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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2504181 01/26/16 11:38 AM
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Ha ha, I came across someone who mentioned Fundamental keys in a post, googled it, promptly bought the original version and videos and now looking forward to the book's arrival and for the link to the vids to be sent. Will likely used with Alfred though. Got all three books so it will help round me off a bit, but I love classical music and like that Fundamental Keys is all classically based.

I have Piano For All too though, which looks like it could be useful for areas not covered in either book and better when I reach more advanced levels and want to jam and play pieces.


Adult Beginner on piano (started 19 Jan 2016); 14 years' experience playing bass guitar, and several years on guitar.

Kawai ES100, mainly played through a set of AKG K550's. Perils of thin walls and flatmates. wink
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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Ulven #2504197 01/26/16 12:31 PM
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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2504260 01/26/16 03:08 PM
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Hi Montuno,

Great idea to start a group of people using both Fundamental Keys and Alfred books; I would join.

I should finish new Book 1 of Fundamental Keys Friday; took about 2 months. I will jump into the old Fundamental Keys book starting at p. 39 this weekend.

Flipping through the old Fundamental Keys book, I noticed a few things:

1. In the "About the Method" section, Rachel estimates it averages 4 years to complete the book (127 pages plus appendices). That is a lot of value for one book!

2. Pages 1 through 100 do not look too difficult. The learning curve for the remainder of the book looks rather steep.

3. I expected these later pages to have supplemental practice material but they don't. Maybe stuff a teacher would assign in conjunction with a particular piece. There is an appendix but not explicitly linked to particular pieces.

Two questions -

What type of supplemental material do people recommend for the later pages?

Are there any recordings of the later pieces beyond what Rachel posts (after page 80)?

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
newer player #2504337 01/26/16 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player
1. In the "About the Method" section, Rachel estimates it averages 4 years to complete the book (127 pages plus appendices). That is a lot of value for one book!


The average time to finish the book applies to children. The first 80 pages are quite easy for adults. The challenge for young children beginning piano is that they lack very basic skills such as reading, counting, and simple arithmetic. Once you reach about page 90, that's about RCM 1 difficulty, when it requires some effort to get through each piece.

Honestly, when I got the book, I thought I'd do it in 6 months. It turned out Rachel was seriously picky (can I say that?), so it took me 18 months to get through it to her satisfaction.

Quote
2. Pages 1 through 100 do not look too difficult. The learning curve for the remainder of the book looks rather steep.

3. I expected these later pages to have supplemental practice material but they don't. Maybe stuff a teacher would assign in conjunction with a particular piece. There is an appendix but not explicitly linked to particular pieces.


Definitely from pages 90 to the end is where I spent most of my time learning this book. I didn't use any supplemental materials. I did receive a lot of coaching from Rachel, and it is fairly hard to convey all that must be learned for those later pages. I'd imagine each person would require a slightly different approach.

Quote
Are there any recordings of the later pieces beyond what Rachel posts (after page 80)?


You'll find excellent representative recordings for almost every piece starting at p. 114 since they are standard pedagogic music that everyone learns. The gap is from p. 81-111, corresponding to RCM 1-2 in difficulty.

A lot of the pieces from p. 114 onward are included:
Bach p. 114 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wY8mAQRnGk
Mozart p. 115 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ny3Tt4p_Sc
Schumann p. 117 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te24E6V1dRQ
Bach / Petzold p. 118 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWPoH5fSEAQ
Clementi p. 120 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hol2NOpZunI
Schumann p. 124 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKWPQvlpc_s
Bach p. 125 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3ZABmj4AV8
Schumann p. 126 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX9g74IVieA
Burgmuller p. 127 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aREB2y9ow_s



Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2504388 01/26/16 08:58 PM
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Super-helpful 8 Octaves. These comments provide quite a bit of bonus context to the book. I may just need to get a teacher to help with coaching for pages 90 forward. If I move to NYC I will try to work with Rachel...

Thanks for taking the time to detail your experiences and posting some relevant videos.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2504428 01/26/16 11:40 PM
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I'm one of those who jumped over from the Alfred thread. I've reached pg. 77 (Standing in the Need of Prayer) in the Alfred's and have really been enjoying myself. My Fundamental Keys (1st edition)book just arrived today and I spent about an hour going through the first 41 pages. It was great fun playing these early pieces! Then I switched over to work on some of Alfred's. I feel like the Alfred's has given me the basics and was able to site read everything up to Duetinno without an issue. I'm working on polishing it up and I'll be ready to move on to the next one.

It really does look like these two courses work well together. The variety in music is a great thing!


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2505005 01/28/16 04:32 PM
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8 octaves
Thank you very much for your information.

I want to add that you should have no problems finding the pieces from pages 81-11 on youtube. Not as well played as the pieces you linked, but good enough to get a decent impression of a piece and have something to measure yourself against.

I found your indications about RCM levels very interesting. What would you say are the pages where you have reached the RCM levels (so at/around what page do you reach RCM level 2 etc)?

cmybliss
Great that you started with FK - and that you enjoy it as much as I do.
I found Duettino quite challenging. It is a step up in hand independence. The next couple of pieces are easier once you master Duettino.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2505074 01/28/16 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Montuno
What would you say are the pages where you have reached the RCM levels (so at/around what page do you reach RCM level 2 etc)?


About p. 97 with the Haydn should be about RCM 2. The Bach Minuet in G is RCM 3. Clementi Sonatina in C is RCM 3, and Schumann's The Wild Horseman is RCM 4 as is the Bach March in D.

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2505082 01/28/16 09:21 PM
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Montuno
I agree, it's quite a bit more challenging than the Alfred's stuff I've learned so far. I think it's because the LH isn't just playing chords. I find myself thinking more about what needs to be done, which is great! I think it's a pretty little piece and have almost got it mastered.

