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#934427 - 01/09/09 10:04 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Dorrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438
MA -

I found this older thread of yours

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/27/2398.html#000017

I think a five year old playing sonatinas less than 6 months into lessons is such an unusual case that I would be hesitant to draw any conclusions about ANY method based on that sample.

Assuming he's playing well, you simply have an a child who is progressing very quickly. I wouldn't be too harsh on your daughter's teacher or assume the differences in their progression has anything to do with their teachers or methods.

Dorrie

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#934428 - 01/09/09 11:20 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
The Beyer book is contemporary to the Hohmann "Klavierschule" which I inherited and of the same nationality. While I know nothing of Beyer, I read the extensive preamble by Hohmann which includes his pedagogical ideas, as well as who he expects to use his book, how he expects it to be used, and for which kinds of students. I can see a similar setup in Beyer (though Hohmann seems better in many ways) and can't help thinking that there are some similar ways of thinking. Has anyone noticed that when the LH is introduced in the treble clef, 3 on G is emphasized? There is a reason.

It would be foolish for me as a student to assess the merits of this old book. However I cannot help noticing the statements that G major is not introduced until about the second year, when in fact the student is playing to a G major teacher accompaniment in the beginning one-handed period. The first two-handed piece in G major is # 11. It uses bass clef only. Czerny introduced one clef at a time as well so that in the beginning you are playing LH in the treble clef.

When I look at Hohmann, it would not be a method in the modern sense, since Hohmann expected teachers to have their own methodology as highly trained teachers, but use his book as a tool. Might Beyer, his contemporary, have had the same expectations? Did Beyer also write how he wanted his book to be used? For example, I would find Hohmann incomplete without first reading his lengthy preamble. It is not as transparent as modern books which seem to explain everything throughout.

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#934429 - 01/09/09 12:40 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
MA - I wrote:

 Quote:
MA - what you're hearing from the teachers on this forum is that this book is that bad! Fine teachers, over the past 150 years, have made extensive investigations on how to teach, how to teach piano, how students learn, how students learn piano, and the results of these efforts are found in modern texts. And not to forget that the modern piano was just forming at the time of Beyer's demise.

All of which is not to say that there are not some useful tunes contained in it. But I would certainly take a hard, critical look at a teacher who is not aware of 150 years progress.
I think my post answers your question. This is not one text among many equals. There are good, there are bad, there are new, there are outdated. There have actually been improvements in teaching and methods. Whether a teacher chooses to learn them and to use them is another issue.

Why do some third world countries still use 150 year old training materials? Hard to say. Ignorance, perhaps? Free of copyright issues, perhaps? The students in the USA are growing up in households with large screen tvs, ipods, computers, etc. Presentation is important.

Along that line, I have a very talented 2nd grader, I mean, really talented, who asked me one lesson recently why she couldn't have pretty books like the other students. She could play anything in the Beyer text, but emotionally, she needs something more than B&W text.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934430 - 01/09/09 12:44 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
KS - just a quick comment. Playing in G major with accidentals written in is not the same as reading in G major. I was trained as a beginning pianist on a similar approach and the lack of learning all the keys early on became quite an albatross. As a young adult, it took me years to overcome this deficiency.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934431 - 01/09/09 01:21 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Why do some third world countries still use 150 year old training materials? Hard to say. Ignorance, perhaps? Free of copyright issues, perhaps? The students in the USA are growing up in households with large screen tvs, ipods, computers, etc. Presentation is important.
This is OT, but why do you think Taiwan or Spain is "some third world countries"? I am from Taiwan and I know Taiwan can't be called a third world country if its GDP is ranked top 20 in the world. My family was just a middle class family and I grew up with TV (not large screen though) and computer and that was 20 (or 30) years ago.
If you have been to China recently, I don't think you would call China a third country either.

Czerny is also about 150 years old, I know in Japan they are very popular technique books just like in Taiwan, would you call Japan a third world country?

As far as I know, teachers in Taiwan or China do use other method/theory books along with Beyer/Czerny for beginners. So Beyer/Czerny are just technique books, not the only book used for beginners.

