hit a series of walls (which is likely to happen) adjust the schedule out as needed. According to my teacher, I have enough natural ability and work ethic to eventually progress to the Intermediate level. If I ever get to that point, I will be 100% fulfilled.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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#2338551 - 10/17/14 10:28 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Just passed the 1/3 finished mark for Level 3A.

There are some really good pieces here, including several with Alberti bass, slightly more advanced left/right hand coordination, and tenuto just to name a few.

Things seem get harder from here on in, other than a slight respite teaching 3/8 and 6/8 time signatures that at first glance look quite easy.

Also spending time with pieces from the Helen Marlais Festival Collection, which fit right in with Faber at this point.

I'm really pleased with this material right now, challenging to say the least, but doable within a reasonable amount of time and practice.

I've also reduced the pressure I've been putting on myself, no rush to get things done. I'm now bringing pieces that are not quite there yet to my lesson, and allowing my teacher to do what she does best, fine-tune my technique and help me fix problems with sight-reading, timing, and dynamics.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2348127 - 11/10/14 11:22 AM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Well I'll bump this up one more time I promise. smile

Just got to the 1/2 way mark for Level 3A. Lots of fun things to play, some pretty hard but doable.

As I've said before, Faber does a real nice job of moving the ball down the field without causing undue stress.

If no one is still interested in this thread, I'll stop posting in two weeks.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

Top
#2348151 - 11/10/14 12:22 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
Donzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/14
Posts: 75
Loc: British Columbia

Brian - it sounds like you are making good progress!

I don't contribute to this thread because
(a) I'm not making particularly good progress - I'm down to only about 25% of my time on Faber and it is also getting harder
(b) I'm doing different books (I'm doing 1&2 All-in-one) from you, so I can't actually see the music you are doing and don't appreciate the progress

So I do read each of your updates but not sure how I can contribute to the thread.

frown

Don
_________________________
Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 18 months and counting

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#2348234 - 11/10/14 03:38 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX]
PFred Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/19/14
Posts: 13
Loc: NorthEast PA, USA
Not much new to post here. I'm just over half way through book 2 Accelerated Piano Adventures for Older...
_________________________
Roland HP504

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#2348317 - 11/10/14 07:30 PM Re: Faber Graduates [Re: PFred]
BrianDX Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 927
Loc: Lewes DE
Nice to hear from you guys. No worries, post something here when you can.

It also appears that after Thanksgiving I'll be temporarily putting Faber on hold while I do some more work in the Marlais Festival Collection.

Also, starting in January my teacher and I will begin work on the Piano Guild auditions work for later in the Spring.

I want to keep progressing in the Faber series, but after 14 months straight, I could use a break...
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F ..
Current: Diabelli - Song; Reinagle - Allegro; Faber - March Slav;

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