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Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight #2825090
03/10/19 09:46 PM
03/10/19 09:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,839
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline OP
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I have a student who insists on learning these pieces, but they are way beyond him. He's basically taught himself the first part (mostly) of Fur Elise by ear, and the Moonlight he can only do until the dotted melody comes in, which he can't play.

I told him I'd look for simplified versions, but I hate to do that. And since he's already "learned" the beginning of Fur Elise, there's no point in working on that either. So do you know of any pieces that are like Moonlight in feel but much simpler? Or a simplified arrangement of Moonlight is all else fails?


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Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825097
03/10/19 10:21 PM
03/10/19 10:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 121
Long Island, NY
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Why do you say there is no point in teaching him the rest of Fur Elise just because he had the first few measures already down? If he had the correct notes, isn’t that half the battle ?


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Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825108
03/10/19 10:35 PM
03/10/19 10:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
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USA
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Schaum Easy Classics has a Level 2 solo sheet of Fur Elise. [See HERE.]

I don't know if they have a simplified version of Moonlight Sonata, but there is a Level 4 arrangement (by Wesley Schaum) of Clair de Lune HERE. It's not Beethoven, but it does involve moonlight. smile

Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825133
03/10/19 11:56 PM
03/10/19 11:56 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,246
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If you want something that actually sounds a bit Moonlight Sonata-ish there's the Duetto (souvenir of Beethoven) op.47 no.15 by Heller.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: AssociateX] #2825160
03/11/19 01:40 AM
03/11/19 01:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,102
Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by AssociateX
Why do you say there is no point in teaching him the rest of Fur Elise just because he had the first few measures already down? If he had the correct notes, isn’t that half the battle ?

In my experience, students who learned Fur Elise on their own usually have poor fingering, excessive pedaling, and other technical problems that are nigh impossible to fix later.

Over four transfer students played the first 3 lines of Fur Elise for me during our first meeting, and none could play it even 30% correctly.

It's a rampant problem.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825162
03/11/19 01:41 AM
03/11/19 01:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 140
Canada
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
I have a student who insists on learning these pieces, but they are way beyond him. He's basically taught himself the first part (mostly) of Fur Elise by ear, and the Moonlight he can only do until the dotted melody comes in, which he can't play.

I told him I'd look for simplified versions, but I hate to do that. And since he's already "learned" the beginning of Fur Elise, there's no point in working on that either. So do you know of any pieces that are like Moonlight in feel but much simpler? Or a simplified arrangement of Moonlight is all else fails?


In this piece ( Fur Elise) there is something magical. Several times people came to me and said that they were not interested in music and were not going to do it. All they want is to learn some how to play "For Elise". After that, they will give up music lessons.

However, to do this, they had to learn so much interesting that they continued studying music and remained friends with her for life.


Vladimir Dounin
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825191
03/11/19 04:35 AM
03/11/19 04:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 10
Seattle, WA
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Blague Offline
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Seattle, WA
Does the student understand that these pieces are way beyond his skill level, or are you equivocating on that? Maybe you could take issues he has with Fur Elise and weave them into his normal lessons and skip the simplified stuff?

Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825251
03/11/19 07:42 AM
03/11/19 07:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,839
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline OP
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Thanks for the suggestions thus far, I will definitely check them out.

To elaborate, he is a beginner, age 11 or 12, and in the primer books in Piano Town. He's got a great ear and is very talented and enthusiastic. When he asked to learn Moonlight sonata and Fur Elise, I explained to him that he would not be able to play them completely and that it would be better to use them as a goal to aim for down the road.

When I showed him the part where you have the dotted melody in Moonlight and the 9ths, he capitulated and just continued to play the part up to that. But Fur Elise he pretty much knows the A section, but with mistakes. I have to choose pieces for him to play at juries at the school and also at their recital. I'm just not sure it's worth the struggle to fix the errors, although it's not terrible.

I told him I'd look for an easier version of either, but maybe I'll just have him work on the first page of Fur Elise and leave it at that. Nobody has any patience anymore.


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Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825510
03/11/19 05:02 PM
03/11/19 05:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 513
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There is a really beautiful arrangement at the end of Faber 3B of Pachelbel Canon.


Yamaha G2
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: pianoMom2006] #2825535
03/11/19 05:56 PM
03/11/19 05:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,102
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by pianoMom2006
There is a really beautiful arrangement at the end of Faber 3B of Pachelbel Canon.

Which I always skip.

FJH has a better one in Succeeding at the Piano, but I also skip that one.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: AZNpiano] #2825576
03/11/19 07:12 PM
03/11/19 07:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 126
Canada
pianist_lady Online content
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by pianoMom2006
There is a really beautiful arrangement at the end of Faber 3B of Pachelbel Canon.

Which I always skip.

FJH has a better one in Succeeding at the Piano, but I also skip that one.


Why skip it?


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825588
03/11/19 07:31 PM
03/11/19 07:31 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,106
rocket88 Offline
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One possibility is Bach's Prelude #1 in C major which sounds somewhat like the first section of Moonlight Sonata, and is fairly easy, (and a good place to demonstrate chords).

And doesn't need to be slimmed down.