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#934432 - 01/09/09 01:29 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by C.Y.:
My family was just a middle class family and I grew up with TV (not large screen though) and computer and that was 20 (or 30) years ago.
[/b]
Christ, you mean no home cinema!? And you call that civilized?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#934433 - 01/09/09 01:43 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dorrie:
MA -

I found this older thread of yours

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/27/2398.html#000017

I think a five year old playing sonatinas less than 6 months into lessons is such an unusual case that I would be hesitant to draw any conclusions about ANY method based on that sample.

Assuming he's playing well, you simply have an a child who is progressing very quickly. I wouldn't be too harsh on your daughter's teacher or assume the differences in their progression has anything to do with their teachers or methods.

Dorrie [/b]
My son is no average (now) 6-year old child, but he is no child prodigy, either. Although he can easily practice piano for 3+ hours at the conservatory on his lesson day (1.5 hours before, 1 hour during, and 1 hour after his lesson) -- and we have a hard time stopping him, especially after his lesson -- he can neglect it at home for up to a few days.

My daughter may be different, but she could have done better if she had been trained with a similar book. Before she joined the conservatory 1.5 years ago, she was playing Minuet in Gm by Petzold, the 1st movement of Bethoven Sonatina in G, and Level 2 RCM repertoire. Her teacher immediately put her into repertoire-only training and gave her Invention #1, a Diabelli Sonatina, a Chopin polonaise, and other duet and trio (piano, violin, and cello) pieces. She was 7 years old at the time, and it was such a leap of faith for me. For example, the ornaments in Invention #1 were tricky for her. She handled it very well and a few months later was selected (behind screen) by judges of Junior Bach.

Because my son has been trained with this book, I expect a much smoother ride for him. His teacher has pushed him hard but never rushed him. He didn't get to pass the exercises easily. In his last lesson, he played an exercise that introduces melodic A minor. He played everything correctly but didn't pass it because he didn't think on his own about the mode change from minor to major then back to minor and how the music should sound differently accordingly. This kind of training is probably impossible with today's popular method books.

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#934434 - 01/09/09 01:58 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
The students in the USA are growing up in households with large screen tvs, ipods, computers, etc. [/b]
And hand-held video games, cell phones, and so on. Speaking of distractions at home...

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#934435 - 01/09/09 02:12 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area

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#934436 - 01/09/09 02:36 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Why do some third world countries still use 150 year old training materials? [/b]
I actually said "Asian countries" and meant Japan (this book is still popular there), Taiwan, and Mainland China. "Asian countries" is not equal to "third world countries".

Presentation is important. [/b]

Shall we add colorful cartoon pictures to Shakespear? I have a collection of his works and hope my children will not refuse to read them because the presentation is dull.

Along that line, I have a very talented 2nd grader, I mean, really talented, who asked me one lesson recently why she couldn't have pretty books like the other students. She could play anything in the Beyer text, but emotionally, she needs something more than B&W text. [/b]

Bribe her with Barbie. I am sure she will stop protesting.

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#934437 - 01/09/09 02:46 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
MA, perhaps your son and your daughter are just different, and have different aptitudes for different things. What works for the goose may not work for the gander, and so on so forth. What I'm not understanding is your purpose in this thread. You've asked about Beyer, we've answered, what else is there to discuss, unless you are trying indirectly to make a point that we should all be using Beyer?
_________________________
Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

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

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#934438 - 01/09/09 03:02 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by Minaku:
MA, perhaps your son and your daughter are just different, and have different aptitudes for different things. What works for the goose may not work for the gander, and so on so forth. What I'm not understanding is your purpose in this thread. You've asked about Beyer, we've answered, what else is there to discuss, unless you are trying indirectly to make a point that we should all be using Beyer? [/b]
I had already stated why this thread, and I had already stated that I was not advocating this book. There's nothing more to discuss about my purpose and position.

