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What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? #2373335
01/14/15 02:53 AM
01/14/15 02:53 AM
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frankb Offline OP
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Need some advice from this forum. I'm 63 and want to learn to play.

My goal is to be able to play some pop and christmas carols etc.

Given my objective do you think I should find a piano teacher who uses a "shortcut" approach like Scott Houston's Piano in a flash or one who uses a traditional approach?

I spoke to a teacher who said he would take me thru the same lessons he gives his child students so I can learn what sonata's are etc...he said I should be playing simple classical pieces (songs created by the masters for their children) in about one year.

I would like to know from this forum whether the piano in a flash or some other "short cut" method really is a viable option? If so let me know what method worked for you

Thanks in advance for your advice

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Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373375
01/14/15 05:52 AM
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Oh, I think the answers to this are going to be fascinating. (I suppose "find a teacher who will teach you what you wish to learn" is an obvious response.) Will anybody defend that teacher who painted the rosy picture (sarcasm alert) that he could play simple classical pieces in about a year? Yeah, just what he asked for!

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373377
01/14/15 06:09 AM
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Hey Frank, I'd say if you want to play pop and carols, etc. by ear, go to this thread and start reading about one pretty good option:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2197001/Searchpage/1/Main/150520/Words/Anderson/Search/true/Re:_Piano_Magic_-_Michael_Ande.html#Post2197001


Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


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Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373378
01/14/15 06:10 AM
01/14/15 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by frankb
..he said I should be playing simple classical pieces (songs created by the masters for their children) in about one year.
...


Leaving out the part in parantheses unfairly skews the teacher's full comment. If the goal is to play classical that is indeed the way to go.

Also there are several options to learn and master a non-classical repertoire. It is certainly not either the traditional approach or shortcut !!

In fact Scott Houston also has a full fledged online course catering to non-classical styles at : [b]Scott Houston how to play all non-classical styles[/b]

If the goal is to play mainly Pop and Carols from Lead Sheet certainly other teachers can be found who have different approaches.

As far as online : you could look at the brand new [b]Online Popular Piano Lessons with Hugh Sung[/b] . The teacher for that course has been promoting the launch on these forums. I believe you can try it out at as a trial. Look at the posts by him here for links to his youtube lesson vdeos.


Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373380
01/14/15 06:26 AM
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Piano For All is an interesting online course geared to your goals, I believe. Starts off teaching rhythm and chords, giving you tools to play a variety of pop music.

Piano For All

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373386
01/14/15 07:02 AM
01/14/15 07:02 AM
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frankb Offline OP
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pwl, EM Deeka and Rerun...Thanks so much for your responses. I will certainly
give the sites a look...

BUT I think I will gain so much more if I had an actual opportunity to have one on one in person lessons using these approaches(rather than via the internet).

Anyone on the forum have any experience finding a teacher with the inclination to do so?? Do you think it is possible for me to find one?

I am so new to this "I dont know what I dont know" nor do I know what questions to ask of the potential teacher.

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373388
01/14/15 07:09 AM
01/14/15 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by frankb
...
BUT I think I will gain so much more if I had an actual opportunity to have one on one in person lessons using these approaches(rather than via the internet).

Anyone on the forum have any experience finding a teacher with the inclination to do so?? Do you think it is possible for me to find one?

I am so new to this "I dont know what I dont know" nor do I know what questions to ask of the potential teacher.


Use the sites to gain insights on the non-classical approaches so that you can ask the right questions. I am sure others who have teachers will give you more advice on the selection aspects.

Don't forget to post in the teachers forum specifying your location. They can point you to the correct contacts in your area.
Choosing the Right Teacher

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373391
01/14/15 07:41 AM
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EM Deeka..thanks....

To the forum...Am I correct in my thought process: It seems to me that if all I want to do is gain a repertoire of some pop tunes from my youth (eg Beach Boys, Four Seasons, Motown) then starting with the traditional Classic music approach is sort of a detour.....in other words, is the classical music approach a necessary or desirable foundation for me to reach my goal or is it just a diversion that will delay the time it will take me to reach my goal.


Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373400
01/14/15 08:15 AM
01/14/15 08:15 AM
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Welcome frankb smile

I'll weigh in here as well. 17 months ago my wife and I (we are both older adults) started lessons with a local teacher with 40 years of experience. She also teaches many adults as well as younger students.

For her beginner adults, she uses the Faber Accelerated Series for the Older Beginner. Now there are many methods of learning out there, and I only have actual experience with Faber and Alfred's.

For us, these books (along with her expert teaching) has been very successful. However, patience is required, as each level (Level 1 and Level 2) have four different books that go together, so it takes a while to progress. However, the Faber step-by-step method of building skills really pays off, as I am seeing now.

It did take 13 months before I learned a classical piece in it's original form (mid-elementary level), however is was worth the wait, and now more slightly-harder classical pieces are being introduced.

However, whichever way you decide to go, understand that there are really no "shortcuts" to the learning process, and regardless what method you choose, your teacher will need to be there with you step-by-step.


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: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: BrianDX] #2373406
01/14/15 08:45 AM
01/14/15 08:45 AM
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In fact the reason there are no real non-classical repertoire based published methods is the cost associated with licensing the use of copyrighted material.

But there are indeed individual teachers who prepare their own teaching plans for pop/jazz students.

Play By Ear is another option that is useful if you have the ability to pick melody lines by ear or just want to use the Lead Sheets with melody and chords. The final arrangement using the chords is done by the player. But ability to read at least the treble clef will be very useful even for a completely Play By Ear player.

I saw your post in the teachers section. It would be advisable to restate your requirement as a Pop,Jazz non-classical preference rather than referring to Scott Houston's Play Piano in a Flash. That will lead to more focused replies rather than lectures on no shortcuts etc.

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373425
01/14/15 10:26 AM
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Faber Piano Adult Adventures


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373427
01/14/15 10:35 AM
01/14/15 10:35 AM
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The FJH Helen Marlais "In Recital" series (there's one specifically for popular music) is graded and will give you a mix of good technique and the "melody and chords" approach. I haven't played the popular series but I have the Christmas and Jazz, Blues and Rags series and they are very fun to work on. They also always include some duets, if you have someone to play along with or a digital piano that can record and play back your own tracks.

http://www.fjhmusic.com/piano/inrecital_pop.htm

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: David Farley] #2373433
01/14/15 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by David Farley
The FJH Helen Marlais "In Recital" series (there's one specifically for popular music) is graded and will give you a mix of good technique and the "melody and chords" approach. I haven't played the popular series but I have the Christmas and Jazz, Blues and Rags series and they are very fun to work on. They also always include some duets, if you have someone to play along with or a digital piano that can record and play back your own tracks.

http://www.fjhmusic.com/piano/inrecital_pop.htm


But aren't these considered as Supplementary material to another full-fledged method ?

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: EM Deeka] #2373438
01/14/15 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by EM Deeka
Originally Posted by David Farley
The FJH Helen Marlais "In Recital" series (there's one specifically for popular music) is graded and will give you a mix of good technique and the "melody and chords" approach. I haven't played the popular series but I have the Christmas and Jazz, Blues and Rags series and they are very fun to work on. They also always include some duets, if you have someone to play along with or a digital piano that can record and play back your own tracks.

http://www.fjhmusic.com/piano/inrecital_pop.htm


But aren't these considered as Supplementary material to another full-fledged method ?


There's the American Popular Piano series which is a complete method. I haven't used it, but I like Christopher Norton's MicroJazz and Micro-everything-else series.

http://www.nvmusicgroup.com/NV/Publications.html

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373447
01/14/15 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by frankb
EM Deeka..thanks....

