Piano World Home Page

Faber Graduates

Posted By: BrianDX

Faber Graduates - 06/27/14 04:31 PM

In the spirit of the "Alfred Graduates" thread, I was wondering if anyone out there has graduated either Level 1 or level 2 of the Faber Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner.

I studied under the Alfred's series over 20 years ago and passed Level one before I stopped. Starting up again about 10 months ago with my new teacher's preferred lesson books (Faber), I'm now through level 1 and am working on level 2.

And if no one out there has studied these books, well, this will be a short-lived thread shocked
Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/27/14 06:48 PM

I'm currently practicing review piece (Canon) from PA for adults lvl2. Not yet a graduate, but almost there.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/27/14 07:55 PM

Do you have the spiral-bound all-in-one lesson book, or the individual lesson book? My level 2 lesson book does not have Canon.
Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/27/14 09:56 PM

It's the individual book. Last unit introduces 16th notes followed by the three pages of Canon (in C major). I think review piece in level 1 was Greensleeves, but I'm not sure, will check later.

Here is what I'm using - http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/pa/adult.html

EDIT: I just realized it's the all in one book... silly me.
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/27/14 11:39 PM

I just graduated from Faber Accelerated Book One last week, working on book 2 now. I've been at it since January, I thought I'd never get to book 2.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/28/14 12:55 AM

Congrats! There is some really neat stuff in Level 2. Just curious; For each accelerated level there 4 basic books (Lesson, Performance, Theory and Technique & Artistry). Are you using just the lesson book, or some combination of the four?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/28/14 12:56 AM

Originally Posted by rpw
It's the individual book. Last unit introduces 16th notes followed by the three pages of Canon (in C major). I think review piece in level 1 was Greensleeves, but I'm not sure, will check later.

Here is what I'm using - http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/pa/adult.html

EDIT: I just realized it's the all in one book... silly me.

My brother is using the Adult book as well. The pieces are arranged slightly differently than the "Older Beginner" series that I am studying.

Both are great lesson books, however!
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/28/14 03:39 AM

I'm using the Lesson book, Technique & Artistry and Performance, I am not using the Theory book. Perhaps I should buy that on my own to work with. I'll ask my teacher next week about it.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/28/14 12:07 PM

I would also highly recommend the Performance book. This book has roughly 20 pieces in it, some easy, and some I find quite hard for my playing ability.

However, not only does my teacher think that passing these pieces helps me overall in my goal to finish Level 2, but there are some real "keepers" that once mastered, might become part of your long-term repertoire collection.

Best of luck!

Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/09/14 08:05 PM


I finished Level 1 All-in-one (it took me about 8 months). And now I am working on Level 2. It is going much slower. I am maybe 1/3rd of the way through after 5 months. I think this is in part because many of the early pieces in Level 2 do not inspire me, and I am working on many pieces outside of the book because I'm getting enough confidence to want to play what I want to play.

One thing I have found frustrating with the Faber books is when I do find a piece that I like in the book, they often have it so truncated that it is not the full song. For example they only have the chorus of Sloop John B, but not the verse. So I feel like I'm only just getting into the song, and it ends frown I also find the theory discussion in book 2 is not as clear as book 1... probably because the theory in book 1 is so easy smile

Still, all-in-all, money well spent on these books. Looking forward to graduating from Level 2 some day.

Don
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/09/14 08:49 PM

Hi Donzo;

I do agree with your comments concerning truncated pieces. In my case, although they have a nice adapted version of "The Entertainer", they are missing the famous introduction measures that really set up the piece.

Maybe at the earlier levels Faber is afraid to present "page turner" pieces in fear of freaking folks out? I know that at Level 3A Piano Adventures and beyond there are plenty of multi-page pieces.

It seems they will come.


Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/09/14 10:40 PM

Forgot about this thread. So I poorly played Canon and finally graduated from the Faber AIO 2 few days ago. Hooray.

It took me relatively short period of time (around 10 months) to go through the two books, but I didn't practice any of the pieces until perfection. I would say the way I played during lessons often was barely acceptable (in my opinion). I guess the intention of the method books is to get the basics and probably that's why my teacher never had me stay on the same unit for more than a week or two despite my poor performances.

Although it's not necessarily related to the Faber approach, at some point I started wondering if I'm really making progress or just spending more time on more difficult pieces. Since there are no well defined requirements, it's hard to measure progress in terms other than units and pages. Hopefully this will get better with my new route.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/10/14 02:32 AM

Here is one thing I have done to try to measure progress;

I go back occasionally to older Level 1 pieces, and see how long it takes me to re-acquire them, or well I get by tricky sequences that gave me real problems several months earlier. I find it seems to be a bit easier as time goes by.

Or how about this: I now can play up and down the C, G, and F major scales without thinking much about it. Definitely not the case earlier on.

Finally, my teacher with 40 years of experience tells me I'm improving! smile
Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/10/14 05:12 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Here is one thing I have done to try to measure progress;

I go back occasionally to older Level 1 pieces, and see how long it takes me to re-acquire them, or well I get by tricky sequences that gave me real problems several months earlier. I find it seems to be a bit easier as time goes by.


Sight reading Level 1 feels easier, still far from fluent, but not as difficult as it was at the time. Maybe I'll try to relearn something from the second book later on.

Originally Posted by BrianDX

Or how about this: I now can play up and down the C, G, and F major scales without thinking much about it. Definitely not the case earlier on.


Well, I learned to play some of the major scales before I started taking lessons, so they were not a huge achievement for me. But you're right, there are things I couldn't do before.

Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/10/14 06:18 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Hi Donzo;

I do agree with your comments concerning truncated pieces. In my case, although they have a nice adapted version of "The Entertainer", they are missing the famous introduction measures that really set up the piece.



Yes, I enjoyed that version of the Entertainer as it was very exciting to play such a well known piece, but I soon wanted more since what is in Faber 1 is just a fragment. I ended up finding the Lvl 5 Entertainer version on makingmusicfun.net which is quite similar to the Faber version but with the introduction and also includes the second "movement". I played that version for my 1 year recital. Its a crowd pleaser so hoped that would help my audience look past my mistakes smile

Don
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/10/14 06:42 PM

Two things I've already learned after two public performances (musicales smile as my teacher refers to them by):

First, unless you are playing a very well known piece, most of the mistakes you may make they don't even hear. Second, even if they do hear a mistake, as soon as the next correct note is played they tend to forget any past wrong notes.

It turns out that it is WE the performers that are the most hard on the performance. I'm really trying to get past that before the next public performance in December.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/13/14 02:48 AM

Originally Posted by Donzo
Yes, I enjoyed that version of the Entertainer as it was very exciting to play such a well known piece, but I soon wanted more since what is in Faber 1 is just a fragment. I ended up finding the Lvl 5 Entertainer version on makingmusicfun.net which is quite similar to the Faber version but with the introduction and also includes the second "movement".

By the way: Thanks for the tip! This website has several interesting "easier" versions of classical pieces that I will work on this summer.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/22/14 12:51 PM

Thought I would touch base again. Yesterday I made it to the final section of Level 2 (Key of F). Hopefully sometime next month I'll finish up this level.

I was wondering if anyone out there has experience in Level 3A or beyond? The Faber series goes up to Level 5.

I feel that I am kind of at a crossroads here. My teacher is thinking it may time to go off in a different direction (not sure what that is quite yet). I'm thinking that at least part of the time should be used to continue on with Faber. We'll see how that goes.

It's kind of a shame that there does seem to be a lot of Faber students in this forum. I know that Alfred's is very popular and there is a lot of action in those topics.

Still, it that is the way it goes I'll discontinue posting in a week or so.
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/22/14 04:49 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Yesterday I made it to the final section of Level 2 (Key of F).


Congrats!

Quote


I feel that I am kind of at a crossroads here. My teacher is thinking it may time to go off in a different direction (not sure what that is quite yet). I'm thinking that at least part of the time should be used to continue on with Faber.



I'm in the middle of Adult book 2 all-in-one and moving very slowly because I am spending most of my time working on pieces outside of the book. But both my teacher and I agree that it is a good idea to keep chipping away at pieces that come in a logical progression.

I guess the question is what direction does your teacher think makes sense? Is it a different program, or a build-your-own-structure thing?

Here's what I think - books are cheap compared to lessons. Even if you end up not using them, getting the next book in the series seems like it is worth the risk.

Quote

It's kind of a shame that there does seem to be a lot of Faber students in this forum. I know that Alfred's is very popular and there is a lot of action in those topics.

Still, it that is the way it goes I'll discontinue posting in a week or so.


I guess it is true that most people talk about Alfred - but this thread will be around for people to post questions on going forward... don't despair too much smile

Does anyone know why Alfred is more popular than Faber? Is it more in line with RCM or something?

Don
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/22/14 05:45 PM

Just curious Donzo;

What type of pieces are you playing outside of the core lesson book?

As far as Alfred's popularity is concerned, first off it is a very good system of learning, embraced by teachers and self-learners alike.

However, I did not ultimately thrive in the Alfred's lesson books. After we hooked up with our current teacher and asked her why she only teaches from the Faber series, her explanation has mirrored my current experiences with these books after 11 months.

Keep in touch!
Brian
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/22/14 06:24 PM


I bought several "easy piano" books from Amazon and also search the web for easy arrangements (my teacher always cautions me that there is "a lot of junk" on the web but the stuff I bring in often surprises her that it isn't that bad).

The pieces I've been working on in the last 6 months this way were (to varying degree of polish) (this is by memory, might have missed one)
- Waltzing Matilda
- Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
- The Entertainer
- People Aint No Good
- Hall of the Mountain King
- When somebody loved me (Toy Story 2)

Waltzing Matilda and Hallelujah (simplified) I got off some music blog. The Entertainer I used the Lvl 5 version (still simplified) off MakingMusicFun.net. I also got the version of Hall of the Mountain King from that web site (simplified again). When Somebody Loved me and People Aint No Good I got from music books (my kids are young so I'm trying to learn some disney stuff). I really enjoy the simpler Disney songs but the timing is often quite varying (lots of syncopation) and my teacher is a stickler for doing that right, which often makes me not bring those songs to her anymore wink People Aint No Good was too difficult for me so as a new experiment I'm working on my own simplified arrangement right now.

What I typically have on my plate is 2 pieces from Faber, one piece on my own, and some scale drills. I do practice my own selected piece more than the Faber ones - of the above, aside from People Aint No Good and When Somebody Loved me, I have them memorized and I try to refresh them once or twice a week.

Are you sticking to the book or are you mixing things up as well?

Don

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/22/14 07:47 PM

Up until now I have only been playing pieces from each of the four books that makes up the Older Beginner Advanced series for each level.

I will generally be assigned two pieces from the Lesson book, one from the Performance book, a couple from the Techniques book (mostly scales and drills). I also try to keep up with the Theory book, which has mostly write-in drills, and a nice piece here and there.

I can tell you for sure that once I'm done with Level 2 there will be some outside material integrated in. How much and from where I'm not all that sure yet.


Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/23/14 03:16 AM

I had a choice, after finishing AIO level 2, to either continue with the other Faber books (accelerated level 4, I think) or switch to the RCM materials. I decided to go with the RCM. It's dry, methodical and the difficulty on a different level, but I think this is why it appeals to me. Faber is good, but it just feels as a preparation step to something else. Maybe because almost every piece is a simplified arrangement. I don't know.

Alfred is probably just older and more popularized than the Faber series. Some digital pianos have their lessons built in or include books. So it attracts more beginners, especially those who want to learn on their own.
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/25/14 06:54 AM

I'm almost done with Book 1. My daughter's teacher uses it so I thought I'd stick with the same. It really helped me remember a lot that I'm forgotten and I liked the way it teaches note reading.

I am not crazy about how the songs are arranged though. I think I'm going to switch to Fundamental Keys.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/14 11:31 AM

Just to clarify; Are you studying the Adult Piano Adventures all in one book?

Thanks,
Brian.
Posted By: warlock214

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/14 12:53 PM

I haven't graduated. Both my teachers liked the Adult Piano Adventures Level 1 all in one book.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/14 02:38 PM

No problem, glad to hear from you.

This is for "Graduates" and "studying to become" Graduates. Very interested in where you are in the books and what pieces you are currently working on.

Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/14 10:59 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Just to clarify; Are you studying the Adult Piano Adventures all in one book?

Thanks,
Brian.


Oh, sorry to be confusing. Our local music store didn't have the Adult PA so I bought a copy of Accelerated PA for Older Beginner. It ends with Polovtsian Dance. I started from there and I could play it but rather badly. I've been learning violin so I remembered how to read the treble clef before I started but I was completely hopeless with the bass clef. I went through the book just to get my reading going again and it's starting to come back but very, very slowly. blush

I really like the method except for all the arranged songs. Do you think I'd enjoy using the Adult PA better?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/14 02:52 AM

No problem. I am also using the Accelerated PA for Older Beginners as well, which IMHO works better for me personally than the other "all-in-one" books for adults

Even though I did have some lessons over 25 years ago, my teacher decided 11 months ago to start at the beginning of Level One and see how it went. It took about six months to get through the four books (yes you need to get all 4 books smile ) that make up level 1. I then started Level 2 in February (all four books again) and am progressing very nicely so far.

I do understand the concern about the arranged pieces, but the "real" versions of these pieces are far too advanced at this level. There are lots of excellent pieces in Level 2 though, plenty to keep your interest up I think.

Although it is looking ahead a bit, starting in Level 3A Faber begins to introduce original versions of some classical pieces. At level 3B and beyond, plenty more non-arranged classical, jazz, and other types of music styles.

Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/14 04:59 AM

As I'm without a teacher for now, it's hard for me to decide if I am ready to move to Level 2 or if I should expand into the other Level 1 books. I can play the songs and they sound okay to me but maybe I'm missing something critical without realizing it. I'll look into getting the sight-reading and theory books.

My problem with their arranged pieces is that they seem over-arranged. Their version of Ode To Joy, for example, sounds "wrong" to me and I find myself fixing it as I play along, which is not a big deal. I know I'm a beginner in every sense of the way so I should just focus on learning and let all these little things go.

I did order the original education of Fundamental Keys but maybe I should consider using it along with Faber as DD is going to be on Faber for some time to come. She finished her first book after 5 lessons and I'm impressed by how far along she'd gotten in such a short time using Faber. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/14 12:03 PM

Perhaps I need to understand a bit more of your piano history.

Did you start at the beginning Level One as a true beginner, and have worked your way through the lesson book with self-study, or is it something else?

Even though the Faber books are very good for general piano education, there are numerous things i would have learned incorrectly without my teacher's help. She is probably well over 50% of the total learning experience.

I can tell you that for my case, if the basic pieces in the lesson book at the end of Level 1 are taking many hours to get the basic fingering then you may want to buy and review the technique book at the very least before moving on to Level 2.

Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/14 04:32 PM

Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
As I'm without a teacher for now, it's hard for me to decide if I am ready to move to Level 2 or if I should expand into the other Level 1 books. I can play the songs and they sound okay to me but maybe I'm missing something critical without realizing it. I'll look into getting the sight-reading and theory books.


What I found was book 1 was quite easy to skip way way ahead and not get into trouble. I had played the guitar before but had no knowledge of reading music and no knowledge of piano and found I could skip ahead to relatively "advanced" songs in book 1 and struggle through. With book 2 I'm about 1/3 of the way through and I'm realizing that if I want to do the next song, it really is a good idea to practice the drills they have first and understand what the subject of the next piece is. I.e. when the concept was "we're going to use 4th intervals this piece" its pretty brain dead & easy. But now I'm in the chord variations part and its a lot harder with out first internalizing some of their theory.

Originally Posted by littlebirdblue

My problem with their arranged pieces is that they seem over-arranged. Their version of Ode To Joy, for example, sounds "wrong" to me and I find myself fixing it as I play along, which is not a big deal. I know I'm a beginner in every sense of the way so I should just focus on learning and let all these little things go.


Ode to Joy (like at the very beginning of book 1? We are talking All-in-one, right?) is super simple because they are just trying to get you excited about playing a familiar piece. At least that is my opinion. The timing is definitely simplified.

My teacher says that it is your obligation to always try to play music "the way it is written" first to prove you can do it and to be fair to the composer - trying it first they way they put it down for you. Then you can start modifying it as much as you like smile

My 2 cents.

Don
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/14 03:56 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Perhaps I need to understand a bit more of your piano history


It's a long, long story but to make it short, I took piano lessons from age 4 to 9. I tried again briefly when I was 17 before I left for college with a teacher but she didn't really know what to do with me. Back then, I still could play my childhood repertoire but I froze up in front of new music. I had an access to a crappy upright during my graduate school years but by then, I couldn't play anything except some scales.

I'm not happy with the way I'm playing but I don't know if I'm really playing badly or I'm frustrated that I sound nothing like I did when I was a child. I probably would need a teacher once I get stuck but I'm not sure when that'd happen.

Donzo, I'm doing the accelerated version for older beginners (age 11+). I do make DD play the modified versions because it forces her to read notes rather than play familiar tunes purely by ear so I do see the benefits but it's really not all that fun. I'm thinking about getting this book so I can scratch my itch for original classical pieces:

Essential Keyboard Repertoire
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/14 11:35 AM

I took a look at the book you mentioned. It is for an early intermediate skill level.

To give you some context, Faber Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner (aka. FAPAOB) at Level 1 is for early to intermediate beginner level (approximately).

Level 2 which I am almost finished is for intermediate to late beginner.

I have already purchased Faber Level 3A (which from this point on is simply Piano Adventures as the two different PA lesson series merge at Level 3A). From what I can see Level 3A is late beginner to early intermediate. Therefore that book would fit somewhere into that level.

The reason I bring this up, is that for me, it is VERY important that I learn pieces in a very methodical way, so that I am not presented with a piece that is too advanced for my current skill level. With my teacher guiding me through FAPAOB I can be assured that this will not happen, so that I can slowly build my skills and confidence.

There were two basic reasons why I stopped taking lessons 25 years ago. First, my teacher moved out of the area. But second, I was spending a whole week on just one piece in the Alfred's Level two book, and eventually I got stuck and frustrated. Regardless, these are 25 years I can never get back. Don't ever make that mistake.

One example of my current progress: Last night I decided on my own to learn (not yet assigned by my teacher) the second-to-last pieces in the Lesson Book (Brahmn's Lullaby) and the Performance Book (Prelude in F). It only took me an hour to basically learn both pieces. Now, I will work on fine-tuning these pieces for weeks I suppose. But the fact that it did not take me hours and hours to basically learn the notes is a real achievement for me. And, IMHO sums up very nicely why I love the Faber books.

P.S. Although both pieces are arranged, they are versions which sound very rich and are instantly recognizable.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/14 04:50 PM

I am four pieces away from the end of Piano Adventures Book 3A. I tried the adult books but I really didn't like them so I switched to this series, the one more aimed at children. I find it excellent. I am completely fazed by the popularity of Alfred's here. I have no idea why people are so crazy about that series. I've spoken to many teachers over the years and they all say Faber is the only way to go. So I'm really happy I stuck with this series. I started book 3A in May and
I predict I will be finished and ready to move on to the next level in September.
I do aprox. one new piece a week with a great deal of review of about four older pieces at the same time. With book 3A it sort of goes up and down.Every few pieces are quite straight-forward and then they throw one at you which is much more advanced, so it takes a bit of time to learn them..then they get easy again.
I guess that is a natural learning process. I am starting this week my first three
page piece(!). There are many two pages pieces in this book but only this one
which is three pages. I love the series. I'm not crazy about every song, but I think overall it is an excellent series...and they throw in some simplified classical style pieces which I really enjoy too.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/14 08:49 PM

Great to hear about your progress. Just curious; are you also using any of the other 3 supplemental books for Level 3A?

My teacher has been using all four books in each level, so combined that figures out to 250+ pages! shocked Not sure if we will keep doing that beyond Level 2.

I should be starting 3A in a couple of weeks myself.

I completely agree with your thoughts regarding Alfred's vs Faber.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 12:58 AM

I tried using the supplemental material because I love the series and I thought the more the merrier. But I found I just couldn't keep up with even two books.i try and learn at least one new piece and sometimes two for the next lesson and that is a tremendous amount of work when I try and do it hands Togerther. I just don't have the time to take on more. I wish I did but it isn't possible right now.
Faber also has other books and series which are wonderful.there is the classical series which I had started and loved. I guess the general ones are lesson,performance and technique.maybe when I move onto the next level I will try the supplemental books.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 12:59 AM

You said you are currently using four books. Can you list them please. I don't know what would be your fourth.
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 01:59 AM

DD is done with My First PA Book A and instead of moving to Book B, she's starting from the middle of the Primer level. She is on the lesson book and the TA book. I am the overbearing mother who meddles during practice time so I might as well stick to Faber for a little bit longer.

I was thinking of splitting my practice time between reviewing the basics with Faber and playing classical pieces from my previous piano life. That way, I can enjoy playing Burgmuller (I never thought I'd ever say that in my life!) and fill many gaps I have in theory and sight-reading. It's probably time to for me to get a copy of FAPAOB Level 2. smile

I agree that when I feel stuck and frustrated, it'd be time to look for a teacher.
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 02:21 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
But the fact that it did not take me hours and hours to basically learn the notes is a real achievement for me. And, IMHO sums up very nicely why I love the Faber books.


