Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection?

Posted by: kayvee

Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 01:24 AM

This is just a random interest of mine, but which of the standard repertoire collections would you consider the best overall? This would be for teaching, so anything like Keith Snell, Masterwork Classics, Celebration Perspectives, Festival Collection+Succeeding with the Masters, Bastien, etc...

I guess some different factors could be:

1) price
2) amount of repertoire available at each level
3) what types of pieces are included
4) how 'far' it can last and take each student
5) how well it fits into a very progressive manner

So, if you were forced to just choose one and have to 'deal' with fixing whatever little errors may come about, which do you feel is the best bang for the buck and will take the student the furthest?

Thanks for your time in advance! (Yes, I've done some searching on it, but there weren't really answers to this question specifically, and definitely not anything recently.)
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 03:54 AM

I like Jane Magrath's editing and fingering suggestions, so Masterwork Classics is my choice. It's also more realistic when you get into the upper levels (i.e., her "level 9" book is considerably easier than the other "level 9" books out there). Also look for her other books like Masterpieces with Flair.

If you like variety and interesting 20th-century music, then Celebration Series: Perspectives is good--but they are also the most expensive of the bunch. You get what you paid for.
Posted by: CWPiano

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 04:55 AM

That will depend on who your students are. I don't think sticking to one compilation is a good idea as you will seriously limit the choices your students have. I prefer to mix and match. For standard classical and modern pieces, I like to use either Keynotes or Celebration Series for the higher levels. Then I will mix and match some more pieces from Simply Classics, Little Peppers, and Microjazz.

If I am only limited to one, I will choose Celebration Series because for each level there is a complete set of repertoire, workbook, etude, and CD. If you can't get Celebration, Keith Snell's series can make for good alternative.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 09:46 AM

Originally Posted By: kayvee
I've done some searching on it, but there weren't really answers to this question specifically, and definitely not anything recently.

You're right, it's been quite a few years since we explored this topic.

This is my general procedure: Snell's Piano Repertoire series through grade 5 or 6, depending upon student, then move into urtext or composer volumes. I want students to have a library which covers a diverse range of composers' works. For some students, compilations are in order, so I generally turn to Alfred, which has some excellent material at very good prices. Other publishers have been getting on the band wagon of late. For other students, who are on a more serious track, I go with Henle editions, such as Schumann's Scenes and Album for the Young (combined), Bach Inventions, French Suites, etc. The Schumann, for example, spans an useful teaching range of 5 or 6 years for the more average, but serious, student.

I've used MacGrath's material for decades, and am never disappointed. I'm beginning to use some of Marlais' materials, most often with students who need huge doses of motivation. And I find that I use both Alexander and Bober for supplemental material to keep these more "social" students engaged. Plus there are many others with pedagogically sound material which captures students' imaginations.
Posted by: Opus_Maximus

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 01:54 PM

My favorite is a seemingly unknown little publication called "The Spectrum Collection of colorful keyboard classics"

This anthology has the BEST collation of music for early/mid intermediate grades. The anthology covers syles Baroque - 20th can, and specializes in especially dark/emotional colorful works that teens love so much. Most especially, it has introduced me to a whole group of composers and works I had not known of before, and some I like so much I use in my own concerts! I rarely find such rep in the mainstream publications.

http://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Collections-Colorful-Keyboard-Classics/dp/0938555030
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 01:59 PM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
This is my general procedure: Snell's Piano Repertoire series through grade 5 or 6, depending upon student, then move into urtext or composer volumes.

I think we've discussed this before. You know how I feel about those Snell books. The layout is spacious and clear, and the price is low. But the choice of repertoire leaves much to be desired. Maybe I'm biased because I keep on seeing kids chugging in those Snell books for their CM tests every year, and they play the SAME FOUR PIECES! (that's what it feels like to me--if I hear another Minuet in G...)

Recently, I've been getting transfer students who use the Prep, 1, and 2 Snell books in lieu of a standard method book series. I find myself having to go back and plug in holes everywhere. I honestly don't know what's the point of supplementing repertoire books at such low levels--the method books do a MUCH better job with pacing and organization. But these teachers go beyond supplementing; they are simply replacing method books with repertoire books. Bad, bad idea.

I'm also noticing quite a bit of repeated repertoire among the different repertoire collections. Celebration Series does the best job picking stuff that nobody else picks.
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 04:01 PM

Celebration Series is revised every 7 years, as well, so there are changes in selection.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/04/12 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I'm biased because I keep on seeing kids chugging in those Snell books for their CM tests every year, and they play the SAME FOUR PIECES! (that's what it feels like to me--if I hear another Minuet in G...)

That's more the fault of the teacher than the series. After all, at each level, you can select from 40 - 60 pieces.
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/06/12 02:22 AM

Thanks for your responses!

--

AZNpiano: Yes, I agree; MacGrath has great collections. And I did like how her Masterwork Classics moves at a slower pace, but it seems to jump towards the end of the levels (the gap between 7, 8 and 9, 10 are quite large, I thought), and there just isn't a lot of repertoire.