To the forum...Am I correct in my thought process: It seems to me that if all I want to do is gain a repertoire of some pop tunes from my youth (eg Beach Boys, Four Seasons, Motown) then starting with the traditional Classic music approach is sort of a detour.....in other words, is the classical music approach a necessary or desirable foundation for me to reach my goal or is it just a diversion that will delay the time it will take me to reach my goal.



I think you're correct. Traditional classical will mostly be a diversion... there are some very basic common skills like reading music... fingering...

But for the most part, playing non-classical has an entirely different set of skills from classical... you won't get those skills by playing classical music.

I'd say find a teacher that teaches those non-classical styles (pop, rock jazz etc.)

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373462
01/14/15 12:27 PM
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The John Brimhall Piano Method...but it's out of print.


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Opus 599. Now at #77 and giving it a break.
Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373470
01/14/15 12:55 PM
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I'm certainly fortunate to have found this forum and thankful to all of you for your information and thoughtful comments...this forum and all of you on it are a wonderful resource


Thanks

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373785
01/15/15 09:40 AM
01/15/15 09:40 AM
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I'm going to be the usual jerk... a GOOD teacher is the fastest way to get there you want to get.
At 63, be ready for some good amount of frustration because your brain and your body will struggle the get trained.
The good news is that most likely you will be able to learn enough to play up to your requirements.

I wouldn't waste my time -at any age- with "shortcuts" and others methods resembling more a uses cars salesman advertising that real learning methods.

the keyboards instrument have been around a long time and will be around longer than me and you for sure.
Good teachers that received a formal instruction are qualified to teach you in the quickest way. (in most cases)



Private Piano Teacher. MTNA
working on:
Albeniz: Iberia
Beethoven: Op 53
Bartok: Mikrokosmos vol. 5
Debussy: Estampes
Moszkowski: Op 72
Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373792
01/15/15 10:07 AM
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How about the Alfred's Adult-All-in-One series? This has been a very popular series for the adult beginner. Take a look at the book AAIO Book 1 and take a look at the huge, on-going AAIO Book 1 thread here on the adult beginners forum. You'll find lots of discussion and support.

You will not find pop tunes in this book (EMDeeka is correct--cost issues for copyrighted material put these out of reach), but there will be many familiar tunes. You will learn your basics and these can be applied to whatever type of music you care to play.

Best of luck to you!


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Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: Stubbie] #2373797
01/15/15 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
.. You will learn your basics and these can be applied to whatever type of music you care to play.
...


In fact, with the right teacher who is aware of your goals, it really does not matter which Method is used. Even the simple folk tunes and traditional melodies and rhymes are used as vehicles to further your skills at the piano. And later you could use these techniques and skills to play any other genre you might want to explore. Just make sure that extra emphasis is not given to some particular aspect that may not be really useful for the repertoire that you plan to acquire. A good teacher will be managing this well.

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373799
01/15/15 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by frankb
pwl, EM Deeka and Rerun...Thanks so much for your responses. I will certainly
give the sites a look...

BUT I think I will gain so much more if I had an actual opportunity to have one on one in person lessons using these approaches(rather than via the internet).

Anyone on the forum have any experience finding a teacher with the inclination to do so?? Do you think it is possible for me to find one?

I am so new to this "I dont know what I dont know" nor do I know what questions to ask of the potential teacher.


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Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373828
01/15/15 11:50 AM
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Hi Frank,

I'd recommend learning 10-20 simple pop songs and carols with just melody and chords. Start with Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and the 'A' section of Hey Jude. Do this for 3 months and you'll have an excellent foundation for going forward, whether from leadsheets or with sheet music, which you can adapt if you don't like the arrangements.

In general with adult beginners, it's best to aim for fluency by starting with LOTS of easy pieces. Once it gets easy, which it will, then you can move into more complex arrangements. Have fun and keep at it smile


Ron Drotos
rondrotos@keyboardimprov.com
Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: RonDrotos] #2373837
01/15/15 12:09 PM
01/15/15 12:09 PM
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Quote
. . .
BUT I think I will gain so much more if I had an actual opportunity to have one on one in person lessons using these approaches(rather than via the internet).

