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#928099 - 09/14/04 09:06 AM Thompson Piano Method
Shrimps Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 21
This is really a great forum. What is the general consensus on Thompson Piano Method compared to other Methods that are out there? What are its strong points versus its weak points? What is the average time it takes a student to complete each book. I know its relative to the student but im just trying to get a rough idea of the time the average student takes. Also once Thomsons is finished what would be prudent to study next?
the internet makes you stupid

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#928100 - 09/14/04 11:21 AM Re: Thompson Piano Method
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2052
I used the Thompson books in the beginning and found them to be pretty good. I thought there was a decent variety of material and it was pretty well presented - but I don't know how it ranks in comparison with some of the other methods. Truth be told, I only went through the end of the second book before I ditched it and just started working on "real" repertoire.

I would be interested in responses to this question also, because I am considering doing a little teaching on the side and it would be good to know what opinions are of the various methods.
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

#928101 - 09/14/04 01:37 PM Re: Thompson Piano Method
Tavner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 376
Loc: San Diego
I have found the Thompson books to be pretty good for beginners. But, I have found that stopping after going through Book 2, and switching to another series, to be much better than continuing onto Book 3. The pieces in Book 3 become too difficult too quickly, in my opinion. Lately, I have had good success with the Faber & Faber series (Lesson Books 1-5). After Book 5 I usually switch to the "real" repertoire books.

#928102 - 10/06/04 04:22 PM Re: Thompson Piano Method
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
There are some wonderful piano methods on the market today. Thompson is relatively older, and focuses on teaching just a few keys, mainly F, C and G in the early stages with extra emphasis on middle C.

As a piano teacher of 18 years, I've found that my students do much better using a "multiple key method". There are several very good methods that are age appropriate as well as fun and engaging for the student. My personal favorite is the Faber & Faber series. I also have started teaching the new Celebrate Piano series by Frederick Harris. This is a nice intervallic approach. I've also used Alfred, Hal Leonard, Beanstalk Basics (pub. by Willis) and Bastien (my least favorite)

The methods listed offer a nice variety for me. I teach several different students, and sometimes it's good for other options, so I don't get bored. I am also a firm believer in siblings not using the same books as their older siblings.

Cranky woman

#928103 - 10/06/04 07:25 PM Re: Thompson Piano Method
Matthew_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 60
Loc: Australia
From a student (John Thompson - JT) and parent (Suzuki) perspective I would rate Suzuki a lot better. I look back on my JT days as a wasted opportunity (The use of CDs just seems so obvious how can any method ignore them - and is now the time for DVDs as well?). The long haul with JT before you get to decent repertoire -say full sonatas - just cannot be compared to the rapid progress based on the best composers and 'real music' on Suzuki. BTW who was John Thompson?

#928104 - 10/07/04 12:47 AM Re: Thompson Piano Method
Deutsch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 14
Loc: Germany
I learned via John Thompson, and still pull out the books (coverless now) and play some of the pieces. I use them sometimes for some of my adult students (especially if they had music lessons as a child and are returning) but I don't like them with kids. They have too much fingering on them, and they move too fast for many young beginners. I prefer Faber & Faber, and the kids seem to really like the "fun" books by them. Like Cranky Woman, I use different books for siblings -- but only if they are starting at the same time. Unlike her, I like Bastien, and use it as my second option. I haven't had much success with Alfred.

#928105 - 10/19/04 11:24 PM Re: Thompson Piano Method
PianoMum9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Surrey, BC
I've used the Celebrate series, and like it fairly well. I would never use John Thompson these days with all the better options available. My personal preference is also Faber and Faber, for several reasons. It uses as little fingering as possible, and it moves them around the keyboard quickly, like the older Music Tree (also good, but expensive I found)books, so that they don't get into the habit of "reading" by fingering as I found they did when I used the Bastien series. The Faber also has a well designed series of supplementary books, good teacher duets in the early books and theory books that incorporate sight reading and some ear training.
The Celebrate series is also good; it's designed to lead the student into the graded Royal Conservatory of Music books directly afterwards.


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