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#934397 - 01/06/09 05:34 PM 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
Preface from the book:
The object of this work is to furnish young players with as easy an introduction as possible to the art of playing on the pianoforte.
It is intended for children, even of the tenderest age, and the progression has therefore been made as gradual as possible within the limits of the work. From this it will be clear that an exhaustive treat of all the difficulties, ornaments, &c., does not lie within the scope of this book, which is not meant to be more than an elementary instruction book to furnish the pupil with material for practice during his first and perhaps second year.
There is, it is believed, room for a work of this kind which may also be used by musical parents in preparing their children for the professional master.

You can download the entire book in PDF from:
web page

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#934398 - 01/06/09 06:17 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
By the bottom of page 6, you'll have 100% drop out.

Should have posted this on April 1st! \: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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#934399 - 01/06/09 06:32 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I thought the meat of the book started on Page 8.

What's sepcial about April 1st?

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#934400 - 01/06/09 10:25 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
While not used much anymore, the Beyer method was the "John Thompson" of Germany for many, many years.

Several of the pieces from the method live on - you'll occasionally find them in elementary anthologies here in the US.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#934401 - 01/06/09 11:15 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
MA - you must be new here. How long have you lived in the USA?
_________________________
"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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#934402 - 01/07/09 12:13 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
John, I knew April 1 is the Fool's day but didn't believe that you seriouly thought this method book was that bad. Is it because the book is deadly boring? (e.g., no colorful cartoon pictures) Or it's overly fast-paced? Or it was not well thought out and had many holes in between?

Or because we simply don't expect young children today to accomplish the book in one year?

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#934403 - 01/07/09 01:02 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
Oh, that brings back memories...

I spent nearly three years going through that book. Some exercises are better than the others. I think the edition I used changed the numbering a little. I don't recall seeing those folktunes near the end. I remember liking #96 and #100 very much.

One needs to supplement that method book with more 20th century repertoire. The balanced approach is better when it comes to different tonalities and styles.
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#934404 - 01/07/09 01:23 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4802
Loc: South Florida
The bass clef magically appears in exercise #59. \:\)

Then suddenly in #63 both hands are in the bass clef. And BOTH hands are suddenly out of a five finger position.

All sorts of things appear out of nowhere, as in #73 where suddenly there is a chromatic passage.

Bass clef is all but neglected for so long that it is almost certain students will be weak in bass unless other materials are used to suppliment.

A lot of the music is crammed so densely into measures that it makes things even harder.

Remember, this is all supposed to be for children of the "tenderest years".

Looks more like something to torture kids with to me. \:D
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Piano Teacher

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#934405 - 01/07/09 03:25 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Sal_ Offline
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Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 355
Loc: Lacey, WA
"The object of this work is to furnish young players with as easy an introduction as possible to the art of playing on the pianoforte."


Uh huh...

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#934406 - 01/07/09 09:41 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
MA - Gary & Sal nicely summarized the obvious.

For example, the student isn't introduced to G major until #70, which is at least a year into the program. Probably more. Three-fourths of the way through the book, we finally get to F major. Of course, students have learned triplets, dotted rhythms, etc. In other words, they will have major problems ever playing out of the key of C major.

This isn't good pedagogy. I don't think I'd recommend this, even for a beginning student at the tender age of 10 or more.
_________________________
"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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#934407 - 01/07/09 11:47 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
John:

Unfortunately, Beyer is huge in Asia--they still come up with newer and newer editions that incorporate more and more 20th-century repertoire to replace the German(?) folksongs. I have a colorful edition (full of cute pictures and well-spaced pages) sitting on my shelf. They divided the Beyer book into three parts (thus three different books) and then added a lot of newer pieces. And the editors even added written instruction!

In the early 20th century, there was a Japanese teacher who compiled a series of pieces (in two books) that correlated to Beyer by number! I think highly of this compilation; thus I still use it with my beginner students. My first piano teacher used that Japanese series, along with John Thompson, Schaum, Glover, and a book of Asian folksongs to supplement Beyer. I was easily playing 6-7 pieces per week. But the problem was I didn't get to play even a sonatina until well into my 3rd year of piano. There are definitely drawbacks.

