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Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2305424 07/22/14 01:24 PM
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Donzo Offline
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I bought several "easy piano" books from Amazon and also search the web for easy arrangements (my teacher always cautions me that there is "a lot of junk" on the web but the stuff I bring in often surprises her that it isn't that bad).

The pieces I've been working on in the last 6 months this way were (to varying degree of polish) (this is by memory, might have missed one)
- Waltzing Matilda
- Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
- The Entertainer
- People Aint No Good
- Hall of the Mountain King
- When somebody loved me (Toy Story 2)

Waltzing Matilda and Hallelujah (simplified) I got off some music blog. The Entertainer I used the Lvl 5 version (still simplified) off MakingMusicFun.net. I also got the version of Hall of the Mountain King from that web site (simplified again). When Somebody Loved me and People Aint No Good I got from music books (my kids are young so I'm trying to learn some disney stuff). I really enjoy the simpler Disney songs but the timing is often quite varying (lots of syncopation) and my teacher is a stickler for doing that right, which often makes me not bring those songs to her anymore wink People Aint No Good was too difficult for me so as a new experiment I'm working on my own simplified arrangement right now.

What I typically have on my plate is 2 pieces from Faber, one piece on my own, and some scale drills. I do practice my own selected piece more than the Faber ones - of the above, aside from People Aint No Good and When Somebody Loved me, I have them memorized and I try to refresh them once or twice a week.

Are you sticking to the book or are you mixing things up as well?

Don



Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 3 years! Wow!
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Re: Faber Graduates [Re: Donzo] #2305482 07/22/14 02:47 PM
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BrianDX Offline OP
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Up until now I have only been playing pieces from each of the four books that makes up the Older Beginner Advanced series for each level.

I will generally be assigned two pieces from the Lesson book, one from the Performance book, a couple from the Techniques book (mostly scales and drills). I also try to keep up with the Theory book, which has mostly write-in drills, and a nice piece here and there.

I can tell you for sure that once I'm done with Level 2 there will be some outside material integrated in. How much and from where I'm not all that sure yet.




Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2305675 07/22/14 10:16 PM
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I had a choice, after finishing AIO level 2, to either continue with the other Faber books (accelerated level 4, I think) or switch to the RCM materials. I decided to go with the RCM. It's dry, methodical and the difficulty on a different level, but I think this is why it appeals to me. Faber is good, but it just feels as a preparation step to something else. Maybe because almost every piece is a simplified arrangement. I don't know.

Alfred is probably just older and more popularized than the Faber series. Some digital pianos have their lessons built in or include books. So it attracts more beginners, especially those who want to learn on their own.

Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2306800 07/25/14 01:54 AM
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I'm almost done with Book 1. My daughter's teacher uses it so I thought I'd stick with the same. It really helped me remember a lot that I'm forgotten and I liked the way it teaches note reading.

I am not crazy about how the songs are arranged though. I think I'm going to switch to Fundamental Keys.

Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue] #2307668 07/27/14 06:31 AM
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BrianDX Offline OP
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Just to clarify; Are you studying the Adult Piano Adventures all in one book?

Thanks,
Brian.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2307687 07/27/14 07:53 AM
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I haven't graduated. Both my teachers liked the Adult Piano Adventures Level 1 all in one book.


[Linked Image][Linked Image]
Casio Privia PX-150
Started Playing: November 2012
Completed Unit 6, Faber's Adult Piano Adventures Book 1
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: warlock214] #2307710 07/27/14 09:38 AM
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BrianDX Offline OP
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No problem, glad to hear from you.

This is for "Graduates" and "studying to become" Graduates. Very interested in where you are in the books and what pieces you are currently working on.



Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2307900 07/27/14 05:59 PM
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littlebirdblue Offline
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Originally Posted by BrianDX
Just to clarify; Are you studying the Adult Piano Adventures all in one book?

Thanks,
Brian.


Oh, sorry to be confusing. Our local music store didn't have the Adult PA so I bought a copy of Accelerated PA for Older Beginner. It ends with Polovtsian Dance. I started from there and I could play it but rather badly. I've been learning violin so I remembered how to read the treble clef before I started but I was completely hopeless with the bass clef. I went through the book just to get my reading going again and it's starting to come back but very, very slowly. blush

I really like the method except for all the arranged songs. Do you think I'd enjoy using the Adult PA better?

Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue] #2307955 07/27/14 09:52 PM
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BrianDX Offline OP
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No problem. I am also using the Accelerated PA for Older Beginners as well, which IMHO works better for me personally than the other "all-in-one" books for adults

Even though I did have some lessons over 25 years ago, my teacher decided 11 months ago to start at the beginning of Level One and see how it went. It took about six months to get through the four books (yes you need to get all 4 books smile ) that make up level 1. I then started Level 2 in February (all four books again) and am progressing very nicely so far.