That is a wonderful progress. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 02:32 AM

Originally Posted by alans
You said you are currently using four books. Can you list them please. I don't know what would be your fourth.

Theory

There are also brand new books for both Level 1 and 2 for Sight Reading only. My teacher is evaluating these books to see if they would add any value to the overall experience.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 02:35 AM

Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
DD is done with My First PA Book A and instead of moving to Book B, she's starting from the middle of the Primer level. She is on the lesson book and the TA book. I am the overbearing mother who meddles during practice time so I might as well stick to Faber for a little bit longer.

I was thinking of splitting my practice time between reviewing the basics with Faber and playing classical pieces from my previous piano life. That way, I can enjoy playing Burgmuller (I never thought I'd ever say that in my life!) and fill many gaps I have in theory and sight-reading. It's probably time to for me to get a copy of FAPAOB Level 2. smile

I agree that when I feel stuck and frustrated, it'd be time to look for a teacher.

May be a dumb question: What do you mean by "DD"? Is that your daughter?

I remember the first time I felt stuck and frustrated: About 5 minutes into my first lesson wink
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 06:33 PM

DD = Dear Daughter smile

She's too young to be practicing on her own so it helps that I'm relearning - at least I hope so. She probably won't be able to practice truly independently until she is 6 or 7 so unless she quits, I'd be tagging along for a few years.

I was thinking about what to do about this all night. I flip-flopped a few times in my head and I decided to go with Adult All In One Book 2. I probably should add on theory and other elements from this point on and I don't think I can manage 4+ books and stay disciplined without a teacher. I polished up the last few songs from FAPAOB Level 1 last night and I feel okay about moving on.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/14 08:47 PM

You should be in good shape here. Just a word of note: My brother has the Level 2 All-in-one book (he just started it last month). I noticed that this book basically starts where FAPAOB level 2 almost ends (but not quite).

In other words, if you go from FAPAOB level 1 to the all-in-one level 2 book, there is a gap. Not sure if this will be a problem for you; I just wanted to point this out.

Best regards,
Brian
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/31/14 01:09 AM

I finally found the table of content:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/halleonard-closerlook/00420242/420242-2-TOC-z.jpg

and I can see that I really didn't cover much since I only did the lesson book. I don't know if I really want to go through 160+ pages to but since the book is only $12 from Amazon, it'd probably worth having as a reference book and to pick up as much gaps as possible. Seems like I have a curriculum now for the fall semester, so to speak. Thank you for your input, Brian, you've been a big help. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/31/14 12:08 PM

Glad to be of help!

The good news is that the books are relatively cheap.

The only issue that I have with Faber is that at the beginner level there are three different paths to choose, and these paths are not completely interchangeable using their numbering system.

1) You can do the Basic PA for level 1, 2A, and 2B or;
2) Accelerated PA for Book 1 and Book 2 or;
3) Adult PA All-in-one Book 1 and 2.

For the first two series, they merge perfectly at Basic PA Levels 3A and beyond.

However, based on what I can see the end of Adult PA all-in-one Book 1 or Book 2 does not match the other two PA series, either Basic or Accelerated Adult as far as their "level" or "book" numbering.

So my advice would be to plot out your overall path through these book and either stick with Basic or Accelerated PA all the way, or stick with Adult PA All-in-one until the end of book 2, and then move over to Basic PA somewhere in the middle of Level 3A. Confusing to say the least. shocked

If you go to www.pianoadventures.com it explains this a lot better than I could.

Regardless, Faber rocks and I'm 100% with this approach.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/01/14 01:18 AM

I've never looked at the Alfred books but why are they so hugely popular here?i have started to learn a piece from Per Gynt in book 3A. It is very recognizable. But almost all of the notes are with ledger lines above the staff and it's a little daunting.
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/01/14 02:43 AM

Brian,I'm going to stick to the Adult All-in-One. smile I'll be helping DD with the regular children's PA books so I'll be going through the process twice. That would probably be good for me.

alans, I've read that the Alfred's series for adult is more suitable for self-teaching?

DD's teacher has been teaching over 40+ years and she puts all her beginning to intermediate students on Faber but I haven't asked her why she likes Faber over other series.

My order of Fundamental Keys Piano Method has shipped so I'm curious to compare the two methods.

As for my progress, I've been practicing Arabesque by Burgmüller, which was my first childhood recital piece. I try not to think of it as being back to where I was when I was 7.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/01/14 11:36 AM

littlebirdblue;

Sounds like a plan to me. I actually think Faber is more suitable for self-study IMHO.

Coming up this month: Hopefully finishing up Book Two for FAPAOB. Hopefully some new things will be introduced into my curriculum, in addition to PA Level 3A.
Posted By: fizikisto

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/01/14 01:21 PM

LittleBirdBlue
I really like the fundamental keys method. I also think it works great as a complement to other methods like Fabers and Alfreds. I suspect that you'll find it to be useful. smile
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/01/14 08:24 PM

So BrianDX, you are working with four or five books for weekly lessons? Does that mean you learn one piece from each so in total you are studying four (I think you said one is theory)pieces at any given time? How do you find the books apart from
the lesson book, which is the only one I know. And can you please tell me the title of the four books you are using..I imagine one is technique, one is performance..
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/02/14 01:50 AM

Originally Posted by alans
So BrianDX, you are working with four or five books for weekly lessons? Does that mean you learn one piece from each so in total you are studying four (I think you said one is theory)pieces at any given time? How do you find the books apart from the lesson book, which is the only one I know. And can you please tell me the title of the four books you are using..I imagine one is technique, one is performance..

The FAPAOB series for Level 1 and 2 (actually Book 1 and Book 2)consists of four books each that work together as an integrated set.

Generally each week my teacher will start with the Lesson book for the main course curriculum. The Technique/Artistry and Performance books have footnotes as to what pages they go with in the Lesson book. She will normally assign a couple of pieces from each of these books each week as well. The Theory book does have some pieces as well, but mostly deals with written exercises and self-composing.

So for example, this week I am studying F Major. The Lesson book explains the scale fingering and major chords, and then has a complete piece in F Major. The Technique/Artistry book has a short one-page exercise piece in F Major. The Performance book has a complete two page piece in F Major. The Theory book has a written exercise, as well as a simple piece with a lead sheet in F Major.

So if I spend the week studying and practicing these 8-10 pages (spread over the four books) I am getting a nice complete F Major primer.

Hope that gives you a rough idea of how the four books work together as a unit.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/02/14 03:09 AM

8-10pages a week is a lot. How much time do you find you have to Practise?
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/02/14 03:12 AM

Randall Faber gave a talk at a music store near me this past week. I would have loved to have heard ( even lunch was thrown in and the event was free) but I just found about it today. A fellow working in the store told me the Iplace was packed with over 80 piano teachers and it was pretty wild.he said Randall is an amazing speaker and incredibly knowledgable on piano education.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/02/14 12:55 PM

Originally Posted by alans
8-10pages a week is a lot. How much time do you find you have to Practise?

At this stage of my life I try to practice about an hour per day on average. Some days I spend more time while learning a new piece, once in a while I'll take a day or two off, not counting times when we are out of town.

There are a couple of thing to understand about my routine. First, not all of the pieces in the 8-10 pages are difficult. Some take only a minute or two to practice. Plus, if I spend five to ten minutes per piece, that can be easily fit into one hour. Also, because I generally pass less than 50% of my pieces at my lesson in a given week, some of those 8-10 pages are repeats where I'm simply trying to perfect a piece I already know.

As I said, once in a while I spend extra time learning a new piece from scratch. This week for example, I sat down for an extra hour or two and figured out the fingering for two new compositions that had not yet assigned to me. That's how I keep my momentum going forward.
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/02/14 09:01 PM

Brian,

Were there specific pieces outside of Faber that you wanted to learn? Is there a piece that you wanted to learn that triggered your piano journey?

fizikisto,

Thank you for the encouragement. I hope it'd click with me. smile I can't wait to get started but book hasn't arrived yet. I'm learning without a teacher but if I manage to get back to near the end of my previous piano life, I might contact Rachel to ask about her Skype session rate. I could use some feedback. Right now, as I practice scales and Arabesque, I hear my old teacher's voice yelling at me, "Your left-hand pinky, how many times have I told you? It's TOO QUIET." Yikes.

Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/02/14 10:57 PM

I opened up my Faber technique and performance book today, thinking I could probably sight read the opening sections. No way! They both require really careful study. Even though they match pages in the lesson book these pieces are not a breeze. So although I only have four pieces left in the lesson book, I feel I have to return to square one with the other two.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/03/14 02:07 AM

Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
Brian, were there specific pieces outside of Faber that you wanted to learn? Is there a piece that you wanted to learn that triggered your piano journey?

Not really, although I would love to learn the opening 12 bars of Claire De Lune smile

Actually, I'm very interested in how the next month goes. My teacher has stated that after finishing Book 2 she will start introducing "additional material" beyond Faber.

Very much looking forward to that. After somewhat "racing ahead" to try to get from the beginning of Book 1 to the end of Book 2 within one year, it's almost time for me to chill just a bit and move forward with patience and attention. To give you an idea of how intense it is right now, I have 12 pieces left in the four books in order to graduate from this level. I'm working each night on all 12 pieces. Good grief shocked
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/03/14 02:14 AM

Originally Posted by alans
I opened up my Faber technique and performance book today, thinking I could probably sight read the opening sections. No way! They both require really careful study. Even though they match pages in the lesson book these pieces are not a breeze. So although I only have four pieces left in the lesson book, I feel I have to return to square one with the other two.

My guess is that you will do quite well with this additional material in not a lot of additional time. Most of the material in the Book 2 series is hard for me to sight read unless I go extremely slow at first. My goal at this point is to try to learn one page pieces within a half hour to an hour, and then spend more time fine-tuning the dynamics and other details.

Understand that at this point it is very hard for me to pass a piece the first time I play it at my teacher's house. There are always things to work on, and most of the time these corrections can't be made in "real-time" during the lesson, so off I go for another week to fine-tune the piece. Hopefully at the next lesson I'll hear those magic words "very good, we're done with that piece" smile
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/05/14 10:37 AM

So, did you hear those magic words?

DD officially graduated My First PA Book A and started on all 4 primer books. She wanted a strawberry float to celebrate. She was high on sugar all day.

I got inspired and polished up the last few songs of Level 1 book to a recital-ready quality. I'm going to get myself a decent bottle of wine later. laugh
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/05/14 02:05 PM

Not yet. Lesson is tomorrow evening. I'm hopeful however smile

Keep up the good work; yeah, BIG bottle of wine!

Enjoy your time with DD. We have two grown daughters who both live overseas whom we are very proud of, but miss a lot. Savor the time you have, it goes fast shocked
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/07/14 12:07 AM

Originally Posted by littlebirdblue
So, did you hear those magic words?

DD officially graduated My First PA Book A and started on all 4 primer books. She wanted a strawberry float to celebrate. She was high on sugar all day.

I got inspired and polished up the last few songs of Level 1 book to a recital-ready quality. I'm going to get myself a decent bottle of wine later. laugh

Well I heard them on four pieces tonight. smile

Eight more to go to finish Level 2. Too many pieces on my plate according to my teacher. I think it's time to wind down a bit, stay focused on fewer pieces each week.

One nice thing is it appears some classical music in its original form will start to be integrated in starting next week. I'm excited about that. smile
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/08/14 12:44 AM

You have a good teacher. She is holding you to a standard. At the same time, she acknowledged your progress by moving you to original classical pieces. I am starting to feel limited by not having a teacher. I've actually been looking but it's hard to find someone. I think DD's piano teacher is fantastic but 1) she doesn't teach adults and 2) she has a long wait-list. She squeezed DD in but I don't think she'd do the same for me. You're very fortunate to have found your teacher.

I downloaded sample pages from Suzuku Book 1 piano accompaniment for violin and I got so frustrated trying to remember how to play A Major on piano. I really need all the help I can get. My copies of Book 2 should be coming in the mail soon. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/08/14 01:33 AM

I'm thinking that DD's teacher may be able to recommend a colleague who teaches adults and may have space available. I know many of the teachers down here in lower Delaware network and know the teaching situations of others.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/12/14 12:05 AM

Tonight my teacher introduced the new Faber Sight Reading Book 2 (Accelerated Adult) into our lesson. My initial impressions were favorable. Folks might want to check it out.

Also will start Faber Piano Adventures Level 3A next week.
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/12/14 09:16 AM

Congratulations! You've accomplished something really wonderful. smile

I got my copy of Adult All in One Book 1 and 2 today in the mail.

So I took your advance and asked my DD's teacher is she knows someone who wouldn't mind giving two lessons a month to an adult restarter. To my surprise, she is willing to accommodate me so hopefully, we can set something up by next month.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/12/14 12:05 PM

Excellent! smile

I think the combination of your past experience, work ethic, quality teaching material, and a teacher to guide you through all of it albeit on a part-time basis should be a very nice combination.

Keep us up to date when your lessons start.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/13/14 04:57 PM

Book 3A of Piano Adventures has some really lovely pieces. I haven't practised
myself in weeks because I am without a teacher, but I need to start tonight again.
I have no idea what my new teacher's approach to my material will be when I start with her in two weeks.
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/13/14 06:38 PM

Originally Posted by alans
Book 3A of Piano Adventures has some really lovely pieces. I haven't practised
myself in weeks because I am without a teacher, but I need to start tonight again.
I have no idea what my new teacher's approach to my material will be when I start with her in two weeks.


Are you referring to the Popular Repetoire book? i.e. from here:
http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/pa/level3A.html

I was just interested in looking up the table of contents, which they do have online.

Thanks,
Don
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/18/14 12:49 AM

I was actually referring to the lesson book.

By the way, how long do people take for their weekly lesson? I am used to thirty minutes butvi've been advised 45 is better for a beginner.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/18/14 02:33 AM

Originally Posted by alans
By the way, how long do people take for their weekly lesson? I am used to thirty minutes butvi've been advised 45 is better for a beginner.

Initially our lessons were 45 minutes. Just recently we moved to one hour. Much more time for instruction, sight-reading, etc.
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/18/14 04:21 PM


I do 30 minutes. Luckily I'm the last student so often we go over by a few minutes. I keep it to 30 minutes because I'm there with my son and he is waiting while I have my lesson, plus its close to bed time. But I would love to have 45 or 60 minutes. Could get into more details I would expect. 30 minutes is usually just review what was worked on last week with some critique, add some new things for next week, and maybe 5 minutes if we are lucky to talk about any general theory or new topics and times up.

Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/19/14 01:42 AM

Just finished my Practise with my beloved Faber. My last piece is battle of Jericho.
I start with a brand new teacher next week and I just hope she doesn't want to throw out this series. I was interviewing teachers online and I asked one candidate who I was really close to deciding to study with and he told me it is better to avoid Faber. I asked him which he prefers over Faber but because I didn't sign up for his lessons he never responded to me.glad I crossed him off the list.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/20/14 12:12 PM

I have discussed this with my teacher as well. It turns out that I'm the only student who currently is beyond Faber Level 2.

The 8-10 students that are more advanced than Level 2 are studying outside of a basic series so to speak. They are learning specific pieces in different genres.

I told her that I prefer the structured "step-by-step" approach with Faber, and at even just Level 3A there are several new concepts and skills (e.g. odd time signatures, triplets, D Major) to be learned.

I think we will be spending about 1/2 of our time on Faber, and the other half on selected classical pieces (in their original form but at my skill level of Elementary D).

I'm thinking this should work well for me.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/15/14 12:03 PM

Just checking in with you fellow Faber students if you are still out there in the cyber world...
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/15/14 05:31 PM


Yep, still here.

I have not made a lot of progress through All-in-one book2 since my last post. I'm around Coffee Shop Boogie and Kum-ba-yah. So... less than 1/2 way through. But I have been working on a couple of songs outside of the lesson book as well. I find I spend 60% of my time working on songs outside of the book as they are pieces I"m excited about.

I also just got from Amazon the first Faber book of Christmas music, since I thought it might be time to start working on that for December. The book is roughly broken into 3rds
- super easy (mostly melody, no chords)
- C-major chord-based
- F or G-major chord based

Have only tried the super easy ones to start because I am trying to evaluate them to see if I should push them on my 8 y.o. son. I'm trying to get him to do something outside his method book. This is my first foray into getting a "repetoire" style book.

Back to All-in-one, Coffee House Boogie is a pretty neat song. I like the swing. The changes are a bit challenging for me but I'm getting it.

Don
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/15/14 06:22 PM

Funny this thread should reappear just when I was planning on looking for it.i haven't touched the piano in a month and just today I started reading my Faber excercises again. I haven't had a teacher or a lesson in several months but if things work out I will be starting again this week. As I am at the midway point of book three A I thought I would be finished by September but there is no way now. I think I will beon this level until close to the end of this year which is fine. Tonight I am going to start to look at the supplementary books for my level.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/15/14 06:34 PM

Nice to hear from you folks. All we need now is littlebirdblue, rpw, and PFred to chime in and everyone will be accounted for. smile

I've spent a month at Level 3A and the pieces are getting a bit harder. However, in typical Faber fashion this new material is presented in a logical, manageable way.

Where things really get a bit hairy is toward the end of this level. I took a quick peek at Level 3B and this is a whole new set of challenges. I'm hoping the Faber approach still holds up at that point.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/14 08:38 PM

Just stick with Faber..I too was really daunted by how difficult things *seem* to
get but the book follows a logic and with a bit of practise and dipping your toes
so to speak in the water-hands apart, that sort of thing..you will find your way.
The current piece that is new to me is I think based on the piece Mars..I can't
remember I have it at home and at first I thought this was insane because the notes are way above the ledger lines and I had no idea how to read that high. But
Faber always provides us with a wonderful parachute and what seems really hard isn't so far from where we just were.
Tomorrow I start with a brand new teacher who I know absolutely nothing about except for the fact that she was very friendly in her email back to me. I have
no idea what she will think about the Faber series. One potential teacher I spoke
with told me I shouldn't be using this series and I'm glad I didn't go with him because I do believe Faber is the best method. So I will see.A little past the
middle point of the book 3A there is this piece, I think it might be by Scarlatti,
where you feel for the first time that you are playing a truely lovely classical
piece. It's great fun. You have lots to look forward to Brian..the pieces are all
lovely in this book. Just take them slowly and you'll be amazed at how far you can go.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/14 08:41 PM

Last night I also started to look at the Performance book for 3A. These aren't easy to sight-read. I also have the technique book and I hope I can incorporate them into my lessons because they look they are really useful. They turn piano technique into fun exercises.
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/14 11:21 PM

After my teacher's vacation, Labor Day and my vacation, I haven't moved on much this month. I'm in Book 2 working on the Mysterious Casbah and the Flight. Also working on Cm, Fm and Gm Pentascales. Aside from the lesson books, I'm working on a piece by Diabelli and the Bach Minuet, BMV App 114, the first in the book First Lessons in Bach. Still staying busy. cool
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/14 02:25 AM

Nice to hear from you all. I'm about 1/5 of the way through all of the Level 3A books. The three performance pieces I've worked on so far have been lots of fun and somewhat challenging.

Allegretto by Diabelli has been a particular challenge, as the left/right hand independence is a bit harder than I've experienced before.

BTW: The Mysterious Casbah was one of my favorites in Level 2. However, I needed to use the metronome to fully gain and keep control of the timing, which was getting away from me.

Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/14 03:05 AM

Still here, although not in Faber anymore. I switched to the Grade 3 RCM Celebration Series few months ago after completing Faber AIO 2 book. I have repertoire, etudes and technique books and usually get something to work on from each one. I assume they are similar to the different Faber books you are using. I like that all the pieces are in their original forms, even though they require considerably more effort to learn.

Aside from the assignments, I try to do some sight reading every day. I've got a bunch of books for this long time ago and, based on my pace, they will probably keep me busy for another few years smile.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/14 11:49 AM

rpw;

Nice to hear from you. Sounds like you are making great progress.

In addition to Faber I am also beginning to work on pieces from the Festival Collection By Helen Marlais. All the pieces are in their original form, but are ability-appropriate for me.

Continued success!
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/19/14 09:06 AM

I'm here but barely alive. laugh

Actually, I have been fighting a horrible cold for a couple of weeks. My DD's teacher understandably has no sick student policy so I haven't started my piano lessons yet but I have been practicing!

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/19/14 12:18 PM

Best wishes! Hope you feel better real soon and get back in there....
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/23/14 08:56 PM


Finally have got past "Coffee House Boogie" in AiO2. What I found funny was I totally nailed it at my lesson - I did much better than I do at home in practice. This is weird because usually I choke up at lessons.

Anyway, I think its because at the lesson I was using a freshly regulated grand, and at home I have a 100 year old piano that has some action issues that make playing "piano" (i.e. quietly) very hard. There are a lot of dynamic changes in that piece and I had been trying so hard at home to make it sound right without a lot of success. But when I did it on the right piano, no problem.

