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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957304 03/15/20 09:25 AM
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Nice one wish4_thing and chilli_time. That sounds like the extended version of Simple Gifts I enjoyed from Book 1 a few weeks ago, I had mentioned it as one I particularly liked so far smile

Spent most of the week more focused on the teacher’s homework than Faber which I thought would happen. Apparently that Kabalevsky piece Galop is grade 2 - she said she wanted to push me with a piece that she could have an opportunity to give more input into over a number of lessons rather than just be done with in a week. Wish I had known that when she assigned it - I pushed hard on it for 4 days to get it playable then found that out when I emailed her, oops. Has been lots of new things to learn for me came from it (the constant hand position changes nearly every measure, staccato one hand while legato on other, leaps etc) but a very pretty piece, Tempo is my big struggle with it now as supposed to be a lot faster.than I can manage.

Plus the C Major/A minor scales work - the triplets over 3 octaves is slowly progressing but my brain is trying to count 1-2-3 for the triplets while also counting 3-4-3-4-3 for the scale fingering changes and freaks out now and then with HT getting confused with too many 3’s! Certainly not up to her 65bpm target for those yet, 55 on a good day, any faster I start messing up the crossings. The muscle memory of the 3-4 patterns is slowly improving though each day so chipping away at it.

For Faber I finished with Sleeping Beauty and a number of pieces in the next unit like Chinese Kites, Danny Boy and Lion Sleeps. Now working on the pieces through to CanCan and Ice Skaters though barely started those. Last session at the end I also peeked ahead to the Entertainer for a couple of minutes. Many hours of practice lies ahead to get all those in shape it would seem, baby steps!

Had my third lesson yesterday (she comes to my place, I have no intentions of cancelling lessons while she is still willing/able to come). She started adding aural training to our rhythm/note training theory session. So me facing away, she plays a melody from within the C Major scale octave, and I have to write down what numbers the notes were (1-7). She also added G Major/D minor to my scales practice.

Finally she thought I should have something else to work on technically while refining Galop so picked up my Faber-Hanon book from my “maybe one day” shelf of music books and picked out the 6th exercise, suggesting I should be able to start at 60bpm and try to work up to 90bpm. Not sure if any of you have this book, right now I feel if I was to even get to her starting 60bpm with that exercise by next week I would be happy with myself, haha. It’s a relatively simple exercise HS, apart from after 14 repetitions up the keyboard it flips it’s patterns to come back down. Plus getting those 3/4 fingers to do their little trill dance right is not easy to count right at speed. Then doing all of that HT, eek. I don’t want to skip the gesture exercises that are a big part of the start of that book (and why I bought it) with all those excellent videos on the Faber website, so I want to incorporate those in my time too.

I asked if she was a Hanon fan in terms of those technical exercises as know they have a bit of a marmite reputation, she said Czerny was what she trained with so those would be in her future for me one day.

I also last night spent some time with the Alfred’s Chords, Scales, Arpeggios and Cadences book working through some of the explanation pages for music theory. I found the PA AIO books are pretty light on the theory stuff for me at least, got a much better explanation of how all that chord numbering works and other terms that hadn’t sunk in yet.

Crap another long post, sorry. Way too much to learn and having too much fun. I’m sure some Faber book 1 stuff will have to get “parked for later” again this week. Happy practicing everyone...


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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957316 03/15/20 10:36 AM
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Wish4 Thing and Chill Time thank you for sharing these pieces you have both played them well to my ears.

re coronavirus In the Uk we have not gone for a complete lock down of movement at the moment but anyone with a slight cough that they have not had before or anyone with a temperature has been asked to self isolate for 7 days or longer depending on how you are. However that advice could change at any time.

Chill time yes I can fully understand you worries about friends and loved ones. This is where piano playing can help take you mind of the worries even for a short time.

I read a wonderful book about the life of Alice Herz Sommer a holocaust survivor and she found that playing the piano got her through the most horrendous time of loosing family and surviving in a concentration camp. She says music saved her life . I think it certainly helps no matter what the situation.

Whilst the coronavirus is a completely different situation being able to take yourself away from your worries must be a good thing, even if only for a short period of time. With us learning to play the piano gives us a completely new set of worries and frustrations to contend with while we are practicing.