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#934439 - 01/09/09 03:53 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
 Quote:
MA Wrote: Shall we add colorful cartoon pictures to Shakespear? I have a collection of his works and hope my children will not refuse to read them because the presentation is dull.
Nor would I expect 3 yr old, 4 yr old, and other children of the "tenderest" years to be reading Shakespeare. Marcel Proust, perhaps, but not Shakespeare. \:D
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934440 - 01/09/09 04:00 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
CY - I've traveled all through Taiwan; outside of Taipei, it is still very much 3rd world. Moving rapidly to 2nd world, however. I've also traveled through Spain. I will probably be in China this summer and will be able to provide some feedback for you. By the way, although I think Japan on the whole is what economists term 1st world, there are still plenty of open sewers in smaller towns and hamlets, especially in the outlying prefectures.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934441 - 01/09/09 04:03 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
 Quote:
Bribe her with Barbie. I am sure she will stop protesting.
No thanks. Perhaps a Bratz doll, however. \:D \:D
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934442 - 01/09/09 05:08 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
CY - I've traveled all through Taiwan; outside of Taipei, it is still very much 3rd world. Moving rapidly to 2nd world, however. I've also traveled through Spain. I will probably be in China this summer and will be able to provide some feedback for you. By the way, although I think Japan on the whole is what economists term 1st world, there are still plenty of open sewers in smaller towns and hamlets, especially in the outlying prefectures. [/b]
John,
Maybe your definition of third world country is different than other people and I am surprised that you think of Taiwan and Spain as third world country especially you have been there before.
Wikipedia may not be the most reliable source, but please take a look at those links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World

In the map, Taiwan is that small island in blue (which means first world countries) east of China, south of Japan and Korea, and north of Philippine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:First_second_third_worlds_map.svg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Percen...y_2007-2008.png

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#934443 - 01/09/09 05:28 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_World

There are 32 countries described as advanced economies by the IMF, Taiwan and Spain are in the list.

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#934444 - 01/09/09 09:34 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
KS - just a quick comment. Playing in G major with accidentals written in is not the same as reading in G major. I was trained as a beginning pianist on a similar approach and the lack of learning all the keys early on became quite an albatross. As a young adult, it took me years to overcome this deficiency. [/b]
John, in the meantime I discovered a mistake I made. The #11 I was looking at was part of the Seconda, meaning what the teacher plays. The Prima # 11 (student) occurs further on: It is much simpler and does not show a key signature.

Thank you for explaining your experience. I have the Hohmann in front of me and it, too, does not introduce key signatures until well in the book. I see the accidentals.

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#934445 - 01/09/09 10:54 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
KS - just a quick comment. Playing in G major with accidentals written in is not the same as reading in G major. I was trained as a beginning pianist on a similar approach and the lack of learning all the keys early on became quite an albatross. As a young adult, it took me years to overcome this deficiency. [/b]
I see it as a non-issue in context here merely because the hands are kept so completely in a 5 finger position, and never even come close to hitting and F#.

Scanning through I see the same thing is going on in #56-58.

Right after #69 the G scale is introduced, and finally there is a key signature.

After that, when there is an F#, it is covered by the signature.

I would not put the later mention of the key signature for G anywhere at the top of the list of what bothers me in this books.

Question, John: how long were you given music without signatures?
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#934446 - 01/10/09 03:01 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
Let me go back to this:

It's what is done with the methods that is important. I would suggest that it is not the book itself that produces the success but the creativity, experience and hard work of the teacher in combination with students that are willing to quality work. [/b]
The above truly deserves repeating.
Piano teachers are a dime a dozen.
Great piano teachers are worth their weight in gold.
Choose wisely.

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#934447 - 01/10/09 04:15 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
CY - I've traveled all through Taiwan; outside of Taipei, it is still very much 3rd world. Moving rapidly to 2nd world, however. I've also traveled through Spain.
[/b]
May I ask about which places in Spain you visited and when[/b]?

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#934448 - 01/10/09 05:24 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Perhaps it was during Franco's time?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#934449 - 01/10/09 12:31 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary, you asked: "Question, John: how long were you given music without signatures?"