I feel like my piano is like the weight you put on a baseball bat when you are warming up to go to the plate, now smile

Don
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/24/14 12:09 AM

Congrats on your lesson.

I'm wondering if it may be possible to have a RPT regulate your action for a reasonable price.

The action on my grand is a bit heavier than my teachers, but only to a small extent.
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/24/14 07:43 PM


I've had my piano tuned only once since it is a new addition to the family (last spring), before that I used a digital (btw, this old piano was free although moving it wasn't cheap).

The technician looked it over, said I didn't do too bad for a free piano, but he explained why the keys were difficult to get to work with a light touch - he blamed it on felt compression at the fulcrum of the key. He explained it like "the keys are like a marble balanced on the top of a hill, you just need to touch them to make the marble roll down. your keys are like the marble is a bit on the far side of the hill, you need to push the marble up the hill before it starts rolling down. that is why it feels like it does".

He said next time I get a tuning for another $100-$150 he can do a cleaning of the action (blow out the dust, etc) and try to see what he could do about the issue. But he also says that it doesn't make sense to do too much work on that piano. It would be too expensive, and I'd be better off looking for a new one.

So I just struggle along... its not that bad. I really like the sound, the price was right, and this key heaviness is the only issue that I notice.

Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/25/14 02:05 AM

It looks like I might not be a part of this discussion much longer. Went to my first lesson with a brand new teacher and she is very knowledgable and kind but she is completely against Faber and that makes me so distressed.i love this series because it has been so easy to follow and the gradations are minor and I like the fact that itbis a series. But what can I do,change teacher's until I find one who will use Faber?i'm just worried about my study being all over the map. For my next lesson I was given one piece from the performance book,just to learn something cold for her.but it is out of sequence and really out of my range right now.i hate the idea of having to jump around,it's what another teacher did and I couldn't keep up. Oh well,have to see what will happen next week.
Posted By: Jonathan Baker

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/25/14 03:33 AM

Originally Posted by alans
It looks like I might not be a part of this discussion much longer. Went to my first lesson with a brand new teacher and she is very knowledgable and kind but she is completely against Faber and that makes me so distressed.i love this series because it has been so easy to follow and the gradations are minor and I like the fact that itbis a series.


Did your new teacher clarify why she is against the Faber series?

The saying goes "Everyone is entitled to their opinion" but opinions should be backed up by logical reasons.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/14 01:18 AM

She did give several reasons one of which was that she thought they don't do enough work with the left hand.i just thought that at this beginner's stage they concentrate on the right hand for good reason,it is probably easier.but she didn't give a lot of other reasons and I am lost at sea. She pulled two pieces randomly from the book and one of them feels above my level although it is coming together a bit.i told someone my concern who has a great deal of experience with music and he said you go to lessons for the teacher and not the book.i liked the book because it offers a consecutive series. Now I just feel likei don't know what I am doing.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/14 11:02 AM

Hi Alans; I'm not quite sure I agree with the teacher as far as the first two levels, as the left hand does get some nice workouts, albeit not too difficult. However, now that I'm level 3A I can tell you more complicated left hand patterns are being introduced. They are tough enough to master as is, I hate to think of trying to learn this earlier in the series.
Posted By: zrtf90

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/14 04:08 PM

Originally Posted by alans
Went to my first lesson with a brand new teacher and she is very knowledgable and kind but she is completely against Faber and that makes me so distressed.
Originally Posted by alans
...She pulled two pieces randomly from the book and one of them feels above my level although it is coming together a bit...Now I just feel likei don't know what I am doing.
What you're doing is missing your comfort blanket. smile

Your teacher doesn't need a method book because she can see what's needed and what's not. You can tackle more advanced pieces because she can show you more things while you're learning them. It may feel slower for each piece but you'll be stronger faster by not having to spend time on pieces that teach you only one small thing at a time. You'll be learning at your own rate instead of that of the slowest learner (that the method books must cater for).

There is absolutely no harm continuing with the Faber series on your own but at a slower rate and as a separate part of your practise, and one more geared to reading, perhaps, than learning. Think of it more as part of your technical section along with your scales and sight reading instead of as part of your repertoire.

Give it a little time and see how much better you get and how much faster in the not too distant future.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/14 07:48 PM

Originally Posted by zrtf90
Your teacher doesn't need a method book because she can see what's needed and what's not. You can tackle more advanced pieces because she can show you more things while you're learning them. It may feel slower for each piece but you'll be stronger faster by not having to spend time on pieces that teach you only one small thing at a time. You'll be learning at your own rate instead of that of the slowest learner (that the method books must cater for).

There is absolutely no harm continuing with the Faber series on your own but at a slower rate and as a separate part of your practise, and one more geared to reading, perhaps, than learning. Think of it more as part of your technical section along with your scales and sight reading instead of as part of your repertoire.

Give it a little time and see how much better you get and how much faster in the not too distant future.

Not sure if you have the timeline right. I got the impression that the teacher voiced opposition to Faber BEFORE any evaluation took place. Now if that determination was made AFTER fully evaluating alans, then that is quite a different story.

Alans, please elaborate.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/14 07:59 PM

I am not aware of all of the different method books out there, but I have studied with two of them (Alfred's 25 years ago, and Faber for the past year).

In these two cases, both were designed I think to teach baseline skills, up to a point.

In Faber's case, that point is completed at Piano Adventures Level 5, which gets you to the Intermediate level based on the research I've done in the past year.

Beyond that, well, I'm hoping to find out some day... smile
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/14 09:31 PM

My teacher evaluated the book before hearing me play from it. She just doesn't care for the series and I don't know how well she knows it. But she is an extremely advanced player.i feel more positive today and I'm going to take Richard's advice and depending on how much she assigns at my next lesson I will comtinue with Faber on my own. He is right it has become my security blanket and I feel lost without it.i just hope a good substitute is suggested at my second lesson this week.
Posted By: zrtf90

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/14 09:48 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Not sure if you have the timeline right.
I don't need the timeline. The point is that a teacher doesn't need a method book at all because they can evaluate technique quickly enough anyway.

There's a whole raft of material for a knowledgeable teacher not to have to touch a method book. The European tradition is repertoire based, not method based. Methods developed in the US where the burgeoning piano industry needed more customers than could be satisfied by teachers.

Glad to see you more positive, alans.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/14 12:46 AM

Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Not sure if you have the timeline right.
I don't need the timeline. The point is that a teacher doesn't need a method book at all because they can evaluate technique quickly enough anyway.

It appears that for this teacher (who I certainly do not know) it doesn't matter what the student knows or not, she flat out does not believe in methods books, period. I know there are some teachers here in lower Delaware that teach in a similar way.

What I care about most, is the position alans was in. If I had to find a different teacher, and the first thing she/he did was look at the twelve+ Faber books I have worked in over the past 14 months and basically threw them in the trash can, I would sure be concerned. Now if it turns that for students like alans and his teacher there are better ways of methodically teaching the many skills required to advance in piano, great. I wish alans all the best!

But now that I have taking lessons for 14 months, I have a better perspective of things. There have probably been over 50+ specific technical skills that I have had to learn. In my case, the order in which these skills were presented in the Faber books, together with countless hours of instruction from my teacher have worked very well for me.

Now that I am moving into a combination of Faber Level 3A pieces plus a repertoire book of her choosing, the ratio seems to be shifting to a 50/50 mix.

Hopefully by the end of this year I'll have a beter feeling of how this is working for me.
Posted By: zrtf90

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/14 09:15 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
It appears that for this teacher (who I certainly do not know) it doesn't matter what the student knows or not, she flat out does not believe in methods books, period.
I cannot think of a better recommendation for a teacher! I would certainly look askance at any teacher that offered me a method book.

But flat out not believing in a method book is a strong statement in this context and makes a very black and white reading of a grey area. The teacher may have used Faber enough times in the past to know that for her teaching it doesn't offer the most effective path, especially for an adult. Teachers aren't trying to make money by extending the time taken to learn the instrument. Teaching is a vocation and they struggle to bring each student up to his own individual potential in an optimal time frame.

Honestly, method books are better geared to younger children who are closer to a learning norm, walking by two, talking by four, reading and writing by six, et cetera. Once we're at the teen years our learning potentials differ more widely and more unevenly and our talents and leanings are more individual. At this stage methods are more a case of holding you back to a recognised norm and a prescribed pace than pushing you forward to your potential in a path suited to your talents.

It is highly unlikely that any method book will satisfy a good teacher who knows the repertoire and the available material for approaching it.

The Suzuki school, for example, has a series of books using progressive pieces but all you get in those books are the pieces. The method is not the pieces but the approach to them - and that doesn't come in a book. The material is unimportant (though there are better pieces to learn than others).

The most important thing in making progress on the piano is not what you play and learn but HOW you play and learn. The material is secondary. With a teacher you get a hand crafted approach to making music.

With a method book you get generic path along progressively harder material (not geared to the strengths and weaknesses of the player but of the population as a whole in the experience of the authors) and not a clue as to how to learn it effectively other than meeting certain requirements before moving on.

For many, the requirements may be none other than getting most of the notes right most of the time. For a beginner this is a really slow method of progress because getting notes right is not a matter of diligence in their practise (though that does help) it's a matter of experience and confidence with the instrument over time. The right notes do matter but they're not as important as shaping a phrase and approaching a piece.

A book can't describe concepts that an inexperienced beginner will not understand without a few years playing experience but a good teacher can demonstrate them in person and pass on the benefits of that experience in an instant.

At the end of the day we want to look at a score, hear it in our heads and play it with expression and passion. We want to realise the curious and simultaneous mix that music has of pleasure and pain, of joy and sadness, of impaired but idiosyncratic beauty. This doesn't come by working through harder and harder pieces but by choosing pieces the teacher knows well enough to deliver these qualities and by showing the student how to look for them and how to bring them out while covering increasing technical demands.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/14 10:39 AM

Thanks for your thoughts here Richard.

I don't want to turn this thread into a "European model vs. U.S. model" discussion, as that is not why I started this thread.

I don't agree that somehow method books are for younger learners. The Faber series I have studied so far has been geared very specifically for older learners, and so far I have really benefited from it. I think you also underestimate the amount of interaction between teacher and student, method book or not. At least in my case, the books are not just "following the numbers". In other cases, I can't say.

Finally, your post seems to imply that I'm saying that with the right method books chosen, the choice of a teacher is somehow less important. In my experience the ONLY critical choice is the teacher, period.

For example, in another thread there is much discussion about shaping phrases, and most of the folks discussing it do not have a teacher. Well, of course Faber has several sections about this concept, but without my teacher really putting my feet to the fire as to HOW this is REALLY done, the book would not really help in the long run.

This is how I will summarize my feelings about this. We can agree to disagree as to the most effective way to acquire the tools necessary to advance piano skills, method vs. something else. However, I think we can probably agree that the teacher accounts for 80-90% of the total learning experience at the very least.

Brian

Posted By: zrtf90

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/14 01:11 PM

Brian, I think we must have misunderstood each other.

Originally Posted by Jonathan Baker
Did your new teacher clarify why she is against the Faber series?
Originally Posted by alans
She did give several reasons...
Originally Posted by BrianDX
It appears that...this teacher...flat out does not believe in methods books, period.
I don't see where you get that.

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I don't agree that somehow method books are for younger learners.
Presumably you meant "only" for younger learners here. But what I said was that they were better suited to younger learners. The older you are, the wider your range of experiences, musical tastes, physical skills and talents, intellectual leanings and emotional sensitivity and expressiveness, the less likely you are to fit that norm and, in a one-to-one situation with a good teacher, a tailored approach will outstrip a method significantly.

The teacher can bypass teaching the skills you have developed naturally, the method book cannot. The method book must use separate lessons for each little facet but a teacher can skip a few lessons and make sure you don't miss anything by watching and listening to you. A method book must perforce be generic but a teacher can mould and craft an individual method to the student.

If you happen to be north of Rome you can get there by going due south. The method must take you round to the east first if that is it's planned course. It matters not that you've already been there. Faber has suited you so you may not see this in the same light. That's OK.

Originally Posted by zrtf90
At the end of the day we want...to realise the...music...by choosing pieces the teacher knows well enough to deliver...by showing the student how...
Originally Posted by BrianDX
...you also underestimate the amount of interaction between teacher and student
Again, I don't see where you get that. I thought I showed it to be most important thing.

Originally Posted by BrianDX
If I had to find a different teacher, and the first thing she/he did was look at the twelve+ Faber books I have worked in over the past 14 months and basically threw them in the trash can, I would sure be concerned.
She wasn't trashing them.
Originally Posted by alans
She pulled two pieces randomly from the book
How random her choice was is questionable. She clearly knew the series and must either have known what to pick or could see at a glance what would do the trick but she didn't throw it in the trash can, nor did she write off what he's already covered.

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I am not aware of all of the different method books out there, but I have studied with two of them (Alfred's 25 years ago, and Faber for the past year).

In these two cases, both were designed I think to teach baseline skills, up to a point.
Yes, to a point. But the longer you stay with a method the slower your progress is unless you just happen to progress in the same order as the generic student the course is aimed at.

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I think we can probably agree that the teacher accounts for 80-90% of the total learning experience
Yes, we can! smile

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/14 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by zrtf90
Originally Posted by BrianDX
I think we can probably agree that the teacher accounts for 80-90% of the total learning experience
Yes, we can! smile

Yes, we can agree to agree on that point! smile
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/14 06:09 PM


I do use the Faber books - but they are the only adult books I have experience with, so I would be hard pressed to say that they are better or worse than anything else. I have to admit being a bit disappointed with the All-in-One book 2 because it doesn't seem that the theory section is engaging me as much as book 1. This could be because its harder, or because I'm less interested smile

I am spending more and more of my time on pieces outside of the method book. I question myself whether this is a good idea or not. My teacher seems fine with it. The issue, I wonder, is whether by not collecting pieces that have a similar and progressive theme, by learning things piece-meal - will this hurt my progress?

For example, not learning a number of pieces with the same key.

Anyway, I'm saying all this just because - yes, I am learning with Faber books and so I'm following this Faber Grad thread. But that doesn't mean I believe Faber to be the be-all and end-all.

So if your teacher doesn't like Faber, I would keep an open mind, see how things progress, and form an opinion in a few months after giving your teacher's approach the best shot you can.

Don
Posted By: littlebirdblue

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/30/14 06:00 AM

I'm back. smile

I had my first lesson with my teacher. I brought 3 method books with me. We're skipping book 1 but we'll be going through book 2. This week's homework is Brahm's Lullaby since I didn't know how lead sheets work.

Her priority for me is to learn all the cords...all of them. Good thing I only have lessons every other week. I won't be able to show much progress in a week.

She also has me doing Hanon and work on classical repertoire songs. We'll also be going through the Suzuki piano accompaniment for Violin Book 1 and 2. So yeah, tons of work ahead but I'm really glad that I'm working with a teacher.

BTW, Brian, you have a new avatar. Did you take that photo?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/30/14 10:48 AM

Nice to hear from you littlebirdblue! smile

Yes, that photo was taken during my 2005 trip to Japan.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/30/14 11:09 AM

Last night's lesson was very significant in several ways, as my teacher and I had a very detailed discussion along the lines of Richard's comments about method books and learning in general.

Here are the highlights:

For the older beginner my teacher has come to really like the Faber books. This comes after many many years of her studying and trying about a dozen different learning methods.

She basically said that Books 1 and 2 are kind like a lesson plan that a teacher would use to teach an adult to read and write properly. Along with the lesson plan (which sequentially introduces required skills) there is much one-on-one instruction needed which only a teacher can provide. This is where the self-learner can get into trouble.

However, once you progress beyond Book 2 things start to change. Faber Level 3A and beyond still does a good job of slowly introducing more advanced skills, however she generally starts moving toward repertoire books and away from method books. According to her, Faber is very good for the early elementary to late elementary student, but not beyond that.

In fact, starting next week we will be splitting my studies 50/50 between Faber Level 3A and repertoire books by Helen Marlais.

Apparently I'm the first student she has had in a long time to move into Level 3A, mostly at my insistence. Her more advanced students are completely out of method books. However, for me the Faber approach so far has been very much in sync with the way I learn and process information.

So here is my 5 year goal:

Keep progressing through Faber Level 3B, 4, and 5. At the same time, start moving a larger percentage of my studies into carefully chosen repertoire books. Of course, depending on what happens, I may leave the Faber series earlier than that, we'll see.

And finally, if I hit a series of walls (which is likely to happen) adjust the schedule out as needed. According to my teacher, I have enough natural ability and work ethic to eventually progress to the Intermediate level. If I ever get to that point, I will be 100% fulfilled.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/18/14 02:28 AM

Just passed the 1/3 finished mark for Level 3A.

There are some really good pieces here, including several with Alberti bass, slightly more advanced left/right hand coordination, and tenuto just to name a few.

Things seem get harder from here on in, other than a slight respite teaching 3/8 and 6/8 time signatures that at first glance look quite easy.

Also spending time with pieces from the Helen Marlais Festival Collection, which fit right in with Faber at this point.

I'm really pleased with this material right now, challenging to say the least, but doable within a reasonable amount of time and practice.

I've also reduced the pressure I've been putting on myself, no rush to get things done. I'm now bringing pieces that are not quite there yet to my lesson, and allowing my teacher to do what she does best, fine-tune my technique and help me fix problems with sight-reading, timing, and dynamics.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/10/14 04:22 PM

Well I'll bump this up one more time I promise. smile

Just got to the 1/2 way mark for Level 3A. Lots of fun things to play, some pretty hard but doable.

As I've said before, Faber does a real nice job of moving the ball down the field without causing undue stress.

If no one is still interested in this thread, I'll stop posting in two weeks.
Posted By: Donzo

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/10/14 05:22 PM


Brian - it sounds like you are making good progress!

I don't contribute to this thread because
(a) I'm not making particularly good progress - I'm down to only about 25% of my time on Faber and it is also getting harder
(b) I'm doing different books (I'm doing 1&2 All-in-one) from you, so I can't actually see the music you are doing and don't appreciate the progress

So I do read each of your updates but not sure how I can contribute to the thread.

frown

Don
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/10/14 08:38 PM

Not much new to post here. I'm just over half way through book 2 Accelerated Piano Adventures for Older...
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/11/14 12:30 AM

Nice to hear from you guys. No worries, post something here when you can.

It also appears that after Thanksgiving I'll be temporarily putting Faber on hold while I do some more work in the Marlais Festival Collection.

Also, starting in January my teacher and I will begin work on the Piano Guild auditions work for later in the Spring.

I want to keep progressing in the Faber series, but after 14 months straight, I could use a break...
Posted By: JazzyMac

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/27/14 01:12 AM

It's always great to see posts of you all progressing. I'm still "trucking" along. Off and on lessons; my teacher/friend is very patient with me, but I've lurked my way back into pounding away on to the keys. Threads like this always give me hope.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/28/14 02:06 PM

Same here as well, although I'm on a two-week "road trip" with family, so I'll have to get things rolling again after New Year's.

One other tidbit; I have have found that the Faber "Developing Artist" series may be a great supplement once you reach reach the Level 2 / Level 3A level. May purchase this early next year.
Posted By: Gemgem

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/29/14 12:32 AM

Hi, I am finishing the last few pieces of Faber (for older beginner), level 2. For me the struggle is coordinating the timing with the pedal! So good to hear that so many are using this series as well as Alfreds. Once I finish this I move onto Alfreds for later beginner level 2. I find using two different series consolidates learning. How about other people' experience? I am encouraged when I hear people's comments and feedback. Cheers!
Posted By: Gemgem

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/29/14 12:45 AM

To Brian DX, I am new to the forum, and old as in age! Dontknow how to go about making the quote box yet!!
I am not familiar with the Helen Malais series. How are you finding it please?
Would love to hear how you are progressing.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/29/14 01:21 PM

Hi Gemgem, welcome!

First off, I am enjoying the "Succeeding With The Masters" book 1 by Marlais. Once you get to the end of Faber level 2, this book provide a great supplement.

I am currently in the second half of Faber Level 3A, and really enjoying it. I have to tell you, I studied with the Alfred's book many years ago, and I much prefer the Faber books, especially once you proceed past the mid-elementary point.

I'm on a road trip in Toronto for the next 3 days with limited internet access. I would be more than happy to continue this discussion after the first of the year.

Regards,
Brian
Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/30/14 02:46 AM

Haven't heard of the 'Developing artist'. The structure and content look very similar to the Repertoire books from the RCM Celebration Series.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/30/14 01:09 PM

I think the official series name is "Succeeding With The Masters" compiled with Helen Marlais.

Each book in the series has pieces from four different musical periods. My only complaint is that the difficulty of the pieces range from really easy to moderately hard.

That is why I may be switching to the Faber "Developing Artist" series, which are structured the same way, seem to contain a uniform level of difficulty, and also have some teacher-student duet pieces.

http://pianoadventures.com/publications/mainLibraries/devArtist.html
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/21/15 12:28 PM

My monthly update: smile

I'm about 4 weeks away from finishing Level 3A. There have been some amazing pieces I've learned, including a couple of older compositions in their original form.

