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#1276927 - 09/28/09 09:42 PM piano town method level 4  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
Barb860 Offline
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Barb860  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
northern California
A transfer student came to me playing from this book. He is really struggling with it. He claims to have finished the first 3 levels in this method but says he and his teacher "skipped a lot of the pieces". I think we should change things up a bit and move to a different method. He is a young student and I think Piano Adventures would be good for him. Any comments? This student is not proficient in his scales and doesn't understand key signatures all that well.
I put him in Julie Johnson theory level 1 and he is comfortable in there. He is working on some church music that is level 2-3 and does well with that.


Piano Teacher
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#1276953 - 09/28/09 10:24 PM Re: piano town method level 4 [Re: Barb860]  
Joined: Jun 2007
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Betty Patnude  Offline
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Puyallup, Washington
Barb,

Do you think that skipping pieces in a method book indicates that the book was not a good fit for the student and the teacher?

Have you asked him why he thinks his teacher allowed him to skip pages in the book before moving to a higher level?

His age might have something to do with no proficiency in scales and key signatures. You say "young", but yet he is at level 4.

I think we were very hard to "catch" the students where they are when they transfer and to be able to keep the music moving ahead some while also doing some "repair" work. Not an easy balancing act for them or for us.

His comfort level and cooperation with you will make it all possible.

Good luck!

Betty

#1276959 - 09/28/09 10:37 PM Re: piano town method level 4 [Re: Betty Patnude]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Barb860  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
northern California
Originally Posted by Betty Patnude
Barb,

Do you think that skipping pieces in a method book indicates that the book was not a good fit for the student and the teacher?

Have you asked him why he thinks his teacher allowed him to skip pages in the book before moving to a higher level?

His age might have something to do with no proficiency in scales and key signatures. You say "young", but yet he is at level 4.

I think we were very hard to "catch" the students where they are when they transfer and to be able to keep the music moving ahead some while also doing some "repair" work. Not an easy balancing act for them or for us.

His comfort level and cooperation with you will make it all possible.

Good luck!

Betty


This student's previous teacher (she has a great reputation around here and I am not bashing her, just to clarify), only uses piano town method and no other. When I asked the student why they skipped so many pieces, he shrugged his shoulders and grinned. He's an adorable 10 year old. I share your thought that this method is not ideal for him and I just feel we need to change things up a bit.


Piano Teacher
#1277187 - 09/29/09 10:02 AM Re: piano town method level 4 [Re: Barb860]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Olympia, Washington, USA
Skipping pages in method books is risky business, regardless of series. They are, by design, meant to present each topic in a coordinated order. Lv 4 of this series is roughly high elementary or lowest intermediate, ie the simplest Bach dances, Beethoven G major sonatina or Clementi C major. If the student is struggling, try Snell's piano repertoire series level 2 and see how he does.


"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
#1277458 - 09/29/09 04:47 PM Re: piano town method level 4 [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Barb860  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
northern California
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Skipping pages in method books is risky business, regardless of series. They are, by design, meant to present each topic in a coordinated order. Lv 4 of this series is roughly high elementary or lowest intermediate, ie the simplest Bach dances, Beethoven G major sonatina or Clementi C major. If the student is struggling, try Snell's piano repertoire series level 2 and see how he does.


John, thanks for your suggestion. Do you think I should put this student in a method book along with the repertoire level 2?
That's my gut feeling at this point. I think this student needs a method book and I like the Piano Adventures series.


Piano Teacher
#1277495 - 09/29/09 05:56 PM Re: piano town method level 4 [Re: Barb860]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member
John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
You're in a better position to answer that. You don't say how old he is, but students are very sensitive to "levels." Even though you and I know they do not correlate at all. That's why I suggested a repertory series - it's different and any one looking at it can immediately see that level 1 isn't the same as PA level 1. Celebration is another similar series, and FJH has several.

Oh, the repertoire series look more "grown up" so you might get a bit more enthusiasm as a side benefit.

If he hasn't done the Performer/Technique books of Piano Town, you could always back track to level 3 Performer as a "review" without deflating him too much.


"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
#1277630 - 09/29/09 10:29 PM Re: piano town method level 4 [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Barb860  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,654
northern California
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
You're in a better position to answer that. You don't say how old he is, but students are very sensitive to "levels." Even though you and I know they do not correlate at all. That's why I suggested a repertory series - it's different and any one looking at it can immediately see that level 1 isn't the same as PA level 1. Celebration is another similar series, and FJH has several.

Oh, the repertoire series look more "grown up" so you might get a bit more enthusiasm as a side benefit.

If he hasn't done the Performer/Technique books of Piano Town, you could always back track to level 3 Performer as a "review" without deflating him too much.


Thanks, John. This student is 10 years old. He wants to play pieces like "Superman", "Pink Panther", "Star Wars", etc. and has never done so before. He was begging his mom to let him quit piano but agreed to change teachers for a different approach, we'll see what happens. I think a rep. book and a method will be my plan and we'll hope for the best.


Piano Teacher

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