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#1801858 - 12/07/11 06:50 AM Whatever Happened to Alfred?  
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TrapperJohn Offline
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The last post in the long running Alfred 3 thread was back in Aug. - and the even longer running and more frequently posted Alfred 1 & 2 threads have been conspicuous more by their absence than anything else recently - whats up with this MIA status? Have they been banished for crimes & misdemeanors against the finer sensibilities of our more delicate members, or have they just died a natural death due largely to lack of interest?

Trap


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
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#1801876 - 12/07/11 07:46 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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Everyone finished - great job! wink


  • Debussy - Le Petit Nègre, L. 114
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3
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#1801901 - 12/07/11 08:44 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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In my case, interest is definitely there, progress has hit a road block. Book 1 still has several newbies, although it's not as active as it used to be. Many of my fellow Book 2-ers have gotten more interested in finding regular repertoire and only dip into Book 2 occasionally. And it looks like everyone from Book 3 must have either graduated or moved on to bigger things.

I miss reading the threads too, but between eye trouble and lagging progress, I haven't been posting much. Hopefully that will change soon.


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1801958 - 12/07/11 10:29 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: mom3gram]  
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I got up to the Star-Spangled Banner in book 3, got a bit frustrated with it, and then moved on to other things. Mainly, I downloaded the sheet music for Tom Waits' "Martha" (one of my favorites) and I've been working on that.


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#1801964 - 12/07/11 10:36 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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I did all of book 1 and most of book 2, but my present teacher is not happy with going through the book methodically and has been choosing a few pieces here and there while supplementing with repertoire and getting me working on RCM exams. I've done only a couple of pieces from Book 3 but she really dislikes the book and I have to say I agree. Not a lot of interesting pieces and seems to me to be kind of a big jump in difficulty from book 2 (but that may just be my own ineptitude). She's going to have a look and see what else she can find to replace it.

#1801967 - 12/07/11 10:41 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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TrapperJohn Offline
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And whatever happened to Mark..., the founder and chief promotional agent for the Alfred threads?

Trap


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
#1802013 - 12/07/11 12:01 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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For me it was finding more interesting and better sounding works to learn from like Burgmüller 100, Anna Magdalena notebook,Clementi 36.

I continue to review the Alfred books for music theory and am gradually learning the pieces at the end of book 3.


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Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.


#1802045 - 12/07/11 01:14 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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because book 2 is too boring for me personally. i dunno about book 3 i look forward to it though if i can get thru the end of the back of book 2 hahahahahhaha LOL


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#1802046 - 12/07/11 01:16 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: Andy Platt]  
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Originally Posted by Andy Platt
Everyone finished - great job! wink

LOL


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#1802047 - 12/07/11 01:16 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: mom3gram]  
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Originally Posted by mom3gram
In my case, interest is definitely there, progress has hit a road block. Book 1 still has several newbies, although it's not as active as it used to be. Many of my fellow Book 2-ers have gotten more interested in finding regular repertoire and only dip into Book 2 occasionally. And it looks like everyone from Book 3 must have either graduated or moved on to bigger things.

I miss reading the threads too, but between eye trouble and lagging progress, I haven't been posting much. Hopefully that will change soon.

thumb


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#1802118 - 12/07/11 03:26 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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I'm still slowly making my way through. I'm about 2/3 through it and at the rate I have been going it will be mid-summer next year before I finish. That will have been about 2 years for me. Definitely not the length of time I had hoped but it is what it is. I am slow.

I stopped posting in the thread because the only thing I had to offer was what I was working on and how my lesson went. It got repetitious and I didn't want to keep boring people.


Doug

I have a great memory, it's just short.

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#1802184 - 12/07/11 05:28 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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DougF, it isn't boring to hear how you're doing.

I quit book #2, and I can sum it up in one word. Blah. I did love the progression of book #1.


Started piano Dec 2009
----------------------
Working on:
-Anything composed by D. Nevue
#1802221 - 12/07/11 06:24 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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Alfred's 2 has great things to learn -- but it is terminally boring. They could easily replace those dog-tired songs with new-age material that would accomplish the same pedagogical task. After two years of fairly productive self-teaching with Alfred's, I got a teacher who gives me assignments I want to play (Mannfred Schmitz - Beethoven Sonata in G 2d Movement, etc.)