Argument could be made that, "Well, some good pianists grew up using Beyer, so Beyer must be good!" But nowadays I see more and more brilliant young pianists who did _not_ grow up using Beyer, and they are even more impressive than folks from my generation. Thus, my argument would be "Modern method book series must be better than Beyer because more kids are playing advanced music at a younger age than generations before!"
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#934408 - 01/07/09 12:42 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
Interesting comments, some of which are surprising to me.

I created the topic because I found the free download online after my son had been trained with this method for a few months. His teacher is experienced in teaching children from 5 years old to pre-college, and doesn't use any children method book (except this one). He was assigned a few exercises (plus repertoire not from this book) every week. He is near the end of the 2nd stage after 3-4 months. (He has weekly 1-hour lessons but skipped a few lessons due to holidays and illness.) He will be trained with repertoire (and repertoire only) this sememster. (Sonatina, enssemble music, etc.)

Although I know this method is very old and not suitable for every teacher/child, I wish my daughter had been trained with it. Her first teacher started her with RCM repertoire plus Frances Clark technique/etude books, and a little bit of Suzuki and Faber. The latter were nearly useless for her.

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#934409 - 01/07/09 12:59 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Boira Offline
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Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
Beyer is still quite frequent in Spain. Used both with children and with adults who want to follow the classical route.

I started with it. Then, my teacher combined it with Czerny op 599.

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#934410 - 01/07/09 01:55 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
The bass clef magically appears in exercise #59. \:\) [/b]
Bass clef is introduced on Page 4, and grand staff on Page 7. The bass clef reappears on Page 40 between #50 and #51. Then "magically" near the end of #54.

 Quote:

Then suddenly in #63 both hands are in the bass clef. And BOTH hands are suddenly out of a five finger position.

All sorts of things appear out of nowhere, as in #73 where suddenly there is a chromatic passage.

Bass clef is all but neglected for so long that it is almost certain students will be weak in bass unless other materials are used to suppliment.

A lot of the music is crammed so densely into measures that it makes things even harder.

Remember, this is all supposed to be for children of the "tenderest years".

Looks more like something to torture kids with to me. \:D [/b]
I like to watch my son being "tortured" during the lesson, e.g., when the clef sign changed in the middle of the music, or when he had to play 2-octave G and F. His teacher has made it more "torturous" by letting him figure out these things on the spot by himself, and my son actually enjoyed it.

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#934411 - 01/07/09 02:05 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
MA - Gary & Sal nicely summarized the obvious.

For example, the student isn't introduced to G major until #70, which is at least a year into the program. Probably more. Three-fourths of the way through the book, we finally get to F major. Of course, students have learned triplets, dotted rhythms, etc. In other words, they will have major problems ever playing out of the key of C major.

This isn't good pedagogy. I don't think I'd recommend this, even for a beginning student at the tender age of 10 or more. [/b]
I suppose this method book is more like a technique/exercise book. You definitely need to supplement with repertoire. For example, my son was assigned Minuet in G by Pezold (or Petzold) and other repertoire pieces.

Clearly, this is not an independent study book. The child needs the guidance of a teacher and perhaps the help of a musical parent to plug the "holes" in the book.

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#934412 - 01/07/09 05:02 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I don't think the book is a good selection for any beginner as it is not visually easily readable by any age.

I admit I did not look at all 88 pages, but pages 1-6 were plenty for my estimation.

This might serve as a good review book but the scope of it goes far beyond elementary skills and reading ability for the average student.

I have liked using Ferdinand Beyer music as eaches, but in one single book as a method book, I dont' think this is successfully doable without losing the student's interest.

If I were familiar with every page and the sequence of it, I could defend it's usefulness, but on a brief summary of a few pages, I wouldn't start where it starts, nor sequence it the way it is.

Would anyone care to profile a successful student and a successful teacher of this volumne? I am reading that there are other countries where this is an established method.

It gets my curiosity, but alas, no extra time at the present to get into it at the piano and follow along on the merits and critiques of this.

There are "holes" I'm sure - and a well written book will attempt to remove and allow "no holes".

