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#958531 - 05/13/04 11:51 PM I recommend the Faber method books
petros Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/12/04
Posts: 17
As a piano teacher for many years and having taught thousands of lessons, I want to say that using the Alfred series was almost painful having to listen to such uninspiring pieces. The pieces in the Alfred method books were selected and arranged with pretty poor taste, in my opinion. They too often feature that annoying sounding block I and V7 1st inversion chord progression in the left which is rarely played in that position in the real world.

The Faber books are like a breath of fresh air. They feature simple pleasant melodies and arrangements. Many of the tunes have an interesting new age style or folk melody quality. There are Gypsy tunes, Russian folk songs, Irish melodies, Baroque melodies, Classical melodies, jazz melodies, etc. The Faber pieces have marvelous accompaniment part written at the bottom of the page which turns even the most begging pieces in to pretty good sounding music.
Another thing I like is that the Faber series stresses playing in different positions much more than the Alfred method. The graphics are also a lot more attractive in the Faber series.
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#958532 - 05/14/04 08:11 AM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Which Faber series are you referring to?.

"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".


#958533 - 05/14/04 09:24 AM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
fixinpianos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 56
I recently attended a Faber Piano Teacher clinic and it was great! I agree that their music is wonderful for teaching and playing. I especially like some of their Christmas books and classical arrangements! Their use of chords and make sense melodies are great! I too taught out of the Alfred series for years and have made the switch to Faber. Their pieces are a breath of fresh air! Also students pick up and learn so much faster with their style of teaching. The methods are fun and easy to teach! It makes teaching fun and not a fight! I would highly recommend anyone to look at these methods. Even if you do not want to switch method books... look into their supplemental books! You can keep your current methods and add to the FUN level by adding a couple of supplemental books to the mix!
Selling my piano on pianoworld. Ad # BB4020713. Kawai Console 2yo $2200.

#958534 - 10/27/04 02:06 PM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
pianocamel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Lillington, North Carolina
I have used the Faber books for about six years already and love them. The Piano Adventures series is great along with their Pre-Time to Big-Time series. I use those as supplements for many students. It gives each student a chance to play things they love. (Rock and Roll, Classics, Jazz, Popular, etc.)

They also have a fantastic classical series called Piano Literature. They are unarranged classical pieces in their original form. There are some of the old favorites, plus some that I had not heard before. My students love them. I believe those come in four levels. (Prepatory, Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3)

By the way, if you ever need a wonderful Adult method, I would use their Piano Adventures for Adults, books 1 and 2. They have theory, ear training, and fun, familiar songs that adults know. Very good books.

#958535 - 10/27/04 09:56 PM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I'll have to jump on the Faber band wagon, too! I've been using them since they were first published, and I love them! I also like the new Frederick Harris Celebration series to supplement. FH offers a more intervallic approach, which I find is helpful also.

The Faber adult method is great, too. I've had really nice success with my adult students.

Cranky Woman \:D

#958536 - 10/28/04 09:05 AM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
DW_mod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 117
Yeah, I don't fabcu the Alfred series also. But I have a fellow pianist friend who's currebtly a clinician for Alfred Publishing. And she revealed the reasons for the 'boring' keyboard exercises in the very beginning. It's to develop a good linear feel for the children which will prove to be helpful once they actually start reading the notes.
But I've stop using Alfred a long time ago. Not only because the songs are boring, awkard sounding and predictable, but I really don't see any purpose in using them. Theyu just make you learn the same thing over and over again in different positions. And I don't like the idea of teaching in positions.
I find Hal Leonard really good. It caters to the technical development of the child and interest really well. The songs are 'unpredictable', lively and really wonderful sounding. And I find that they work really well across a wide age group. The underlying truth is that the Hal Leonard Series grows with the child. Alfred doesn't. And soon the child grows out of the Alfred series( which I personally will not like even in the first place ) and finds it really boring and childish.
And I strongly recommend John Schaum along with Hal Leonard. The technical exercises are really good , and the songs are interesting and rather challenging. It's ideal fo beginners to grade 3 students.
But of course, I'll gladly stick to traditional books like John Thompson and so on. If the child can take the drills of hard practice or is interested in learning the effective but hard way. The method that most of us are accustomed to, before the influx of all these modern American Pedagogy resources.

#958537 - 10/28/04 09:07 AM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
DW_mod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 117
But honestly speaking, I've not come across the Faber books that u recommend. Are they American books as well?

#958538 - 11/01/04 05:12 PM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
PianoMum9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Surrey, BC
The Faber and Faber books are written by an English couple, but a couple of years ago they started being published by Frederick J Harris, which is a Canadian company. I know they're available in the U.S. though. They changed their books at that point to include more "american" music.

#958539 - 11/11/04 12:11 PM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
Quidam Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 866
Loc: USA
I'm still a student, but I have used both Alfred's and PIano Adventures. My teacher started me in Alfred's and I developed a really strong antipathy for it. *sighs and rolls eyes* those songs were terrible! I really liked the music in the Piano Adventure's much better. They also incorporated so many good concepts into their books too! And even kids who are like I was and never payed attention to the 'lessons' can pick up the concept by learning the piece. And the wide range of styles is really good.

If you are looking for primary level classical music (original form) you might consider looking to the First Impressions series by M'Lou Deitzer. It's quite nice! The Baroque Spirit books (published by Alfred's I think) are also excellent. They have some very nice pieces and lots of interesting information about composers and history. I think they also have the Romantic Spirit.
Raspberry liqueur, apparently. :p

#958540 - 11/16/04 02:26 PM Re: I recommend the Faber method books
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
I started with Faber's Adult Piano Adventures. I used book 1 and book 2. Some of the selections toward the end of book 2 drove me a little crazy. I must say I did enjoy their Christmas Book # 1.

I have been working with the Celebration Series from Frederick Harris for almost a year and I enjoy most of the pieces very much. Being able to listen to the CD examples of the pieces helps me very much.
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".



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