This is also where the forum comes into its own as it will enable us all to keep in touch and continue to share our piano experiences and support each other.


Kiwi dude
Whilst it is good to be challenged and pushed by your teacher I would raise caution with this approach. I found I had a teacher who did that and it lead to a lot of frustrations with me to the point I felt I was never improving and gave up taking lessons. Finding the Faber Adult AIO PA books and steadily working through them enables me to feel I am progressing all be it slowly. But progression is good and I feel that by going too fast previously I missed out on a lot of the basics of technique particularly getting good hand techniques. By going slowly this is enabling all of what I am learning to be consolidated before moving on.


Using Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO Book 1
Currently working on Unit 14
Also working with Faber Technique and Artistry book 2
Playing on a Rolands HP 505 Digital Piano
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957337 03/15/20 12:00 PM
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@cognita - I do share the same concerns, as I have mentioned in my previous posts. She does seem to be equating the fact that I practice more than most of her students to mean she can throw higher level stuff at me quicker, but there are some physical realities about finger strength and brain patterns etc that have no concern for her wishes and are coming along at their own time, haha. To be fair nothing to date has been so far out of reach that I get frustrated even trying, I’m trying my best and have had some progress on these things.

I am certainly still working through the Faber book without skipping stuff. It is just that some practice sessions only get a half hour of Faber tacked on at the end instead of being the primary focus. I have two more weekly lessons with her prepaid and can evaluate at that point how I think things have gone with her guidance. i have no illusions over magically skipping large areas of learning just because I worked on something more advanced, I still want to finish book 1 and work through book 2. it has helped with some Faber stuff for sure - by the time I hit the songs in Faber that start using C Major scale crossovers they were a comfy slipper for those sections.

if I do stick with her as a teacher then hopefully supplementing her homework with Faber will ensure I don’t have the gaps forever. Teachers are not infallible, they get a very brief time to make a judgement on what they think will be the right challenge. Which a more experienced teacher might choose differently, I don’t know. She might rein it back in if next week I’ve not made much progress, we shall see. it certainly isn’t me asking for more from her, I can say that smile


Yamaha P515, Sennheiser HD599 headphones
Trying not to annoy the neighbours with my ineptitude since Feb 2020.
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957347 03/15/20 12:20 PM
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Wish4Thing, Amazing work! Not only fun to listen to, but so even in tempo! Something I am really working on. Chili_Time, Simple Gifts is one of my little brothers favorites! I would love to be able to play it like that, and send it to him! Maybe someday!

I have taken on a little more, for my practice routine. I was fascinated by all the information about chords and the circle of fifths, so am diving a little deeper into chords, first by adding some simple ones to my practice routine, only I’m not finding them that simple! Changing from one hand position to another, keeping an even tempo, even at 60 bpm, is really hard for me! I’m still working on Danny Boy, and will post it if I ever get it somewhat finished.

Please everyone, stay safe!!!

Fran...


Casio Privia 160, Classic popular, Soft Rock, Studying In PIano Adventures AIO, Unit 11
Re: Faber Graduates
kiwidude #2957357 03/15/20 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwidude
@cognita - I do share the same concerns, as I have mentioned in my previous posts. She does seem to be equating the fact that I practice more than most of her students to mean she can throw higher level stuff at me quicker, but there are some physical realities about finger strength and brain patterns etc that have no concern for her wishes and are coming along at their own time, haha. To be fair nothing to date has been so far out of reach that I get frustrated even trying, I’m trying my best and have had some progress on these things.

I am certainly still working through the Faber book without skipping stuff. It is just that some practice sessions only get a half hour of Faber tacked on at the end instead of being the primary focus. I have two more weekly lessons with her prepaid and can evaluate at that point how I think things have gone with her guidance. i have no illusions over magically skipping large areas of learning just because I worked on something more advanced, I still want to finish book 1 and work through book 2. it has helped with some Faber stuff for sure - by the time I hit the songs in Faber that start using C Major scale crossovers they were a comfy slipper for those sections.