Interesting subject!

Betty

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#934413 - 01/07/09 06:10 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
Yes, there are some good elementary pieces which have been incorporated into other series, but Betty, you're right on, IMHO.
_________________________
"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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#934414 - 01/07/09 06:37 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4802
Loc: South Florida
I have to agree with both of you. There are things in the book that certainly could be useful, but the way concepts are presented would require a ton of "hole-filling".

My biggest concern would be that reading would not happen. Since the number one problem I run into as a teacher is trying to teach students, coming to me from other teachers, how to read bass clef (or read at all), the way the bass clef is introduced and the amount of time spent with both hands in the treble sets off alarms in my mind.
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Piano Teacher

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#934415 - 01/07/09 06:47 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Most of the exercises from this book are not in any of the first/second year books of the contemporary/popular methods I have seen.

Take #44 for example. It introduces 8th notes. It also reviews what the student has learned, i.e., whole, half, dotted half, and quarter notes. The student gets to see the complete picture. Played with the teacher part, it sounds melodic.

#86 is another example. It introduces 8th-note triplets and 16th notes in a similar way.

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#934416 - 01/07/09 07:07 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
I have to agree with both of you. There are things in the book that certainly could be useful, but the way concepts are presented would require a ton of "hole-filling".

My biggest concern would be that reading would not happen. Since the number one problem I run into as a teacher is trying to teach students, coming to me from other teachers, how to read bass clef (or read at all), the way the bass clef is introduced and the amount of time spent with both hands in the treble sets off alarms in my mind. [/b]
Most beginning students would assume that the bottom clef is bass and top one is treble. After playing so many exercises from this book, my son still made the mistake in his last lesson when asked to sight read a new exercise that is written in both treble clefs. A careless mistake he fixed by himself right away.

If you go through the exercises in this book, you will know how much reading is required. My son has become a very good sight reader partially because of this book.

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#934417 - 01/07/09 07:13 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: 4802
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by MA:
Take #44 for example. It introduces 8th notes.
Both hands play the same notes, in octaves. And both in the treble clef. Five-finger position.

I fail to see anything unsual here. Used as a suppliment, it might work well for some children. As a stand-alone method there are serious holes. At best you well get excellent counters with well-trained fingers.
 Quote:

It also reviews what the student has learned, i.e., whole, half, dotted half, and quarter notes. The student gets to see the complete picture. Played with the teacher part, it sounds melodic.
There are many other ways of getting students to understand note values. I understand what the method is trying to teach. I just think there are better ways to do it.
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#934418 - 01/07/09 07:50 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: 11685
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#934419 - 01/08/09 11:50 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
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.
_________________________
"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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#934420 - 01/08/09 12:40 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
John, if this book is really as bad as you think, why is it still popular in some Asian countries and used in Spain?

A teacher who is still using this book today is not necessarily unaware of all other method books out there. He may think it's the best choice for his students and he's experienced enough to avoid the "pitfalls" and plug the holes. He may think the merits of the book outweigh its weaknesses. He probably teaches the contents of the book out of sequence and supplement it with repertoire. He may often use a bottom-up approach (induction) with his young students to foster independent thinking.

On the other hand, I have seen young children taught mainly with today's popular method books (Faber, Suzuki, Alfred, etc.) for 0.5-1.5 years... Well, I don't want to sound bashing and offend anyone.

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#934421 - 01/08/09 02:23 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Dorrie Offline
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Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438
MA -

I am a parent and student. I think the consensus among the teachers who post here is that some of the contemporary piano methods (Faber, Snell, Hal Leondard) do a better job at getting students launched than some of the older methods.

Any method can get good results with the right teacher. Some excellent teachers use no standard method at all, but guide students through pieces they have arranged, or through selections from the educational literature.

Good teachers supplement and adapt their main method to meet the needs of a variety of student goals and learning styles.

The proof is in the playing. I would ask how well a specific teacher's students play, not how students using methods A,B, or C play.