One addendum to my last post: I have decided to switch to the the Faber "Developing Artist" series in March for supplemental material. First, the pieces are more interesting and diverse, and they are closely aligned with the Piano Adventures books overall. Second, they are separated by periods of time just like the Marlais books.

There are some easier pieces (mid-elementary) and slightly harder ones as well (late elementary), so my teacher and I will be carefully selecting which ones I will work on first.

For those of you in Level 2A/2B the Preparatory Literature book has some real nice supplemental pieces (many with teacher duets).
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/16/15 10:19 PM

At today's lesson I was assigned the last two pieces for Level 3A.

I can now summarize the entire Level 3A book series: Wow!

First off, there are eight units in these books, and every one has helped teach me very important mid-elementary skills, such as Chromatic Scale, Triplets, Ledger Lines, One-Handed Arpeggios, D Major, etc.

There were many fine and exciting pieces in these books, as well as some by established composers in their original form. So, if you are into Faber and are at the end of PA Level 2, I highly recommend continuing on to 3A.

At this point I'll go quiet to see if anyone out is interested in any more posts here. If not, thanks for listening folks!
Posted By: rpw

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/17/15 01:36 AM

Brian, congratulations on your achievement!
Are you going to continue to the 3B or switch to something else?
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/17/15 04:54 AM

Congratz Brian, and thanks for the info. I'm coming to the end of PA level 2 and looking forward to 3A.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/17/15 12:31 PM

Thanks to you both! smile

I will be continuing in the Level 3B (all 4 books) starting next week. In addition, I will be using Faber's Developing Artist series (Book 1) for supplemental material.

The 3B lesson books have six units of study including octaves, several minor keys, and sixteenth notes among other things.

Some of the stuff looks very hard, however I though the same way about the Level 3A book six months ago. Faber has a way of slowly building your skills without any major frustrations or angst.

PFred; I think you will REALLY enjoy 3A. This level does a nice job of transitioning you from early to mid-elementary material. Faber also makes a Preparatory level book in the Developing Artist series. Check it out as well.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/08/15 11:02 PM

Update: Faber has just released second editions of both their Level 3A and Level 3B series of books.

I've scanned through both, and they are worthwhile updates to the series.

Unfortunately for me, I'm already 2 months into Level 3B. Still, the updates are worth while (15 additional pages of material in the Lesson book alone), so I'm getting the new books and semi-starting over.

Both levels also have sight-reading books that go along with the other 4 books in each series.

And no, I don't work for Faber... grin
Posted By: J Moore

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/09/15 03:16 AM

In October, I started teaching myself from Alfreds all in one. Then in January, I started taking a group piano class that uses Fabers Adult Piano Adventures I.

I just finished it last week. Because much of the material was a review from self teaching Alfreds, I was able to make some fast progress through it. What was nice about Fabers was that there weren't any nightmare pieces like the infamous Alfred's Blow the Man Down.

The music is also much better. Even in the beginning there was a simple rendition of Largo that was really pretty.

I've started Faber adult Piano Adventures 2, and I'm finding it takes a lot more practice, but there are still some nice pieces.
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/09/15 03:37 AM

That's good news about the new 3A & 3B books. I'm almost done with Adult Piano Adventures Levels 1 & 2 and apparently the the next level is 3B! I'll probably get both because I really want my fundamentals to be solid.

I've enjoyed the Faber books, their method clicked with me right away. I like that the Adult PIano Adventure books move at a faster pace than regular books, it's great for a returning adult student.

I also highly recommend using Piano Maestro's "Method Match" exercises for Faber, it will take you through level 3A. I did the Piano Maestro Faber exercises first to get my music reading up to speed. And when I started on the Faber books, I was able to sight-read the exercises faster, which let me focus more on the theory & technique presented in the books. Very, very exciting.

It will be approximately 2 months getting to level 3A using the Faber Adult PA books and the Piano Maestro app. Honestly, it's really one of the best times to learn Piano, the resources are amazing!
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/09/15 07:27 PM

Thanks for the update, I'm right at the end of Faber Accelerated Adventures for the Older Beginner Book 2. I'm about to start the Fmaj scale next week and then on to 3A I imagine. I will make sure that I get the new version.
Fred
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/09/15 11:38 PM

F Major scale eh? I believe the core piece for that unit is Brahms Lullaby, a very nice adapted version that was one of my favorites.

When start 3A let me know how things are going. My wife is also near the end of level 2, should be starting 3A in May.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/09/15 11:42 PM

Originally Posted by J Moore
In October, I started teaching myself from Alfreds all in one. Then in January, I started taking a group piano class that uses Fabers Adult Piano Adventures I.

I just finished it last week. Because much of the material was a review from self teaching Alfreds, I was able to make some fast progress through it. What was nice about Fabers was that there weren't any nightmare pieces like the infamous Alfred's Blow the Man Down.

The music is also much better. Even in the beginning there was a simple rendition of Largo that was really pretty.

I've started Faber adult Piano Adventures 2, and I'm finding it takes a lot more practice, but there are still some nice pieces.

Just hang in there and take your time on each piece, especially the exercises. Faber really know show to build skills slowly over time so that harder material is doable, albeit with a bit more practice time required.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/09/15 11:43 PM

Originally Posted by Groove On
That's good news about the new 3A & 3B books. I'm almost done with Adult Piano Adventures Levels 1 & 2 and apparently the the next level is 3B! I'll probably get both because I really want my fundamentals to be solid.

I've enjoyed the Faber books, their method clicked with me right away. I like that the Adult Piano Adventure books move at a faster pace than regular books, it's great for a returning adult student.

I also highly recommend using Piano Maestro's "Method Match" exercises for Faber, it will take you through level 3A. I did the Piano Maestro Faber exercises first to get my music reading up to speed. And when I started on the Faber books, I was able to sight-read the exercises faster, which let me focus more on the theory & technique presented in the books. Very, very exciting.

It will be approximately 2 months getting to level 3A using the Faber Adult PA books and the Piano Maestro app. Honestly, it's really one of the best times to learn Piano, the resources are amazing!

Thanks for the Piano Maestro tip, I'll check it out!
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/15/15 04:51 AM

Hi All,

It is great to stumble upon this site after looking for a Faber related site that was a bit up to date.

A bit of background:
A couple of years ago I graduated from Alfred Adult piano book 1. I did not move on to Book 2 for a few reasons:
1. I found progress quite hard
2. Because it was so hard I would often only manage one piece per week and could only play it properly after I had subconsciously memorized it.
3. I found this process hampering my ability to sight-read
4. It was too chord-based which meant your left hand was not getting trained enough

I decided I need to fix this inability to sight-read and so joined an online piano course called Sight Reading Factory. That website generates random pieces of music; it gives you the option of setting the level, scales, etc. The pieces are quite musical and since you only play it once there is no chance to memorize it. I got through level 3 (there are 4 level) after about a 3/4 of a year and then decided that it was time to go back to a methods books.

While browsing this site I stumbled upon the Faber series and after reading great things about it (especially how very smooth progress is) I decided to give it a go. I got Levels 1 & 2 Accelerated Piano adventures Lesson books. I found I could easily sight read the pieces, albeit at a slow pace and got excited. I got even more excited when I realized there were 3 more accompanying books that are a must i.e. techniques & artistry, performance and theory. Feeling that I may have missed some nuggets of info on technique and artistry in book 1 I decided to get that book for level 1 and the three accompanying books for level 2. I spent a couple of months on just the techniques and artistry book of level 1 and I can't emphasize how useful that was.

I am now 1/4 of the way through level 2 and using all four books. I find it quite easy to get through the pieces of three books (not theory) in the hour of practice I put in each day. I try not to practice a piece too often at one time or I would memorize it. It helps that the Faber pieces are short. I practice the pieces of each chapter for one week before moving on to the next chapter. I find this works at the moment. Once things get a bit tougher I may have to change this timetable. I always play both hands at a time, even if it is at a very slow tempo; from what I understand this helps in increasing your ability to sight read. My aim is not just to be able to play the piece properly but also to slowly enhance my ability to process all the information in the music sheet (music notes, dynamics, speed, etc.) without memorizing.

The theory book has a lot of sections which require you to play on the fly while a teacher is accompanying you. A very gifted guy on another site got around this problem by learning the extremely difficult teachers part and recording it and then playing with the recording as accompaniment. I don't think i have that sort of ability and so I am looking for a way. I looking at some music score apps for my ipad where I could write the piece and the app would play back but I am not sure how difficult it is to write the piece on the app or if there is another solution out there. Any suggestions?

I plan to finish Level 2 it about 4 months and then move on to the general 3A series; I have already bought the books for both 3a and 3b and can't wait to get to these.

Regards

Mario

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/15/15 12:17 PM

Welcome Mario to this thread!

One comment; make sure your Level 3A and 3B books are the brand new second editions.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/16/15 02:43 AM

Update: My Level 3B books (second edition) came today.

I spent three hours sorting out the changes and transferring my piece history and teacher notes from the first edition books.

In a nutshell:

1) There are now seven units (up from 6) and 16 more pages in the lesson book.
2) The two units I have been studying for 7 weeks have been expanded and re-ordered (The "Octave" unit is now fourth in the new lesson book, instead of the first in the older version). The new unit is E Minor.
3) There are 6 pieces in the second edition that I have either passed or was currently studying in the first. Two are original form, so no changes there. However, the other four have been slightly simplified. It is interesting to note that I actually passed the harder versions of two pieces (yay!) and the other two I need to re-learn a bit.
4) The notes and text are now slightly bigger, easier to read without reading glasses.
5) Several mistakes that I have discovered in the older versions have been corrected.

Man, they better not come out the third edition while I'm still studying the second. shocked
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/16/15 10:55 PM

Hi Brian,

Unfortunately I bought them some time ago and so they are the older versions.


Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/16/15 11:06 PM

Hi Brian,

Thanks for letting us know what has been updated.

Quick question for you.
In the accelerated books I can't seem to find the tempo to be playing the song at? All I see is instructions to progress from andante to moderato to allegro. What are the tempo ranges of these?

Regards

Mario
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/17/15 12:09 AM

Hi Mario;

For the accelerated books Faber decided to give only general instructions for the tempo. On my metrnome andante is roughly between 80-100, moderato 100-132, allegro 132-168, presto 168-200.

Once you move up to Level 3A and beyond, many pieces have a tempo range. For example, a quarter note gets between 100 and 112 beats per minute.

My guess is the more you advance in the series, the more specific tempo instructions you are given.

Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/17/15 03:29 AM

Thanks for your response regarding tempo Brian.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/21/15 10:54 PM

How is everyone doing? It is a bit quiet in here. I guess all you guys are busy practicing rather than waste time here smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/22/15 02:05 AM

This is pretty active for this thread actually. smile

I'll have more comments about the new second editions once my teacher returns next week.
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/22/15 05:39 AM

Just finished the Adult Piano Adventures book 2 and getting ready to order the new 3B book! Took me approx. 3 months to get to this stage. With all my self-learning activities and my teacher's guidance I feel very confident about moving to intermediate level repertoire.

My teacher suggested that I spend the next few months really getting comfortable playing A LOT of music at the intermediate level with a lot of attention to musicality. So the plan is to get songbooks like the Faber Developing Artist series and just sight-read 1-3 pieces a day, making a list of the ones I'd like to develop more fully.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/22/15 04:14 PM

Fantastic Groove On!

First off, this a great time to start Level 3B with the second edition books hot off the press. There is a lot more material (16 more pages in the Lesson book alone), and it is better organized.

The Developing Artist series is very good as well, although I've only learned a few pieces so far in Book 1. What is interesting is that the piece I'm currently learning in the Lesson book is also in DA Book 2.

So 3B really encompasses both Book 1 and 2 in the DA series. There is also a Sonatina DA series of books. Book 1 goes well with 3B.

Check it out, and let us know how you are doing with your 3B assignments. Half of the 8 pieces I've worked on so far have been relatively easy to master, the other four have been quite difficult.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/26/15 10:50 PM

Hi,

I have been reading other past posts on this forum and there does seem to be some confusion as to what level of the regular series to progress to when you complete the Adult book 2 i.e. whether to progress to 3B or 3A (there is an overlap between book 2 and 3A). The majority seem to favour moving to 3A as moving to 3B seems to leave a gap in between.

You may want to word search these discussions.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/26/15 11:24 PM

I was curious to know the following:

How long did you practice each day?

How often did you practice each day?

How much time did you spend on each chapter before moving on (1 week, 2 weeks, etc.)?

Did you use 1, 2, 3 or 4 of Faber's books for each level and which books (Lesson, performance, technique&artistry, theory)?

Did you practice each piece till you were perfect (note, tempo, dynamics, etc)?

How did having a teacher help? (did he/she help you with your technique, hints to overcome difficult parts, body position, etc.)


Regards

Mario

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/27/15 12:57 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi,

I have been reading other past posts on this forum and there does seem to be some confusion as to what level of the regular series to progress to when you complete the Adult book 2 i.e. whether to progress to 3B or 3A (there is an overlap between book 2 and 3A). The majority seem to favour moving to 3A as moving to 3B seems to leave a gap in between.

You may want to word search these discussions.

Regards

Mario

This is not a exact science, although if you go to Faber's own website and download their 2015 catalog, they imply after completing Adult all-in-one Level2, you proceed to Level 3B. However, if you study the Accelerated PA for older adults (like we did) you progress to Level 3A.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/27/15 01:03 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I was curious to know the following:

How long did you practice each day?

How often did you practice each day?

How much time did you spend on each chapter before moving on (1 week, 2 weeks, etc.)?

Did you use 1, 2, 3 or 4 of Faber's books for each level and which books (Lesson, performance, technique&artistry, theory)?

Did you practice each piece till you were perfect (note, tempo, dynamics, etc)?

How did having a teacher help? (did he/she help you with your technique, hints to overcome difficult parts, body position, etc.)


Regards

Mario

Hi Mario. Here are my answers to your questions.

1) 1-2 hours per day
2) Once a day for 1 hour, twice a day for 2 hours
3) I move on to different units in the books after my teacher tell me to. smile
4) We use all four books for each level, no exceptions.
5) I usually spend the first few days learning the correct notes of a new piece. The fine-tuning of each piece is done with the assistance of my teacher, and can vary as far as how long it takes before I "pass" the piece.
6) For long-term success, a teacher is a MUST. She/he will help in all regards.
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/27/15 07:30 AM

How long did you practice each day?
1-3 hours

How often did you practice each day?
Once-a-day

How much time did you spend on each chapter before moving on (1 week, 2 weeks, etc.)?3-4 chapters units a week

Did you use 1, 2, 3 or 4 of Faber's books for each level and which books (Lesson, performance, technique&artistry, theory)?
The Adult Piano Adventure books are self-contained and combine all that. Also, I was leap-frogging a lot of the information in the books because of lessons and other self-study activities. So I didn't need to add any additional Faber books. But I do plan on buying several of the Faber repertoire books: BigTime, Advanced and Developing Artist series.

Did you practice each piece till you were perfect (note, tempo, dynamics, etc)?
Yes, I practiced until I got the tempo, notes and dynamics right, and then moved on. I didn't memorize the pieces. ***n.b. I completed the Piano Maestro app before starting the books and am already practicing scales & arpeggios musically so I was able to read & play the pieces pretty quickly.

How did having a teacher help? (did he/she help you with your technique, hints to overcome difficult parts, body position, etc.)
My teacher uses repertoire to teach. And his lessons focus on musicality, interpretation and guidance to develop as a musician, so a lot of stuff in the lessons are not in the method books. He encouraged me to use the Faber books as a self-study project to make sure my fundamentals were really solid. But he likes to say, "our lessons are for the good stuff, save the books for your practice time".
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/28/15 12:55 AM

Hi,

One of my big fears in engaging a teacher is that the teacher will veer me off the Faber course which I so love. I did lessons for about 6 months but a lot of the things in the Faber books were barely covered by my teacher; and it was certainly not slow and gradual. I would get a somewhat difficult piece and then take it home and learn it; because it was difficult I would end up memorizing it to a large degree not purposely but subconsciously. Also the teacher would jump about with the pieces in terms of difficulty and the scale of the piece.

Brian how did you approach your teacher to strictly follow the Faber path?

Groove On what do you mean by teaching by repertoire and that the teacher would focus on musicality, interpretation and guidance (over and above what Faber books do)?
Also how exactly did Piano Maestro help you over and above what you would gain by the methods book or for that matter from a teacher.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/28/15 03:42 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Groove On what do you mean by teaching by repertoire and that the teacher would focus on musicality, interpretation and guidance (over and above what Faber books do)?

He has more of a musician's approach, we go through pieces like we're going to play them, and it's more about how to apply the fundamentals from the method books to bring out the music. For example, he'll have me play through at an acceptable level, then he'll have me pick out the chord progressions and then have me go through slowly and improvise parts of the piece against the chord progression. If I'm weak in a fundamental skill, he'll assign practice exercises and say go find it and study it in your books, I'll test you next week. Right now he's assigned several exercises and self-study books for bringing out the melody.

I should say he doesn't teach complete beginners, he took me on as a returning adult because I already had some fundamentals under my belt. And he encourages and guides my self-study to get my fundamentals solid. He and I had a long conversation about this when I first started, he said he is always practicing and studying himself and expects the same from his students. It's more of a master-apprentice relationship vs. a teacher-student.

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Also how exactly did Piano Maestro help you over and above what you would gain by the methods book or for that matter from a teacher.

Piano Maestro is a practice tool for reading music. It's designed like a video game and guides you from elementary to early intermediate level, a little past the reading level of "shifting-hand" positions (approximately 3A/3B in the Faber books).

I started it before I found my teacher, so I finished it on my own. I signed up for 1 year and it still gives me lots of new songs to read so I use still use it for practice.

The main benefit of the game is it gives you immediate feedback on accuracy and rhythm and then assigns you stars for your grade. So it acts like a fun little mini-taskmaster during your practice time, you know what you got wrong and you know what you need to do to get it right. I found myself going back again and again to make sure I got the 3 gold stars for each piece/exercise. Which ends up being a whole lot of extra self-motivated practice time. Just what the doctor err... teacher ordered. Please note, it doesn't test for musicality (dynamics, articulation etc.), that's where the teacher comes in.

Additionally, before any that, I had done a lot of self-study to get my scales, arpeggios and basic chord progressions under my belt with Scale Bootcamp & Karen Ramirez's First Aid Chord Kit.

Back ON TOPIC
To bring everything back ON TOPIC, the Faber Adult PA 1 & 2 books were a good way for me to test myself and see if I really understood the concepts I had been practicing and studying.
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/28/15 04:51 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I was curious to know the following:

How long did you practice each day?

How often did you practice each day?

How much time did you spend on each chapter before moving on (1 week, 2 weeks, etc.)?

Did you use 1, 2, 3 or 4 of Faber's books for each level and which books (Lesson, performance, technique&artistry, theory)?

Did you practice each piece till you were perfect (note, tempo, dynamics, etc)?

How did having a teacher help? (did he/she help you with your technique, hints to overcome difficult parts, body position, etc.)



Mario,
1) About 2 hours (I don't time my sessions, just work until I'm comfortable)

2) Three times a day: right after breakfast, mid-afternoon and early evening. (I'm retired)

3) Generally one week per lesson.

4) I use five of the books, the four you mentioned(Lesson, performance, technique&artistry, theory) and Sight-Reading.

5) I doubt that I'll ever be perfect, I practice until I'm pleased with it.

6) Tempo is where I need her help the most, hints and tips on technique are worth it as well.

Fred
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/28/15 11:34 AM

Thanks PFred! I forgot to mention, Levels 3A and 3B now have sight-reading supplements as well.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/01/15 08:49 AM

Thanks for all your answers. Looks like my 1 hour a day is woefully inadequate. I may have to negotiate at work to work from home one day of the week to bump up my piano lessons (time spent on dressing up and travelling could be used more productively in learning the piano).

Also I would like to get a teacher but I am terribly independent and a self learner and I am afraid of getting veered off the Faber way. I may still get one if he or she is willing to just see how I play and guide me on how to play to Faber pieces.

Fred I wish I was in your shoes and retired. What exactly does the sight reading book teach you? For example are there any hints on how to sight read.


Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/01/15 08:55 AM

From what I understand piano teachers seem to hate any methods books and it seems to somehow makes them feel inadequate as a teacher if they have to instruct using books using techniques and the progression laid down in the books.

The thought process seems to be:
If I have to follow Faber word to word to teach this fellow then how will I look...I'll look like a teacher who does not really know how to teach and so must follow a book....Also I have taught my way for years....I ain't gonna change for this fellow.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/01/15 02:36 PM

Hi Mario;

Not all teachers feel this way.

My teacher has been at it for over 40 years, and for beginners she is a firm believer in the various Faber books.

However, most of the important learning is "between the lines" of our various books. Not all pieces are learned, and I am working on supplemental material as well.

Her five most advanced adult students are well beyond method books. This is a place I hope to be as well in a few years or so.