I don't think I'll go back, but I respect the Alfred's program and it did a lot for me.


Baldwin M
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#1802410 - 12/08/11 02:01 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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I just received book 1 in the mail, so i'll be posting in that thread soon, probably. Trying to learn Bach's Minuet in G has been so fun that I think I'll always have a classical piece (or two) going on the side in addition to the lesson books.

#1802431 - 12/08/11 03:55 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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I am in book 1 of All-In_One. Other sources are Gil DeBennedetti web page, "Alfred Merry Christmas Book" (now at Christmas", "Alfred All Times Favorites", http://www.makingmusicfun.net/.


Alfred Adult All-In-One - level 1 - "Go Down, Moses" - page 133


#1803130 - 12/09/11 09:15 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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I thought Book 2 was fairly boring with a few exceptions and Book 3 is even worse to me until the "ambitious" section. I'll be posting in the Book 3 thread real soon.


I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
#1803232 - 12/09/11 12:42 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: jrcallan]  
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Originally Posted by jrcallan
Alfred's 2 has great things to learn -- but it is terminally boring. They could easily replace those dog-tired songs with new-age material that would accomplish the same pedagogical task. After two years of fairly productive self-teaching with Alfred's, I got a teacher who gives me assignments I want to play (Mannfred Schmitz - Beethoven Sonata in G 2d Movement, etc.)

I don't think I'll go back, but I respect the Alfred's program and it did a lot for me.

thumb Somebody PapaPLEASE tell me book 3 isn't anything like Book 2...LOL


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#1803242 - 12/09/11 12:56 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: findingnemo2010]  
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Originally Posted by joeb84
Originally Posted by jrcallan
Alfred's 2 has great things to learn -- but it is terminally boring. They could easily replace those dog-tired songs with new-age material that would accomplish the same pedagogical task. After two years of fairly productive self-teaching with Alfred's, I got a teacher who gives me assignments I want to play (Mannfred Schmitz - Beethoven Sonata in G 2d Movement, etc.)

I don't think I'll go back, but I respect the Alfred's program and it did a lot for me.

thumb Somebody PapaPLEASE tell me book 3 isn't anything like Book 2...LOL


I've found book 3 to be nowhere near as overwhelmingly mind-numbing as book two. It does have its dull moments...but it also has some very interesting pieces to learn.

It can't be too awful as I haven't thrown book 3 even a single time! grin (Book two was airborne quite often and eventually received early retirement.)


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Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.


#1803255 - 12/09/11 01:22 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: Tararex]  
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Originally Posted by Tararex
Originally Posted by joeb84
Originally Posted by jrcallan
Alfred's 2 has great things to learn -- but it is terminally boring. They could easily replace those dog-tired songs with new-age material that would accomplish the same pedagogical task. After two years of fairly productive self-teaching with Alfred's, I got a teacher who gives me assignments I want to play (Mannfred Schmitz - Beethoven Sonata in G 2d Movement, etc.)

I don't think I'll go back, but I respect the Alfred's program and it did a lot for me.

thumb Somebody PapaPLEASE tell me book 3 isn't anything like Book 2...LOL


I've found book 3 to be nowhere near as overwhelmingly mind-numbing as book two. It does have its dull moments...but it also has some very interesting pieces to learn.

It can't be too awful as I haven't thrown book 3 even a single time! grin (Book two was airborne quite often and eventually received early retirement.)


yea...i noticed a lot of music theory books, book 2 is mostly HARMONY...probably the most COMPLEX part of music theory grinI honestly look FORWARD to it though thumb

Last edited by joeb84; 12/09/11 01:22 PM.

music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#1803280 - 12/09/11 02:07 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: findingnemo2010]  
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The theory in Book two is actually useful and well presented. For me it was its non-musical learning pieces that pulled my interest into the abyss whenever I opened its pages. I stopped posting on the Alfred's thread after I realized that all I had to say was "Arghh, rip...tear...mangle".

I've never posted about my progress in book three as I barely have time to practice let alone post about my plinking on these threads.

I hope you have better luck and patience with book two than I did!


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Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.


#1803373 - 12/09/11 05:31 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: Tararex]  
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Originally Posted by Tararex
The theory in Book two is actually useful and well presented. For me it was its non-musical learning pieces that pulled my interest into the abyss whenever I opened its pages. I stopped posting on the Alfred's thread after I realized that all I had to say was "Arghh, rip...tear...mangle".