if I do stick with her as a teacher then hopefully supplementing her homework with Faber will ensure I don’t have the gaps forever. Teachers are not infallible, they get a very brief time to make a judgement on what they think will be the right challenge. Which a more experienced teacher might choose differently, I don’t know. She might rein it back in if next week I’ve not made much progress, we shall see. it certainly isn’t me asking for more from her, I can say that smile


Hi Kiwi
If you come to the conclusion that lessons need to be reigned in a tad, please tell your teacher how you feel rather than changing teachers. Really, the teachers try to often read a child’s mind but as adults we can help them out. I am very impressed with several things she is doing, but particularly aural training with you—- that is great and not often done. What we should all ask ourselves about lessons: are the instructions and practicing plan clearly defined? Can my teacher demonstrate? If there is a problem, do we explore different ways to solve it? If yes, you can usually work out everything else if you talk.


"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

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Re: Faber Graduates
dogperson #2957377 03/15/20 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Kiwi
If you come to the conclusion that lessons need to be reigned in a tad, please tell your teacher how you feel rather than changing teachers. Really, the teachers try to often read a child’s mind but as adults we can help them out. I am very impressed with several things she is doing, but particularly aural training with you—- that is great and not often done. What we should all ask ourselves about lessons: are the instructions and practicing plan clearly defined? Can my teacher demonstrate? If there is a problem, do we explore different ways to solve it? If yes, you can usually work out everything else if you talk.

@dogperson - thanks for your considerate response, a very sensible suggestion and totally agree that teachers will have a tough job trying to mind read what the student's feelings are without such a conversation! I have no issue at all with anything else she is doing. As you mention there is total clarity on what she wants me to work on each week, she has answered every email of additional questions I have and is a lovely person to talk to. She does ask how I got on each week and the "proof" of where I am at comes from when I try to play it back to her, shaky as it can be!

So the only real question I have with her is over the pacing, being so far in advance of where Faber would have me working on which is the only point of reference I have as a numpty beginner. She did explain her rationale this week - if she assigns me a piece that I'm done with in a few days then by the time of the next lesson there is very little that she can say about it. She talked about how when getting to the point of "10 page pieces" that take much longer to learn that the weekly lessons can be more focused into sections of those. Luckily I don't have any of those in my bookshelf perhaps... smile

Certainly it is a challenge. Perhaps she just wants to find my limits early on and then adjusts appropriately. I'm sure if I really wanted to I could insist on just working through Faber each week with her - but if she has some cunning master plan I at least want to try it until it becomes an issue. After all I am paying for her knowledge and experience to guide me. Or she could just be taking a few wild swings from a lack of experience of a student in my situation. Hearing an experienced person like yourself saying you are impressed with some of the things she is doing as a very welcome reassurance and exactly the sort of feedback I was hoping for, so thanks! smile


Yamaha P515, Sennheiser HD599 headphones
Trying not to annoy the neighbours with my ineptitude since Feb 2020.
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957380 03/15/20 01:51 PM
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Hi Kiwidude
Thanks for your reply—- and please keep us posted. Really sounds that you and your lessons are doing well. I forgot to ask how long they are. As the pieces get more difficult and longer, you might want to talk to your teacher about increasing the length; the goal is to get all of your concerns addressed and you will know when to ask: when you consistently think ‘wish we had more time’😊


"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

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957385 03/15/20 02:02 PM
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Hi dogperson - the lessons are one hour - half an hour of theory/technical (the rhythm/reading/aural testing then scales/arpeggios), the second half being pieces. Indeed I am sure those "wish we had more time" days will come eventually - though at the moment it is more like "wish I had more time in between the lessons to achieve her challenges" to impress her, haha.

Last edited by kiwidude; 03/15/20 02:06 PM.

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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957461 03/15/20 06:10 PM
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Nice Simple Gifts @Chili_Time, that sounds so familiar, is there an Alfreds1 version? Maybe in my video lessons, I don’t know.

I’ve been down to just reading with more arthritis flares but back at catching up again today. I hope everyone can make the best of the situation staying safe and well.


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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2957595 03/16/20 04:37 AM
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Hi kiwidude

It sounds like the lessons are structured well with dedicated time for rythmn reading and arual testing .

