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Suggestions for Piano Method for adult #2770504
10/08/18 09:45 AM
10/08/18 09:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
United States
D
Dharmafor1 Offline OP
Junior Member
Dharmafor1  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
United States
Good morning folks!
I’m in need of some advice on selecting an appropriate method series and/ or piano literature for a beginner.
I’m placing this question here because this would be for an older student.
Recently my wife has been asking me to show her some stuff on the piano; she hasn’t really had much experience with it though.
While I’ve played/ studied off and on for years, mostly through school and college, piano is not my main instrument, so I won’t teach her. (I’m a percussionist, jazz drummer, and I teach Marimba.)
So when I was learning, after a few false starts I had some phenomenal teachers who took me through the John Thompson and David Carr Glover series, and in tandem, used piano literature. I also had a really good jazz piano teacher that worked with me on improvisation and playing through the jazz canon.

However, getting back to how I learned, I’m not sure an adult would want to go through some of the childlike songs in the beginning books of either method, yet similar methods also use there share of kids song to illustrate a point.

And the adult methods also seem to use songs that are sort of outdated too. Are there any courses methods that use real classical literature right from the beginning? It seems to me there has to be something the masters used before these method books or early 20th century kids songs were invented.
I’ve asked some of my teaching colleagues; however, many seem to be suggesting adult piano courses such as Alfred’s, which they are comfortable teaching out of, yet would bore me enough to quit as an adult.
I’ve suggested that she pick a good teacher, and they will probably have suggestions and a plan of attack. However, I’m wondering if anyone might have some suggestions for materials that build strong foundations, yet maybe use simple etudes and such to illustrate the techniques like the Thompson or Glover books, without the children slant the early books might take?
Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: Dharmafor1] #2770580
10/08/18 01:30 PM
10/08/18 01:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,541
Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Qazsedcft  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,541
Warsaw, Poland
Don't dismiss the children's method books. They may sound simple but they build up very important skills that are neglected by the adult-geared immediate-gratification methods. I'm sure a good piano teacher will be able to select appropriate books and repertoire but you might want to look into the following:

- Bach's Notebook for Anna Magdalena especially BWV Anh. 114, 115, 116, and 132.
- Tchaikovsky Album for the Young op. 39. Don't be put off by the title. The music is actually quite interesting.
- Leopold Mozart's Notebook for Nannerl and Notebook for Wolfgang
- Burgmüller op. 100. Some of these may be difficult for a beginner but you don't have to play them at the required tempo.
- For something more modern/jazzy look for books/pieces by Mike Schoenmehl or Martha Mier.

A motivated adult student can approach all of the above in the first year of study (I did wink ).


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Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: Dharmafor1] #2770585
10/08/18 01:45 PM
10/08/18 01:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,903
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Dharmafor1
However, getting back to how I learned, I’m not sure an adult would want to go through some of the childlike songs in the beginning books of either method, yet similar methods also use there share of kids song to illustrate a point.

And the adult methods also seem to use songs that are sort of outdated too. Are there any courses methods that use real classical literature right from the beginning? It seems to me there has to be something the masters used before these method books or early 20th century kids songs were invented.
I’ve asked some of my teaching colleagues; however, many seem to be suggesting adult piano courses such as Alfred’s, which they are comfortable teaching out of, yet would bore me enough to quit as an adult.
I’ve suggested that she pick a good teacher, and they will probably have suggestions and a plan of attack. However, I’m wondering if anyone might have some suggestions for materials that build strong foundations, yet maybe use simple etudes and such to illustrate the techniques like the Thompson or Glover books, without the children slant the early books might take?
Any suggestions would be helpful.

Music is a language totally different from anything else. For the easiest classical literature, Denes Agay's Easy Classics to Moderns cannot be bettered, but a beginner will need some three months of learning the basics from scratch - note-reading, rhythm (counting beats properly) and getting familiar with the keyboard etc - before she can even begin to attempt the easiest piece in it.

If you decided to learn Arabic, how would you start? Not by reading a very simple Arabic text, because you don't even know the alphabet. (It's worse than Egyptian hieroglyphics.) You'd probably get a teacher and learn it from scratch - like a child would.

In fact, if your wife wants to learn piano - and music - properly, the kiddie books (like John Thompson's Easiest Piano Course - which was the one I used) are actually the best, because they teach everything important in a simple manner without skipping over stuff. On the other hand, if she just wants to play a few 'songs', you could teach her by rote without bothering about learning to read & understand music - if that's what she wants.....