But so far, the combination of the Faber books, my teacher's instruction, and my consistent practice schedule have been very successful.
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/02/15 04:30 AM

Mario,
The sight reading books are tied to the Lesson Book. There are a set of five variations to the main lesson piece.
The idea is to do a variation a day between lessons. You can read more about it at this link, as well as viewing a sample (two options to view at the bottom of the page)

http://pianoadventures.com/news/sightreading-books-for-the-older-beginner.html

Fred
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/02/15 06:05 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Thanks for all your answers. Looks like my 1 hour a day is woefully inadequate.

The trick to practice is to get away from being time-oriented. Set goals instead then it becomes about the results of your practice.

Online there are lots of Alfred learners, but many of the teachers I spoke with in person used the Faber series. The mileage may vary in your area but it's a very popular method outside of the Internet forums.
Posted By: Cher Z.

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/03/15 03:22 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Thanks for all your answers. Looks like my 1 hour a day is woefully inadequate.


Frankly, I'm shocked at how many students are practicing 1+ hours a day!

When I started lessons last fall my teacher suggested 30 minutes, 5-6 days a week. She said I'd probably play longer some days and less others, but 30 minutes was a good average to shoot for. (I'm 58, retired and I've returned to playing after decades away from playing the piano.)

That was 7 months ago and I'm still averaging about 30 minutes a day.

Am I short-changing myself? I don't think the level I'm playing requires hours and hours of practice each week, but perhaps I'm fooling myself? I thought once I could play my assigned lessons smoothly I don't need to keep hammering away at them multiple times each session. The first few times I play through something new I might work on it a bit longer, but once I have it down I usually don't play it more than twice through each practice. Sometimes I'll go back and play a few pieces or lessons that I've already finished just to give me more to play, but not always.

I don't try to practice a certain amount of time, but rather I strive to improve something with each piece that I play. Even so, I typically find that my daily practice runs about 30 ... maybe 40 minutes (tops) each day.

Maybe I need to ask my teacher about this again?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/03/15 08:55 PM

I think that 30 minutes a day is fine when you are just starting out. That's probably about as much time I spent.

However, as I moved on from Level 1 through 3B, the pieces got much harder, and required a lot more time to master them. The 1-2 hours per day helps me to continue moving through the four books without spending several months on one unit.
Posted By: Albunea

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/03/15 09:15 PM

Sometimes we can practice several times in the day, a little now a little later. I can't be for long at the piano or I start doing it worse. smile
Posted By: fizikisto

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/03/15 09:41 PM

Albunea,
If or when you desire a bit longer lasting sessions, it can help to simply do things that feel different. Maybe work on a new piece, then when you start to find your performance degrading shift gears and work on old repertoire, or technical exercises, or ear training, or etc... smile
Posted By: Albunea

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/03/15 09:44 PM

Yes, fizikisto. Thank you. I already do lots of different things in the time I am at the piano laugh I fortunately enjoy exercises, but even those are hard to learn. As I can learn more and more exercises, I will be able to be for longer just doing all the little exercises if only for 2 minutes each. smile

Starting a new piece is not easy at my level. That takes so much mental energyā€¦ laugh
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/03/15 10:54 PM

Thanks Brian. Maybe I too, putting my worries aside, need to engage a teacher.
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/05/15 04:06 AM

I finished up with Level 2 tonight and moved on to 3A, 2nd Edition. I bought a few of the supplementary books as well, Jazz, Rock, Classical, no sense in restricting myself at this early stage. Looking forward to all the new stuff!
Fred
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/05/15 11:30 AM

thumb That's great PFred, sounds like several of us are working through the 3rd level. Let us know what supplemental books you find to be the most useful and fun!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/05/15 12:11 PM

Hey PFred and Groove On:

Congrats on getting to Level 3A! I really envy you folks as I spent many months of lessons and practice before graduating from the first edition of 3A.

The second edition has some nice improvements, including some new pieces I really would have loved to learn.

As far as supplemental material, be sure to check out Faber Developing Artist Book 1. All of the pieces in this book are in their original form, and some (not all) are really excellent.


Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/05/15 02:02 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
... Congrats on getting to Level 3A! I really envy you folks as I spent many months of lessons and practice before graduating from the first edition of 3A.

Ha ha your comment made me chuckle, I know it seems like I'm moving fast. But it's taken me 20+ years to get to the same level! So I'd say you're doing pretty good thumb
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/06/15 06:39 AM

Thanks Fred. I will get those book when I progress to level 3A. Seem very good supplemental material.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/06/15 12:52 PM

Originally Posted by Groove On
Originally Posted by BrianDX
... Congrats on getting to Level 3A! I really envy you folks as I spent many months of lessons and practice before graduating from the first edition of 3A.

Ha ha your comment made me chuckle, I know it seems like I'm moving fast. But it's taken me 20+ years to get to the same level! So I'd say you're doing pretty good thumb

One thing that I think we forget sometimes, is that looking back at our piano studies when we first started out, I think we would be very pleased about the progress we have all made, regardless, of how long it took.

At Level 3A you will be moving from the mid-elementary to late-elementary skill level, which means there are countless wonderful pieces available to you to learn to play.

It's all good! thumb
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/06/15 01:54 PM

Thought I'd poke my head in and say hi.

Not yet a graduate, I'm currently half way through the first Adult All-in-One book. I'm re-treading old ground but wanted to do this for completeness and to re-learn things I'd forgotten from childhood. Also because it's fun.

So, hello.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/06/15 06:46 PM

Welcome Trevor! smile

And great idea about going through the entire book. Best of luck and keep is informed as to your progress.
Posted By: Albunea

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/06/15 10:07 PM

fizikisto, I have now many 0 level music sheets, and those I can start better. smile
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/06/15 10:45 PM

Thanks Brian. I imagine I'll be finished with book one fairly soon, but book two is primed and ready. smile

I gave Alfred's a go before I settled on PA, but found the music fairly bland. Probably because they don't get you moving around the keyboard quite so much at the start, and it's more chord lead.

I'm really enjoying the main PA method alongside the Showtime (2a) Popular book. I'm also dipping into a couple of the Dover "A First Book ofā€¦" books (Jazz, Ragtime and Chopin are the ones I have) too, which have some nice easy arrangements that actually sound pretty good, as well as the first Masterworks Classics book. The Dover books also have downloadable MP3s available so you can hear what they're actually supposed to sound like. Which is fortunate because I'm self-studying right now. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/07/15 03:10 AM

I had another "why I love the Faber series" tonight.

I'm starting to learn a new piece in the 3B lesson book "Fiesta Espana". If you look at the music the first go-around, it's pretty intimidating (at least to me). There is a video on YouTube by Christopher Brent playing this piece, which makes this seem even harder.

But I have come to learn that in this series, they will not throw a piece at you that you can't somewhat master in a reasonable amount of time.

Well, after 50 minutes I have the basic notes down. Now, it will probably take 2-3 weeks to get this piece up to speed and worthy of my teacher passing me on it. However, I know I can do it, and am motivated to start back on it tomorrow night to move it along.

This has happened many times during my 20 months with this series. I should know better by now.

Posted By: ashenden

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/12/15 01:09 AM

Hi Faber people,

I just started piano about a month ago and my teacher started me on the Faber Adult All-in-one. I've really been enjoying the pieces in it. I'm 45 and have been playing guitar and bass and sometimes drums in rock bands on and off for about 20 years, but totally informally and by ear. I had no real idea how to read. And I just had a somewhat sudden desire to start at the beginning and learn correctly on the piano. I guess because of my experience, I've been moving fairly quickly (?) as I'm a couple units from the end of Book 1 now, but I can feel things starting to slow down. I'm just finishing up the Ice Skaters and The Entertainer is up next.

Anyway, I'm interested to keep peeking into this thread to see what everyone thinks of the Faber books and the progress you are all making. Must admit I'm a little envious of you 3B people. :-)

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/12/15 03:02 AM

Originally Posted by ashenden
Hi Faber people,

I just started piano about a month ago and my teacher started me on the Faber Adult All-in-one. I've really been enjoying the pieces in it. I'm 45 and have been playing guitar and bass and sometimes drums in rock bands on and off for about 20 years, but totally informally and by ear. I had no real idea how to read. And I just had a somewhat sudden desire to start at the beginning and learn correctly on the piano. I guess because of my experience, I've been moving fairly quickly (?) as I'm a couple units from the end of Book 1 now, but I can feel things starting to slow down. I'm just finishing up the Ice Skaters and The Entertainer is up next.

Anyway, I'm interested to keep peeking into this thread to see what everyone thinks of the Faber books and the progress you are all making. Must admit I'm a little envious of you 3B people. :-)

Slow but steady wins the race. smile

Posted By: ashenden

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/12/15 03:36 PM

^ Indeed. I struggle with that.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/12/15 11:26 PM

I think that old adage is still gold (slow and steady wins the race). There is always a temptation to sprint rather than pacing oneself and the consequence is either we get disenchanted and sometimes quit because we find it all too difficult either because we have not accumulated the right skills or the difficulty of the higher levels makes sprinting impossible and frustration builds up.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/13/15 09:13 AM

Welcome aboard! I'm just a little behind you (both in age and in book page position).

I also have the Faber Showtime Popular (2a) book to have a play with something a little more challenging as I progress, which scratches the "want to be further ahead" itch a bit. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/13/15 05:16 PM

As I have mentioned in the past, one of the main benefits of Faber is that if you stick to the natural progression of the various books, you should not be presented with a piece that you will get stuck on for any length of time.

That was not the case with other lessons books I studied back 25 years ago for a few months.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/14/15 10:53 PM

Completely agree with you Brian. Faber has a way of making your progress almost effortless and before you know it you're playing really hard stuff with similar ease. I sometimes look back at some of my Book 1 pieces and am amazed at what progress I have made.
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/15/15 06:22 AM

Originally Posted by ashenden
... my teacher started me on the Faber Adult All-in-one. I've really been enjoying the pieces in it. I'm 45 and have been playing guitar and bass and sometimes drums in rock bands on and off for about 20 years ... I guess because of my experience, I've been moving fairly quickly (?) as I'm a couple units from the end of Book 1 now, but I can feel things starting to slow down. I'm just finishing up the Ice Skaters and The Entertainer is up next.

The Adult All-In-One is great for people with some previous experience. I think it's pretty well designed for that type of student. It is the main reason it jived with me right away. I know a couple of other Adult All-In-One students with previous experience and we seem to be in the same boat, we breeze through until we hit our level, then settle in.

The Premier and Accelerated series seem better suited for students who are starting out.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/15 09:40 AM

Still working on all-in-one book one, but I've found myself slow down a bit recently. Not because it's particularly hard, rather I want to get the pieces right before moving on.

Current status: African Celebration.

You're absolutely right, Brian, about PA offering just the right level of challenge to you at the right time. Each piece ramps up every so slightly and introduces new things. And I love that it's never afraid of introducing notes which are in a different octave. They really start to get your hands moving around the keyboard early on.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/15 01:35 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Still working on all-in-one book one, but I've found myself slow down a bit recently. Not because it's particularly hard, rather I want to get the pieces right before moving on.

Current status: African Celebration.

You're absolutely right, Brian, about PA offering just the right level of challenge to you at the right time. Each piece ramps up every so slightly and introduces new things. And I love that it's never afraid of introducing notes which are in a different octave. They really start to get your hands moving around the keyboard early on.

I actually forgot about that additional benefit from the Faber series. By the time you are done the starting levels you have pretty much played all 88 keys one way or the other.

BTW: African Celebration is a great piece!
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/15 02:08 PM

Interview with Randall Faber by Sheet Music Plus.

The design philosophy behind the Piano Adventure starts at 4:30 min. Interestingly, both were also PACE teachers, so that probably influenced the PA method as well.

Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/31/15 10:10 PM

I'm currently working on Unit 10 of the Adult AiO Book 1 and it's thrown a bit of a curve ball. "Half-Time Band" is driving me nuts. I'm not sure what it is about the piece but I just can't seem to nail it down consistently. I'll play all it fine once, then won't again for a few more tries.

Specifically, it's bars 7-8, possibly the easiest two bars in the whole piece. My left hand keeps playing the notes too quickly! Also, the second right hand chord in bar 9 I keep playing as the chord on the following bar, but not as often.

I had to move on to Greensleeves on the next page to keep my sanity. Greensleeves, incidentally, I could sight read with little error. The human brain is a weird old thing.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/03/15 08:09 PM

Based on my Piano Guild experiences this past week I have another observation about this series.

Before the second edition revision for Piano Adventures level 3A and 3B, the basic scale and cadence exercises were not up to the same performance level as the pieces that went with them.

As an example, at Level 3A the pieces that you are learning would be playing (conservatively) at roughly the Piano Guild "EC" category, and at Level 3B the "ED" category. However, the basic scales and cadence skills were at category "EB".

Now why does that matter? For the student taking a Guild audition, it would be nice to have both the pieces chosen and scales and cadences skills to be at roughly the same level. Otherwise you would find yourself playing pieces at the audition at levels higher than you were actually being tested on. It would be the equivalent of studying and then taking a Calculus II exam, but only receiving credits at the Pre-Calculus level.

Now, in the second editions of Level 3A and 3B, these skills have been bumped up. For example, in the first edition for Level 3B Unit 1 (A minor) only a single octave was presented. However, the second edition presents a two-octave scale.

This is another reason why when you reach Level 3A or 3B make sure you have the second editions of these books.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/17/15 01:45 AM

Hi, everyone. I'm a new member and new piano player, with about 2 months of self study under my belt. I have settled into the Faber curriculum after jettisoning the Alfred's All in One Adult beginner book. I can't give a fair criticism of the Alfred's, as, I may not have discovered the full range of Alfred's learning materials that are supplemental to the AIO series. My lasting memories were:

1. I felt like the Alfred's jumped around, with the connection between the new lesson and the previous one sometimes indecipherable. It felt like a shotgun approach.

2. My sightreading did not improve much from doing the Alfred's exercises. I (correctly, I think) determined that the sightreading stagnation was mainly the product of the lack of variety in the practice pieces, and the resulting tendency to resort to playing from memory long before the lesson's intended concept was mastered. Long before mastering the particular practice piece, I was just repeating what I had memorized, due to the extensive repetition that practice required.

So, I set out in search of a collection of level appropriate pieces I could just play one at a time in the hopes that memorization would not occur if I kept moving from piece to piece. It was during that search that I stumbled upon the Faber Piano Adventures series. I was particularly happy to find that each level (I was starting at the Primer Level) of lesson book had a Sight Reading supplemental book, and that these books were designed to avoid the pitfall I was experiencing, i.e., continually practicing from memory instead of from the desired increase in my sight reading skills.

I purchased the Primer Level lesson book, Sight Reading Book, and Performance Book. A month later, I am happy to report that they work quite well, particularly in addressing the sight reading stagnation problem I had been experiencing. I faithfully follow the admonition "DO NOT PRACTICE" that is written on each page of the sight reading book, and, thereby avoid memorizing the passages. Each day, as I go back over previous material while progressing to the next, each of these exercises is fresh and like new, as I have not memorized them. Since I go back about 10 pages each practice session, I end up covering about 30-40 of these simple sight reading exercises daily, and they do not sink into memory. I am very happy with this development.

In fact, I was enjoying my progress so much, I kind of forgot about the Performance Book. Yesterday, upon completion of the Primer Level lesson book, I took the time to peruse the Performance Book and listen to the included CD of the performances. There are a number of nice pieces that I will really enjoy mastering, and I am starting on them tonight.

Yesterday, I purchased the full system (Lesson, Performance, Sight Reading, and Gold Star Performance) for Level 1, and am really looking forrward to delving into it. I am anticipating success and a lot of fun.

I am 61 years old, and am not a bit annoyed or bored with the juvenile nature of the lesson book practice selections. In terms of piano level, I AM juvenile, so I'm content with the materials.

In short, I'm having fun, learning, and looking forward to travelling the Faber path along with the rest of you. I look forward to sharing progress with you, learning from you, and even participating in the ABF upcoming recitals. I thank those of you who have been willing to write extensively about things such as linear compatibility of the various series, and of the supplemental materials outside the Faber line, as this information will be helpful to me in the future. Your thoughfullness and devotion to sharing your knowledge is appreciated.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Faber Piano Adventures series for beginners, regardless of age. It's working for me! :-)
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/17/15 02:29 AM

Welcom Raubucho! smile

I sometimes think folks in this forum are under the impression that I work for Faber on the side. smirk

I recognize that a particular type of method book will not work best for every student. Having said that, the combination of our teacher and these books have helped us gain significant skills over the past 21 months.

As I have also said, the revised versions of the mid-level books have made a great product be even better, especially the new sight-reading supplements.

Still, without practice and determination, along with hopefully a teacher at some point, no method book can completely get you to where you need to go on its own.

Keep up the good work and let us know how you are progressing!

Brian

P.S. Although you have purchased the right set of books for Level 1, don't forget the Technique & Artistry book, along with the Theory book.

So far for each level I have been through, my teacher has used materials from all four "core" books. Now that each level has sight-reading books, I guess that makes 5 core books. along with any desired supplemental materials.




Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/17/15 01:59 PM

I think there are 6 core books in all now. At least there are with 3A:
- Lesson
- Theory
- Technique & Artistry
- Performance
- Sightreading
- Popular Repertoire

Although they don't seem to mention Popular Repertoire on pianoadventures.com for some reason. Plus the supporting Pre-time to Big-time series, of course.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/18/15 02:50 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
I think there are 6 core books in all now. At least there are with 3A:
- Lesson
- Theory
- Technique & Artistry
- Performance
- Sightreading
- Popular Repertoire

Although they don't seem to mention Popular Repertoire on pianoadventures.com for some reason. Plus the supporting Pre-time to Big-time series, of course.

I would say the first 5 books would be considered the core of each level, at least according to my teacher.

Now for supplemental material (which I highly recommend) there are some different choices. I am not familiar with either the popular repertoire or Pre-time to Big-time books, however I have been using the "developing artist" books for about a year now.

The advantages of these books is that they are all original form, broken down by major periods of time. The only minor disadvantage is that the difficulty levels are not consistent from page to page. Where as the first piece in my current book (level 2) would be fine for when I was starting out in Level 3B, the next piece might require many more months of study. Here, my teacher does some of the selecting for me, leaving the harder ones for later on.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/18/15 07:46 AM

Hi Raubucho,

I am at the same place as yourself. I purchased all the books, including the pre-time series, from primer to 2A level.

I have had four lessons so far(fortnightly), but my teacher doesn't use method books. I am learning scales , 12 under my belt now, and ABRSM grade 1 level pieces and I have started Bach's Prelude in C this week. So I will be using the Faber books on my own and just asking advice if I get stuck on a particular exercise. Teacher agrees they will be good to help develop sight reading skills.

While I appreciate my teacher's desire to challenge me and push forward as my scale technique is good and I am finding them easy ( I do 5 octaves, then 2 ascending , contrary, 2 ascending, descending, contrary, 2 descending, then repeat 3rd and 6ths apart), I also enjoy a slow methodical approach so the Faber books will satisfy that need.
I do trust my teacher's experience , but at the same time I am nervous as my guitar teacher pushed me onto difficult pieces very quickly, I sat ABRSM grade 4 at 9 years old, but I had gaps in my technique which caught up with me. Working on PA myself will help reassure me .
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/18/15 11:56 AM

There is also the Gold Star Performance book for each level which I have too.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/18/15 03:56 PM

Is the Gold Star Performance book the same as the Performance book with a CD, or is it something different? The text suggests it's a bit more challenging.

There's also the new Scale and Chord Book 1 which, weirdly, supports levels 2a/b.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/18/15 04:29 PM

It is different, and slightly more challenging. It comes with a CD to play alongside, instead of buying a separate cd or midi files. I think it stops at level 2 though, probably because at that point you will be exploring other books.

Well I have finished the main primer level course books, just the pre-time series and gold star book to do.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/19/15 09:07 AM

Didn't get much sleep last night so brain is a little foggy, but I just sight-read my way through the Pre-time books. A few careless mistakes in a couple of pieces with rhythm, and slowing of tempo where accidentals were introduced. I am not going to practice though. I get the impression the supplemental books are slightly more challenging , introduce a few notes/patterns not in the main books, but still within the difficulty range of the early units of the next level. So I have decided to leave them till I have completed the next level and then use them as more of a sight-reading exercise.

I guess this means I can legitimately join this thread as a graduate of Primer level. laugh So onto Level 1 I go !
[Linked Image]
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/19/15 06:38 PM

Congrats! I should also mention that "pre-graduates" are also welcome! smile
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/20/15 10:01 PM

Advice appreciated.

I played through the main books in level one today up to unit 8. I sight-read (played straight away without reading through first) and only made the odd mistake/ missed dynamic changes on first play through, corrected on second play or third on faster pieces .

Should I keep playing these this week,until they are perfect at first sitting, or just move on to level 2 and then be able to return to the books in a few months to reuse as a note reading exercise ?

I am using the basic series.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/24/15 09:57 PM

Wow, Smurfette!!! I"m somewhat in awe of the regimen your teacher has you on, though I may not understand it fully. Admittedly, I do not know what "ABRSM" means, but, I recently perused some Bach materials and found them quite advanced, and intimidating! I hope you are able to proceed without missing out on the basics and skills as in your previous, guitar experience.