I've never posted about my progress in book three as I barely have time to practice let alone post about my plinking on these threads.

I hope you have better luck and patience with book two than I did!

ehhhhhh frown thats questionable lol


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#1805465 - 12/13/11 02:23 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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I started out four years ago returning to piano after an hiatus of over 50 years!!, I was inspired to continue learning piano via Piano World and the Alfred's threads. The Alfred's threads were started by Mark, who's last post was in June 2011....if your still out there..Thanks Mark.

#1805702 - 12/13/11 09:31 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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I ordered book one with dvd. Its on the air now.


Working on:\

J.S.Bach Prelude in C Min: No. 2 from Six Preludes fur Anfanger auf dem
Am Abend No. 2 from Stimmungsbilder, Op. 88
60s Swing No. 1 from Swinging Rhythms
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com
#1806280 - 12/14/11 07:25 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: Weiyan]  
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Seeing that there are so many adult Alfred "dropouts" - and let me caveat this statement by saying that many of them are successfully playing piano - it led me to this very simple question: what is the goal of learning a "method?"

Here's why I thought of this. My daughter is now into her 3rd year of lessons, so I have decided that I'm going to give her her first "do-it-yourself" assignment - to play a simple arrangement of Silent Night and perform it by Christmas!!. She's never really worked on her own, without her teacher, on a real, actual piece aside from the simple little drills that she plays from her Alfred book.

I told her to first sight-read it, which she did :), and explained to her that if she plays and reads through the piece enough times, she'll have memorized it and will be able to perform it come Christmas.

So....I think she is at the point where she can get more of these "side assignments". She has gone through a method (several methods, actually - Alfred, John Thompson, Dozen-a-Day, Hanon, and various repertoire pieces) and has the necessary skills to be able to now do stuff on her own.

...so that led me to think - isn't that the goal of Alfred? Once the adult learner has gone half-way through book 2, he/she now has the necessary arsenal to play Eaunidi, pop songs, Christmas pieces, movie pieces, etc....instead of continuing the "boring" assignments, ...though boring, I realize each assignment does have its "pedagogical" goal, but I guess many adult students now don't want to play this stuff since they now have the basic language of music to play the "fun stuff."

I think my daughter is at this point now, as well where she can start picking things up and learning pieces. Of course, she will continue with a method and lessons, but will now receive side-assignments.

Anyway, just me rambling, and my contribution to this interesting discussion.


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Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
- Berthold Auerbach


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#1806290 - 12/14/11 07:50 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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Gee, I hope that "play it enough times and it will be memorized" works out for her laugh It never did for me. People are different - even for simple stuff - Happy Birthday anyone? - I have to really pay attention when I'm playing in order to be able to "memorize" it. Even when it does become quite familiar from playing many times the first time I play it "from memory" I usually have to stop and figure out some things I wasn't really paying attention to when I was reading.

My impression, too, is that there are supplemental pieces for Alfred's at each level, not just the ones in the main method book, and they're put together to give one practice on more tunes.

I think a method book at the beginning is really quite helpful - instead of being all over the map with not a good way to tie what I'm learning together I often have "bits and pieces" of knowledge, rather than building blocks.

Saying all that, I'm not currently in lessons, and haven't been for 50 years. But I had band, choral, and 2 years of piano when I was young, so I had building blocks. And my way of learning often consists of trying a lot of things out on my own and then going to take a class that puts them together philosophically in ways I might not have.

And yes, I think the whole purpose of learning in general is to become independent. But I don't think we're ever absolutely independent. There's much to be learned here in the ABF, for instance smile And different ways of approaching memorization in addition to just "playing it over and over" was a big one for me smile

So I'm not sure I think the "drop out" rate for the second book of Alfred's is maybe quite so one-sided as might be thought. A couple of people think the second book has boring tunes, and I'm sure that contributes. But I'd guess there's still a lot to be learned if one continues thru it, including things that would be useful in Einaudi. And, if my experience with other kinds of activities is any guide, there's some percentage of people who are going to drop out just - because.

Oh, and if your daughter's teacher isn't assigning some side pieces that's surprising to me. Even 40 50 years ago I had side pieces, and in the teachers forum here that seems quite common. Not that she can't do Silent Night and other things she/you might like, I'm just surprised if her lessons are all one method book.