I do understand the concern about the arranged pieces, but the "real" versions of these pieces are far too advanced at this level. There are lots of excellent pieces in Level 2 though, plenty to keep your interest up I think.

Although it is looking ahead a bit, starting in Level 3A Faber begins to introduce original versions of some classical pieces. At level 3B and beyond, plenty more non-arranged classical, jazz, and other types of music styles.



Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2307979 07/27/14 11:59 PM
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As I'm without a teacher for now, it's hard for me to decide if I am ready to move to Level 2 or if I should expand into the other Level 1 books. I can play the songs and they sound okay to me but maybe I'm missing something critical without realizing it. I'll look into getting the sight-reading and theory books.

My problem with their arranged pieces is that they seem over-arranged. Their version of Ode To Joy, for example, sounds "wrong" to me and I find myself fixing it as I play along, which is not a big deal. I know I'm a beginner in every sense of the way so I should just focus on learning and let all these little things go.

I did order the original education of Fundamental Keys but maybe I should consider using it along with Faber as DD is going to be on Faber for some time to come. She finished her first book after 5 lessons and I'm impressed by how far along she'd gotten in such a short time using Faber. smile

Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue] #2308046 07/28/14 07:03 AM
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Perhaps I need to understand a bit more of your piano history.

Did you start at the beginning Level One as a true beginner, and have worked your way through the lesson book with self-study, or is it something else?

Even though the Faber books are very good for general piano education, there are numerous things i would have learned incorrectly without my teacher's help. She is probably well over 50% of the total learning experience.

I can tell you that for my case, if the basic pieces in the lesson book at the end of Level 1 are taking many hours to get the basic fingering then you may want to buy and review the technique book at the very least before moving on to Level 2.



Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue] #2308133 07/28/14 11:32 AM
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Donzo Offline
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Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
As I'm without a teacher for now, it's hard for me to decide if I am ready to move to Level 2 or if I should expand into the other Level 1 books. I can play the songs and they sound okay to me but maybe I'm missing something critical without realizing it. I'll look into getting the sight-reading and theory books.


What I found was book 1 was quite easy to skip way way ahead and not get into trouble. I had played the guitar before but had no knowledge of reading music and no knowledge of piano and found I could skip ahead to relatively "advanced" songs in book 1 and struggle through. With book 2 I'm about 1/3 of the way through and I'm realizing that if I want to do the next song, it really is a good idea to practice the drills they have first and understand what the subject of the next piece is. I.e. when the concept was "we're going to use 4th intervals this piece" its pretty brain dead & easy. But now I'm in the chord variations part and its a lot harder with out first internalizing some of their theory.

Originally Posted by littlebirdblue

My problem with their arranged pieces is that they seem over-arranged. Their version of Ode To Joy, for example, sounds "wrong" to me and I find myself fixing it as I play along, which is not a big deal. I know I'm a beginner in every sense of the way so I should just focus on learning and let all these little things go.


Ode to Joy (like at the very beginning of book 1? We are talking All-in-one, right?) is super simple because they are just trying to get you excited about playing a familiar piece. At least that is my opinion. The timing is definitely simplified.

My teacher says that it is your obligation to always try to play music "the way it is written" first to prove you can do it and to be fair to the composer - trying it first they way they put it down for you. Then you can start modifying it as much as you like smile

My 2 cents.

Don


Piano: 1905 Heintzman Upright
Time in: 3 years! Wow!
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2308337 07/28/14 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianDX
Perhaps I need to understand a bit more of your piano history


It's a long, long story but to make it short, I took piano lessons from age 4 to 9. I tried again briefly when I was 17 before I left for college with a teacher but she didn't really know what to do with me. Back then, I still could play my childhood repertoire but I froze up in front of new music. I had an access to a crappy upright during my graduate school years but by then, I couldn't play anything except some scales.

I'm not happy with the way I'm playing but I don't know if I'm really playing badly or I'm frustrated that I sound nothing like I did when I was a child. I probably would need a teacher once I get stuck but I'm not sure when that'd happen.

Donzo, I'm doing the accelerated version for older beginners (age 11+). I do make DD play the modified versions because it forces her to read notes rather than play familiar tunes purely by ear so I do see the benefits but it's really not all that fun. I'm thinking about getting this book so I can scratch my itch for original classical pieces:

Essential Keyboard Repertoire

Last edited by littlebirdblue; 07/29/14 02:23 AM.
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: littlebirdblue] #2308395 07/29/14 06:35 AM
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BrianDX Offline OP
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I took a look at the book you mentioned. It is for an early intermediate skill level.

