Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
How It All Really Began
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
80 registered members (AWilley, allegro_concerto, accordeur, 27 invisible), 1,262 guests, and 6 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Which methods/books do you use? #1156121
03/02/09 08:06 PM
03/02/09 08:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 10
S
starlightgirl Offline OP
Junior Member
starlightgirl  Offline OP
Junior Member
S
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 10
Hello everyone! I am a bit new to the forums.

I am starting up my own piano studio geared toward beginner through intermediate level students. I really like Keith Snell's Theory books, but I am torn about which method to use. Honestly, I think I would like to combine some of them, but I'm not sure if that would be too confusing.

For example, I've heard that Bastian is very kid-friendly designed (I learned from this one myself), Faber has good technic books, Clarke teaches them how to sight read well, Alfred has the best selection of repertoire, etc. And then Keith Snell also has those great repertoire/etude books. Aaaaaahhh!

Can anyone help and give me their input on what they have used and why? I would REALLY appreciate it! smile

Also, I am sorry if this has been asked before. If there is already a thread about this, please direct me to it.

Thanks!!!

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: starlightgirl] #1156209
03/02/09 10:48 PM
03/02/09 10:48 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 114
Illinois
D
DoReMi Katie Offline
Full Member
DoReMi Katie  Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 114
Illinois
Yes, each method seems to have its strong points, and also its weaknesses. You've identified the strengths of these - it might not hurt to identify the weakness too, just so you can supplement in those areas.

One example of what I mean:
I like the Robert Pace technique book one called "Fingerbuilders". It introduces all 12 keys from the beginning. the down-side is that it stays in the 5-finger position. So I supplement technique with Edna Mae Burnham's Dozen a Day, which is built on the middle C position, but easily jumps in octaves and explores a greater length of the keyboard.

Also for lesson/repertoire books, I generally use the Faber method which has interesting and well-written pieces. It captures students' attentions, and I don't get bored hearing the same songs again and again. (A BIG plus!) However, Faber tends to keep hands separate without teaching young students hand independence, until about level 2. So I try to make sure I give them pieces that develop that much-needed coordination. I've really enjoyed Keith Snell's repertoire books. I also use the In Recital series (published by FJH) just to give them more exposure to styles of other arrangers.



Full-time, independent piano instructor; church musician
MTNA, ISMTA, working towards NCTM!
Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: DoReMi Katie] #1156273
03/03/09 12:05 AM
03/03/09 12:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 178
Los Angeles
MrsCamels Offline
Full Member
MrsCamels  Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 178
Los Angeles
I love the Keith Snell books. Musically, I see kids exhibit more interest in them coming from kid-centered books. I don't know if it's because the Snell books look more grown-up, or if they find the music itself more interesting. While I like the newer bastien books and the alfred series, the layout drives me crazy. I'd get a headache if I had to see a handful of students using those each day. I prefer the old fashioned bastien books for younger kids. (the ones with the wide vertical color stripe). It seems like kids focus much better with less action on the page (fewer color, drawings, etc). I also like the "favorite classic melodies" that runs in this series.
My adult students love the Keith Snell books as well. The theory book is really comprehensive, esp. when aural skills training is done alongside.
I've always wondered why the Snell books don't get more attention.


Teaching since 2004
Private studio owner since 2008
www.ecsorota.com
Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: MrsCamels] #1156434
03/03/09 11:41 AM
03/03/09 11:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 201
Wisconsin
K
Karisofia Offline
Full Member
Karisofia  Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 201
Wisconsin
Congratulations, Starlight! And welcome to the world of teachers. It's a crazy world, but one I wouldn't give up for anything.

Just as the different series have different strengths and weaknesses, so will your students. On top of that, they will have unique personalities and interests. Since you are just starting out, you will probably want to choose one set of books. Eventually, however, you may want to choose among several depending on the student.

Your skill at teaching will ultimately be more important than the series you choose. Make sure you invest in your own growth as a teacher. You can do this by taking classes, reading books and journals, or attending conferences. Joining up with your local music teachers association will give you "real live people" to bounce questions off.

If you choose the Faber series, they have an excellent web site and forum at www.pianoteaching.com. You can even see video examples of teaching various skills.

I would highly recommend looking into the National Music Certificate Program. This is a program/curriculum of complete musicianship training beginning at the earliest levels and proceeding to the "artist" level. As I have used it, I have seen growth in my own teaching. I more easily identify and fix weak areas. Also, I can supplement or experiment with other materials confidently. The program gives me a checkpoint to ensure that I'm not missing anything.

There's my two cents' worth. In today's economy, that's not much! So I'll end where I began. Welcome and enjoy the ride!


Private Teacher
Member MTNA, WMTA, CVMTA
Local Association President
The Achievement Program Center Representative
Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: Karisofia] #1156490
03/03/09 01:40 PM
03/03/09 01:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member
btb  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
We’ve slugged out this debate quite a few times without a decisive end play ... and IMHO the dead end is due to grossly limited extent of the piano teacher’s repertoire ... and trying to build a teaching platform off this barren collection ... but always falling back on the cosy use of so-considered "reputable" method books (Bastian, Snell, Faber, Pace, Burham and Clarke ... to mention a few) to plug the shortfall.

Excuse the bold words ... but the piano teacher’s primary duty is for the student to be transported on a magic carpet ride in learning to play the piano ... dull method books are guaranteed to choke enthusiasm ... ... the secret to quality progress is "carrot" music (always geared to what the student wants to play) ... minutely tailored to student dreams.

