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#1423280 - 04/24/10 11:51 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: jotur]  
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I didn't say "screw other music- it's all about the piano". I said that piano teachers do not have any 'duty' to resuscitate folk music.

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#1423291 - 04/24/10 12:02 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
I didn't say "screw other music- it's all about the piano". I said that piano teachers do not have any 'duty' to resuscitate folk music.


The thread, and my post, is not all about you smile I am not, however, inclined to pity kids whose parents are Morris dancers - just my point of view, of course.

Cathy


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#1423301 - 04/24/10 12:25 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: jotur]  
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You specifically quoted my post and responded to it. However, whether it was directed at me or not, I have no idea why the idea of not involving folk music would lead you to state that some people are too 'ignorant' to involve things beyond the piano. Where do you draw the line between ignorance and realising that you are a piano teacher and cannot educate on every single form of music? To be complete do we have to teach minimalism, prepared piano music, Indian Ragas, whale song and William Shatner's unique stylings in the field of "sprechgesang", perhaps? Why should any of those very specific areas be any more or less important than folk music? I'm a classical teacher. I don't take a narrow view, but neither do I feel obliged to do my bit against the impact of the industrial revolution.

#1423314 - 04/24/10 12:59 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
They start off with seriously easy stuff, however - I'm not sure how you could think they were intermediate level Betty!! Five finger positions that don't move? Sounds like the second half of Book 1 of any standard method to me. I actually have these books and I can see how a teacher could use them, but I don't think they are for everyone, even though they are fabulous. Kids who don't practice would struggle, for instance!!


Elissa,

I wanted to respond about your 5 finger position comment of Book 1. I used "sheetmusicplus" here on the forum for my search and actually looked at Book 1, Part 1, then Book 1, Part 2, and Book 2 and I was using them in my mind as a complete method book series and that is why I called in intermediate but I I almost said late intermediate. This series moves ahead very, very quickly.

In Book 1 there is such a minor key influence, yes, it sound like Russian Music, what does one expect? It's better to start with a major scale sound for beginning students. But, there are no "instructions or explanations going on in the example of music given in any of the 3 books. So, I see it as supplemental and not a method for teaching.

These would be great books for serious students and for piano teachers to own and use, but I think they get difficult very quickly. There were a lot of "touches" required on that first page of "5 Finger" music. Legato playing comes before staccato (3 types) and accents so I "disqualified it in my mind as a beginning method and gave it an intermediate reading since it was so "diacritical", if that word applies here. Maybe "articulation" is a better word.

I also see that each can be purchased for less then full retail ($24) at around $14, so the price is much better for those who will buy it.

Betty

#1423320 - 04/24/10 01:10 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Betty Patnude]  
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Could I suggest that anyone looking at the Russian book go to sheetmusicplus here on the forum on the left of this screen and do a search "russian music". You will find 3 books in this series there. They are labeled Book 1, part 1; Book 1, part 2, and then Book 2. I think it's important to look at all 3 to see where they will lead as a total.

Someone had asked a question about "are they sight reading material?" I would think an advanced adult at the late intermediate level who was an experienced and accurate sight reader would enjoy them - but that is one whole lot of Russian music and it's usually best to recommend variety in our music selections.

I think these 3 volumes apply to the lover of Russian culture from the small picture we have seen.

Elissa, having these on hand in her studio, is much more aware of the contents of composers these books contain. I didn't see anything that made me think it contained a mix of composers in different nationalities and eras from around the international world of music.

#1423321 - 04/24/10 01:10 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by Nyiregyhazi
Perhaps it's a shame that it's dying out, but I don't think piano lessons are the place to revive that culture.
Single handedly it can't but utilizing the colloquial music language rather than Russian or another arbitrarily chosen culture just seems like good practice. Unless students are familiar with English, Russian isn't going to sound Russian anyway.


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#1423325 - 04/24/10 01:16 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: ElK]  
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My country was under Russian influence for a long time, the beginner method book I'm studying from is just like the one you described.


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#1423346 - 04/24/10 01:33 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Teodor]  
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And we all know why that is.


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#1423355 - 04/24/10 01:44 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: jotur]  
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I think the OP main concern is about a position playing that most of the current American method books provide. For example, some student thinks that F is finger 4 and D is finger 2 of the right hand and later is hard for them to change it.
I took a glance on only one page of this Russian Method that provided by Amazon, I saw "plentiful" of finger numbers on the music notes. I think even provided this Russian Method to students, they will start to depend on the finger number provided.
What do you think?

Humbly,
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English is my 4th languages, please excuse my grammar. Thanks
#1423366 - 04/24/10 01:58 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
What songs have children always learned first? Those from their mother's lips. What do they learn now? Those from Sesame Street.


Your English mums don't sing to their kids? Are you so sure?

And Sesame Street is real nice music ... or was.