 Quote:
I created the topic because I found the free download online after my son had been trained with this method for a few months. His teacher is experienced in teaching children from 5 years old to pre-college, and doesn't use any children method book (except this one). He was assigned a few exercises (plus repertoire not from this book) every week. He is near the end of the 2nd stage after 3-4 months. (He has weekly 1-hour lessons but skipped a few lessons due to holidays and illness.) He will be trained with repertoire (and repertoire only) this sememster. (Sonatina, enssemble music, etc.)
I assume your son loves piano and piano lessons. I also assume he is progressing well if he plowed through this book and into the sonatina literature in just a few months! That's quite an accomplishment. It look me a few years to do that, but at 50 with a bunch of my own kids and a full time job, I admit to being slower than most children.

I personally would have found the method frustrating. I guess the method works for your son and your teacher's students. And if the teacher gets most of his students into the literature that quickly, maybe the method doesn't matter.

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#934422 - 01/08/09 03:26 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Dorrie,

Well said!

Yes, my son loves piano and piano lessons, but he also loves too many other distractions: TV, video games, toys, reading, chess, sports - anything that's fun. His teacher has pushed him really hard, and this book is one tool to do so. With a different teacher and one of the contempory method books, he would probably be still playing simple chidren's songs now.

Other students of his age (5-7 years old) will usually finish this book within a year and start with sanatinas, one movement first, then two, and finally all three movements.

This book certainly looks itimidating and no doubt would require more work from the teacher and the parent. Not everything is spelled out nicely or in a logical order. I am not advocating this book. Just want to share it with the wonderful teachers on this forum.

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#934423 - 01/08/09 04:23 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
C.Y. Offline
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Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Beyer is very popular in Taiwan and China. After a couple of months lesson with beginners, most teachers (I would say more than 90%) will start to use Beyer (the two-book version mentioned by AZNpiano) as technique book. After Beyer, then it's Czerny 599, 849, 299 and 740. Bach is introduced along with Czerny 599. Sonatina will wait till the latter part of Czerny 599 when the student's technique is ready and hands are large enough to reach 8th.

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#934424 - 01/08/09 04:32 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4802
Loc: South Florida
Let me go back to this:
 Quote:
Originally posted by MA:
Although I know this method is very old and not suitable for every teacher/child, I wish my daughter had been trained with it. Her first teacher started her with RCM repertoire plus Frances Clark technique/etude books, and a little bit of Suzuki and Faber. The latter were nearly useless for her.
I don't like Clark, and I don't particularly like Faber, but please don't make the mistake of assuming that these books or other methods are the reason why some teachers are good and others are not.

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.
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#934425 - 01/08/09 04:54 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
MA Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 302
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I agree.

I just want to clarify that I wasn't criticising my daughter's first teacher. She did a good job. Probably she was not aware of Beyer or thought it would be too demanding for my daughter. From a hindsight, my daughter would have progressed much faster if her first teacher had supplemented RCM and Clark with Beyer instead of Suzuki and Faber.

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#934426 - 01/08/09 10:12 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Minaku Offline
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Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
It depends on what the child does at home. What kind of discipline do you think the children in Taiwan and China experience versus the discipline here in the United States? If I showed this book to any of my students they'd flatly refuse to do it. Build the same exercise into a song, that'd be different.

Not to mention that in Taiwan and China there is a serious love affair with the Baroque and Classical. As AZNpiano has said, there needs to be more 20th century, as well as post-Romantic, Impressionist, and contemporary.
_________________________
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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#934427 - 01/09/09 10:04 AM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
Dorrie Offline
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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
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Posts: 11685
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
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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
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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
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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
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 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?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11685
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
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4802
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?
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Perhaps it was during Franco's time?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4802
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.
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4802
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
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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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#934457 - 01/11/09 01:58 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: 11685
Loc: Canada
AZN, in what manner in particular is Czerny only good for hopelessly remedial students (what is wrong with it?), and why is Hanon superior?

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#934458 - 01/11/09 02:19 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 keystring:
AZN, in what manner in particular is Czerny only good for hopelessly remedial students (what is wrong with it?), and why is Hanon superior? [/b]
Much of Czerny was quickly written, so they don't have much artistic value. And his fingering indications can get quite eccentric. There are better books for technique (Burgmuller Op. 100 and Op. 109, for example).

