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#1974728 - 10/17/12 05:17 PM Looking for music recommendations.  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Replicator Offline
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Replicator  Offline
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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
I'm about to finish Alfred's Adult Level 1. My teacher has also been giving me a lot of supplemental stuff (easy versions of some Les Miserables songs and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, etc.).

My teacher recommended that I find some books that we can work on next. I don't think we'll be sticking with Alfred's moving forward. I could use some recommendations for both lesson books and supplemental material.

FWIW, my main concern with Alfred's is that I really wasn't enjoying the music. I really like classical stuff. I really really don't like spiritual/holiday stuff. Jazz is hit or miss for me. I've heard good things about Faber and Faber. Can anyone comment on whether this would be a good direction for me?

As for supplemental material, like I said, I prefer classical music. The darker/sadder, the better. help Perhaps a good intermediate (on the easier side) classical book would be ideal? Any recommendations for someone at my level?

EDIT: If it helps, I think stuff like Mussorgsky's The Old Castle is 100% epic-sauce.

Last edited by Replicator; 10/17/12 06:33 PM.
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#1974857 - 10/17/12 08:59 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 135
kayvee Offline
Full Member
kayvee  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 135
Santa Barbara
If you want a huge variety of repertoire, I highly suggest one of two routes (should you want to buy books):

1) Keith Snell Piano Reperotire Series
-3 books of repertoire (Baroque and Classical, Romantic and Contemporary, and Etudes)
-1 skills book (Scale Skills)
-1 theory book (Fundamentals of Piano Theory)

Each level can be purchased for about $20 altogether, up to about $40 for the higher levels (but by that point, just buy collections - which leads me to my next point...)

2) Buy individual repertoire collections: Bach AMBN, Clementi Sonatinas, Burgmuller Op 100, Schumann/Tchaikovsky album for the youngs, Kabalevsky and Bartok easy pieces. Or save yourself a lot of money by printing most of these from imslp.org

Another good repertoire series is The Festival Collection (Marlais) - it's got a decent amount of pieces per level, it's SUPER affordable, and it's well edited. Same exact thing goes for Masterwork Classics (MacGrath). Neither of these comes with theory really, though each does have a technique book you can find.

In any case, just choose a series and go for it. They all pretty much cover the same material in the same order.

I wouldn't recommend Faber and Faber's Developing Artist series - not enough pieces per level.


A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."
#1974883 - 10/17/12 09:50 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 14,908
keystring Offline
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keystring  Offline
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Posts: 14,908
Canada
I can't stop myself from commenting. Why is the teacher asking the student to find the books to work on? this seems backward to me.

#1974891 - 10/17/12 10:05 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,332
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
tangleweeds  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,332
Portland, OR
I second the recommendations for the Keith Snell Repertoire series, as well as Helen Marlais Festival Collection. I have really enjoyed the musical selections from these.


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
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#1974918 - 10/17/12 10:56 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: keystring]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Replicator Offline
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Replicator  Offline
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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by keystring
I can't stop myself from commenting. Why is the teacher asking the student to find the books to work on? this seems backward to me.


It's really not like that. She'll certainly provide material for me if I fail to find something. She already does this most of the time. She's simply letting me provide input on the next stage of our journey.

#1974953 - 10/18/12 12:40 AM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 388
MaryAnn Offline
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MaryAnn  Offline
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Posts: 388
Japan
I purchased a couple of books in the Classics to Moderns series after they were recommended here. I quite like them. If you've finished Alfred's book 1, you can probably handle the 'easy' level, as opposed to the introduction to classics to moderns. There are two books at that level. They cover a pretty big range of beginner levels. My teacher helps me pick out appropriate pieces. I've done things from Bach's AMBN, Schumann's Album for the Young, and a few baroque pieces here and there. I like that it has pieces from each period of classical music. My teacher got a bit fixated on baroque for awhile. As much as I love Bach, I needed a change.

#1974957 - 10/18/12 12:48 AM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member
MaryBee  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
Cleveland, OH
I was just about to post a recommendation for the "Easy Classics to Moderns", but I see MaryAnn beat me to it. Lots of classical choices in there, and it's pretty inexpensive. I did a quick search and saw that Walmart has it for $9.95 on their website. (Seriously?! Walmart sells sheet music?! Who would have thought?)

If, rather than a collection, you have a particular piece that you know you want to play, you might be able to find free sheet music for it on imslp.org.


