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#2085246 - 05/19/13 02:46 PM Method book for 11-year old
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 943
Loc: California
Can anyone recommend a method book for an 11-year old beginner? I know there is a recent thread about methods in general, but I didn't want to divert that one into this more specific topic.

The student is a very bright boy with some musical experience, but he'll be learning the keyboard and notation from scratch.

I like the Faber Piano Adventures. My only misgiving is that the language and pictures seem geared to a younger age, and that might be a turn-off. I'd rather stay away from a "position"-oriented method. In the other thread someone mentioned the Burnam books as appropriate for this age. Any more opinions about this, or other suggestions?

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#2085253 - 05/19/13 03:04 PM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Faber has an accelerated course which might be appropriate.
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B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
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#2085264 - 05/19/13 03:24 PM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Minniemay]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Faber has an accelerated course which might be appropriate.


I use this often for older beginners, including 11 year olds, and like it a lot. Books 1 and 2.
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#2085341 - 05/19/13 05:19 PM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1349
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
With an 11yo, you can have a blast mixing and matching kids' method books, and making sport of them all, because they are beneath him. Conversely, you could use an adult beginner method and flatter him that you consider him a grownup. Or you could get him a theory book, skip the keyboard method books, and just plunge into a couple pieces from a so-called supplemental book. A method book could come later.

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#2085392 - 05/19/13 08:06 PM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Minniemay]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5483
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Faber has an accelerated course which might be appropriate.

I used that once. The student didn't really like it.

Depending on the maturity of the student, you can always try something akin to Denes Agay's Joy of First Year Piano.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2085426 - 05/19/13 09:42 PM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1067
Loc: NJ
I've used the Adult Faber Beginners book, (rather than the Accelerated Book) for older students who have played another instrument in which they are able to read treble clef notes. I would supplement with other music, depending on their interests.

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#2085487 - 05/19/13 11:48 PM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
pianogirl87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 107
Loc: New Jersey
I've used both the Basic and Accelerated Piano Adventures with that age level.

Honestly, the Basic was a much better fit for that age because of the pace. Accelerated tended to go a little too fast; it's more geared towards a teenager or adult student.

However, I would supplement with other music than the method books themselves.
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Pianist/Accompanist/Piano Instructor

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#2085666 - 05/20/13 10:12 AM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Ferdinand, I have read your post, here:


Can anyone recommend a method book for an 11-year old beginner? I know there is a recent thread about methods in general, but I didn't want to divert that one into this more specific topic.

The student is a very bright boy with some musical experience, but he'll be learning the keyboard and notation from scratch.

I like the Faber Piano Adventures. My only misgiving is that the language and pictures seem geared to a younger age, and that might be a turn-off. I'd rather stay away from a "position"-oriented method. In the other thread someone mentioned the Burnam books as appropriate for this age. Any more opinions about this, or other suggestions?

_________________________________________________

I am a 63 year old beginner. I looked at all the beginner books in the music store and they all seemed very strange because they were full of colours and strange drawings that looked like they were for someone going to art school. I choose John Thompson because it seemed normal and turned out to be an awesome method book for me. Obviously, I know nothing about children but I was impressed with the John W. Schaum piano course because it seemed like a great course. As early as page 5 of the pre- green book there are air balloons, page 12 has a speed boat and music to match, page 13 has a kid looking at a computer and says "Always look at your music, not at your hands."

In the A Red Book, Grade 1, as early as page 4 there is a guy shooting a basketball, guys hiking at page 10, page 15 musical called "down in a coal mine" with a guy with a miner's lamp and a pick in his hands. So if kids need the right kind of pictures to want to learn to play the piano, it seems like Schaum might work. The books go to grade 6. If John Thompson didn't exist, I would have chosen Schaum method books - but not for the coloured pictues, but the method seemed great. There is also the Michael Aaron piano course which seemed okay, too, but it doesn't have coloured pictures so it could be a turnoff for the modern kid. The popular Farber and Barber and Adventures books are not remotely like these older method books. I could not relate to the modern method books. Everything is deeply inbeded with all sorts of colours including the notes, but with all that colour you would think they would have coloured the notes like red for whole notes, green for quarter notes,etc., so these young modern kids could see the different coloured notes in the measures up ahead and get ready for the change in the music.





Edited by Michael_99 (05/20/13 10:17 AM)

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#2085679 - 05/20/13 10:46 AM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
It's been said many times but you have to choose the method book which suits the individual student. Age is a factor but that's not all there is to it.

If he is quite bright then one of the older more traditional methods might work for him. I often use piano time by Pauline hall or even piano lessons by waterman. Yes I know it's as old as the hills and I used it myself over 30 years ago but it's a decent book for the faster learner. More traditional methods get slated for the hand position approach. They also contain fewer pieces to practice new concepts and techniques. With younger students this is usually a problem but I find the older ones can skip make quick progress and avoid the usual pitfalls of reading finger numbers etc.

I went to a workshop last weekend with Nancy Bachus who was in the UK to promote the Alfred's premier piano course along with her exploring piano classics and spirit series. I've not used them yet but will be doing so as they look really good. In fact the exploring piano classics technique and repertoire could be great with an 11 year old who wants to play real piano literature.

You can also supplement any books with suitable exercises like five finger patterns, scales, arpeggios, chords as well as introducing theory. Many methods include further materials to cover this if you are not sure about making up your own.
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Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2086079 - 05/21/13 01:34 AM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 943
Loc: California
Thanks to all for your helpful suggestions.

I wasn't aware of the accelerated and adult Piano Advetures series. These look promising.

Michael 99 - Agreed, the presentation style of some older methods is very appealing.

Chris H. - I'm considering the Waterman & Harewood series. Do you know whether it uses the British time-value terminology (minim, crotchet, etc.)?

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#2086130 - 05/21/13 06:27 AM Re: Method book for 11-year old [Re: Ferdinand]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
The waterman almost certainly uses the British terminology. I haven't used it for a while as my recent beginners have either been much younger or much older and I don't have a copy on the shelf to check. I know that some of the methods from the states have been edited over here to include British time names but not sure if it works the other way round. In any case I think an 11 year old could cope with those time names being in the book and you can always change them to the more familiar fractional ones.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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