The only Czerny volume that I use at all is Op. 599. There are a few nice pieces in there, and the selections are often short enough that a student can play one piece well in a week.

I'm not a huge fan of Hanon, either, but at least it is in one volume, and some exercises I do find quite helpful. I also appreciate the scales and arpeggios. Those are definitely necessary toward building technique. I don't assign much Hanon either. So, I guess it is relative...Hanon is slightly better than Czerny.

I just can't believe I get these transfer students from China who have played several books of Czerny, and all they do is type their music at 100 words per minute.
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#934459 - 01/11/09 02:28 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...
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I just can't believe I get these transfer students from China who have played several books of Czerny, and all they do is type their music at 100 words per minute. [/b]
Good one!
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#934460 - 01/11/09 02:50 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: 4802
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
Much of Czerny was quickly written, so they don't have much artistic value. And his fingering indications can get quite eccentric. There are better books for technique (Burgmuller Op. 100 and Op. 109, for example).
I'd look for pieces like Kabelevsky's Etude in A minor (his compositions for "children" are often fine for people of any age and any level) and teach 100 more creative things before I'd go near Burgmüller. Talk about boring music with little artistic value. As long as we are throwing around opinions, thought I'd throw that in. ;\)

Let's face it, there are SO many fine compositions that stress technique AND that are of excellent musical value. Certainly some of the easier preludes from the WTC are at the top of the list, the two-part inventions in E, F and A minor have no ornaments and are superb for the fingers, and certain movements of famous sonatas can be taught earlier than the whole sonatas. Even for easier music there are better things for the mind and soul.

But I agree with you, I think, in the most important area—I'm all for repertoire, the sooner the better, any style, any time period, so long as it can be played by my students. I think that was also John's point. There is no reason to teach piano as if the last couple centuries never took place!
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#934461 - 01/11/09 04:14 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.:
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.
[/b]
And this is probably one of the reasons why your posts are so well respected. Imagine how different the world would look if you would have been Dubya's piano teacher...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
I'd look for pieces like Kabelevsky's Etude in A minor (his compositions for "children" are often fine for people of any age and any level) and teach 100 more creative things before I'd go near Burgmüller. Talk about boring music with little artistic value. As long as we are throwing around opinions, thought I'd throw that in. ;\)
[/b]
Kabelevsky is good, although the melodies don't have a deep cultural seat for most of us.

If the desire is excercises which are a bit more musical, then Heller of course comes to mind Op. 45, 46, 47.

On the other hand, why not use easier Scarlatti sonatas?

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#934462 - 01/11/09 04:42 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 Gary D.:
I'd look for pieces like Kabelevsky's Etude in A minor (his compositions for "children" are often fine for people of any age and any level) [/b]
I think for kids Burgmuller Op. 100 is better because those pieces were specifically written for children. The notes fit under the hands quite well, and there are no particularly big leaps or stretches (Think: Arabesque--quite an excellent piece for 5-finger positions). The intervals do not require awkward stretches between fingers, and the fingering is quite logical. I realy like the entire set: beautifully written pieces of etudes-in-disguise.

There are a couple pieces in Kabalevsky Op. 27 that are quite difficult and not accessible to the average piano students. I found similar problems with Bartok's two volumes of "For Children." Lots of awkward fingering there--or, rather, non-traditional, in the non-Germanic sense, of composition. I use the Kabalevsky and Bartok for the more advanced students, but for most average students Burgmuller is the way to go. In fact, this year I'm having five of my students play Burgmuller for their CM test.
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#934463 - 01/11/09 12:27 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 AZNpiano:
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.
There are three music conservatories in Philly main line area that many of my friends go to, one of conservatory has most Russian teachers, the other two are American teachers. They do use Czerny books.

 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
Most teachers I know go from method books directly to one of the repertoire series.
From what I saw and heard, no teacher would just assign technique books like Czerny and no repertoire at all. I guess they just believe Czerny books would help the students to master the repertoire easier.

