Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 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!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
60 registered members (Beemer, bluejei, BachToTheFuture, 11 invisible), 1,688 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

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

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
#1287486 - 10/15/09 10:14 AM Tale of Two Method Books  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
UpNorth Offline
Full Member
UpNorth  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
Hi everyone - I'm an adult learner with some music background, and I'm pursuing piano instruction with emphasis towards classical music. I would like to ask a question about two method books: The Alfred Adult All-In-One (Book #1), and Frances Clark's Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner.

My piano teacher is experienced with the Alfred book, but has never (until now) seen the Clark method book. I'm pretty sure that my instructor would be open to the idea of me placing an emphasis on either one of these books for the next several months or more - he seemed intrigued with the Clark book when I brought it the other day. (Rather, I'll probably move through the Alfred Book #1 within a couple of months, so I'd likely move the Book #2 then, whereas with the Clark book, I'd likely be busy with it for a while longer.)

Given my desire towards building a solid foundation for classical music, which of these books would you suggest as being better suited to me? I can read music, but not yet rapidly enough to call it true sight reading, and I have a decent level of music theory under my belt. I have at least 2-3 hours a day to practice, and I'm motivated to learn.

Of course, I will discuss this with my instructor when we next meet, but I would like to have the benefit of other informed opinion for my own education. Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.

Last edited by UpNorth; 10/15/09 10:17 AM.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1287489 - 10/15/09 10:19 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,159
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,159
Boynton Beach, FL
I think Clark's book is much more geared to prepare students for classical music. Alfred does a lot of arrangements of pieces with LH chords which sound nice right away, but in the long run it leads the student to have a weak LH - something to be avoided, in my opinion.

I would definitely use Clark with supplemental material, however. Also, Clark starts out with landmark reading, which means you have notes that are landmarks (Middle C, Bass F and Treble G) and then you read intervallically from those (2nd above, 2nd below, etc.). Personally, I teach my students to read the first note in each hand to find out where to put their hands, and then read the intervals from there. Slightly different, but I can use Clark and just ignore the landmark comments.

Also, while both books have theory in them, you will want to have a supplemental theory book for practice. I recommend Keith Snells' Fundamentals in Piano Theory published by Kjos.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1287513 - 10/15/09 10:58 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 585
marimorimo Offline
500 Post Club Member
marimorimo  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 585
Manila
I am not a teacher, just another beginner fresh from 'graduating' from Alfred Book 1.

Morodiene is right about Alfred leading you to have a weak LH. The Alfred Book was all I used until I was about midway through the book. Then my teacher made me play pieces from the Frances Clark Library of Contemporary Literature book (not a method book but a collection of repertoire. It has works from Bartok, Kabalevesky, etc. made specially for children so I think it counts as classical). The first piece looked much easier than my Alfred pieces then, so I was horrified when I started the piece and realized I was struggling with a left hand that wouldn't cooperate and seemed to have a mind of its own. By the second piece, I knew the reason for my clumsy LH was my (lack of) training with Alfred. I have since continued playing from the Contemporary Lit book and other classical pieces assigned by my teacher so LH is in the process of recovery and is starting to catching up with my RH.

So while I still like Alfred and will continue my studies with it, I think it's better to have supplementary material that is NOT from the same Alfred series (Greatest Hits, Christmas and Pop Song Books corresponding to each level ) because then you'll only be practicing the same LH chords from the method book, without any chance to strengthen your LH.


Working on: Schumann Album for the Young, Clementi Op 36 No. 1 (all movements), Various Bach, Czerny 599
+ CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
#1287521 - 10/15/09 11:11 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: marimorimo]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
UpNorth Offline
Full Member
UpNorth  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
One thing I forgot to mention is that I often play/practice the Alfred pieces by switching LH and RH. I wonder if this isn't as effective as I thought it might be?

#1287525 - 10/15/09 11:14 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,159
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,159
Boynton Beach, FL
What happens when you have to do two different things with both hands? How will playing chords in one hand and a melody in the other help this? It is a very limited way of playing in general, even if you swap, you're still only focusing your attention on the melody.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1287554 - 10/15/09 11:45 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
UpNorth Offline
Full Member
UpNorth  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
Originally Posted by Morodiene
What happens when you have to do two different things with both hands? How will playing chords in one hand and a melody in the other help this? It is a very limited way of playing in general, even if you swap, you're still only focusing your attention on the melody.


Fair enough - I'm still an admitted dumbass at this. grin

#1287684 - 10/15/09 03:06 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Minniemay  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
CA
The Clark book is much more comprehensive. I use it almost exclusively with adults.


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
#1287932 - 10/15/09 10:09 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Minniemay]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
UpNorth Offline
Full Member
UpNorth  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 75
This is very useful information to me - thanks to everyone, and please continue to comment. Cheers!

#1288905 - 10/17/09 04:42 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: UpNorth]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 337
Rachel J Offline
Full Member
Rachel J  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 337
Brooklyn, NY
UpNorth, I don't mean to be self-serving here, but you might consider having a look at the method I just published. If you really want to play classical music, my method is more geared towards that than either of the ones you mention. I find the Clark far FAR superior to the Alfred for classical training, but I tried very hard to come up with something even more focused towards classical studies. Please check out my link below if you are interested.


Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method
#1289574 - 10/18/09 11:18 PM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Rachel J]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Minniemay  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,702
CA
Rachel,

I went to the site and looked at the preview pages, but the ones chosen for preview really do not communicate the approach well. It jumps from a diagram of the piano mechanism to about p. 50 in the text. Would really like to see some sample pages on how you get from page 6 to page 50!


B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano
#1289737 - 10/19/09 09:01 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Minniemay]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,159
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Morodiene  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,159
Boynton Beach, FL
It is interesting that you wait until p. 50 to introduce dynamics, too. I often find that this is asked for too soon in pianists, children and adults, mostly to keep their interest I think. However, it is a dimension that few are ready to add when it appears in other method books.

Do you have any more info?


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#1289834 - 10/19/09 11:41 AM Re: Tale of Two Method Books [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 337
Rachel J Offline
Full Member
Rachel J  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 337
Brooklyn, NY
Thanks so much for the insightful comments. I will try to see what I can do about the preview pages. I think my options there are limited, but I will certainly look into it. I agree that a more thorough preview would be great for people to see.

The best way right now to get a feel for the method is to watch the video at http://www.fundamentalkeys.com/videos/introfk.html

As for dynamics, I agree that most methods introduce them too soon. I teach my students to use a nice full, medium-level sound at first for everything. Then, when they have reached a certain degree of proficiency I introduce dynamics in a very methodical way. I find that if you introduce them too soon, they tend to get ignored since students are overwhelmed by too many concepts at once. Once they've been ignored for a while, it's harder to get a student to start paying attention to them later. By just waiting to introduce them, and then presenting them simply and gradually, I find the students develop a much broader palette of sound in the long run.


Rachel Jimenez Piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY / Author of Fundamental Keys method

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Yamaha CLP-685 brief impressions
by Osho. 11/21/17 01:02 AM
Counting clients' cash
by Candywoman. 11/21/17 01:01 AM
non western instruments in the menu ?
by huaidongxi. 11/21/17 12:48 AM
Least happy composer
by pianoloverus. 11/20/17 06:59 PM
Check out this performance of Kapustin's Op. 40, No. 3!
by project.mainstream. 11/20/17 05:19 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,863
Posts2,673,229
Members89,166
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
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 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0