My 2 cents, of course.

Cathy

Last edited by jotur; 12/14/11 07:56 PM. Reason: 50 years. How soon we forget :)

Cathy
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#1806300 - 12/14/11 08:26 PM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: jotur]  
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Originally Posted by jotur
Gee, I hope that "play it enough times and it will be memorized" works out for her laugh


Yes,it works. That's how I learn pieces, through involuntary memorization by sheer repetition..lol. She is wired just like me, but with more raw talent. Ultimately, my goal for her is to become fluent with sight-reading, which is very do-able for the 8 year old mind. smile


Originally Posted by jotur
Oh, and if your daughter's teacher isn't assigning some side pieces that's surprising to me. Even 40 50 years ago I had side pieces, and in the teachers forum here that seems quite common. Not that she can't do Silent Night and other things she/you might like, I'm just surprised if her lessons are all one method book.

My 2 cents, of course.

Cathy


*sigh*..yes, it's a tough thing for a parent when the child won't practice on her own. She's got lots of Disney songs that she wants to learn but I have to supervise (coax) her to do things outside of her lessons and assigned pieces.

PS: Here's one of her earlier videos when she was just months into piano...again, loads of talent, but lack of interest.
It's a familiar tune. smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3joFk3xO1a0

...and one of her latest ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TszQJevG4g4


YouTube Channel
Scott Joplin Repertoire


Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
- Berthold Auerbach


[Linked Image]
#1806508 - 12/15/11 08:16 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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Many of us "Book 2 dropouts" are not truly dropouts at all. We have been doing just that - taking time off from our method book to play other things - easier pieces, harder pieces, more interesting pieces, Christmas music, jazz, classical, new age, hymns, duets with friends, things we've found on youtube, you name it. But most of us admit to intentions to complete the book in our own time because we realize that there is still more to learn from a method book. After a few months of working on other things, I've started a new Alfred 2 piece this week.


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1806545 - 12/15/11 09:58 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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There are some interesting thoughts over the past day. Here's my take on the Alfred's dropout issues more with Book 2 and less of Book 3.

I think by the time you are half way through Book 2 you have been at the piano long enough that you are tired or bored of working on method pieces. I've seen this time and time again on the ABF. Folks will start Book 2 or 3 with good intentions but never finish, as they naturally drift off to do their own thing. As an adult, we already have ideas on what we want to learn, where we want to go, etc. The method pieces are just something to get through because we know we need a foundation in order to get to the stuff we want to really work on. There comes a point where an adult says "enough of this" and moves on, especially if they working on their own.

I have to admit that the method pieces ended up frustrating and boring me to death at times. I didn't have this issue so much with Book 2 as I have with Book 3. My teacher always gave me lots of "non-method" pieces to work on and I think this helped postpone the inevitable adult method book crash. Still, about 1/3 of the way through Book 3's method pieces I was about ready to pull my hair out. I realize that I was learning something from the method pieces but a lot of the arrangements leaves a lot to be desired. This led to motivation issues, which made the pieces take longer to finish up than they should have, which made motivation worse and you see the vicious cycle get out of control. Also, I was anxious to get to the ambitious section and work on real classical pieces rather than method pieces.

I'm proud to say that I'm finally working on the last "method" piece of Book 3 before the "ambitious" pieces kick in. So 2012 should be a good year (NO MORE METHOD BOOKS)!


I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
#1806564 - 12/15/11 10:26 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: Cyborg]  
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My experience with Alfred book 2 is in line what has been being commented here: the last part of the book began to bore me, and I finally was able to finish it (rushing a bit, I must confess as my motivation was going down) but I have no intention to even begin book 3. Instead I jumped to Tim Richards' Improvising Blues Piano, and I am enjoying it.

Alfred's books were very useful at beginning for acquiring the level needed to go for other things. But once that basic level is acquired, unless you really enjoy the style of songs in Alfred's (last part of book2 and specially book 3 seems way to classical for my taste), seems natural to drop Alfred's method and look at other directions.

Regards,
Kurt.-

#1806593 - 12/15/11 10:57 AM Re: Whatever Happened to Alfred? [Re: TrapperJohn]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,880
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Plowboy  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,880
SoCal
I didn't drop out of Alfred, my teacher tossed it at our first lesson.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
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