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
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
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
54 registered members (Angelos58, Carebear, cathryn999, Beowulf, beeboss, cliowa, Alex C, bennevis, Agent88, 11 invisible), 1,215 guests, and 7 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
Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... #1884047
04/22/12 12:25 AM
04/22/12 12:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Kelowna BC, Canada
D
DougMorgan Offline OP
Full Member
DougMorgan  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Kelowna BC, Canada
Hi All:

I was hoping to get a few recommendations for alternatives to the Alfred all-in-one series, particularly ones with a classical emphasis.

As background my wife and I are both piano beginners and have worked through Alfred's book 1 and into book 2. About midway through book 2 we also started working on the RCM level 2 at which point my wife dropped the Alfred's. My wife prefers the classical selections of the RCM material and would rather not continue with Alfred and would like something that covers the same ground with a more classical music selection. The RCM isn't much of a course by itself and I think graded course material, especially an all-in-one approach would help best.

We are taking lessons each week and I'm not sure where we are going to go with the RCM stuff. I don't think either of us has any interest in taking the tests, at least at this stage. I personally may just concentrate on the Alfred's at least through the third book.

Any ideas appreciated, thanks in advance.....

Last edited by DougMorgan; 04/22/12 12:27 AM.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: DougMorgan] #1885020
04/23/12 12:17 PM
04/23/12 12:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
T
tralala Offline
Junior Member
tralala  Offline
Junior Member
T

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Hi DougMorgan,
I too am a beginner who switched from Adult All-In-One I after only 28 pages to other books (the Joy of First-year Piano by Denes Agay and Modern Course for the Piano by John Thompson, Introduction to Classics to Moderns compiled by Agay) . Now, after 10 months of self-teaching, I have just started the Second Grade Modern Course book. It progresses rather quickly, and consists of mostly adaptations of classical pieces, and some original pieces, with no chord banging like Adult All-In-One. On the other hand, it lacks the instructions and explanations that abound in Adult All-In-One.
I am also using Masterwork Classics (just starting book 3, book 4 would be roughly RCM Grade 2) compiled by Jane Magrath. It is a 10 level series of graded pieces raging from baroque to 20th century with original pieces from Bach to Beethoven to Handel, Mozart, Bartok, Kabalevsky and others. One half of the pieces are Baroque to Classic, with the second half containing Romantic to Contemporary compositions. At the beginning of the book the author suggests the order of study which is the main reason I am using this series. With every piece she also tells what techniques you’ll be studying. The books come with a CD, and you can also purchase a companion book that gives you suggestions how to analyze and learn the compositions, but there seems to be a lot of repetition in it. There is also a technique book at every level, but I am not familiar with it. The book does not teach you about new concepts the way a course would do, so you may want to stay with Adult –all-in-One for that reason and use a series like this as a supplement .
Good luck!

Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: DougMorgan] #1885082
04/23/12 02:11 PM
04/23/12 02:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,350
south florida
JimF Offline
2000 Post Club Member
JimF  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,350
south florida
Hi DougMorgan,

I'm a little confused. Since you have a teacher, what does he/she recommend? Is it the teacher that is focused on Alfred's or other method books, or is this your own idea of what is needed? Given the level you have reached in Alfred, I don't see why your teacher can't just design a program of work built around individual pieces of standard literature...of course, with your input as to preferences.

If you are committed to the idea of a method book approach, you might look into the materials put out by either Helen Marlais or the Fabers.


Clair de Lune, C.Debussy
Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: DougMorgan] #1885104
04/23/12 02:47 PM
04/23/12 02:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
P
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
The RCM material is also graded, by virtue of being divided into 10 levels. I assume you're talking about the Celebration Series? In addition to the levels 1-10, if your teacher has the Teacher's Handbook, or if you buy it yourself, it will show you the pieces within each level by order of difficulty. (I have the Teacher's Handbook on order, and could PM you the within-level grading if you like, when it arrives.) The Teacher's Handbook (which covers all levels) or the Student Handbook (which covers one level at a time) will give teaching/learning and analysis tips for each piece, which may help give you or your wife more of a sense of what each piece is teaching.