8 Octaves

Thank you for all the great information! It's nice to kind of gauge our progress against set standards.


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2505541 01/30/16 12:42 PM
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I've mastered Andante Grazioso and Duettino, a small step I know, but I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.

Have I mentioned how much I like this book? I'm finding the pieces so far, small though they are, to be much more rewarding than most of the stuff I've mastered in Alfred's All in One. I think because they just sound more musical to me, and also, I'm not a huge fan of all the Spirituals. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying my journey through Alfred's as well and feel it has given me the tools to make it through the first section on FK so quickly. I'll definitely continue working from both books, but it sure is nice to have variety in my learning material!


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
cmybliss #2505915 01/31/16 03:20 PM
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Yeah, I feel the same. It feels like I get closer to my dream of being able to play non-trivial classical pieces with little baby steps.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2506181 02/01/16 12:04 PM
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I am a few days behind schedule. Piece #15 in New Book 1 took me a few days to nail; this is the first piece that was a bit challenging. I find Piece #16, the penultimate, to be quite easy.

Looking forward to jumping into the original FK text this week. Will also return to the Alfred's All in One as a supplement...

Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2506589 02/02/16 03:27 PM
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newer player
Just take your time, there is no need to rush.

I have reached page 49 after finishing Roundelay, still enjoying every minute of it.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2506687 02/02/16 11:05 PM
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I'm right behind you. I've got a pretty good grasp on German Dance and have just started Roundalay. What a fun book!

Newer Player
What piece are you working on in the Alfred's supplemental? I keep toying around with purchasing it too, but I may wind up with more music than I know what to do with!


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
cmybliss #2506711 02/03/16 12:54 AM
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Cmybliss

I am still working out piece #16 in Fundamental Keys Book #1. It is quite a nice piece to play.

I will try to catch up to you and Montuno!

Tonight I just picked up the Alfred's book again; two months ago I stopped on Beautiful Brown Eyes (p.75). I might just review from page 1 quickly as the content is so different from that of Fundamental Keys.

FYI My Alfred's book is Called the "Alfred's Self-Teaching Adult Piano Course" with the CD+DVD, so the even pages are special guide pages that just add more color to the "normal" odd pages. I think most people here use a different Alfred's book which is more dense. But I quite like the even pages; when reading them I can imagine the teacher reciting the text verbatim. They reinforce the core concepts.

Last edited by newer player; 02/03/16 12:56 AM.
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
newer player #2507028 02/03/16 11:09 PM
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I think you'll probably be able to catch us, well, me at least! The 1st few pieces from pg. 40 on are fairly simple, but very pretty in my opinion. I managed to play Roundelay on pg. 45 today after just a few run-throughs. Though I think my favorite one so far in Duettino. I'll continue to play through these 4 for a while as I move ahead as a warm up.

I'm using the not self teaching version of the Alfred's All in One. I thought about the one you've got but decided I liked the binding on this one better. Silly I know, but I've been making good progress so far. I do like the sound of those extra concept pages though. We'll see how I get on and may wind up purchasing your version if I feel I need the extra help! I've passed Beautiful Brown Eyes which I didn't like at first. It's grown on me now though and I'm having fun playing with different dynamics and tempos.

You're right about the content being so different! I'm enjoying the differences though, they keep my mind from wandering.


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2507231 02/04/16 03:00 PM
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newer player
Just take your time and don't rush it. IMO each piece in FK is great fun to play, right from the first one on page 40. Don't only learn the correct notes, but try to make it sound nice and fluent.

cmybliss
I liked Duettino most as well, but each piece yet has been very enjoyable. But Scherzino on page 49 is my new favourite. It is quite easy, only 2nd and 3rd intervals, very regular. The one new thing is the movement of the right hand, but once you moved past Lone Star Waltz in Alfred's this is nothing new. But it is a really pretty, playful little piece, the real fun is speeding it up. To quote Rachel from her video: 'Try to get it as quick as you can get it'. cool

For now I do the same as you, playing the old pieces as a warm up. Or just for my enjoyment.


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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2507299 02/04/16 06:02 PM
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Yes, I made a pretty decent recording of Scherzino, a tad slower than Rachel plays it! At higher speeds I find it hard to get it smooth and flow ing yet, so I will practice some more.

But meanwhile I will also move on to the next piece.



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Re: Fundamental Keys Group
Montuno #2507649 02/05/16 04:31 PM
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Oooh, I just started Sherzino and you are so right! It's really fun. I need to get it faster so will continue to work on it. I've not reached Lone Star Waltz yet, but the jump on this one is pretty intuitive. Hopefully that will make LSW easier when I get there!


Started Alfred's All in One Dec. 21, 2015
Re: Fundamental Keys Group
soundsquire #2509564 02/11/16 06:15 PM
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It seemed like I had come to a halt the last week. I wanted to move on from Scherzino, but I just couldn't let go. Playing it at speed was much more of a challenge than I expected - my brain, my fingers, coordination. It didn't work, I could't play relaxed and most certainly not even and musical.

To get used to the tempo I played one or two sessions each day over the last week (between 15-30 minutes each). Sometimes I tried to play along this video just to adapt to playing faster.

At first the improvement was slow, but yesterday I started to feel that I was close to 'getting it'. And today was the magical day. I am able to play Scherzino at +/- 112 bpm comfortably. The notes are not completely even all the time yet, but I am pretty satisfied given my level of experience.

For me that is a huge step, since a week ago getting past 90 bpm evenly was quite a challenge, and beyond that my brain would just overload. Now playing at 100 bpm feels slow grin And I notice that my right hand and fingers are moving much more efficient.

Hopefully putting in this extra effort will be very beneficial when I move on.


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