Knowing what I know now, I'd never use Alfred's either if I was a beginner - not because it uses outdated songs, but because it skates over important basic stuff.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: Dharmafor1] #2770588
10/08/18 02:06 PM
10/08/18 02:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 17
M
Michael P Walsh Online content
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The other one to throw into the mix is the Schumann OP. 68. I wouldn't class that, the Tchaikovsky or the Anna Magdalena as absolute beginners material though. I went through Suzuki 1 (not as a Suzuki student) after trying quite a few other beginner methods (for some reason I couldn't get on with them). That might violate your stance against playing children's tunes. I was 56 when I picked up the Suzuki. By definition pretty much any beginner piece is going to be infant like. Personally it didn't bother me in the slightest, the tunes are nice enough.

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Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: Dharmafor1] #2770591
10/08/18 02:19 PM
10/08/18 02:19 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,606
Florida
dogperson Offline
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dogperson  Offline
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Florida
Look at http://fundamentalkeys.com/
I have not used it but have seen it highly recommended


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: dogperson] #2770607
10/08/18 03:19 PM
10/08/18 03:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,832
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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dmd  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,832
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by dogperson
Look at http://fundamentalkeys.com/
I have not used it but have seen it highly recommended


Yes, this one will probably get her off to the best start.

Very sound principles presented by a classically trained pianist with video examples available, also.


Don

Current: ES8, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors (as Subwoofer).
Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: Dharmafor1] #2770777
10/09/18 09:31 AM
10/09/18 09:31 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
United States
D
Dharmafor1 Offline OP
Junior Member
Dharmafor1  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
United States
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I tend to agree that the graded methods tend to provide the needed skills that one will need to play more intricate pieces. By random skipping around it is more likely that the student will miss something or plateau, thus boxing themself in. Luckily, I was younger when I first learned, so the sing song things in the first one or two books didn’t bother me too much. I’m a percussion teacher, and early methods in that is much the same, but they help ensure a more solid foundation!
Conversely, I only own the Thompson and Glover books, with a few grades Bastein, which I remember using for sight reading, so I don’t have munch to offer as far as newer methods.

The Tchaikovsky and Schumann folios for younger players is new to me too, but I’m wondering if it would be approximately the same level as First Lessons in Bach, which may be a little too advanced, but I might look into it for myself!

Like I said, I don’t want to teach her; I’d rather see her get a qualified teacher in that area. I explained tetrachords and scale construction, the circle of fifths, and taught her a chromatic scale, paying attention the thumb position, hand position, and a few basic things, so she plays correctly and doesn’t get into bad habits, but I’m not a piano teacher, so I don’t know about all the potential literature out there!

So thanks again everyone!
-Garrison

I apologize for any grammatical errors(I’m fat-thumbing this).

Last edited by Dharmafor1; 10/09/18 09:35 AM. Reason: Grammar
Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: Dharmafor1] #2770796
10/09/18 11:18 AM
10/09/18 11:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 323
England
Sundew Offline
Full Member
Sundew  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 323
England


Faber Adult is ok. There’s a newish series out i mentioned in another thread, the Classical Piano Method. I’ve looked at book 2 and that uses original classical music to reenforce the lessons. Includes a CD. No children’s tunes. Each level has 2 supplemental books, repertoire and duets.
What I really like about faber are the useful adult videos that are free to view on their site.

Re: Suggestions for Piano Method for adult [Re: Dharmafor1] #2770805
10/09/18 12:03 PM
10/09/18 12:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 142
Chiltern Hills, England.
G
gwing Offline
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gwing  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 142
Chiltern Hills, England.
There are many method books with different approaches and I guess you have to look at them and see what appeals. However if you are getting a tutor you may find that tutor has a preference or even insists on which book is used. Fortunately mine doesn't and is (very) happy to work with my choice which is also Fundamental Keys as previously mentioned.

If you want a pure Classical approach, tailored to adults without condescension and whose philosophy is to get you playing real classical pieces as soon as possible and then learn through those pieces, then FK is probably the best way to go or is at least my choice. You may want a different approach and pick Faber or Alfred or others, especially if you value a large pool of other online users you can learn and correspond with - FK isn't well known outside this forum.

Last edited by gwing; 10/09/18 12:06 PM.

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