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#2133067 08/14/13 10:21 PM
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I was wondering if anyone uses the Celebrate Piano books for teaching? I was using Faber & Faber but thought about switching to CP this year. I will likely use CP regardless but I would like to year feedback from teachers who have used them. 😊

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Elysia #2133221 08/15/13 08:59 AM
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I have not ever used these. Have you tried Piano Town? I recently switched from Piano Adventures to this and I like the faster progression the students take in this method.


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Elysia #2133364 08/15/13 12:57 PM
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Isn't Celebrate part of the RCM series (different name in US)? If so, it works together with the rest of the system: technical (scales, chords, and studies), and theory. The RCM has a syllabus, and Celebrate contains a selection of some of the pieces that are in the exam syllabus. Those pieces go together with the technical requirements and the musical periods.

Elysia #2133367 08/15/13 01:04 PM
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There are two different things.

Celebrate Piano is a method book series, which is what I presume Elysia is asking about.

The Celebration Series is the books of repertoire for the RCM exams, which is what you seem to be referring to.

Both sets are published by the Frederick Harris Music Company.


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Elysia #2133383 08/15/13 01:43 PM
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Celebrate Piano is an elementary method. Some of the pieces from Level 3 (I think) are on the Syllabus for the RCM Preparatory exams, so you could use CP to start and then transition into the Celebration Series.

I have used CP with some of my students and I really like it. All of the repertoire, theory, technique and ear training is incorporated into one book, so the student does not have to use multiple books as they would in Piano Adventures. In addition to repertoire, each chapter includes several activities (theory, clapback, playback, composition, etc.) so it is easy for the teacher to provide the student with a variety of experiences in the lesson. The student gets very comfortable with transposition and playing in different keys early on-- they are playing in key signatures of 4-5 sharps or flats by the end of 2B. The repertoire and teacher duets are fun and really musical. Students seem to enjoy the pictures.

As a teacher, I really enjoy the pedagogical approach behind Celebrate Piano, but I've also found that it is not for every student. The strong focus on intervallic reading means that the student has to be able to easily track "up, down, & same" on the staff near the beginning of book 1A, and I have observed that some students are not ready to do this (at age 6 or 7) and become frustrated. Legato playing/phrasing is also introduced fairly early. This method seems to work well for the students who could be described as studious/thoughtful, who like reading books, and who are perhaps more visually oriented. Piano Adventures seems to work for the majority of students, but I would definitely recommend trying Celebrate Piano.


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Morodiene, I have read your post, here:

I have not ever used these. Have you tried Piano Town? I recently switched from Piano Adventures to this and I like the faster progression the students take in this method.

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Piano Town is awesome. It has taken me almost 4 months to get the series and am still missing one book of one of the levels. In Canada the books in total cost over 300 dollars, but they are worth it. It would even better if it went all the up to the 8th level. But the levels are also fine the way they are. Piano Town is the best! I am sure there is nothing better that I can see. Thanks to Mr. Brook who posted about them I learned about them.
I wonder what else Mr. Brook knows that he should tell us! ! (smile)

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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The strong focus on intervallic reading means that the student has to be able to easily track "up, down, & same" on the staff near the beginning of book 1A, and I have observed that some students are not ready to do this (at age 6 or 7) and become frustrated.

I don't use Celebrate Piano, but I've observed the same problem with other students older than 6 or 7. I think it's not quite an age issue.

But for most kids, even as young as 5, intervallic reading has been tremendous because it encourages reading early on without being bogged down with letter names. And it bypasses the pitfall of reading by finger numbers.


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Originally Posted by Michael_99
Piano Town is awesome. It has taken me almost 4 months to get the series and am still missing one book of one of the levels. In Canada the books in total cost over 300 dollars, but they are worth it. It would even better if it went all the up to the 8th level. But the levels are also fine the way they are. Piano Town is the best! I am sure there is nothing better that I can see. Thanks to Mr. Brook who posted about them I learned about them.
I wonder what else Mr. Brook knows that he should tell us! ! (smile)

Oh, I have tons of professional secrets. Ha, ha, ha, ha.[Linked Image]

Seriously, to answer your question, Piano Town's development was guided in part to help teachers transfer to repertoire series any time after level 3. Of course, Kjos would like you to buy their series, which is called Piano Repertoire. It's very comprehensive and takes students up to the level of the Brahms Rhapsodies.

With some students, I feel it's best to work through all the levels of Piano Town. Others can accelerate and move onto other series. But when you do, as a teacher, you must insure that you don't overlook concepts in the later levels.


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Elysia #2133641 08/16/13 12:58 AM
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I love the pedagogy of Celebrate Piano, but it doesn't seem to be as appealing to kids as Piano Adventures. I have about half my students in Piano Adventures, and half in Celebrate Piano. My Celebrate Piano kids are better readers, but I have to supplement quite a bit because the repertoire isn't all that enjoyable and there isn't very much of it (the celebrate books include theory, technique, ear, sight and repertoire, but I find I need more materials for reinforcement).

Elysia #2134462 08/17/13 05:51 PM
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I've used Celebrate Piano (and Music Tree, Piano Adventures with three transfer students, Piano Town, and Alfred's Premier Piano Course.) What you have are different presentations or pedagogical approaches.

Celebrate Piano is strong on intervallic reading, ear training, and rhythm (counting without numbers, which is great because 5 & 6-year-olds tend to get quite confused between finger numbers and beats). Celebrate piano has the reading approach I like with more imaginitive songs and theory assignments than Music Tree, which seemed to always lose the kids' interest.

One of the biggest problems I have with the kids in multi-key approaches is their reluctance to read music. Think about how you read music -- up, down, how far -- truly by intervals. But many start out teaching kids to recognize a specific space or line, often by counting them, think the correct letter, find that letter key on the piano... It takes forever. I was a terrible student case, reading this way into intermediate literature. It is not fun. By the time they've stumbled through letters-connected-to-which-line-to-which-key, they have butchered the rhythm, ignored dynamics, forgotten style and phrasing. They have lost all sense of music and have only a complicated puzzle to sort out. Intervallic reading makes sense. The flash cards are wonderful for this. I've considered using them with students who are in other methods and have trouble reading.

We check our accuracy by comparing what we see on the page to what we heard when we played. For a student to do this, he has to be able to group rhythms together and hear up and down sounds. The ear training develops listening and connects sound with symbols. These are all skills a student must learn to be successful. The multi-key approaches tends to be weaker on these skills unless you purposefully incorporate them.

Realistically, any method can be successful with a good teacher. Any great method can fail with a bad one. I have successful, intermediate players who used Piano Town. I have eager transfer students who went through Piano Adventures. Look for the weak links in whatever method you choose, and reinforce them. Look for the struggles of each individual student, and help them connect the dots to see the final picture. Unfortunately, having far more recently discovered Celebrate Piano, I've only made it into book 1B.... I love the approach, though I think some concepts could use more reinforcement or review before adding another new thing. We'll see where it goes.

Elysia #2135020 08/18/13 08:05 PM
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Celebrate Piano does have a supplementary book of solos at each level.


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