Last edited by landorrano; 04/24/10 02:01 PM.
#1423462 - 04/24/10 04:50 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: landorrano]  
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Yes, landorrano, as the mother of a three-year-old I'd like to concur: Sesame St has the best music for toddlers in the media, imo. Far, far better than any other alternative I can get, I can access pretty much anything and everything that's in the mainstream as well as a fair bit that's not.

On the topic of the contents - these books definitely have a mix of styles and composers - they are not all about Russian Folk Music for goodness sake!! BUT they were devised some many decades ago, so they are not *contemporary* sounding to children born in the 21st century.

On the other hand, in the mid-twentieth century Soviet composers absolutely dominated the educational piano music field, with few brilliant composers turning their mind to writing "children's" music in the West. So these books are an excellent summary of some great composing from that mid-twentieth century period, as well as including all kinds of classic teaching repertoire.

Betty, I do agree - the books move super fast, but probably a lot more slowly than the method my mum learned from in the 1950s in New Zealand where on her first lesson she was taught to read crotchets (quarter notes), minims (half notes), semibreves (whole notes), quavers (eighth notes) AND semiquavers (sixteenth notes) as well as learning to play the C Major Scale!!!!!!!!! At the time, this could well have been the best method out there by a LONG shot.

Part I Book 2 starts with pieces that would be considered Initial in the Trinity College London exam system, or Pre-Preliminary here in Australia, or Pre-Grade 1 in the ABRSM system. In method book terms this Book 2 starts at about the place students are somewhere in the third book of any standard American method (it's at about the start of Alfred Premier Lesson Book 2A, for instance). But of course, it moves more rapidly overall. Many teachers think methods move too slowly, however, so this could actually be a plus!


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#1423730 - 04/25/10 01:49 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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So maybe this is your answer girls:
[Linked Image]
Any good?


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#1423745 - 04/25/10 02:12 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Um, no, that's a sad travesty. As is the Elmo's Monster Maker iPhone app, btw. The actual content of the Sesame St tv program is great, but the merchandising? hmmmmm......


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#1423749 - 04/25/10 02:32 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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I still wonder about the merits of composed vs anon for children. There's something so much more powerful about a piece that just exists - the timelessness. Beethoven knew that well.


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#1423752 - 04/25/10 02:42 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
So maybe this is your answer girls:
[Linked Image]
Any good?



[Linked Image] Wow!


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#1423759 - 04/25/10 03:28 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
I still wonder about the merits of composed vs anon for children. There's something so much more powerful about a piece that just exists - the timelessness. Beethoven knew that well.
hahaha - yes, because the stuff that just exists is somehow more pure having not come from humans but rather descending from on high holus-bolus for the purpose of communicating greater wisdom than is possible through the music conceived by mortals.


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#1423761 - 04/25/10 03:39 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
hahaha - yes, because the stuff that just exists is somehow more pure having not come from humans but rather descending from on high holus-bolus for the purpose of communicating greater wisdom than is possible through the music conceived by mortals.
Yes! Yes! Though more likely the purity lies in it having been shaped by countless mortals. Anything else'd be worn out and grubby! What a weird substance.


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#1423762 - 04/25/10 03:50 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
hahaha - yes, because the stuff that just exists is somehow more pure having not come from humans but rather descending from on high holus-bolus for the purpose of communicating greater wisdom than is possible through the music conceived by mortals.
Yes! Yes! Though more likely the purity lies in it having been shaped by countless mortals. Anything else'd be worn out and grubby! What a weird substance.
And unsullied by writing, that's a quality not to be sneered at.


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#1423765 - 04/25/10 04:15 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
And unsullied by writing, that's a quality not to be sneered at.
Ah yes, but expertly tweaked.


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#1423768 - 04/25/10 04:29 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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keyboardklutz, do you like/use the European Piano Method? Or is the inclusion of folk songs from most of Western Europe too multicultural? I would think it is the closest thing to your ideal, even though it does include specially written material as well....


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#1423771 - 04/25/10 04:31 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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And Betty, I'd be interested to know what you thought of the pacing in the European Piano Method - it's also much faster than say the methods from Alfreds, Piano Adventures, Hal Leonard and so forth. But now I'm diverging very far from the topic....


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#1423778 - 04/25/10 05:39 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
keyboardklutz, do you like/use the European Piano Method? Or is the inclusion of folk songs from most of Western Europe too multicultural?
I've got it or seen it somewhere. I found it too multicultural. As I said earlier the student needs a grounding in their own culture first otherwise the other cultures don't even sound other!


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#1423795 - 04/25/10 07:23 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
keyboardklutz, do you like/use the European Piano Method? Or is the inclusion of folk songs from most of Western Europe too multicultural?
I've got it or seen it somewhere. I found it too multicultural. As I said earlier the student needs a grounding in their own culture first otherwise the other cultures don't even sound other!
soooo funny - it seems intensely parochial from the perspective of Australia, but I suspected you would find it cast its net too wide!! I honestly think that for countries where no culture is native (bar the indigenous cultures which are quarantined for all intents and purposes from the everyday life of most citizens) your perspective is all but incomprehensible. Here we drink cappuccinos, or green tea as the moment demands, eat laksas, kebabs and couscous in more or less equal measure, train to row dragon boats and dance capoeira, and somewhere between the drink and the food and the community events you would think we would find ourselves singing the songs of each other, and yet this country is significant for its lack of public song........ All the music we teach feels no more native than a youtube clip....