So far, I have not yet had satisfactory time to devote to the Performance Book, the Gold Star Performance Book, or to another, non Faber book or recognizable melodies in the key of C, five finger position range. It seems my practice of beginning each session with a retracing of my previous 10 pages or so in the lesson book and in the sight reading book usually takes me about an hour and a half, after which, I call it a night. I may have to pare that practice back a bit in order to fit some of the performance book materials into my time slot.

Anyhow, nice to hear from you, and good luck.

And, thanks for the welcome, BrianDX. Nice to be here.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/25/15 02:08 AM

Raubucho;

My teacher and I have agreed to reduce the number of pages of review material (both pieces, scales, and other exercises) down to between 4-8 pages. That way, I always get something new to learn each week (sometimes 2 new pieces).

If I find myself spending a majority of my one hour practice time on older material, then it's time to temporarily suspend new material until the existing material has been mastered. I try to keep the practice time ratio of old vs. new at about 50/50 whenever possible.

Keep up the good work!
Brian
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/25/15 04:19 AM

Hi Raubucho,


ABRSM is a British exam board. Grade 1 pieces are quite easy.
Regarding practice, if I can play a piece correctly on first attempt, then I drop it to alternate days, then every third day . As the pieces are short I can play several in one 20 min session.

I do all my practice in 20 min slots , and find it effective.

Bach's Prelude in C , is really easy to memorise and play the notes. The challenge is bringing out musicality.
Although my teacher was surprised that I had learned the whole piece in just one week. He added 2 more scales but agreed with me to stop and just keep practicing the 14 I know for a month to really let them settle and not overload my brain.

I tried from unit 6 again and still had to play twice to get the exercises correct , and looking at it and unit 7 carefully, it does introduce more movement and I think it is worthwhile spending time on. So I am starting everyday practice at level 1 unit 6, lesson, theory, T&A, perf, books.
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/25/15 09:57 PM

I just started the Level 2 book last week. I started lessons with a new teacher and she has added several Keith Snell books to augment the Faber. This week I am working on several pieces from the Snell Baroque and Classical (level 1) book. She also started me in the Hanon Complete book. As you can see, I am a beginner and progress seems slow, but I love every minute I spend playing.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/26/15 06:44 AM

Hi Nancyde,

I have the Keith Snell repertoire books too, and Helen Marlais Festival collection.
Posted By: carojm36

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/04/15 01:28 AM

Bump! I finally made the switch from Alfred but wasn't sure where to begin. After perusing both Adult PA all in one books 1 and 2, I went with 2 and am over half way through. Though I never know how long to linger on each piece. I work on one and try to play a few times, then get curious about the next, or go back and try to play the old ones. Should I try to play to perfection before moving on?

I mainly just like reading fresh stuff at my level for the sake of reading.

BTW my teacher was fine with Faber. She doesn't seem to use a method book at all anymore (specializes in jazz improv) though when I first took lessons from her 30 years ago she got me through the first Michael Aaron book and part of the second. I went through book 1 again last year and it seems harder than Faber or Alfred. (Any love for Michael Aaron here?)

I really like the Performance level 2 book and am about finished. But I made the mistake of getting the sight reading book for Accelerated PA and it's totally out of sync with everything else. Oh well!
Posted By: Groove On

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/04/15 09:15 AM

The Adult PA books move at a pretty fast pace. I found them good to use as a returning student who wanted to brush up on the fundamentals. Definitely get the supplemental books to round out and solidify the learning process.

Personally I wouldn't play the pieces to perfection, get them right and then move on. Go back another day for review. I found that I mastered the material better that way.

I do like the Michael Aaron books too, I played through my old copies before I jumped into the newer Adult PA books. I agree the M. Aaron books seemed more difficult than the Faber books at the same level.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/04/15 06:09 PM

Originally Posted by carojm36
Bump! I finally made the switch from Alfred but wasn't sure where to begin. After perusing both Adult PA all in one books 1 and 2, I went with 2 and am over half way through. Though I never know how long to linger on each piece. I work on one and try to play a few times, then get curious about the next, or go back and try to play the old ones. Should I try to play to perfection before moving on?

I mainly just like reading fresh stuff at my level for the sake of reading.

Hi carojm36!

As far as how long to linger on a piece, I can tell you that from my experiences with my teacher, we will generally linger many weeks on a piece after I have gotten it to the "95% level", due to the fact that there are many minor touches that make a piece (and the skill it is trying to teach) complete. Another way of saying this, is that after all the notes, dynamics, and speed of a piece are complete, that's when the real learning begins. shocked

A note about the Adult All-in-one series: I'm not quite sure why this series exists. Here is what I mean. If you look at the complete Faber Piano Adventures series, it starts either at primer level for kids, Accelerated PA for the Older Beginner Level 1, or Adult All-In-One Level 1.

The first two series seem to be perfectly integrated together; Once you finish Level 2B PA, or Level 2 Accelerated, the series merges with PA Level 3B, and then proceeds through Level 5.

However, the Adult books jump around quite a bit, and teach many skills out of order with the other two series. Also, when you are done Adult level 2, you are "kinda" ready for Level 3B, but not exactly. Also with the Adult series, all other skills are integrated together in a single book (as opposed to the other 2 series where there are separate books for Lesson, Performance, Theory and Technique.

I've been meaning to write to Faber as to what the pedagogical differences are if you an adult just starting out between the Accelerated and Adult All-in-one series.



Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/04/15 06:36 PM

Hi Brian,

I'm thinking about switching over to a Faber method when I finish with Alfred's book 1, so I've been doing some research. Here's what I found on the Teachers FAQ page.

Quote
For older beginners ages 10 and up, use Accelerated Piano AdventuresĀ® for the Older Beginner. This course begins with Book One, eliminating the use of a primer. The pieces and illustrations are appropriate for an older age. The repertoire is sufficiently different from the basic course to allow two siblings to both use Piano AdventuresĀ®. The Lesson Book is essential. It is ideally supported by the Theory Book, Performance Book, and Technique & Artistry Book. A proficient student in the Accelerated edition may go directly into a PlayTimeĀ® Piano book midway through the Lesson Book. ("PlayTimeĀ®" = Level 1) The older beginner progresses from Book 1 to Book 2 of the Accelerated course, then into Level 3A of the basic course.

For adult beginners, use Adult Piano AdventuresĀ® comprehensive, "All-In-One" books. Book 1 introduces the concepts of music notation, chord playing, rhythm, harmony, and musical formā€”all through engaging music. Book 2 applies the basics of music theory using "lead sheets" with chord accompaniment patterns. Each unit includes a "3-Minute Technique" page to develop finger dexterity and a "Music Theory" page to develop understanding of rhythm and harmony.

It's as if they aren't expecting adults to go beyond level 2? In any case, I've been listening to a lot of songs on youtube from both the accelerated and adult level 2 books and I much prefer the ones in the accelerated method books.

I'm concerned, though, about potential learning gaps that might make such a transition problematic. I'd appreciate any thoughts about it.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/05/15 12:10 AM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Brian,

I'm thinking about switching over to a Faber method when I finish with Alfred's book 1, so I've been doing some research. Here's what I found on the Teachers FAQ page.

Quote
For older beginners ages 10 and up, use Accelerated Piano AdventuresĀ® for the Older Beginner. This course begins with Book One, eliminating the use of a primer. The pieces and illustrations are appropriate for an older age. The repertoire is sufficiently different from the basic course to allow two siblings to both use Piano AdventuresĀ®. The Lesson Book is essential. It is ideally supported by the Theory Book, Performance Book, and Technique & Artistry Book. A proficient student in the Accelerated edition may go directly into a PlayTimeĀ® Piano book midway through the Lesson Book. ("PlayTimeĀ®" = Level 1) The older beginner progresses from Book 1 to Book 2 of the Accelerated course, then into Level 3A of the basic course.

For adult beginners, use Adult Piano AdventuresĀ® comprehensive, "All-In-One" books. Book 1 introduces the concepts of music notation, chord playing, rhythm, harmony, and musical formā€”all through engaging music. Book 2 applies the basics of music theory using "lead sheets" with chord accompaniment patterns. Each unit includes a "3-Minute Technique" page to develop finger dexterity and a "Music Theory" page to develop understanding of rhythm and harmony.

It's as if they aren't expecting adults to go beyond level 2? In any case, I've been listening to a lot of songs on youtube from both the accelerated and adult level 2 books and I much prefer the ones in the accelerated method books.

I'm concerned, though, about potential learning gaps that might make such a transition problematic. I'd appreciate any thoughts about it.

Hi Linda! Thinking about turning to the Dark Side? wink

Seriously though... When we started our lessons 22 months ago, we knew nothing about Faber or their books. However, from the outset our teacher was very adamant about using the Accelerated series only for her beginner adults. Now that I know a lot more about the series (plus I have a family member that uses the All-in-one book) I would have to agree with my teacher.

Having said all of that, I'm sure there are many adults who use the all in one series with much success.
Posted By: mom3gram

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/05/15 12:30 AM

I've gone through the Alfred Adult book, and am almost done with the Faber Adult book. From what I've read since starting, I'm really sorry that I didn't start with the basic (children's) version of one of them instead. It sounds like it would have been more thorough, and more practice with each concept before jumping into something new. I do have copies of one or two PA and Alfred children's books that I've supplemented with, and I've enjoyed playing from them.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/05/15 01:07 AM

Brian, Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm not intersted in the adult version because it seems to be a dead end and I don't care for a lot of the music in the adult book 2. However, I am considering using the accelerated method. I'm just not sure if I should fast track through the accelerated level one books first (to make sure I'm not missing anything), or go straight to the level two books. My preference, of course, would be the latter.

Mom3gram, Thanks for sharing, it pretty much confirms what I was thinking about the Faber adult book.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/05/15 05:16 PM

Hi Linda; No problem, your post was very clear. I was making a larger point as to why I prefer the Accelerated books for beginning adults as opposed to the All-in-One books.

My advice would be to start with Accelerated Level 1 (All four core books). There will be quite a few things in there that you have already learned, so a quick review is all that will be necessary. As you go through the books, you will find that Faber goes at a much more step-by-step pace. One example is that they don't go into G Major until the very end of level 1, where Alfred's I believe covers that pretty quickly.

One of the best reason to start with Accelerated Level 1 is that there are at least a dozen or so pieces that are an absolute pleasure to play. You don't want to miss those! smile

Please keep us informed with your progress.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/05/15 09:46 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
It's as if they aren't expecting adults to go beyond level 2? In any case, I've been listening to a lot of songs on youtube from both the accelerated and adult level 2 books and I much prefer the ones in the accelerated method books.


I don't think that's true. In the latest Piano Adventures catalogue (link at the bottom of the left column at pianoadventures.com) it says, on page 6: "After completing Adult Piano AdventuresĀ® Book 2, students are ready for Level 3B of Piano AdventuresĀ®".

I suspect I'll move onto 3A, though. Just to make sure. smile
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/06/15 03:59 AM

I used the Accelerated Adult Piano Adventures and after completing book 2 I moved on to 3A (2nd Ed.). If there was something I missed along the way from the other books, I haven't noticed it yet.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/06/15 04:06 AM

Brian, I appreciate your advice, thank you. I went ahead and ordered the 4 core books for Accelerated level 1. My tentative plan is to start working through them as I continue on with Alfred's book 1.

Trevor, Thanks for pointing that out. It'd be nice if they also had that information on the Adult Piano Adventures and Teacher's FAQ pages.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/07/15 02:27 AM

Originally Posted by PFred
I used the Accelerated Adult Piano Adventures and after completing book 2 I moved on to 3A (2nd Ed.). If there was something I missed along the way from the other books, I haven't noticed it yet.

That's the beauty of the Accelerated PA for Older beginners books. After Level 2 it seamlessly flows into regular PA 3A.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/07/15 02:34 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
It's as if they aren't expecting adults to go beyond level 2? In any case, I've been listening to a lot of songs on youtube from both the accelerated and adult level 2 books and I much prefer the ones in the accelerated method books.


I don't think that's true. In the latest Piano Adventures catalogue (link at the bottom of the left column at pianoadventures.com) it says, on page 6: "After completing Adult Piano AdventuresĀ® Book 2, students are ready for Level 3B of Piano AdventuresĀ®".

I suspect I'll move onto 3A, though. Just to make sure. smile

Trevor, you are correct that the Faber website says after Adult PA All-in-One Book 2 students go into Level 3B. However, the two series do not completely integrate. For example, the subject of sixteenth notes is covered at the end of Adult All-in-One Level 2. They are not covered in PA 3B until the end of the book. So for the Adult All-in-One students, this section is basically a review.

I have to check to see if there is anything NOT covered in the All-in-One series that IS covered in PA 3A. If so, you would missing out on the skill.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/07/15 10:18 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Trevor, you are correct that the Faber website says after Adult PA All-in-One Book 2 students go into Level 3B. However, the two series do not completely integrate. For example, the subject of sixteenth notes is covered at the end of Adult All-in-One Level 2. They are not covered in PA 3B until the end of the book. So for the Adult All-in-One students, this section is basically a review.

I have to check to see if there is anything NOT covered in the All-in-One series that IS covered in PA 3A. If so, you would missing out on the skill.


Oh, interesting. I'd always assumed that Adult All-in-One Book 2 was light on the information from 3A, not that it covered it all. Rather it seems that AiO 2 covers some of (but not all) of 3B.

It'd be interesting to see if there is anything in 3A that's not covered but AiO2. If not, maybe it's fine to head into 3B as they suggestā€¦
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/07/15 11:25 AM

OK, I checked both books and here is what I see (for the Adult books, I can only see the table of contents).

Covered in Adult Level 2 and also covered later in PA Level 3B:
1) Triad Inversions
2) 16th notes

Covered in PA Level 3A and not covered in Adult Level 2:
1) Triplets
2) Chromatic Scale
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/07/15 01:51 PM

I *think* triplets are covered in AiO Book 2, but this is good to know. It's at least worth reviewing the 3A lesson book when moving on, then.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/12/15 04:42 AM

I found a piano teacher and started lessons today. My teacher normally uses the kid's PA method, but she seemed excited to try out the Accelerated version. The only thing is, during the lesson she didn't use the other 3 books, except when I reminded her. So we did do some theory and a performance song, but nothing from the technique & artistry book.

Other than that, my first impressions are very favorable. She was (nicely) calling me out on all sorts of stuff, so I don't believe I'll be getting any easy passes. For homework I have 3 pieces to work on from the lesson book, and 1 piece from the performance book. She provided clear instructions, so I know what I need to focus on for each piece.

I'm really looking forward to continuing with PA. I don't plan on updating here as often as I do on the Alfred's thread. Maybe once a week after lessons. We'll see.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/12/15 03:57 PM

Great news about your new teacher Linda!

Your posts will greatly add to this thread.

As far as the core books are concerned, the theory book you can probably buy and do on your own. Of the other three, I would say the Technique and Artistry book is the least important of the three.

In fact, it has been a while since my teacher even looked at this book. My lesson book, performance book, and supplemental Developing Artist book is where about 90% of the action has been this year.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/13/15 06:20 AM

Thanks so much for that information, Brian. I'm surprised, though, to hear the Technique and Artistry book is the least important. I'm thinking that's the main reason I decided to get a teacher. Although, I realize technique, etc can be taught through the main lesson book pieces alone.

I think what I'll do is on my own go through all the corresponding theory, technique & artistry, and performance book pages up to where we left off on page 30 of the lesson book. That way I won't feel like I'm missing anything. Then at my next lesson I'll ask my teacher about any pages that I have questions or concerns about.

Oh, except I think I'll skip all the pages that involve making up my own tunes and improvising. It's not like I have unlimited free time. smile

Almost forgot, did your teacher do the duet parts on the pieces you learned? Mine didn't, but she did other things like playing parts of the songs in unison with me, counting out loud, singing, etc. All of which I found very helpful. So maybe the duet parts are more of a fun perk, but not really necessary?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/13/15 10:14 AM

My teacher and I pretty much did all of the pieces with duet parts as written. In fact, it was one of my more favorite extra activities in Levels 1, 2, and 3A. Pieces with duet parts pretty much end at the beginning of 3B, which I miss.
Posted By: iluvansel

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/13/15 11:28 AM

Hi. i am also learning beginner piano using faber's acc. Pa for older beginners book 1. This is my 3rd month and my last lesson stopped at midnight ride. I really liked the duet for this song. Looking forward to my weekly tue lesson. šŸ˜
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/13/15 09:40 PM

I finished the first book of the All-in One Adult Piano Adventures and started Book 2. I switched teachers a few weeks ago and my new teacher moved me to the next to last piece in book 2 (Musetta's Waltz). I don't know where we will go after this book.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/13/15 09:43 PM

nancyde and iluvansel: Welcome! grin
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/19/15 03:17 AM

Brian - I can imagine how playing to the teacher duet would be fun. Lucky you! I had my second lesson today and she did more playing along with me, just not the duet part.

Iluvansel - Hello! Is this your first instrument, or do you have prior musical experience? How do you like the accelerated series so far? That's what I'm using. My lesson today stopped at "Surprise" Symphony. So I have 3 pieces from the lesson book to work on and one from the performance book.

Nancyde - You must be doing great to get moved up in the book. Do you think you might go on to level 3?

Me - I had a great second lesson! I got a pass on all my pieces so we moved on to new ones. She skipped over some pages, saying they were too easy for me. But I'm sure there will be less skipping very soon. I was assigned 4 pieces to work on; 3 from the lesson book and 1 from the performance book. I'll work through the corresponding pages in the theory and T&A book on my own time.
Posted By: iluvansel

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/20/15 03:57 PM

Hi Linda,

Yes, is my first instrument. I quite like this series. It teaches you the key musical concepts and notes reading at a good pace.

Your progress is faster than me. I am still having problem with the fingering. Sometimes the left hand first finger is on middle c sometimes b instead. So I am confused at bass cleft. I got the theory book as well and the faber ear training book. The other is in house compilation of some pop songs. Tomorrow is tue again, time for my weekly lesson.

And I got my digital piano today. Hee. Practice a bit on it just now but yet to explore the manual. I also bought the Alfred book adult all in one for self study but my progress is slow too. Comparing the two, I feel as a new beginner, faber is more structured.
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/20/15 05:24 PM

I hope so--I like the Faber books. I just started with a new teacher a month ago and I don't think she is too fond of the Faber. This is the summer session and we have 2 more weeks, then a month vacation, then fall session starts which goes through Jan. I would guess we will discuss new books before summer school ends so I can order what I need before fall session starts.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/20/15 11:56 PM

nancyde: I think the issue of if your teacher is willing to teach from the Faber books needs to be addressed rather quickly, as in the long run your teacher won't follow teaching books she either does not like or believes in.

I'm lucky in that my teacher strongly believes in Faber for the elementary-level student, whether they are a younger or older student. Eventually Faber ends at level 5, and from then on I will be following her intermediate-level repertoire.

Update of own "piano adventures". smirk

I've just passed the middle of level 3B, and things are really getting interesting. I've played and passed two Beethoven pieces in their original form, and some very complicated but lovely pieces by Nancy Faber. There have also been other varied pieces by composers from different eras, most in original form.
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/22/15 09:29 PM

The question has been answered. When the fall semester starts, my main book will be Bastien: Piano Literature Level 3. I just ordered the book so I have not seen it yet.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/25/15 02:33 AM

[quote/]
Update of own "piano adventures". smirk

I've just passed the middle of level 3B, and things are really getting interesting. I've played and passed two Beethoven pieces in their original form, and some very complicated but lovely pieces by Nancy Faber. There have also been other varied pieces by composers from different eras, most in original form.
[/quote]

Congratulations, BrianDX. I anxiously await reaching that level.

I've been on vacation the last two weeks and am dying to get back to the piano. Tomorrow, I return!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/26/15 03:00 AM

Well I'm going on vacation next week for 12 days, so I'll get a much-needed break from things. Hopefully I'll get to go to the Yamaha store in the Giza section of Tokyo, where they have their CFX 9 footer on display.

Well I just started Unit 5 which goes over all 12 major and minor triads. The books have a half dozen practice pieces and exercises to help you learn these. After an hour or so I'm already getting the hang of things.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/26/15 10:35 PM

Iluvansel - I've already been through most of Alfred's adult all in one book, which is why my progress right now in level 1 of the PA series is a bit faster than it normally would be. As for the fingering, the same will start happening with the right hand as you get a little further in the book. Keep in mind that the notes on paper coorspond to the keys on the piano - not to your fingers. What digital piano did you get and how do you like it?

Nancyde - Have you recieved your Bastien book yet? Just curious what you think of it.

Raubucho - Welcome back from vacation. Have you dusted off the piano yet?

Brian - Congrats on getting past the middle mark and for passing the Beethoven pieces, etc. Sounds like you work on a lot at a time.

As for me, well, my Saturday lesson got cancelled, so I'll just keep working on what I was previously assigned. Although I may continue on for a few extra pages so as not to lose too much progress. Unfortunately, having a cancellation on the 3rd lesson has me concerned my teacher might not be that reliable. I guess time will tell.