Sadly the all too ready use of method books scuppers this approach ... but what an indictment of keyboard tuition when quality music is found to provide all the necessary ingredients for developing good fingering, sight-reading and everything there is to know about Theory.

Let good music play the Piper chaps ... if you do, the student will come back for more.

Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: btb] #1162970
03/15/09 12:26 AM
03/15/09 12:26 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 10
S
starlightgirl Offline OP
Junior Member
starlightgirl  Offline OP
Junior Member
S
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 10
I just wanted to give an update and thank everyone for their responses! I decided to use Faber for the younger students (going to pianoteaching.com really helped!) and Alfred's All-In-One for my adult beginner students. I bought an assortment of Keith Snell's repertoire and etude books and am next looking into getting some of the In Recital series. smile

I like using method books because I feel they pace and reinforce new concepts appropriately for the learning process, but I can see the need to supplement them with actual music that will motivate the student.

I joined my local music teachers association chapter- but the only bummer is that they meet on Tuesday mornings every month. I really wanted to network, get to know and learn from the other teachers, but I have a day job that I need to work during that time. That's why I try to read as much advice on here that I can and I appreciate everything you all have contributed!


Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: starlightgirl] #1163305
03/15/09 07:13 PM
03/15/09 07:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Hi and welcome!

Over the years, I've used quite a few different methods; all are teacher dependent to be effective, of course. I began using Piano Town by Diane Hidy and Keith Snell (Kjos - who also publishes the Bastien series) when it first came out a few years back, and have been highly satisfied with it. The children in the book are studying piano, of course, and live in piano town. Other children are learning orchestral instruments. Does that sound like any elementary students you know? Their extra curricular activities are pretty much the same as modern day kids ECAs. I find that both my young boys and girls like the running story line.

It's easy to transition to Keith's Piano Repertoire series after they've completed level two, which is the minimum I'd recommend. Students who need a bit more time could continue with level 3 and 4.

One caveat - the supplemental books shouldn't be written off, as so many teachers do, as they really do support your work. I use the complete 4 vol set at every level (well, Primer is only 3).

Now, for the record, Piano Town isn't the only method I use. It's sort of my "mainstream" method which works well for most students. As a reserve, I keep some of Frances Clark's materials on hand and if I find I have sibling rivalries, I have almost all of Helen Marlais' materials and Faber's as well.

For very special students, I put them immediately into Jane Tan's program, but this requires some teacher prep and study, because her method, while highly effective, is a bit unorthodox.


"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
Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: John v.d.Brook] #1163345
03/15/09 08:47 PM
03/15/09 08:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896
Puyallup, Washington
B
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Betty Patnude  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896
Puyallup, Washington
I had to resort to building my own method over the years because I have a desire to teach by systematic concepts and supply the music that fits the concept being taught. I call what I do "directive music education" because so much instruction goes on from a visual, aural, tactile sense in addition to trying to speak to the student in the way they learn best.

Having materials prepared to be able to do this is quite helpful and I think over the long run directive education helps accelerate and ground the students knowledge and establishes good observation, thinking and analysis skills.

I really don't think piano students get enough from the music as it is approached in piano methods. Things that leads me to the conclusion is: less pianos methods are sold as the level goes up; and 2)when you get someone else's piano student as a transer into your studio, it is often evident that things are missing that you would have thought should have been taught by now, and taught well.

I really think a personal touch is needed in methods, and that a teacher who ventures into directive education is going to feel good about the music teaching service they are devising and supplying to their clients.

You just keep adding to your observations and questioning whether the student is getting it. That leaves you and he accountable to each other for making progress, leave the "middleman", the "method" out and I think you are more vested in success of the outcome.

There are a lot of good supplements from piano education composers out there offering a great variety of music experiences for our students.

I think, shall I say it, a lot of methods do not compute. And, another factor to me, is the cost of them! How many levels does it take anyway before a piano student shows signs of independance?

Teaching "Young Musicians" keeps you on your toes!

Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: Betty Patnude] #1163611
03/16/09 02:12 PM
03/16/09 02:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,361
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,361
Boynton Beach, FL
I think with whatever method, you are going to add your own ideas, which you should. I like method books because I don't have the time to write every piece I'm going to teach a child. They provide the repertoire for beginners and then when they are intermediate I can just choose which pieces to teach them and in which order. I only keep my students in method books through level 3, sometimes level 4 of most methods, then we're into repertoire and etudes, and theory books.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Which methods/books do you use? [Re: btb] #1165739
03/20/09 08:39 AM
03/20/09 08:39 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 11
Minnesota
W
Wagepc Offline
Junior Member
Wagepc  Offline
Junior Member
W
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 11
Minnesota
I so agree about "carrot music." What are your studio favorites?


Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

New In Our Store!
New In Our Store!
A few of the many new items we've added to our online store.
(PianoSupplies.com is a division of Piano World)
wrap around sunglasses with music notes
Wrap around sun glasses with music notes


88 keys, 10 fingers, no problem
88 Keys, 10 Fingers, No Problem


Bass Clef Hat
Bass Clef Hat

Tons more music related products in our online store!
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Beethoven's Pathetique: short lecture
by MiguelSousa. 07/15/18 10:30 PM
Satie Gymnopedie
by cmb13. 07/15/18 09:50 PM
Recommend a Favorite Ravel?
by Kojak. 07/15/18 08:45 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Steingraeber
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics186,441
Posts2,732,080
Members90,574
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1