 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I personally prefer the repertoire-based piano teaching. I won't touch Czerny unless the student is hopelessly remedial.
I hope my son's teacher doesn't think he is hopelessly remedial. \:\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
I just can't believe I get these transfer students from China who have played several books of Czerny, and all they do is type their music at 100 words per minute.
If those several transfer students of yours can represent all past and current students that play Czerny, I guess no one in Taiwan, China or Japan can be called pianist.
I guess it all comes down to the teacher's demand. My son's teacher is not just ask him to play those pieces with the right note, rhyme, fingering and tempo. He knows he needs to also do downbeat, shape phrase and play it like it is a repertoire. He has played about 1/3 of Op.599 and so far those pieces sounds pretty good to me, but again I am just a parent without piano background.
With Czerny I notice that he is much better at sight reading now, the new pieces in Faber books (he is almost done 2B books) he can usually sight reading and play it right away.
Another thing I notice is he can move around his fingers comfortably since there are so many moving fingers in Czerny pieces (like 4-5-4, 24-35-24 for the same notes).

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#934464 - 01/11/09 12:32 PM 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
Czerny is big here too, also with Russian teachers.
Czerny-Germer collection book is a great way to help shore up technique. I agree, the pieces must always be approached musically. Imagine, if you can make even Czerny sound like music what you can do with real music!

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#934465 - 01/11/09 03:46 PM Re: Method book for serious students? (link to PDF file of the entire book inluded)
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7368
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Gary wrote:
 Quote:
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.
That was certainly one of my more glaring shortcomings, too. I just happened to join Piano Guild, where it's a requirement, a little before becoming active on these forums. But regardless of how we got there . . . .

In re: Burgmuller. I would add to the list, Heller and Bertini as well. Each produced etudes which had real musical value as well as technique development.
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#934466 - 01/11/09 10:51 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 C.Y.:
My son's teacher is not just ask him to play those pieces with the right note, rhyme, fingering and tempo. He knows he needs to also do downbeat, shape phrase and play it like it is a repertoire.

With Czerny I notice that he is much better at sight reading now, the new pieces in Faber books (he is almost done 2B books) he can usually sight reading and play it right away. [/b]
Sounds like my son's teacher. Is your son required to do the Faber books?

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#934467 - 01/11/09 10:52 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: 4802
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by AZNpiano:
There are a couple pieces in Kabalevsky Op. 27 that are quite difficult and not accessible to the average piano students.
There is nothing that says anyone has to teach the whole set, or teach them all at the same time.
 Quote:

I found similar problems with Bartok's two volumes of "For Children." Lots of awkward fingering there--or, rather, non-traditional, in the non-Germanic sense, of composition.
There are ALWAYS huge problems in any set of pieces written for children when the composers were (or are) also famous composers in general. I tell my students that the great ones first did not concern themselves very well about what most people can play AND they apparently had very little SENSE of what most people can play. \:\)
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#934468 - 01/11/09 11:01 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: 4802
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
That was certainly one of my more glaring shortcomings, too. I just happened to join Piano Guild, where it's a requirement, a little before becoming active on these forums. But regardless of how we got there . . . .
I draw the line still at introducing anything before I think it is the best time. I think the timing of the PG is sometimes way off. And I still prefer to teach scales, first, as part of music, and cover them "officially" later. For instance, I teach a small piece that uses the C scale, separately, in both hands, the first time descending in the RH, then in the B section, ascending in the LH. I prefer this because it shapes the technique better, at first, tricking the hands into going the easy way first, where there is less chance of exaggerated movements with the cross. By doing this first, I find that I can introduce the scale in one octave and students immediately nail it.

Teaching is all about finding the right time to cover things. I think those of us who are passionate about getting the timing right find we will die long before we get even close. \:\)
 Quote:

In re: Burgmuller. I would add to the list, Heller and Bertini as well. Each produced etudes which had real musical value as well as technique development.
I also like some pieces by Heller. \:\)
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#934469 - 01/12/09 01:15 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 MA:
Sounds like my son's teacher. Is your son required to do the Faber books?
The teacher started with Faber level 1 books and didn't skip any piece, now he is in the end of 2B books.

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