I'm too old to remember something like that. However, what I can remember is that it was late 6th grade that I encountered reading flats beyond F major for the first time, and for what ever reason, it was sufficiently a traumatic experience to make a lasting impression. Further, I have vague memories of encountering A & E about the same time. This was after 4 years of lessons and being well into the sonatina literature.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934450 - 01/10/09 02:35 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11675
Loc: Canada
John, my memory of key signatures is possibly even stronger, though it is probably OT to this thread specifically. I spent some 45 years "reading" music in some fashion by knowing where to find the tonic a la solfege. My entire repertoire in any instrument was restricted to C, F and G major + relative minor for 4 decades. Occasionally I could sound out something more ambitious if it was diatonic enough.

In an early lesson which I attended as parent, I heard my son's teacher say, "It's easy, really. F# - F# C# - F# C# G# .. see?" I was caught off guard on how agitated I was inside. 40 years of struggle. I had had piano lessons for 6 months at age 16. After hearing my Czerny that I shyly brought in one day, the teacher replaced "Daffy Duck Goes Up and Down" with a conservatory-type book marked grade 4. Thirty years later I hauled out this book. I looked for, and found, a "note to the teacher" telling the teacher to make certain the student (me) knew the scale in question (E?, A?) and preliminary exercises. She had not done so. I remembered struggling to sound out that piece Solfege-style. I was terribly angry at that teacher. Not only had she not taught me key signatures for the piece, she had condemned me to a limited repertoire for the next 30 years.

If you have lived with misinformation about limitations for decades, and if you play music regularly, and then discover it was never so, then something like key signatures take on special significance. In the course of the last 12 months I did not learn scales on the piano - I devoured them! It is an empowerment. I can play any piece in any key with almost equal ease: it had not been so before. Sometimes I expect to wake up from a strange dream, because it seems so odd for this to be so possible and matter-of-fact, when it had been almost impossible and incredibly difficult.

Why should we be mystified and in the dark in the first place? Why not be taught, and learn these things? In that light I see the importance you place on the absence of key singatures in these early attempts at method books.

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#934451 - 01/10/09 03:50 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
galex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 173
Loc: on the run
Really odd-built book. It's like scratching your left ear with your right hand, going over the head. But I'm not a teacher, and I can't quite tell I guess.
Someone mentioned earlier that it is used in Spain and some parts of Asia. That makes me wonder: is anyone here familiar with the Lajos Papp [2 volumes I believe they were], that is generaly used now in Hungary, or the Maria Cernovodeanu method which is heavily used in Romania?
_________________________
By the rivers of alcohol..

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#934452 - 01/10/09 04:20 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
I'm fairly certain that I absorbed key signatures as much through music as from practicing scales. More so, I think.

Believe it or not, a lot is linked to the style of music being learned. Five flats is something you usually will not see in the Classical period, or earlier. From Schubert on it becomes very common. Most teaching methods continue (for good or bad) to stress C, F and G. I personally disagree with this concept.

I have been introducing hard key signatures for many years in three steps:

1) All accidentals written, no signature
2) Same thing, but with a key signature and accidentals in parentheses
3) Same thing, extra accidentals removed, standard notation.

You can immediately see where someone is. Those who are comfortable with and fully understand key signatures are annoyed at the extra information. Those who have never learned to read multiple sharps and flats will be more comfortable with the extra info AT FIRST, but will gradually become annoyed at it as they no longer need it.

The bottom line is that teachers who don't know what they are doing do unbelievable harm, but there is no way we can explain that to parents who are looking for someone closer and cheaper.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#934453 - 01/10/09 11:42 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary, according to one internet source, Schirmer is still publishing this in the USA!

Another reference is that it was published roughly around 1850, which means Beyer was working on it during Chopin's lifetime.

The modern piano evolved for another 30 years or so after it's publication; great late Romantic, Impressionistic, and 20th century literature was composed long after the ink was dry on it. Pedals and pedal technique were still evolving and the sostenuto pedal hadn't even been invented! But apparently, there are teachers who consider this the Bible of piano pedagogy.