Anyone on the forum have any experience finding a teacher with the inclination to do so?? Do you think it is possible for me to find one?


I found a teacher (for both voice and piano) who specializes in teaching adult beginners. She spent her early life as a jazz singer, and doesn't do much classical stuff (either voice or piano). We're slowly working through Tim Richards' "Improvising Blues Piano".

I asked her about how comfortable she was teaching classical piano:

. . . "I had a really good classical student recently --
. . . I sent him to someone else for better training."

So such teachers _are_ available.

. Charles

PS -- when someone suggests that you learn twenty or so popular pieces, the first question to ask is:

. . . "How should I do that ?"

which brings the discussion back to where you are.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373852
01/15/15 01:03 PM
01/15/15 01:03 PM
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frankb Offline OP
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Again, I thank all of you for taking the time to respond to my question.

There are a number of really good suggestions and I feel more comfortable now in discussing this with potential teachers.

To Hugh Sung, your website is well done and very informative...learned a lot about pianos, and your unique approach to online courses which I really do like.

At this point I want to see if I can locate a teacher for in person lessons and perhaps supplement with your classes

Thanks again to all of you...

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373874
01/15/15 02:16 PM
01/15/15 02:16 PM
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Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by frankb
Again, I thank all of you for taking the time to respond to my question.

There are a number of really good suggestions and I feel more comfortable now in discussing this with potential teachers.

To Hugh Sung, your website is well done and very informative...learned a lot about pianos, and your unique approach to online courses which I really do like.

At this point I want to see if I can locate a teacher for in person lessons and perhaps supplement with your classes

Thanks again to all of you...


Thanks for the kind words! The best part about this is that you're taking the initiative to make your dream come true. It's never to late to start learning!

I wish you all the best in your teacher search! And if you decide to try out lessons with me, I would be delighted to work with you smile

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2373914
01/15/15 04:07 PM
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Hugh Sung

thanks for your encouraging words

my wife will be signing up for your classes as soon as our keyboard arrives ..She played organ and clarinet thru high school and feels that the ability to get direct feedback from you is exactly what she needs to get up to speed..she is pretty excited to be getting a "virtual" teacher as accomplished as you

thanks again to you and the other forum members.


Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2374238
01/16/15 09:54 AM
01/16/15 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by frankb
Hugh Sung

thanks for your encouraging words

my wife will be signing up for your classes as soon as our keyboard arrives ..She played organ and clarinet thru high school and feels that the ability to get direct feedback from you is exactly what she needs to get up to speed..she is pretty excited to be getting a "virtual" teacher as accomplished as you

thanks again to you and the other forum members.



I look forward to working with your wife and helping her get her piano chops up to speed! Most of all, I hope she has fun discovering the joys of playing the piano!

All the very best,

Hugh

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2374521
01/16/15 10:01 PM
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If you can get lessons, take lessons. I wouldn't touch piano, trumpet, or saxophone or clarinet, or tennis or karate or tree pruning or woodcarving without at least some lessons. I think people work too hard to avoid music lessons when they couldn't imagine teaching themselves, say, golf.

Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2374528
01/16/15 10:23 PM
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I'm 66 and a teacher along with Alfreds 1 is working (just started Alfreds 2).

Anyway, do that but after getting started on the basics you can learn easy versions of the music you like as side pieces. An understanding teacher will listen and fine tune as well as move you along with the primary book. As you progress, you can play more satisfying versions of the music you prefer.

It's fun and there's no schedule to meet smile


Mike

103 year old Schmoller and Mueller
Slightly newer Kawai ES 100
Re: What is best piano teaching method for senior citizen? [Re: frankb] #2374680
01/17/15 12:16 PM
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frankb  Offline OP
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F

Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 19
Northern NJ
Mike407
Thanks for the encouraging words..will take your advice...am meeting with a potential teacher this week..

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