Around this time of year, we consider goals for the new year and fresh starts for projects that went by the wayside. number of folks here are self-teaching, or considering self-teaching, the usual consideration that is becoming more and more popular is a monthly or annual subscription to an online lesson site or an expensive course of study delivered to your home.
What I am about to describe here is a possible alternative that would be far less expensive and, had I known about it some time ago, could have saved me a fair chunk of change. This post is NOT intended to argue that one means of study is necessarily better than another. Each individual must decide this for him or herself. My intention here is simply to call to folks' attention another possible consideration that I only found out about recently, and quite by accident. Here it is...
In addition to all the quick lessons and methods that you can find all over youtube, every once in a while, you can find something that has long term, real value, and this is one channel that provides it all without charge. You won't find that you can watch one video free, but have to pay at a site to see the rest of it. It is all here and at no charge.
Let's Play Piano Methods channel on youtube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ
Here is the introductory video with the explanation below it:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdxGMFhrSbg
If interested, here is what you do...
Look through the playlists:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ/playlists
...to find the method book(s) you are interested in, and then buy the books at Amazon or wherever you buy your piano books. Use the videos to guide you through each lesson in the book. The videos are free to use, so the only cost to you is the books themselves
There are video sets covering well known methods, some are covered through all volumes, while others are only covered for the first couple of books. In addition, there are several supplemental song books covered, so you can also elect from those.
In each video (whether a method video or a supplemental song book video), this kind and generous fellow has two sections:
1. Things To Remember...
n this section, he goes over various things to watch out for in the piece about to be played, as well as explaining things you need to know about timing, musical symbols, etc.
2. Play With Me...
Here, he plays the tune SLOWLY, with the intention of you getting the notes, fingering, and timing correct as you play along. He says in some of the videos that his intention is for you to read through the page and play the tune before watching the video.
He doesn't cover every page in the method books (but does in the song books), but focuses instead on the songs presented, though he does discuss briefly the information on pages that you should be reading on your own. Usually, these are pages that provide some information about theory or reading the staff, etc.
I chose the three video sets on Alfred's All-In-One series (which is apparently the complete set), plus several supplemental music books. I am finding that it is much easier to stay motivated through his teaching videos and his coverage is calling my attention to things in the books that I probably would have not given much thought to.
These books move at a very comfortable pace, which in my opinion, seems to be a problem with some of the other self-study courses I have where things start out comfortably, but suddenly you find yourself struggling and over your head wondering what you missed. If there was ever a demotivator, that is it, in my opinion.
The video sets and supplemental song books I chose are:
Alfred's All Time Favorites, both Levels 1 and 2
Alfred's Greatest Hits, Levels 1 and 2
Martha Mier's Jazz, Rags, and Blues Books 1 ,2, and 3
Martha Mier's Romantic Impressions Book 1
In one of the videos, he says that you must play "gobs and gobs" of music, so I figure that having a decent selection of supplemental music books with the same coverage he gives the methods will enable me to do that.
I chose all of these books because they are available as Kindle books to use right on my Microsoft Surface Pro 4, which sits nicely on my piano's music stand.
Hopefully, this information will be helpful to somebody. If you do go this route, choose whatever method you like that he covers in one or more video sets. I think this teacher does a very, very good and consistent job on each video that I have seen. The quality is such that, if he wanted to, he could have put together a product that would deserve a hefty price, in my opinion. Instead, he chose to share with all of us. He is a retired piano teacher who has a degree in music, and spent many years as a church pianist, so you are getting benefit of his education and long experience teaching and playing.