BTW, what's with all this talk of people going on vacations and, more importantly, how come nobody invites me?!?
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/15 03:16 AM

Hi,

Gosh coming back after a month or so away I see this site literally buzzing. That is really exciting.

I am in my last topic of PA Accel level 2 and looking forward to starting level 3A. It has been a very smooth journey so far; absolutely no hiccups.

I have added the sight reading book to my armory along with the other 4 vital books. I think all of them play a vital part especially for people like me who learn on their own. I have also bought the jazz and blues book to keep the excitement going. I tried playing a piece from there and found it near impossible. I firmly believe though that by the time I am midway through 3A these pieces should be relatively easy

Brian I am stuck with the old versions of Level 3A because I bought them along with 3B a long time ago. Gosh if only I was a bit more patient smile.

Regards

Mario

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/15 05:01 PM

Hi Mario2015!

I know that $25 is a lot of money to spend on something that is not completely necessary, however I have a lot of experience in the second editions of Level 3A and 3B (my wife just started 3A 2nd ed.), and the second editions of both these two series are a major step up from the older first editions. This is especially true with 3B, as certain topics were presented out of sequence, which caused me weeks of issues.

BTW: The new sightreading books are great. I really feel my skills have improved in the 4 months since I've started using them.
Posted By: nancyde

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/15 09:32 PM

TX Bluebonnet--I just received the new book today and at first glance it looks like a pretty large jump forward. I am always up for a challenge. The pieces look wonderful.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/27/15 11:39 PM

Nancyde; I took at look at some of the pieces in your new book. This would be a pretty large jump ahead for me, at least for now. Best of luck! smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/15 12:00 AM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet


Raubucho - Welcome back from vacation. Have you dusted off the piano yet?



BTW, what's with all this talk of people going on vacations and, more importantly, how come nobody invites me?!?


Haven't dusted it off yet. My original piano stool was wobbly and introduced a lot of stress on my back. I purchased a new one and it arrived while I was gone. I haven't picked it up from my post box yet, might get it tomorrow (hope).

My vacation might not have been anything you might enjoy. I spent two weeks about 9000 ft above sea level in the Sierra Madre mountains of Wyoming finishing the work on a log cabin on my childhood buddy's ranch. It was a HUGE undertaking, and a lot of hard, physical work. I feel more like a lumberjack than a pianist right now. My hands and forearms are stiff, and even a little bit swollen. I feel like the guy famous bluegrasser, Del McCoury, memorialized when he sang "...He's a chainsawin', log skiddin', tree climbin', limb dodgin', truck drivin', rough ole loggin' man." (yes, I love bluegrass, too!) No fear, I'll be back at the piano in a day or so.

I spent 7 hours yesterday in a local used book store I just discovered. It had tons of sheet music, including a lot of
beginner level books with "arranged-for-beginners" classical stuff. I couldn't leave the place without reading all of them. And, of course, I bought several and am now deciding on one for the upcoming ABF recital. It will be my first, and, I'm excited.

Happy pianoing to all! (yes, "piano" is now a verb!) grin
Posted By: carojm36

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/15 12:20 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
It's as if they aren't expecting adults to go beyond level 2? In any case, I've been listening to a lot of songs on youtube from both the accelerated and adult level 2 books and I much prefer the ones in the accelerated method books.


I don't think that's true. In the latest Piano Adventures catalogue (link at the bottom of the left column at pianoadventures.com) it says, on page 6: "After completing Adult Piano AdventuresĀ® Book 2, students are ready for Level 3B of Piano AdventuresĀ®".

I suspect I'll move onto 3A, though. Just to make sure. smile



I picked up lesson book 3B today because I'm at the end of Book 2, non- accelerated, and from the intro quiz I definitely think I missed something in theory. So, back to get 3A tomorrow. There is a redundancy in songs throughout, though not always the same arrangements.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/15 01:56 AM

Originally Posted by raubucho
My vacation might not have been anything you might enjoy. I spent two weeks about 9000 ft above sea level in the Sierra Madre mountains of Wyoming finishing the work on a log cabin on my childhood buddy's ranch. It was a HUGE undertaking, and a lot of hard, physical work. I feel more like a lumberjack than a pianist right now. My hands and forearms are stiff, and even a little bit swollen. I feel like the guy famous bluegrasser, Del McCoury, memorialized when he sang "...He's a chainsawin', log skiddin', tree climbin', limb dodgin', truck drivin', rough ole loggin' man." (yes, I love bluegrass, too!) No fear, I'll be back at the piano in a day or so.

Sounds like fun to me. I love doing that type of stuff. Maybe you should wait until your hands and forearms are no longer stiff. You need to get them loosened up some how.

Originally Posted by raubucho
I spent 7 hours yesterday in a local used book store I just discovered. It had tons of sheet music, including a lot of
beginner level books with "arranged-for-beginners" classical stuff. I couldn't leave the place without reading all of them. And, of course, I bought several and am now deciding on one for the upcoming ABF recital. It will be my first, and, I'm excited.

That's a long time browsing. Let us know what you decide on for a recital piece.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/15 11:20 PM

Hi Brian,

Is it just the lesson books which I would need to update? Because I bought all four books of the core series a long time ago for both level 3a and 3b.

Regards

Mario

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/15 02:15 AM

Hi Mario,

The good news (or bad news) is that all four core books (Lesson, Performance, Technique, Theory) were updated for 3A and 3B. Plus, they all cross-reference themselves, so you would either stick with 1st or 2nd edition for the entire series.

...did I mention the new second editions are really good? smirk
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/15 04:57 PM

Hi everyone, add me to the list of Faberites! I actually started out with Fundamental Keys but felt it wasn't comprehensive enough for my liking. I read about the adult all-in-one here on the forums and picked up both books. Since I played for a couple years before (with a teacher), I started about 3/4 through in the first book in beginning of May and I'm now working on Unit 4 in the second book. I've actually bought the books for 3A and will switch over to these at Unit 9. I just like the format of regular PA and I'm pretty excited to be starting those, probably by last week in Aug. I like the all-in-one books a LOT, though, and I've learned more than I learned from my teacher so many years ago.

Is anyone working on Unit 4 in the 2nd book, or have you finished it? I find memorizing the major and minor triads and playing them in succession challenging, even though I know and play all the actual scales in 3 octaves! I don't know why this is! It's my 4th day working on them and they are starting to get into my brain, but it's quite a workout!

Great to see this thread here, I need the support!

Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/15 09:02 PM

Here I go, sticking my neck out and announcing my recital piece. There is a nice little "Sonatina" in my Faber level 1 performance book called "Colorfull Sonatina," or something like that. It is in three very short parts, each having a very pleasant melody.

This is my first venture into the world of hands playing together, other than the occasional spot where one of the training melodies drops below middle C and into my left hand. There are several spots where the melody is accompanied by a chord or double in the bass clef. This is beyond my current achievement level per the PA books. But, I spent a couple of hours last evening learning and memorizing the first section, and it went well. I can tell the tempo is not right yet, with unintended slowings and speedings creeping in. And, there is one troublesome spot where I have to play 4, stacatto G notes with my left thumb. My thumb doesn't want to do it! But, so far, I've been able to play it aloud without being arrested! That says something, right?

Welcome to the thread, ebonykawai. You are ahead of me in the PA books, I couldn't even tell you what a triad is. But welcome, and have fun.

Ralph
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/29/15 10:58 PM

Sounds like a wonderful little piece, Ralph! It's a great feeling off accomplishment, isn't it, when your fingers and brain start to get in sync? Takes time, but we get there in the end and it's a blast!
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/15 11:21 PM

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

They're working!!!!

My left hand is playing different stuff than my right hand, and, I haven't burst into flames, or exploded, or anything. There's hope for me yet. shocked Best of all, I'm playing the right notes, and, at pretty close to the right tempo. Dynamics are a little sloppy, or, even non-existent so far, but that will be my next point of focus.

Preparing for a recital is pretty cool.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/15 11:34 PM

Thanks Brian. I am in a bit of dilemma now.

Would you explain how these are different, if that is not too long and tedious for you.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/15 11:37 PM

Welcome Ebony.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/30/15 11:40 PM

That's great Raubucho. That is a great hurdle past; one of the major ones....getting the left and right hand playing different things.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/03/15 03:30 AM

Hi everyone, my teacher passed me on 2 pieces, but added more stuff to work on for the other three pieces. She added overlapping pedal to Morning, so that'll take some getting used to. For Ode to Joy I need to work on the dynamics to give it more contrast. And for The Spanish Guitar she added crescendos and decrescendos. In the meantime I have 3 new pieces to work on; Waltz and Bagpipes in the lesson book, and The Handbell Choir in the performance book. That last one is a 4-hand duet. She's going to play the teacher's part at the next lesson. Yay, that'll be fun!

Ebonykawai - I'm at level one of the accelerated series so I can't help with your questions. You might be better off starting a new thread about memorizing triads, since I don't think many people read this one.

Raubucho - It's always good to hear that someone hasn't been arrested, exploded, burst into flames, etc. Looking forward to hearing your recital piece, good luck.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/03/15 10:56 AM

Hey everyone; greetings from Japan!

Nice to see progress being made. I'll have a lot more to contribute when I return home in 10 days.

In the meantime, keep practicing! smile

P.S. Hey Mario; When I get back I can compare the 1st and second editions of levels 3A and 3B and give you more detailed information.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/06/15 04:04 AM

I've been neglecting my lesson books for the last week as I have devoted my attention to my submission for Recital #39. It is a 3 part "Sonatina" and I am already comfortable with parts one and two. I played part 3 last night and think I will have it in similarly "good" form in time for the submission deadline.

Preparing for a recital (my first) really sharpens the senses and has forced me to practice more attentively and purposefully. I'm noticing a lot of little unintended variations in tempo that I would otherwise gave glossed over, particularly in spots where I have struggles or where I am very confident. I'm glad I decided to try the recital.

Happy playing, everyone.

Ralph
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/08/15 11:20 PM

Sadly, I no longer have a piano teacher due to she's too busy now for Saturday lessons.

We got as far as Bagpipes in the lesson book. Now I need to decide whether to keep going or hold off until I find a new teacher. I may try working on the next few pages on my own and see how that goes.

Ralph, I'm looking forward to listening to your recital piece.

How's everyone else doing?
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/09/15 03:55 AM

Hey, Linda. I'm sorry to hear you've lost your teacher. My under-informed opinion would be for you to press on while you search for a new teacher. I really don't see a downside to it.

I got a shock last night and spent all of my hours since recovering from it. I recorded my recital piece using Audacity on my laptop. The piano and laptop were connected by a simple audio cord from the Line Out (piano) to the computer's USB port. I was shocked, and so disheartened when I played it back. The setup produced the most tinny, cheap sounding recording I've heard since those 1960s, fifty cent transistor radios. It sounded awful, enough so that I would feel guilty playing it into the ears of any unsuspecting fellow ABF member checking out the recital submissions.

So, I spent last night and today trying to overcome the problem. It seems the sound cards inside these laptops (inexpensive ones like mine, particularly) are real garbage. Everything I read suggests that I should be using an external sound card with USB connectivity to get a quality sound. So, I searched and searched for the appropriate equipment, including a trip to the local music store. To my dismay, I am unable to get properly equipped without spending 100 or more dollars. That is just too much for me at the moment.

Over the course of the day I've calmed down, somewhat, and have resolved to go ahead with my recital submission, bad sound quality notwithstanding. I'll keep my eyes on the used market (craigslist, etc.) in the hopes of getting an effective sound card before the submission deadline so I can submit a more "listener friendly" recording.

However, the sound card search has to take a back seat to practice, as, my piece still needs work, and time is short.

So, I'm off to the piano, to polish my diamo......, well, er...., my stone. blush

Happy pianoing, all.

Ralph
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/09/15 07:11 PM

Thanks, Ralph. I went ahead and did the next couple of pieces. Wasn't particularly keen on the PA version of When the Saints Go Marching In, but I made it through it. Now I have some pages in the corresponding books to catch up on.

Sorry your recording didn't turn out well. I've always had problems myself getting a good recording. I believe my first recital submission sounded just as you described, plus I think the volume was too low. But even so the listeners kindly looked past all that. So my advice is to forget about the sound quality issue for now and just focus on the polishing. smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/09/15 11:34 PM

Thanks Brian. Hope you are having a wonderful time in Japan.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/10/15 08:08 AM

Hi Mario;

Well I'm still in Japan for another day, however I wanted to give you a quick update on the differences between the first and second editions of levels 3A and 3B.

For 3A, the differences are subtle. About 25% of the pieces were changed to new ones. The number and order of units in the lesson book are the same, however, the internal cross references to the other three core books are better organized.

For 3B, there are major changes. First, a new unit has been added and the order of units 1-4 have been changed. Some of the existing pieces were updated to make them easier to learn and master. Also, by changing the order of the first 4 units some of the first edition pieces that required skills not formally taught have been moved to their proper places. The new lesson book was expanded by a dozen pages.

As I have said before, given how inexpensive these books are compared to lessons and other piano expenses, I would get the newer editions. I was 1/3 of the way done Level 3B when the new edition came out. I bought the books, started over, and now a few months later I'm very glad that I did.

Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/10/15 08:19 PM

Greetings All! I'm new to the forums and new to Faber. I always wanted to play the piano and after 57 years I finally have one in the house to play. Never had any musical training. No teacher in the rural area where I live. So I am going the self-taught route. I started playing only a year and a half ago. Like ebonykawai, I started out with Fundamental Keys. I really enjoy FK and it is my primary book. I am currently on page 60, although Hook's Minuetto is proving a bit of a challenge. I did find FK lacking in some ways and after reading the forums opted for the Faber AAIO BK1 as a supplemental book. I have enjoyed it and have learned a lot. After 2 months, I'm just about ready to start Unit 7. I have certainly enjoyed all that both books have to offer. I also work on pieces from the Preparatory Book of Festival Collection. Festival Collection gives me additional, original pieces to work on. So far I am loving the journey and have found this Faber thread very helpful. Thanks to all.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/10/15 11:37 PM

Welcome, NorwichTim. A few others here are using the AAIO books, so you will have common experience with them. I have opted for the basic books, the ones that are designed to teach children. I've been happy with them and with the progress I have made. I am at the early chapters of Level 1, having recently completed the Primer level. I am currently preparing a piece for the current ABF recital which closes of Thursday. After that, I'll be back at the Faber curriculum, in earnest.

You have already helped me. After reading your post, I searched for the "Preparatory" book in the Festival Collection series, and it looks both interesting and appropriate for my level. I may get one soon for my own use. Most of the Faber offerings at my level are geared to entertain youngsters, and I like the idea of original, easy level compositions, which the Festival Collection seems designed to deliver. I scour used books stores when the opportunity presents, and I recently came upon an older book that might be an earlier edition of yours, or, something similar. It is by Helen Marlais, and I think the title begins with "In Recital" or something similar. I haven't spent time with it yet as I have been occupied with other things. But, if I remember correctly, I was attracted to it because it had the same type of offerings the Festival Collection appears to have.

PW is a neat forum, populated by a lot of helpful and devoted pianists of all levels. The Adult Beginner Forum is particularly nice. If you present questions, you will get a lot of thoughtful answers. If you'd like to particpate in recitals, there are quarterly recitals, as well as some other "themed" recitals interspersed. And, there is a monthly thread called the "[name of month] Piano Bar." I enjoy it a lot, as it features the offerings of ABF members simply for the enjoyment of the rest.

I hope you enjoy your PW experience, and I look forward to hearing of your progress.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/11/15 12:09 PM

The Festival Collection by Marlais is a great series.

However, after working with that book for a year, I switched over to the Faber Developing Artist series, as it is more closely aligned with my other books. Same concept; all pieces are in original form, grouped by time periods.

And welcome NorwichTim! smile
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/12/15 01:57 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Hi Mario;

Well I'm still in Japan for another day, however I wanted to give you a quick update on the differences between the first and second editions of levels 3A and 3B.

For 3A, the differences are subtle. About 25% of the pieces were changed to new ones. The number and order of units in the lesson book are the same, however, the internal cross references to the other three core books are better organized.

For 3B, there are major changes. First, a new unit has been added and the order of units 1-4 have been changed. Some of the existing pieces were updated to make them easier to learn and master. Also, by changing the order of the first 4 units some of the first edition pieces that required skills not formally taught have been moved to their proper places. The new lesson book was expanded by a dozen pages.

As I have said before, given how inexpensive these books are compared to lessons and other piano expenses, I would get the newer editions. I was 1/3 of the way done Level 3B when the new edition came out. I bought the books, started over, and now a few months later I'm very glad that I did.



Thanks for this breakdown! I originally ordered them on Amazon, the 4 main books. Two came as second edition, 2 came as first edition. O_o Theory and Performance were hard for me to find, but I persevered. No one had it in this area. I had to go through Sheet Music Plus to get the other second editions. I'm glad I went with the new edition, after hearing your overview!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/12/15 02:06 AM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Greetings All! I'm new to the forums and new to Faber. I always wanted to play the piano and after 57 years I finally have one in the house to play. Never had any musical training. No teacher in the rural area where I live. So I am going the self-taught route. I started playing only a year and a half ago. Like ebonykawai, I started out with Fundamental Keys. I really enjoy FK and it is my primary book. I am currently on page 60, although Hook's Minuetto is proving a bit of a challenge. I did find FK lacking in some ways and after reading the forums opted for the Faber AAIO BK1 as a supplemental book. I have enjoyed it and have learned a lot. After 2 months, I'm just about ready to start Unit 7. I have certainly enjoyed all that both books have to offer. I also work on pieces from the Preparatory Book of Festival Collection. Festival Collection gives me additional, original pieces to work on. So far I am loving the journey and have found this Faber thread very helpful. Thanks to all.


Hi Tim! I went just past that point in FK and hit a wall. No idea why. I think I was getting bored with all the classical, LOL. Not really, but it was very refreshing to play other types of music, and I desperately needed and wanted more theory. I'll be using FK keys again, playing some pieces each week from it, when I make the switch to PA 3A in about a month or so.

I was looking at the Festival Collection, there's some great music in there, as well as Faber's Developing Artist series. The one I am dying to get into is Piano Literature for a Dark and Stormy Night - Vol. 1. I almost peed myself when I saw that one!!!

How's everyone else coming along? I'm being tortured with Swing Low Sweet Chariot in the 1st and 2nd inversions unit. Everything else is fine in that unit, but this piece is killing me, LOL. I had to take a couple days off from playing because we're in the middle of a remodel and my piano is covered up tight. Thank god I picked up a Kawai KDP90 to use upstairs, it saved my life! And I can play it REAL QUIET so no one can hear me suck royally!
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/12/15 02:27 PM

Ralph - glad I could be helpful and so quickly.

Ebonykawai - Did you use both the PA Adult books? Did you find Bk2 really helpful? I have found that what I have learned in Bk1 so far is helping with Fundamental Keys. The Dark & Stormy Night looks interesting. Thanks for the bit of information.

Thanks all for the warm welcome!
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/12/15 09:22 PM

I had a pleasantly wierd experience last night. I am in the final days of honing my piece for the ABF Recital 39, and would still like to improve my performance before the deadline (2 days from now). I am also in the midst of learning how to record my piano so I can submit my performance in the requisite MP3 format. Lastly, just a few days ago I purchased a metronome (my first) and have been figuring out how to incorporate it into my learning/practice. So, I have a lot of irons in the fire at a time when I probably should be trying to simplify.

Up to this point, the metronome and I have had only a modest love/hate relationship. At times it seems to help me, but at others, it just distracts me. I hadn't figured out its best use. And, my one previous attempt at recording on Audacity produced a muffled, muddied sound that was barely recognizable as a piano. I obviously had not figured out how to make technology my friend.

Last night I decided to try some recording changes I learned about while studying how to record successfully. They included turning the volume on the piano up quite high, and turning the input volume way down on my computer's sound card. The theory was that most hiss, static, unwanted noises come mainly from the "post-piano" hardware, and that if you turn the piano volume way up, you end up with a high ratio of desired piano sounds to undesired computer/hardware noises. The end result is that a much higher percentage of the sound is music rather than unwanted computer noise.

When I turned the volume up high on my piano, and played with my headphones on, the high volume was a little shocking for me. But, to my delight, I noticed an almost instantaneous improvement in my tempo. It was really nice. While savoring all my new-found, timely key strikes, I also noticed that the sound of the metronome was disappearing into my "timely" keystrokes, only hearing the "tink" when I was late, or early, with a particular stroke and the "tink" ended up sounding between notes. So, bouyed with fresh confidence, I played on, and finished my recording experiment.

In the end, I successfully recorded the performance, and, as theorized, the sound was much better and clearer than my previous attempts. The volume ratios I tried did indeed cure the fuzzy and muddled plague from my earlier attempts.

And, to my delight, my Audacity program also had the requisite facilities to save my work in the MP3 format (which capacity had previously been in doubt).