Celebration is great, but pricey and lacking a lot of standards people like. I can see how that'd be a pain for teachers, but I think most students want to play those pieces.

--

John:

Great insight, thank you!

--

CWPiano:

I never said this was to actually limit students to one set. I was just curious what some teachers preferred to use. I agree that no teacher should use only one series, no matter how 'great' it may seem. And I like John's approach of moving into collections later on.
Posted by: Marco M

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/09/12 01:33 PM

Hello Opus Maximums. I sent you a PM, am interested in the table of contents of the recommended repertoire collection. If anybody else would have it to let me have a look at it, welcome as well! If anybody would know something similar, I again would be interested.
In principal I like much the melancholic colored music, like i.e. the one from the movie "Amilie" (music by Yann Tiersen), but so far didn´t find a nice collection on this kind of music style. My level is late beginner, early intermediate.
Thanks! Marco.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/09/12 02:25 PM

Originally Posted By: kayvee
Masterwork Classics moves at a slower pace, but it seems to jump towards the end of the levels (the gap between 7, 8 and 9, 10 are quite large, I thought), and there just isn't a lot of repertoire.

Actually, Masterwork Classics have the easiest levels 7, 8, 9, and 10 out there, so I don't know where this "gap" or "jump" comes from. And it has ample repertoire, including some that are not anthologized anywhere else. Magrath has struck a great balance between stuff people are familiar with and stuff that people should be familiar with.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/09/12 05:08 PM

Useful thread, thanks to all for the info and insights!

Now, the collections that I can browse in my local shop haven't been mentioned. Agay (Classics to Moderns); ABRSM Keyboard Anthology first, second and third series, and the Associated Board Romantic Sketchbooks. Is anyone else familiar with these, and if so, how do they compare?

Tempted as I am to go out and order a full set of Keith Snell and Masterwork Classics, money is still tight.
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/09/12 06:56 PM

I would imagine that American editions would be fairly expensive within the EC. I know that Schott has several anthologies available, you might want to take a look at those. There are hundreds, well dozens at least, European publishers who display at the Frankfurt Musikmesse every spring. Perhaps you should make an attempt at attending the show. And surely there is some kind of pedagogy conference held somewhere in the UK you could attend.
Posted by: kayvee

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/09/12 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: kayvee
Masterwork Classics moves at a slower pace, but it seems to jump towards the end of the levels (the gap between 7, 8 and 9, 10 are quite large, I thought), and there just isn't a lot of repertoire.

Actually, Masterwork Classics have the easiest levels 7, 8, 9, and 10 out there, so I don't know where this "gap" or "jump" comes from. And it has ample repertoire, including some that are not anthologized anywhere else. Magrath has struck a great balance between stuff people are familiar with and stuff that people should be familiar with.
Sorry, I must be mistaken then. I thought I remembered seeing a big gap between 8 and 9 (maybe not in terms of technique, but in musicality). And I only remember about lower-20s pieces per book, which is why I said that, compared to KS which has about 50+ songs per level.

I do remember liking a lot of the 'random' choices though, and thought there was great representation.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/10/12 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I would imagine that American editions would be fairly expensive within the EC. I know that Schott has several anthologies available, you might want to take a look at those. There are hundreds, well dozens at least, European publishers who display at the Frankfurt Musikmesse every spring. Perhaps you should make an attempt at attending the show. And surely there is some kind of pedagogy conference held somewhere in the UK you could attend.


American editions are not desperately expensive here, and sometimes I find that the quality is just night and day, compared to 'British' material.

I was just wondering if anyone was familiar with, for example, Classics to Moderns, and can give me some kind of comparison. So, I would say I like the breadth of material in Classics to Moderns, I like the choices and I think each book is of a consistent standard, but sometimes the layout is difficult to follow. For example, sometimes it's really hard to tell whether a note is a line note or a space note.

The more recent Associated Board editions, like Romantic Sketchbook, are beautifully laid out and have short snippets of info for many of the tunes, which brings it to life. It feels like quality just from the touch.

I suppose I really should get myself along to conferences, etc, though Frankfurt feels rather far away! laugh
Posted by: John v.d.Brook

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/11/12 01:29 PM

Gosh, I don't know where you live, but from Edinburgh to Frankfurt/Hahn is a mere £18 each way using Ryan Air. Surely that's not a budget breaker.

I don't think the Classics to Modern would be bad, but I have no idea of the quality of the editing/fingering, etc. Some of these reprints are of really low editorial quality.

Which reminds me, there was a repertoire set out of the Eastern European block which was really dirt cheap, but after looking at a friend's copy, my advice was to avoid it at all costs.
Posted by: ten left thumbs

Re: Your Favorite Standard Repertoire Collection? - 10/11/12 05:42 PM

(er... I live in Edinburgh about 5 minutes from the airport. That little? Good to know...)

Ok, good thread, I'll look out for the publications.