For each piece introduced, your wife could try asking the teacher: what am I learning that is new in this piece? What is review? Are there any other exercises or pieces I can play to help with what is new? This could add some of the implicit structure which method books make explicit.

She could also look through Alfred's at the topics and ask the teacher to help select pieces in the RCM materials that will introduce those topics.

I am personally very fond of the Fabers' Piano Adventures, which among other things actually teaches the left hand to do something more than Alfred's chord bashing. After Alfred Adult All-In-One book 1, I think a reasonable book to switch to is Piano Adventures 3A. This won't be All-In-One, but I think getting the separate books is worth it. They're inexpensive, and you'll get more content than you get in an All-In-One. If you're further along in Alfred's Book 2, you might look at the topics in Piano Adventures 3A, 3B, and 4 to decide which one to switch to. Piano Adventures goes up to level 5. Because Piano Adventures teaches more LH independence than Alfred's, you might want to err on the side of a lower level book (e.g. start with 3A even if you think 3B is the right set of topics), to get the LH practice.

[ETA: what Brian Lucas said: what does your teacher say? Have you raised these extra concerns with her?]

[double-ETA: Masterworks Classics sounds like a really good approach. And I've never seen anything by Helen Marlais, but I've only heard good things about her.]

Last edited by PianoStudent88; 04/23/12 02:51 PM.

Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: DougMorgan] #1885171
04/23/12 04:39 PM
04/23/12 04:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 342
Monroe, NC USA
E
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member
Emissary52  Offline
Full Member
E

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 342
Monroe, NC USA
Hi Doug! I found myself in your identical predicament a year and a half ago. I had finished up the first Alfred Adult book, but quickly became unenthusiastic with the music selections in book 2. I looked around on Amazon and Sheetmusicplus.com for a more classically-contented method. Masterwork Classics seems to fit the bill. It’s not as much a method series in the same way the Alfred and Faber books are, but can be pretty much made so, by the addition of the Practice and Performance and Technical Skills books that accompany each level book up to level 6. I bought the books for level 3 and 4 just to get an idea what these supplemental series are like. The Practice and Performance series as 238 said, tends to get repetitive and the Technical Skills has a lot of scale-like practice pieces. Since you have a teacher, I doubt you’d need the hand-holding that these supplemental series provide. The Cd's that come with the MC series are nicely done (just the piano) and much better than those AIO cds with the “synth orchestra” in one channel!

That being said, the Masterwork Classic series contain actual level-appropriate compositions by composers and not “dumbed-down” versions of harder works … no “Fur Elise for Dummies” versions! As much as I admire Willard Palmer and the Faber’s teaching abilities, I hate having to learn their own compositions to master a musical point where a piece by Mozart or Gurlitt would serve the same purpose. As PianoStudent88 mentioned, unlike Alfred’s AIO, you’ll be doing a lot more with your left hand than playing simple chords. It’s a bit unforgivable that Alfred’s doesn’t even introduce Alberti Bass until AIO 3.

I’ve bought all ten books in the Masterwork Classics series, so I’ll be working with these books for a good long time. I also supplement a bit with some pop songs by Dan Coates who arranges pieces well for us “intermediate-level” people. Best of Luck!


I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate
Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: DougMorgan] #1885408
04/24/12 01:02 AM
04/24/12 01:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Kelowna BC, Canada
D
DougMorgan Offline OP
Full Member
DougMorgan  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Kelowna BC, Canada
Thanks very much everyone for the suggestions and if I can respond en masse I can save some typing.

Our teacher is helping with direction but both my wife and I prefer to do as much learning on our own as possible. With summer approaching it is more difficult to set up lessons as the music school normally follows the school year. Afaik our teacher has only one other adult beginning student that is more in to the fake books so it may be that the Alfred's is the one commonly used.