You are right about finger strength and brain patterns. This is the bigest challange as what the brain can understand the fingers dont always want to play, particuarally when you get to playing the fast notes. However with all the practice you are putting in this will be develoing your finger stength nicely. In addition to the advanced pieces you are being set if you are happy with them and your teacher then you could continue with this but also ask her to hear a Faber piece you are playing and advice you on how well you are playing it . Your teacher may be able to pick up on how fluently you are playing it , whether you have the right rythms, the right sound in terms of dynamics , legato stacato etc. . Its good that you feel you want to coninue with faber to ensure you dont miss anything . By doing this it sounds like you may be getting the best of both worlds but I agree with dogperson if it gets to much talk to your teacher . You are paying her to teach you so you do want to feel you are getting the most from the lessons


Using Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO Book 1
Currently working on Unit 14
Also working with Faber Technique and Artistry book 2
Playing on a Rolands HP 505 Digital Piano
Re: Faber Graduates
dobro #2957879 03/17/20 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dobro
Nice Simple Gifts @Chili_Time, that sounds so familiar, is there an Alfreds1 version? Maybe in my video lessons, I don’t know.

I’ve been down to just reading with more arthritis flares but back at catching up again today. I hope everyone can make the best of the situation staying safe and well.


There probably is an Alfred's version but it may be in another key. The one I played is the first lesson in the key of D in my book. Faber has typically started new keys with a relativly easy piece and then each additional ramps up the difficulty.

Hope everyone is doing okay. I think today will be the last day at work for my company. A work phone has been installed at my home office and the company gave me a new laptop. I'll be far less productive but am thankful to still have a job. I suspect we will get an announcement today to work from home until further notice. Recently it feels like we are living in a Netflix series but it is real.

Piano lessons locally will be over the internet if at all until further notice. Some runs on the grocery stores here but not too bad.

Hope you all are well and safe!

Last edited by Chili_Time; 03/17/20 07:13 AM.

First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Faber Piano Adventures Book 3b. Yamaha P-115 for two years (good starter piano) and now a Kawai MP11SE (Fantastic piano!).
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Re: Faber Graduates
Chili_Time #2958341 03/18/20 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Chili_Time
With so much time today and nowhere to go I added a few tracks including Simple Gifts which is one of my favorites.There are several spots in there my teacher will want to polish, but this is on average how I sound when I play it. I'm feeling a little low about the future of family and friends with health issues and this song makes me feel better.


Hi Chili_Time, I'm using the older edition of the lesson book, so I won't have a chance to play this song, but I enjoyed your recording, smooth and even as usual, solid foundation you have built. I'm curious which spots your teacher wanted you to polish?

Work from home must be a big change for you, it has its advantages as you mentioned, hope you are enjoying it. As for family members at higher risks, as long as they stay in and you can help with grocery shopping and other needs, they should be fine. Bottom line, tell them to stay away from anyone! Hope this helps.

Hope everyone is doing well!

I recorded Morning has broken, this is a slow piece, I thought it was easy but it was not for me to play it with expressions... it easily sounds flat tuned... the new edition of the arrangement sounds better to me on YouTube... also with my recording, left hand could be lighter...

My other question/problem is that, I understand what forte/piano means, but I always have issues interpreting it with my hands... when it says f or mf, I tend to hit the keys too hard or too fast, sounds like I'm hamming the keys, very bad habit sick


Snowflake Rag, Unit 6 (The Chromatic Scale) of Faber 3A, with performance and Christmas books
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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2958603 03/19/20 10:55 AM
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@Wish4Thing- I loved it! You are your own worst critic, 🤗I thought the dynamics were perfect!!! It is a song I can just kick back and enjoy! Hope you are taking care of yourself, and staying safe!

Fran...


Casio Privia 160, Classic popular, Soft Rock, Studying In PIano Adventures AIO, Unit 11
Re: Faber Graduates
pagirl #2958632 03/19/20 01:05 PM
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Thank you for the kind words and good spirit, Fran! You take care too!


Snowflake Rag, Unit 6 (The Chromatic Scale) of Faber 3A, with performance and Christmas books
Self-studied Alfred Adult AIO Level 1; Faber Accelerated Lesson Book 2
My Recordings
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2958799 03/20/20 05:04 AM
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Hi Wishful4Thing

I agree with pagirl the dynamics do sound great as does you playing with the rest of piece . You have a nice flow to it and a variation in dynamics . so be proud of yourself for what you have achieved .