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] XVI-XXXVI
#1975002 - 10/18/12 03:40 AM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 135
kayvee Offline
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kayvee  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 135
Santa Barbara
I have to put in a word against "Classics to Modern."

The editing isn't that great and it can be disheartening for some to see so many songs all at once. It almost gives the feel of never 'going anywhere.' Plus, I don't think there's much of a balance - he chooses pieces that are standards and throws them together, instead of looking for a balance of teaching all possible (of course, I don't actually mean ALL technique possible, but you know what I mean).

There are a lot of series out there. Some are better than others. But all are pretty much great. Can you tell us more about your goals (ie, do you want to cover all the musical periods, play specific pieces, composers, etc)?


A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."
#1975053 - 10/18/12 07:48 AM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,442
mom3gram Offline
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Posts: 1,442
New Jersey
I'll put my vote in for the Snell series as well as the "Masterworks Classics".


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
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#1975060 - 10/18/12 08:03 AM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 511
timmyab Offline
500 Post Club Member
timmyab  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 511
Bristol, UK
The ABRSM Keyboard Anthology series is excellent for classical music lovers.There are several series of books each at different grades with well chosen pieces ranging from baroque to early 20th century.

#1975081 - 10/18/12 08:51 AM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,482
Mark... Offline
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Mark...  Offline
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Posts: 4,482
Jersey Shore
Your teacher should be directing your book needs at this point...

#1975141 - 10/18/12 11:59 AM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Mark...]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Replicator Offline
Junior Member
Replicator  Offline
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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Mark...
Your teacher should be directing your book needs at this point...


I must have said something in my original post, or the following post, to give you the wrong impression. However, I'm at a loss to identify what it was. Alas, thank you for your concern.

To everybody that gave me recommendations: thank you! smile I will look into your suggestions and ask my teacher what she thinks. Cheers!

#1975148 - 10/18/12 12:08 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 235
FormerlyFlute Offline
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FormerlyFlute  Offline
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Posts: 235
Maryland
The Celebration series is also very good as it contains the classical standards, but also modern composers who write student literature in the "classical" style (or jazz or blues). A very nice mix.


Piano: Brodmann PE 187 Strauss
Flute: Sankyo CF-201 with RT2 headjoint
#1975234 - 10/18/12 02:34 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,482
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Mark...  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,482
Jersey Shore
Originally Posted by Replicator
Originally Posted by Mark...
Your teacher should be directing your book needs at this point...


I must have said something in my original post, or the following post, to give you the wrong impression. However, I'm at a loss to identify what it was. Alas, thank you for your concern.

To everybody that gave me recommendations: thank you! smile I will look into your suggestions and ask my teacher what she thinks. Cheers!


You said the following:

"My teacher recommended that I find some books that we can work on next. I don't think we'll be sticking with Alfred's moving forward. I could use some recommendations for both lesson books and supplemental material."

At the Alfred I level, I can't imagine a teacher telling the student to find the direction of the future learning material...supplement stuff yes, main curriculum, no...

#1975312 - 10/18/12 05:13 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 180
manyhands Offline
Full Member
manyhands  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 180
Md
John Thompson grade 3 has very nice pieces and plenty of techniques to stretch your skills. They need not be done sequentially. Happy shopping!


many hands many smiles

Big Mama Yama U1
#1975359 - 10/18/12 06:54 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Mark...]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Replicator Offline
Junior Member
Replicator  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Mark...
You said the following:

"My teacher recommended that I find some books that we can work on next. I don't think we'll be sticking with Alfred's moving forward. I could use some recommendations for both lesson books and supplemental material."

At the Alfred I level, I can't imagine a teacher telling the student to find the direction of the future learning material...supplement stuff yes, main curriculum, no...


I already addressed this.

#1975372 - 10/18/12 07:18 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,355
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,355
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by Replicator
... If it helps, I think stuff like Mussorgsky's The Old Castle is 100% epic-sauce.


Is that a good thing?

(Do you have to wipe the keyboard after playing it?)


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#1976849 - 10/21/12 07:12 PM Re: Looking for music recommendations. [Re: Replicator]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,355
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,355
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Hey Replicator!

If you do Alfred 2, you could join us in the thread of the same name. No one likes that music, but we have a good time complaining about it, and we learn a lot from it. Some of us with teachers and some on our own.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl


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