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Joined: Jun 2014
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Hello

Can someone suggest a method book for a 10 yr old girl just starting out? I'm not a teacher but have a relative that wants some beginner lessons.

Thanks

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This is the beginner method book I learnt with as a ten-yr-old (though the series was in black & white then), who didn't know one end of the staff from another, and had all the musical acumen of a gnat:

https://www.amazon.com/John-Thompsons-Easiest-Piano-Course/dp/1423468228

It's very easy to follow for a kid, teaches everything that's essential (including the all-important thing that many beginners - adults as well as kids - fall on: playing in time) very well and very gradually, with plenty of revision, and even the colorful cartoon characters giving wise advice via speech balloons are cute wink . The audio accompaniments (which didn't exist when I was learning several decades ago: my teacher supplied them for me by playing the 'teacher's accompaniment' printed below the student's music) are great for enhancing the student's learning........and playing in time, and with 'others'.

It's also the method book series that all my fellow child students (most of them younger than me when they started) learnt from - and all reached advanced level (Grade 8 ABRSM) by the time they reached their mid-late teens. And it's the one I use with all my students.

Caution: there are other John Thompson method books which I won't name here. I don't recommend any of the others, which fail in various aspects.


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I really like the Faber method books for kids. The pieces are well selected and presented in a way that is appealing to kids. My teacher recommends it and uses it with kids.

Osho


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Morodeine, one of our Forum teachers, recently recommended Faber, as well


http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthreads.php/topics/3055723.html#Post3055723


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I'm going to join the Faber team here. One of the things I like about the course is they introduce music theory in a very comfortable way. The other thing I really commend Faber for, is by book 2B, they introduce kids reading a lead sheet. All you have to do is go on the Pianist Forum non classical, and you'll see plenty of posts from classically trained pianists wondering how to develop this skill. I like that Faber teaches this skill early. When the students become teenagers, they'll certainly appreciate the background in this.


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I also think the Faber books are the best for early piano teaching. I love how the Lesson book connects to the other supplementary books. It makes customizing the lessons for the strengths and interests of each student effortless.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Caution: there are other John Thompson method books which I won't name here. I don't recommend any of the others, which fail in various aspects.
The other John Thompson method books didn't fail me at all as a child. But then, the easiest piano course series wasn't widely known or available back then.


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Thanks everyone. A couple of Faber books are on the way.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
This is the beginner method book I learnt with as a ten-yr-old (though the series was in black & white then), who didn't know one end of the staff from another, and had all the musical acumen of a gnat:

https://www.amazon.com/John-Thompsons-Easiest-Piano-Course/dp/1423468228
Can I ask where you went, or your students go, after the Thompson Easy level? Looks like it moves right into the middle of first grade.

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Originally Posted by Raymond_L
Originally Posted by bennevis
This is the beginner method book I learnt with as a ten-yr-old (though the series was in black & white then), who didn't know one end of the staff from another, and had all the musical acumen of a gnat:

https://www.amazon.com/John-Thompsons-Easiest-Piano-Course/dp/1423468228
Can I ask where you went, or your students go, after the Thompson Easy level? Looks like it moves right into the middle of first grade.
This is the next book I use (- and it was also the next one my teacher gave me several decades ago), when the student has grasped the basics of music notation and understand basic theory (major and minor with key signatures up to one # or flat, simple time signatures etc), able to sight-read very slowly, and ready to go on to playing original classical piano/keyboard music. It's not necessary to finish all four books of JT before starting it:

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Classics-Moderns-Music-Millions/dp/0825640172

There's enough music (142 short pieces) in that volume to keep the student busy for the next year or two, but the companion volume (More Easy Classics to Moderns) can be added if the student is up to it.


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Caution: there are other John Thompson method books which I won't name here. I don't recommend any of the others, which fail in various aspects.

Are you referring to the John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano?

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That one - and others.

Remember - the more thoroughly you master the basics and understand the underlying principles, the better a pianist that you will become.

Learning piano is an ultra-marathon, not a sprint.


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Thanks, if I don't have it I'll definitely add it to my collection-
but let's see if the mail will deliver (eye roll emoji inserted here)

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Yep, I have been using Faber since the early 2000s. It seems to still be the current go-to series, and they have new revisions as well.


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I started on JT as a child, so It was what I knew. When I started teaching, I used JT Easiest Piano Method... but found it lacked a lot. I did fine with JT 40 years ago! LOL I have tried Faber, found I was not a fan for different reasons. I used if for the very very young, and just thought it was too gamelike. But again, just my opinion. Not that it isn't sound pedagogically. It just wasn't me. I even bought the teachers guides. I gave it my all, then gave my stock to a dear friend who loves it. I wanted to LOVE it as it is so highly revered. I have since used Alfred's Basic and Bastien's All in One (depending on age, siblings, etc..). I do buy some Faber books as supplements for repertoire etc.. as the arrangements are sound. I have had much success with Alfred and Bastien. I have considered trying Faber again... Like I said, I WANT to love it! I guess I am just old school! The updated Bastien is engaging for my younger students, but once you get to Level 2b it is definitely very dense with theory.

Last edited by neciebugs; 03/31/21 04:20 PM.

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For the very young, yes, it is very game like. Half the lesson time is away from keyboard. I have to judge a child's reading level, how they hold a pencil, interest level, to determine to do the game-like pre-primer/games, or start wit the regular primer level.

They have regular levels for children that can read, plus an older beginners level, and an adult level.
So maybe try another version?

I do prefer the Alfred All in One for adults.

It's great to have options!


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Yes, I had the the early level (pre-reader) regular and adult books... I still default to Alfred and Bastien. As I said, I will supplement rep with Faber. I still have the adult books, but all the Piano Adventures went to my friend who uses them. Oh! I also have the sight reading books, but it doesn't do much good to use them in virtual lessons hehe! When the kids come back to the studio (hopefully this summer~)


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