If you do feel you need a refresh of how to play forte, then you could always go back and watch the Faber introduction video to the Adult Piano Adventure book 1 where Randall discusses using arm weight to play forte. Its available on YoutTube if you dont have the app.

Im currently working on Unit 11 of PA AIO book 1. The technical challenge in this unit and for me is trying to get the left hand to play softer than the right .

I am working on the advice given in the 3 minute technique video but It is going to take me while to master this as the brain wants to play left and right hand at the same sound and not have one softer than the other .


Using Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO Book 1
Currently working on Unit 14
Also working with Faber Technique and Artistry book 2
Playing on a Rolands HP 505 Digital Piano
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2958867 03/20/20 10:08 AM
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Nice “Morning Has Broken” there @Wish4_Thing, I’m hacking away and trying to make it to level 3 and looking forward to these pieces.


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PianoVideoLessons.com Currently unit 4
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Re: Faber Graduates
CognitaP #2959030 03/20/20 05:45 PM
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CognitaP, thank you so much for always giving me positive feedback! Also thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge! I watched a couple of of Randall's videos on YouTube, obviously I need to watch more...

dobro, I think your next level is 3B after AIO Level 2... I won't be able to get to 3B until next year... so you might get there faster than I do smile Thanks for listening!

Stay healthy, everyone!


Snowflake Rag, Unit 6 (The Chromatic Scale) of Faber 3A, with performance and Christmas books
Self-studied Alfred Adult AIO Level 1; Faber Accelerated Lesson Book 2
My Recordings
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959045 03/20/20 06:33 PM
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Hi everyone,
I bailed on Scale Monster after getting 2 out of 3 of the tempo goals the Faber book suggested. Glad I did. I'm now working on Chanson and Ceremony for Peace in Book 4. Love them both. Chanson is very soft and dreamy with large broken left hand chords and pedal work. Ceremony for Peace is strong and bold with a fantastic key shift in the middle to that is so heartfelt and poignant. Ceremony is only two pages so I'll likely get it in about 3 weeks. Chanson might take a little longer. They are both fantastic counterpoints to the Bach Menuet I'm working on.

I hope everyone and your families are safe. Here in our county in Wisconsin there are 32 cases, but so far no deaths, though 2 for the state. I crave my time at the piano because it is impossible to practice intently and think of anything else.

Be well,
Holly


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959111 03/20/20 10:55 PM
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I’ve gotten “Sakura” down but I didn’t really appreciate the dynamics of it at first. I just can’t get motivated for some reason but that comes and goes.

@Wish4_Thing, thanks for the encouraging words, I’m at a slow pace.

@HollyBytheLake, continue to be safe as that’s awfully close. So far no cases in my county but a guy was arrested for falsely claiming that he was exposed and his son had it. The same thing occurred in the next county over where there are confirmed patients.

Please be safe everybody.


Alesis Coda Pro
PianoVideoLessons.com Currently unit 4
Faber All In One -Level 2
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Re: Faber Graduates
BrianDX #2959147 03/21/20 04:28 AM
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Hi

@ Wish4 Thing

Thank you for your kind words . Its good to share what I know as we all have the same objective of wanting to learn to play the piano well . By sharing with each other what we know and our experiences helps us all towards achieving playing the piano well.

I too have learnt a lot from the Pianoworld foum and in particular the Faber graduates thread and hearing others play who are more experienced than me is very encouraging. So thank you to all who post them.

I had not come across the Faber books until I read all the Faber graduates thread last year and from all that was written investigated the books further . I have found that the Faber Adult Piano Adventures books suit my style of learning very well and are now enjoying all that I am learning .

I also find it good to know that I am not alone in my experiences of the highs and lows of learning.

@ HollyBytheLake well done with your acheivements. Book 4 is a long way off for me now but your posts are inspiring. I hope you and your family are able to keep safe during this very worrying time.


Using Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO Book 1
Currently working on Unit 14
Also working with Faber Technique and Artistry book 2
Playing on a Rolands HP 505 Digital Piano
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