I have used it with some success with students who want to play Moonlight but cannot get past the first section.


Piano teacher.
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: pianist_lady] #2825607
03/11/19 08:19 PM
03/11/19 08:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,102
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Why skip it?

I don't like teaching transcriptions. Students are free to play them on their own time.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2825627
03/11/19 09:17 PM
03/11/19 09:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,246
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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What if as a teacher you identify skills that your student currently lacks which are needed to play the piece that your student loves and then you address those skills in easier pieces or in exercises?

You could even tell your student "(Piece X) which you love and want to play, requires (skill Al) By playing (piece Y) you will practice and develop (skill A).

When a student requests a piece that is WAY TOO HARD you could make a list of the skills needed for the piece and indicate which ones the student has even been exposed to.


Learner
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: AZNpiano] #2825797
03/12/19 08:49 AM
03/12/19 08:49 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 126
Canada
pianist_lady Online content
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Why skip it?

I don't like teaching transcriptions. Students are free to play them on their own time.


Interesting. I like teaching that particular piece, but there are definitely some bad transcriptions out there.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: rocket88] #2826100
03/12/19 10:35 PM
03/12/19 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rocket88
One possibility is Bach's Prelude #1 in C major which sounds somewhat like the first section of Moonlight Sonata, and is fairly easy, (and a good place to demonstrate chords).

And doesn't need to be slimmed down.

I have used it with some success with students who want to play Moonlight but cannot get past the first section.


My son is learning/ polishing Prelude in C now for Guild. I agree it’s a nice piece and it’s one that sounds pretty good in my opinion even at a reduced speed.


Yamaha G2
Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2826189
03/13/19 06:53 AM
03/13/19 06:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 556
Hawaii
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Hawaii
My first piano teacher tricked me into loving music so much, it became my life. She did it by playing the classics as a "treat" ... which predictably got my interest. Then I would take the obvious next step, which was to struggle to play something way out of my range. But she was clever. She'd assign me the regular pieces and technical work, insist on my note reading ( the most important single skill a student can acquire) and then allow me to play a line or two of my laboriously played choice. I'd get maybe a line of the Pathetique at the end of my regular lesson.
Worked like a charm. And then eventually when I finally reached the end ... or a reasonable portion of the piece, I had learned what I actually was supposed to learn. Yep ... scales and Hanon and those abysmal pieces in the student's primers. And could "show" of with the forbidden fruit.
(Confession) I had three degrees in music and had taught for twenty years before I actually learned to sightread really well. Now it's the number I item on my list for my students. Sight reading cut my learning a new piece from months to a week or so.

Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2826281
03/13/19 12:00 PM
03/13/19 12:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,839
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline OP
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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
My first piano teacher tricked me into loving music so much, it became my life. She did it by playing the classics as a "treat" ... which predictably got my interest. Then I would take the obvious next step, which was to struggle to play something way out of my range. But she was clever. She'd assign me the regular pieces and technical work, insist on my note reading ( the most important single skill a student can acquire) and then allow me to play a line or two of my laboriously played choice. I'd get maybe a line of the Pathetique at the end of my regular lesson.
Worked like a charm. And then eventually when I finally reached the end ... or a reasonable portion of the piece, I had learned what I actually was supposed to learn. Yep ... scales and Hanon and those abysmal pieces in the student's primers. And could "show" of with the forbidden fruit.
(Confession) I had three degrees in music and had taught for twenty years before I actually learned to sightread really well. Now it's the number I item on my list for my students. Sight reading cut my learning a new piece from months to a week or so.

So while playing Mary Had a Little Lamb, you'd work on Pathetique? That is the level of this boy - single note melodies distributed between the hands, with maybe a couple of chords thrown in.


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Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2826412
03/13/19 04:05 PM
03/13/19 04:05 PM
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Reseda, California
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
. So do you know of any pieces that are like Moonlight in feel but much simpler?


How about Cole Porter's "Night and Day" or "In the Still of the Night"?


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Re: Substitutes for Fur Elise or Moonlight [Re: Morodiene] #2826465
03/13/19 05:33 PM
03/13/19 05:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,102
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
So while playing Mary Had a Little Lamb, you'd work on Pathetique? That is the level of this boy - single note melodies distributed between the hands, with maybe a couple of chords thrown in.

And he insists on learning Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise?

Tell him it's like trying to do advanced math (Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, Calculus) without knowing how to add and subtract. In fact, show him the math curriculum, and point to where he is--at the bottom--and that in schools it will take about 8 more years to get to Algebra, and 11 more years to get to Calculus. That's measured in YEARS.

I don't get such moronic requests from my students, but once in a blue moon a parent would be dumb enough to ask. The last time that happened, the query came from the kid's grandma. I told her the kid can't even read notes fluently yet after four years of "lessons" from hack teachers. This kid came to me playing Fur Elise (the first section) by rote, and I immediately sent him down to the Primer method book for ZERO reading ability.

Another recent request came from the mother of an advanced student asking for the third movement of Moonlight Sonata, and I just laughed in her face--but in this case the kid is so much further along, so why bother learning something so trite and rudimentary??? We have MUCH more difficult music to work on.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
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