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#1423799 - 04/25/10 07:37 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
Here we drink cappuccinos, or green tea as the moment demands, eat laksas, kebabs and couscous in more or less equal measure, train to row dragon boats and dance capoeira, and somewhere between the drink and the food and the community events you would think we would find ourselves singing the songs of each other, and yet this country is significant for its lack of public song........
You're right. Public song is all but gone!


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#1423890 - 04/25/10 11:03 AM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I'm going to pop in really quick and say that I do like the Russian Piano School, but I am not sure I'd use it exclusively with my kids. I like pulling from all sorts of sources and Music Tree does get boring after a while, so supplementary material is always welcome (I've given Mikrokosmos to some students and definitely plan on using it with my son whenever he's big enough). I will note that I've used pieces in the Russian Piano School part 1 as sightreading examples for my piano 1 students at university.

I like the folk music style and the pieces are memorable, and isn't that what we want? We want the children to know the music and love the music so that they'll be motivated to play?


Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

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#1423931 - 04/25/10 12:46 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Elissa Milne]  
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Originally Posted by Elissa Milne
And Betty, I'd be interested to know what you thought of the pacing in the European Piano Method - it's also much faster than say the methods from Alfreds, Piano Adventures, Hal Leonard and so forth. But now I'm diverging very far from the topic....


Elissa,

I again went to sheetmusicplus and looked up all 3 volumes. There was only one music example in two of the volumes, and no example in one of the volumes, neither were there a table of contents.

In reading the editors intentions there were several pedogogy points that I can agree with, this appeared in Volume 1, but overall I can't get an impression about it. Obviously it has been around for a while.

If I have time, I will google the author/editor and Shotts Music just out of interest.

One big disadvantage to using music from other countries, to me, would be lacking the capacity to read the titles of the music.

I really wouldn't be able to make intelligent musical comment on these books without having hands on experience with the entire set of books.

Betty

#1424161 - 04/25/10 09:13 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Betty Patnude]  
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I have studied in Book 2 which is the third of the series. It is divided into 3 parts: "Pieces", which are about 1-2 pages by a variety of composers; many but not all are Russian (Gliere, Grechaninov, Kabalevsky, Dvarionas but also Bach and Haydn). The second part consists of movements from sonatinas and here it is standard fare (Beethoven, Clementi..). The third part consists of Etudes (Czerny, Goedike, Gurlitt, Schytte, LeCouppey..
At the end of the book, there are 6 highly condensed pages of all the scales (incl. harmonic and melodic) and their corresponding triads and arpeggios, all with fingerings.
If one goes by the "russian' method (at least as I was introduced to it; perhaps it is not a standard method), you would get assigned a scale, an etude and a "piece" and you would play them in that order at the lesson. You would also work on a longer piece (eg sonatina) over time..
The collection has a definitive advantage in that the music is very interesting and diverse. But it can be intense if the above regimen is followed. The book is not illustrated and the pieces are crammed one after the other. It may not appeal to the younger students..
Following this, I was placed on a regular regimen of Bach, Etudes and repertoire (and scales / arpeggios continue to rotate with exquisitely torturous variations...)

#1971910 - 10/11/12 04:18 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: ElK]  
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As a Russian person, who had my beginning musical education in Russia since the age of 4, I can confidently say that these books are the best.
Yes, they may not be as fancy or "fun" like some of the American method books, but these books are not dumbed down and encoarage students to work harder.
It is true that they may be a bit difficult for complete beginners, so I would encoarage to start with pre-reading notations. There are wonderful method books available in Canada, you can find them on www.vittapiano.com, written by a Russian piano teacher who resides in Canada and has her own successful piano studio.
Her method books are geared towards young beginners, using stories and imaginative pictures and exercises to help build the technique. Then you can start using the Boosey and Hawk's Russian Piano Method books.



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#1971939 - 10/11/12 05:28 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: ElK]  
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"If one goes by the "russian' method (at least as I was introduced to it; perhaps it is not a standard method), you would get assigned a scale, an etude and a "piece" and you would play them in that order at the lesson. You would also work on a longer piece (eg sonatina) over time.. "

Isn't that how every piano lesson goes?

#1972058 - 10/11/12 09:48 PM Re: Russian School of Piano Playing [Re: Piano_Dream]  
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Piano_Dream
Yes, they may not be as fancy or "fun" like some of the American method books, but these books are not dumbed down and encoarage students to work harder.

I don't like the implications of this statement. frown


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
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