To give you some context, Faber Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner (aka. FAPAOB) at Level 1 is for early to intermediate beginner level (approximately).

Level 2 which I am almost finished is for intermediate to late beginner.

I have already purchased Faber Level 3A (which from this point on is simply Piano Adventures as the two different PA lesson series merge at Level 3A). From what I can see Level 3A is late beginner to early intermediate. Therefore that book would fit somewhere into that level.

The reason I bring this up, is that for me, it is VERY important that I learn pieces in a very methodical way, so that I am not presented with a piece that is too advanced for my current skill level. With my teacher guiding me through FAPAOB I can be assured that this will not happen, so that I can slowly build my skills and confidence.

There were two basic reasons why I stopped taking lessons 25 years ago. First, my teacher moved out of the area. But second, I was spending a whole week on just one piece in the Alfred's Level two book, and eventually I got stuck and frustrated. Regardless, these are 25 years I can never get back. Don't ever make that mistake.

One example of my current progress: Last night I decided on my own to learn (not yet assigned by my teacher) the second-to-last pieces in the Lesson Book (Brahmn's Lullaby) and the Performance Book (Prelude in F). It only took me an hour to basically learn both pieces. Now, I will work on fine-tuning these pieces for weeks I suppose. But the fact that it did not take me hours and hours to basically learn the notes is a real achievement for me. And, IMHO sums up very nicely why I love the Faber books.

P.S. Although both pieces are arranged, they are versions which sound very rich and are instantly recognizable.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2308505 07/29/14 11:50 AM
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I am four pieces away from the end of Piano Adventures Book 3A. I tried the adult books but I really didn't like them so I switched to this series, the one more aimed at children. I find it excellent. I am completely fazed by the popularity of Alfred's here. I have no idea why people are so crazy about that series. I've spoken to many teachers over the years and they all say Faber is the only way to go. So I'm really happy I stuck with this series. I started book 3A in May and
I predict I will be finished and ready to move on to the next level in September.
I do aprox. one new piece a week with a great deal of review of about four older pieces at the same time. With book 3A it sort of goes up and down.Every few pieces are quite straight-forward and then they throw one at you which is much more advanced, so it takes a bit of time to learn them..then they get easy again.
I guess that is a natural learning process. I am starting this week my first three
page piece(!). There are many two pages pieces in this book but only this one
which is three pages. I love the series. I'm not crazy about every song, but I think overall it is an excellent series...and they throw in some simplified classical style pieces which I really enjoy too.

Last edited by alans; 07/29/14 11:50 AM.
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: alans] #2308608 07/29/14 03:49 PM
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Great to hear about your progress. Just curious; are you also using any of the other 3 supplemental books for Level 3A?

My teacher has been using all four books in each level, so combined that figures out to 250+ pages! shocked Not sure if we will keep doing that beyond Level 2.

I should be starting 3A in a couple of weeks myself.

I completely agree with your thoughts regarding Alfred's vs Faber.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2308725 07/29/14 07:58 PM
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I tried using the supplemental material because I love the series and I thought the more the merrier. But I found I just couldn't keep up with even two books.i try and learn at least one new piece and sometimes two for the next lesson and that is a tremendous amount of work when I try and do it hands Togerther. I just don't have the time to take on more. I wish I did but it isn't possible right now.
Faber also has other books and series which are wonderful.there is the classical series which I had started and loved. I guess the general ones are lesson,performance and technique.maybe when I move onto the next level I will try the supplemental books.

Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2308726 07/29/14 07:59 PM
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You said you are currently using four books. Can you list them please. I don't know what would be your fourth.

Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2308736 07/29/14 08:59 PM
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DD is done with My First PA Book A and instead of moving to Book B, she's starting from the middle of the Primer level. She is on the lesson book and the TA book. I am the overbearing mother who meddles during practice time so I might as well stick to Faber for a little bit longer.

I was thinking of splitting my practice time between reviewing the basics with Faber and playing classical pieces from my previous piano life. That way, I can enjoy playing Burgmuller (I never thought I'd ever say that in my life!) and fill many gaps I have in theory and sight-reading. It's probably time to for me to get a copy of FAPAOB Level 2. smile

I agree that when I feel stuck and frustrated, it'd be time to look for a teacher.

Re: Faber Graduates [Re: BrianDX] #2308741 07/29/14 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianDX
But the fact that it did not take me hours and hours to basically learn the notes is a real achievement for me. And, IMHO sums up very nicely why I love the Faber books.


That is a wonderful progress. smile

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