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#2144888 - 09/05/13 09:48 PM Need a book to follow The Music Tree Book 2B
PApianoteacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 39
Hello fellow piano teachers,

I have a student who is nearing the end of The Music Tree, level 2B (the blue book), and is not going to be ready to move up to level 3. She is capable of playing the songs in 2B, but now that she is nearing the end of the book, she is beginning to struggle. The last month or 2 I have been having to assign most pieces hands separately for a week, and then together for a week.

She just started 5th grade and has been taking lessons with me for about 3 years. Before coming to me she took lessons from another reputable teacher for a year or so. Last year she began to struggle in school and working with a tutor once or twice a week.

Note reading is one of her greatest weaknesses. She does fairly well with worksheets, but has difficulty applying note reading to music. Playing hands together isn't generally a problem for her once she gets the correct notes! She does know intervals, and if I prompt her can figure out what the notes are. She practices some between lessons, but is not a prolific practicer by any means.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a book and/or workbook that would be about the same level as Music Tree 2B? One with an emphasis on note reading and/or intervals would be great!

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#2144915 - 09/05/13 10:38 PM Re: Need a book to follow The Music Tree Book 2B [Re: PApianoteacher]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15126
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I would try to find some supplementary pieces for her to work on. Find ones that reinforce what she can do well right now, and then ones that maybe give her more experience with some of the things she's struggling with. I don't use the Music Tree so I can't really suggest anything as I don't know what she's doing right now.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#2145104 - 09/06/13 07:19 AM Re: Need a book to follow The Music Tree Book 2B [Re: Morodiene]
PApianoteacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 39
This level of Music Tree introduces:

the keys of C, G, D, F and Bb major

the interval of a 6th

harmonizing using 5ths and 6ths

crossing the thumb under fingers 2 and 2 & 3

crossing finger 2 over the thumb

I hope this is helpful!

#2145126 - 09/06/13 08:21 AM Re: Need a book to follow The Music Tree Book 2B [Re: PApianoteacher]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15126
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Some supplemental books I love to use are Jeanine Yeager's Fresh Impressions. Probably Level One would be challenging enough for your student, but the music is likable so students generally push through to be able to play them. The music is sort of new age sounding, and the student has to shift octaves up or down quite a bit, so it forces them to pay attention to their reading and get out of hand positions.


If she's into jazzy music, you can try Jazz, Rags, and Blues by Martha Mier:

It's fun music, and the rhythms are a good challenge and the notes themselves are different that expected because of the jazz harmonies. I find that students who aren't great readers do well with either of these books because it's not typical sounding. Part of the problem with students who aren't good readers is not just note-reading, but rhythm-reading. Both need to be deciphered, and often teachers focus on reading the notes when it's the rhythms that are distracting the student from being able to read the notes faster. So you may want to spend some lesson time working on rhythm recognition.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#2145443 - 09/06/13 07:51 PM Re: Need a book to follow The Music Tree Book 2B [Re: Morodiene]
PApianoteacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 39
Thanks for the suggestions! She has played a few boogies in her lesson book and loved them, so the Martha Mier book might be great for her!

I agree that it is really easy to get bogged down in the note reading. I'll try shifting the focus a little more toward rhythm for a few lessons and see how things go.


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