My wife had intended to use the RCM material in place of the Alfreds but it's not really a cohesive self-study type of course from what we've found. I think a more structured approach might help given our current level and with the sporadic amount of time available to learn or practice. I believe we have all the current RCM level 2 material except the teacher's guide which we certainly will check out or borrow from our teacher. I've got the student workbook but don't find it very useful. I have ordered another handbook/workbook from a former (or maybe current) RCM examiner in vancouver but it has not arrived yet.

After starting the RCM material my wife enjoys the baroque and classical pieces, less so the modern composers, but also decided that she is not interested in taking the actual examinations, at least at this stage. She plays well but is having trouble with the theory and the RCM material is more reference oriented or scattered through the workbooks.

We have been taking lessons together and sharing an hour per week which might be a bit of a hindrance as we have different interests, backgrounds, etc. We've been trying to share the hour equally but it just seemed silly to have one of us sitting in the waiting area for 1/2 hour while the other is learning.

The masterworks series sounds like something we could both use and I have heard or read about the faber series. I am going to write out a list and check out each of the other books mentioned above. Our piano dealer doesn't have much space for music books but there is another store in town that has a much larger selection.

Personally I don't mind the Alfred's book and find that I can get through the songs I don't care for because it is easy to see the reason they are included. I do like using classical pieces from the RCM books and other sources as supplemental material. Thanks again for the responses as it is encouraging that others have had the same reaction to the Alfred's as my wife and it isn't a matter of loosing interest. The piano and lessons were originally my wife's idea, after all!

Thanks again and if there are other books we should consider please feel free to suggest them...
Doug



Last edited by DougMorgan; 04/24/12 01:17 AM.
Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: DougMorgan] #1885535
04/24/12 07:06 AM
04/24/12 07:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 918
Fort Frances, On Canada
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member
BeccaBb  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 918
Fort Frances, On Canada
I realize you haven't actually asked for theory books, but in prep for RCM exams my teacher had me get: Elementary Rudiments of Music, 2nd Edition by Barbara Wharram and the Answer book that goes with it. It's a comprehensive step by step guide to theory.

From what I've heard both at the music store and from my teacher this book is what is commonly used for teaching theory for RCM in Ontario. And it is easily self study! Just in case you or your wife are interested at a later date...



Becca
Began: 01-12-11
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Roland RD300NX
1947 Gulbranson spinet piano
Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: BeccaBb] #1886015
04/24/12 11:21 PM
04/24/12 11:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Kelowna BC, Canada
D
DougMorgan Offline OP
Full Member
DougMorgan  Offline OP
Full Member
D

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Kelowna BC, Canada
Thanks Becca:

Our teacher recommended "The complete Elementary Music Rudiments" by Sarnecki. I've been through about half of it but so far my wife hasn't taken to it. When I'm in to the music store we will take a look at the Wharram book and see if that might work better for her. We use the RCM technique book for scales, arpeggios, etc but it's not a theory book of course.

Thanks
Doug

Re: Alternatives to Alfred's Adult all-in-one level 2 and 3... [Re: DougMorgan] #1887133
04/26/12 06:50 PM
04/26/12 06:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 422
Canada
Bluoh Offline
Full Member
Bluoh  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 422
Canada
The RCM exams are optional; the syllabus (the big book telling you which pieces are allowed for which exams) has tons of pieces for each level.

If you like the RCM, then you should go with it. It's not a course per se, but it's a selection of pieces at certain levels which you can master and move on. Plus, you can get certified if you want. Certificates are always nice to have. smile


Moderated by  BB Player 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Success through failure: Thank you ABF
by Zilthy. 11/19/18 11:31 PM
Online lessons for advanced student viable?
by rach3master. 11/19/18 10:25 PM
Black Friday iOS Sales
by IosPlayer. 11/19/18 05:25 PM
Standard piano literature progression
by vetrano. 11/19/18 03:44 PM
Kawai CA87 key action noise in comparison
by Carebear. 11/19/18 02:11 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,423
Posts2,762,768
Members91,525
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
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 7.6.2