What can one say (which hasn't already been said)? Where's that dead horse icon when I need it?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#934454 - 01/11/09 12:32 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Gary, according to one internet source, Schirmer is still publishing this in the USA!
That must make USA a third world country too. \:\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
The modern piano evolved for another 30 years or so after it's publication; great late Romantic, Impressionistic, and 20th century literature was composed long after the ink was dry on it. Pedals and pedal technique were still evolving and the sostenuto pedal hadn't even been invented! But apparently, there are teachers who consider this the Bible of piano pedagogy.
I am just a parent and I often visit piano forums and blogs in Taiwan and China. I don't think there are teachers consider Beyer as the Bible of piano pedagogy. I haven't seen one teacher that only uses Beyer to teach the beginners. As a teachnique book, should we care that this book doesn't really "teach" the G major and jumps to it? By the time the beginner reach those pieces, he/she has already learned major/minor through scales and other method books already. And I am just wondering do you really teach sostenuto pedal to the beginners?

My son didn't learn Beyer because his teacher thought he was ready and went to Czerny 599 along with Faber's method books. I am curious about your thoughts on the Czerny as the technique books, they seems to be more popular in USA because you can easily find them in music stores. Thanks!

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#934455 - 01/11/09 01:13 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
John,

By now you should know that I don't quite agree all the way with anyone, and many days that includes with myself. Each time I examine what I have considered best six months ago, I find that something has changed.
 Quote:

The modern piano evolved for another 30 years or so after it's publication; great late Romantic, Impressionistic, and 20th century literature was composed long after the ink was dry on it. Pedals and pedal technique were still evolving and the sostenuto pedal hadn't even been invented! But apparently, there are teachers who consider this the Bible of piano pedagogy.
There are people who feel the same way about Thompson, Faber, or any number of books. I tend to see merit in all of them, and weaknesses in all. I have been through most of the method books with at least one student, but not in the sense of using any of them as the "center" of what I do.

I've spent decades now developing my own materials. They too have glaring weaknesses (in my mind) that have to be "plugged" by other materials. I will not be using Beyer myself, but I can see that it might work nicely for some people used as a supplement. If I have one huge criticism, it is that the first steps are rather carefully laid out, but by the time you reach beyond the really basic things, there are huge jumps. Strangely this reminds me of Thompson, whose main weakness (in my mind) is that there are huge holes, things that are not explained or not very much, jumps in difficulty. Almost all my teaching has been about trying to find steps between concepts when other people don't seem to see them. Someone else goes step A, step B, step C, and I'm trying to fingure out 100 things between A and B that explain why many people get lost. I see the basic in flaw in all systems as the old "and then a miracle occurs" step from on thing to another, as if the people who are teaching have no idea that there is a cliff to fall off, and only a few lucky people jump over the cliff.

So I see quite a few cliffs in Beyer. The challenge would be to keep people from falling into the depths, but as I said, I'm still trying to plug MAJOR flaws in my own thinking. One thing is that since joining this forum I have realized that I have been too lax in covering scales and other things that I now think need to be taught more completely and earlier than I have been doing.
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#934456 - 01/11/09 01:14 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by C.Y.:
I am curious about your thoughts on the Czerny as the technique books, they seems to be more popular in USA because you can easily find them in music stores. Thanks! [/b]
Just because Czerny is readily available in stores does not mean people actually use them. The influx of Asian and Russian piano teachers may keep certain Czerny books in print, but that does not mean Czerny is popular in the US. I know Beyer is still in print because I see it in my local music book store, but that doesn't mean people run out to buy it--not when there are a dozen more recent method book series available.

Most teachers I know go from method books directly to one of the repertoire series. The technique is either assigned out of Hanon (scales, arpeggios, chromatic scales) or in small booklets sold in music stores.

I personally prefer the repertoire-based piano teaching. I won't touch Czerny unless the student is hopelessly remedial.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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