Best of all, though, I think I may have inadvertently discovered a nice way to use the metronome, My limited previous use had been with the device playing loudly enough that hearing it was unavoidable. In that mode, I frequently drifted into listening to the metronome, and also into the foul habit of waiting for the "tink" as my cue to play the first note of the measure, a tactic that made me consistently late. Playing the piano much louder than the metronome presented the ideal circumstance of rewarding me for timely playing (by hiding the "tink" under the sound of the timely note) and punishing me for untimely playing by making me hear it within the quieter spaces between the notes.

I now wonder if that has always been the methodology of the metronome, to blend into well played music while audibly admonishing the pianist who strays from his desired tempo.

Oh, the travails and the glories of the unschooled pianist!

Anyhow, I'm having fun, and learning.

I hope all is well with you.

Posted By: ajames

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/13/15 03:27 PM

Originally Posted by raubucho
I had a pleasantly wierd experience last night. I am in the final days of honing my piece for the ABF Recital 39, and would still like to improve my performance before the deadline (2 days from now).


Just thought I'd point out the deadline is today! 9PM EDT.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2446074/1/Recital_39__---_Call_For_Submi.html
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/13/15 06:05 PM

Hello all, I too am a huge fan of Faber but because of various teachers I had
to switch to other methods. I still love Faber piano adventures though. BrianDX
I just wanted to congratulate you on the progress you've made! I remember being
a regular here about a year ago and you were just beginning Book 3A and you were
finding it a challenge. And now you are already in Book 3B! How wonderful that must be. I just looked at a page of the new Book 3B and it looks impossibly difficult for me. The last time I took lessons was in January but I'm planning
to start again this month I hope. My current teacher doesn't use Faber as he was
raised on Bastien and he wants me to use that. So I am at the beginning of Bastien
Adult Book 2. All I can say is that they don't have the wonderful coloured drawings that Faber has!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/13/15 06:55 PM

Originally Posted by alans
BrianDX
I just wanted to congratulate you on the progress you've made! I remember being
a regular here about a year ago and you were just beginning Book 3A and you were
finding it a challenge. And now you are already in Book 3B! How wonderful that must be. I just looked at a page of the new Book 3B and it looks impossibly difficult for me. The last time I took lessons was in January but I'm planning
to start again this month I hope. My current teacher doesn't use Faber as he was
raised on Bastien and he wants me to use that. So I am at the beginning of Bastien
Adult Book 2. All I can say is that they don't have the wonderful coloured drawings that Faber has!

Thanks alans!

One of the best features of the Faber series is how it gradually builds up your skills, almost without you even knowing it. I have learned to stop looking at pieces in my lesson book a unit or two in advance and thinking that I won't be able to play it. If it is in the book, it is playable.

P.S. Just curious; what piece in Level 3B did you look at?
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/13/15 07:42 PM

Good for you Brian....I just checked out the FABER website and they had some
sample pieces, it was on their first page.I don't know if it is the first piece
in the book, but it had something like triplets in the right hand and more solid
notes in the left, I just couldn't imagine how to do that trick.But I have been
away from the piano for a very long time. It seems as if almost no one here uses
Bastien.The first three pieces in Bastien Book 2 Adult are very straight-forward,
but I can't read ahead at this point.I"m at the point where you were last summer
where it seemed as if I will never be able to do the next page...but somehow
with good instruction we seem to get through it.How much do you practise and how
often during the week? I have also tried the first Faber Artist's series book
and it is wonderful and the pieces are very beautiful.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/13/15 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by ajames
Originally Posted by raubucho
I had a pleasantly wierd experience last night. I am in the final days of honing my piece for the ABF Recital 39, and would still like to improve my performance before the deadline (2 days from now).


Just thought I'd point out the deadline is today! 9PM EDT.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2446074/1/Recital_39__---_Call_For_Submi.html


Thanks for the heads-up, Ajames. I caught that last night. I'm not sure how I lost a day, but, at my age, I can ill-afford to lose too many! smirk

I managed to submit my performance a few minutes ago, and hope to update it with a cleaner version in the next couple of hours.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/14/15 02:20 AM

Well done raubucho!

Any other submissions to the piano recital from the "Faber Group"?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/14/15 02:30 AM

Originally Posted by alans
Good for you Brian....I just checked out the FABER website and they had some sample pieces, it was on their first page. I don't know if it is the first piece in the book, but it had something like triplets in the right hand and more solid
notes in the left, I just couldn't imagine how to do that trick.

That piece is the Etude Energico. Believe it or not it was simplified in the second edition. shocked

That piece however is a good example of how the Faber books work. The triplets are covered quite extensively in 3A. That part and other parts are doable, albeit after a lot of practice.

However, this example also brings up one minor compliant that my teacher and I have with a lot of the pieces. The suggested speed of many of the pieces in the lesson book are too fast in our opinion. I could never play that piece at 144 bpm, at least for now. Therefore, after a piece is assigned we take a look at it to figure out what the the appropriate speed (both for artistic and technical reasons) should be for practice.

Ironically, there was a piece recently assigned that we thought was too slow; A Beethoven piece believe it or not. shocked
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/14/15 12:53 PM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Ralph - glad I could be helpful and so quickly.

Ebonykawai - Did you use both the PA Adult books? Did you find Bk2 really helpful? I have found that what I have learned in Bk1 so far is helping with Fundamental Keys. The Dark & Stormy Night looks interesting. Thanks for the bit of information.

Thanks all for the warm welcome!


Yes, I'm making my way through the second Adult PA book. Book 2 really goes further, and I'm finding it challenging. I'm just starting Unit 6 and almost feels above my level, which means I'm going to have to sloooooow down. There's a LOT of theory in book 2 that I've never learned before, so I'm really happy about that! I guess I finally found where I am, as far as level is concerned. Up until now I was flying through the books because I'd played for a couple years quite a ways back, so I had these basic skills. Now comes the real work! No more just jumping in and getting good results in a couple days. I think this is where my "progressing" begins.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/19/15 12:57 AM

Thanks for the detailed reply Brian. I will definitely get the updated 3b books and will consider the 3a books.

Sadly I am in Australia and after factoring in Amazon shipping which is per book, it is not all that cheap.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/19/15 01:49 AM

Wow, sorry to hear that. Is it expensive to get any book or item from Amazon shipped to Australia?

I know that folks who live in Japan can order things from Amazon JP and save a bundle on shipping costs.

Best of luck and let us know how you are progressing!

Brian
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/21/15 03:29 AM

Actually Brian I bit the bullet and ordered the level 3a 2nd edition books.

I would have finished the first unit by the time they come but I think that would be ok. Or is it not?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/21/15 06:21 PM

You should be fine, as the first unit in 3A is basically the same in both editions, albeit the new edition had a few pieces that are different.

In reality, I think the pieces in the first edition were a bit more interesting to learn and play, based on the pieces my wife is currently learning (she is in the middle of unit 1 in 3A second edition).
Posted By: Comet64

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/21/15 07:17 PM

I haven't read all of the posts- but am proud to say I have graduated to Level 2 of the FAPAOB. My teacher has me using the theory, lessons, and Technique/Artistry. For Level 2 she is advising me to pick either the Christmas book or Popular Repertoire book.

Seems to be working well for me- I won't go into the details of the rotten experiences of my 1st teacher, having an adult learn from children books should be explanation enough!

I have struggled with some of the arrangements of songs I recognize, not making sense when played as written. They come together very nicely with the Teacher Duet, but preparing for this is hard (for me anyway).
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/21/15 10:34 PM

Welcome Comet. Congratulations on passing Level 2.

Funny that you mention being taught from the "children" books. That is what I am using, but, I'm self teaching. I don't mind the kids musical selections in the practice materials. I went with the basic piano adventures just to make sure I got all the fundamentals, based on an un-proven assumption that the kids series would be a little more certain to cover everything. I'm glad the adult series is working for you.

PianoWorld is a really cool place, and the Adult Beginners Forum is especially nice. There are a lot of helpful, caring people around here, and you can always get thoughtful answers to whatever questions you might have.

Have fun and keep us updated on your progress.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/22/15 12:11 AM

Welcome Comet!

My wife and I both have progressed through both levels of Advanced Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner. These were both great learning experiences. Make sure that you have all four "core" books for Level 2.

I can tell you that although after Level 2 you progress on to the regular Piano Adventures books, these are ideal for adult students even though they have a younger "feel" to them (which I like).

Please keep us informed of your progress. smile
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/22/15 02:56 AM

Well, I guess it's been a while since I reported in. Right now I'm working on Amazon Grace. Just a few more pages left in the level one accelerated lesson book.

NorwichTim - Greetings to you, too. It sounds like you have a good variety of music books to work from. Keep us posted on how you're doing.

Brian - Are the Festival Collection pieces in original form? I'm confused because in the front of the Preparatory book I have that came with a CD it says, "The editing in the scores reflects these CD performances."

Ebonykawai - Are you done being tortured with Swing Low Sweet Chariot? I tried looking on YouTube for someone playing a Dark and Stormy Night, but couldn't find anything. I'm wondering what it sounds like.

Raubucho - I've used a metronome to help figure out a rhythm in new pieces, to help keep me from going too fast while learning a piece, and to find and fix any hesitations. But, as you discovered, you don't want it to be so loud that it's distracting.

Comet64 - Congratulations on finishing the first book. Regarding the arrangements, I think it'd be nice if Faber had the teacher duet parts as backing tracks to play against.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/22/15 11:49 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Brian - Are the Festival Collection pieces in original form? I'm confused because in the front of the Preparatory book I have that came with a CD it says, "The editing in the scores reflects these CD performances."

I certainly thought they were. The half-dozen or so pieces I learned in that book were in original form, I checked.

However, now that we have switched to the Faber Developing Artist series, there is no doubt about it. I actually called Faber about this very point and they confirmed all pieces in the various levels are original form.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/22/15 11:57 PM

Wow! I'm in a bit of a post-recital funk. My practice has been less than enthusiastic the last couple of days. I've had to force myself back into the lesson books, against my greater desire to start on another recital piece. I think I miss the rush of preparing and polishing a recital piece that all will hear. But, I'll get past this.

Linda: Nice to hear from you. Have you made any progress in finding a replacement teacher?

On the teacher topic, I may have one beginning this coming week. In another thread here at PW, someone commented on the great value in taking a piano class/lessons from a local community college. I am a fan of community colleges, having personally benefited from one years ago. So, I quickly researched all the CCs around Dallas and found one close by that starts in a couple of days (Monday).

I researched the teacher and am optimistic. His reputation is that of one who does not care for slackers, does not waste any more time that necessary on those students who have obviously not put in the time and effort to improve, and who shows great enthusiasm for students who work hard and apply themselves (that is ME!!!). He is also reputed to give exactly the grade the student has earned, no more, no less. This is the type of teacher I admire and respect, and is the type of teacher I was when I was in the public schools.

So, I'm excited about the prospect. The class size limit is 14, but, I truly anticipate many will drop along the way as they discover that this guy does not give the "free lunch." I will not be surprised at all if this class dwindles down to less than 10 students. My daughter took a piano class last year at her CC and she reported that, despite the classroom format, the teacher had more than ample time to provide guidance, correction, and direction for each of the students (Her class had eight students). Lastly, the weekly meetings for an entire semester cost only $115, which is well within my range. So, after work on Monday, I'm heading over there to enroll. The first class is Monday night, so, time will be tight. But, I intend to get it done.

I think I'm doing well in my self guided studies, but, I have lingering fears of developing bad habits that even a clever fellow like myself can overlook. Even if I get nothing from the course, I'll only be out a small amount of money. So, there does not seem to be any downside. I'm excited.

Linda, have you considered the CC option? Have any of the rest of you experience with CC piano courses?

Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/23/15 02:26 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Brian - Are the Festival Collection pieces in original form? I'm confused because in the front of the Preparatory book I have that came with a CD it says, "The editing in the scores reflects these CD performances."

I certainly thought they were. The half-dozen or so pieces I learned in that book were in original form, I checked.

However, now that we have switched to the Faber Developing Artist series, there is no doubt about it. I actually called Faber about this very point and they confirmed all pieces in the various levels are original form.

That's great to hear, Brian. Thank you! I'm going to take a look at the Developing Artist series.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/23/15 02:59 AM

I hate to come across as a Faber enthusiast, as I am well aware that there are many other successful lesson methods out there, as well as countless teachers who present their own lesson plans without method books at all.

However, since my return from Japan 10 days ago I have come across another example of why I like Faber so much, and why it works well for me. Before Unit 5 of Piano Adventures Level 3B, I have been exposed to the following key signatures:

C Major
D Major
F Major
G Major
A Minor
D Minor
E Minor

In addition, in earlier books several other major and minor pentascales have also been introduced.

However in Unit 5 they finally introduce all 12 major and minor pentascales. I know why they do this. Eventually, in order to "graduate" from these books I will have to be able to play in any key signature. However, right now I know I won't be able to process and play in all of these keys fully; too much information.

However, pentascales are a quick and less stressful way to get introduced to say, Eb major, or F# major. After 10 days I'm already becoming comfortable playing lots of "black keys". For example, the Faber composition "Tropical Island" has three or four sharps that repeat throughout the piece. It took me only 30 minutes to learn this. smile

Later on in Levels 4 and 5 the circle of fifths is completely presented. By then, playing entire pieces in these key signatures should be less overwhelming.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/23/15 03:06 AM

Originally Posted by raubucho
Wow! I'm in a bit of a post-recital funk. My practice has been less than enthusiastic the last couple of days. I've had to force myself back into the lesson books, against my greater desire to start on another recital piece. I think I miss the rush of preparing and polishing a recital piece that all will hear. But, I'll get past this.

Hey, snap out of that funk!! smile There's a monthly piano bar thread where you can share audio and video recordings of your playing.

Originally Posted by raubucho
Linda: Nice to hear from you. Have you made any progress in finding a replacement teacher?

I think I found one today, actually. I have a first lesson scheduled for Sunday, August 30. I'll be learning from a concert pianist, in my home on my digital piano.

Originally Posted by raubucho
On the teacher topic, I may have one beginning this coming week. In another thread here at PW, someone commented on the great value in taking a piano class/lessons from a local community college. I am a fan of community colleges, having personally benefited from one years ago. So, I quickly researched all the CCs around Dallas and found one close by that starts in a couple of days (Monday).

I researched the teacher and am optimistic. His reputation is that of one who does not care for slackers, does not waste any more time that necessary on those students who have obviously not put in the time and effort to improve, and who shows great enthusiasm for students who work hard and apply themselves (that is ME!!!). He is also reputed to give exactly the grade the student has earned, no more, no less. This is the type of teacher I admire and respect, and is the type of teacher I was when I was in the public schools.

So, I'm excited about the prospect. The class size limit is 14, but, I truly anticipate many will drop along the way as they discover that this guy does not give the "free lunch." I will not be surprised at all if this class dwindles down to less than 10 students. My daughter took a piano class last year at her CC and she reported that, despite the classroom format, the teacher had more than ample time to provide guidance, correction, and direction for each of the students (Her class had eight students). Lastly, the weekly meetings for an entire semester cost only $115, which is well within my range. So, after work on Monday, I'm heading over there to enroll. The first class is Monday night, so, time will be tight. But, I intend to get it done.

Both the class and teacher sound great. I think I read that same thread you're referring to, and how the class size typically dwindles as it goes along. So you're in the Dallas area. It's a small world after all.

Originally Posted by raubucho
I think I'm doing well in my self guided studies, but, I have lingering fears of developing bad habits that even a clever fellow like myself can overlook. Even if I get nothing from the course, I'll only be out a small amount of money. So, there does not seem to be any downside. I'm excited.

Me, too. That's why I'm trying again with another teacher. Fourth time's the charm, right?

Originally Posted by raubucho
Linda, have you considered the CC option? Have any of the rest of you experience with CC piano courses?

Yes, I have. There's a group Piano Class for beginners starting September 10 at Brookhaven Community College in Farmer's Branch, about 15 minutes from where I work in Dallas. It's a 2 hour class that meets for 7 weeks and costs only $98. Then it continues with Piano Class Part II for the same amount of time and price. That works out to a mere $7 an hour. But I didn't find out about this until a few weeks ago and I don't really want to start all over again. And I'm hopefully all set now for a private teacher.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/23/15 03:34 AM

Linda: Small world, indeed! Brookhaven is where the course I'm looking at is offered. It is part of the regular college offerings, and goes for the whole semester, two hours each Monday evening. The professor is Octavio Gutierrez.

I saw the class you are referring to. I think it was offered through the Brookhaven Arts Academy. But it has a different teacher, (Ditucci was the name, I think) about whom I could not find much information. And, it meets on Thursday evenings, and I'm usually working then. I'm hoping for the Monday evening class.

I hope all goes well with your new teacher.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/26/15 06:11 AM

Thanks for that Brian.

I think I may use the 2nd edition books as my primary books and pick bits and pieces from the 1st edition books.
Does that sound like a good plan?

Get your wife to join the discussion group. She and I are at exactly the same level. It would be interesting to exchange notes.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/26/15 11:33 AM

Just checking in because I haven't done so for a long while!

I had a few weeks away from the piano and was afraid that I'd forgotten it all as I sat down to play. I couldn't remember anything! Fortunately, and to my surprise, my memory and fingers returned after just a few minutes of stumbling around.

Now: I'm up to The Entertainer towards the end of Adult All-in-one Book One. I had tried to play this previously when I had just started the book and really had no idea how to play it. I was all over the place. This time, though, I had the basics down in half an hour! Now just need to work on accuracy and speed.

One of the reasons I got back into playing the piano was because of ragtime, so I'm glad to be playing this simplified version of the Joplin classic (even though I'm more of a Maple Leaf/Pineapple Rag kind of guy, myself). Sad to see that this appears to be the only piece of ragtime in either of the all-in-one books, but I think there are a few in the supplemental books.

Anyway, that's where I'm at. Glad to see everyone else is making good progress, too!
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/26/15 11:52 PM

Ralph - Until you pointed it out, I didn't even know they had credit courses for piano. Google always just took me to the Arts Academy section of that college website. Were you able to get in on the class in time? I hope you did! I'd love to hear how it went.

Trevor - Welcome back. I know The Entertainer is toward the end of the Alfred's AIO book. Are you referring to that book, or is at also at the end of the Faber AIO?
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/27/15 01:10 AM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Ralph - Until you pointed it out, I didn't even know they had credit courses for piano. Google always just took me to the Arts Academy section of that college website. Were you able to get in on the class in time? I hope you did! I'd love to hear how it went.


Hey, Linda.

I had some success, but did not get all that I wanted. On Monday, I registered in person at Brookhaven for a course with the professor I wanted and meeting on Monday nights, a perfect time for my schedule.

Tuesday, while I was at work, they sent me an email saying that the course had filled and that I was not in. The email offered other sections of the course by the same professor, but, only one of those was remotely possible, requiring me make major modifications to my morning commute and to adjust my work hours slightly.

While checking that possibility, I took a look at another CC, Richland College. It is actually closer to me, but I had previously dismissed it because I really wanted that professor from Brookhaven. But, I found a morning class that I could fit in on my way to work without modifying my work hours. This professor has impressive credentials (Doctorate in Piano/Music from Yale, plus numerous other recognitions), but I was unable to find any information about his teaching effectiveness.

In the end, I decided to take that second choice from Brookhaven with my chosen professor. So, I called the lady in registration who was working with me to register. To my disappointment, she then informed me that it, also, was now filled and closed.

So, I went back and scrutinized the Richland College opportunity again, and eventually settled for it. I registered, and start Monday morning. The two possible benefits are the the professor might teach as well as he plays, which would be great for me. The second is that registration closed today, and only 8 of the 15 slots had been filled. So, it could end up being quite a small class, again to my benefit.

So, I'm keeping an optimistic view of it, as, it cannot hurt me and might turn out quite well.

And, since you had not perused the "for credit" courses, you will be surprised to learn that despite meeting for two, one hour sessions per week, it ONLY COSTS $59 FOR THE ENTIRE SEMESTER!!!!!! That's 32 total hours of small group instruction for $59. It should easily be worth that.

The course uses the Alfred's AAIO book, so, I may be habiting the Alfred's thread some through the fall semester.

So, even though I didn't get my first choice, I think I have made a very satisfactory arrangement.

Fingers crossed!
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/27/15 07:43 AM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Trevor - Welcome back. I know The Entertainer is toward the end of the Alfred's AIO book. Are you referring to that book, or is at also at the end of the Faber AIO?


Thank you, yes, it's in the Faber book too in Unit 14 (of 16). In the key of C Major, teaching accidentals.
Posted By: dat77

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/28/15 05:49 PM

Hi everyone:

I hope it's ok for me to be here. I am not using the faber aio. I am using the regular faber books. I wish I did start out with faber. I started out using alfreds basic adult. I did books 1 and 2. My teacher moved me over to faber book 4. In the beginning it was really difficult but now it's a little easier. I like the faber series much better.

I will be ordering a couple books from sheet music plus. Is anyone else taking advantage of their 20 percent piano method sale? Right now I'm just doing the lesson and performance books plus learning to use a fake book and some classical. What other books are most of you using?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/28/15 06:41 PM

Welcome dat77 smile

So you are currently in the standard Faber Piano Adventures Level 4 books? I think that is as far as any contributor to this thread has gotten I believe.

I'm 2/3 done Level 3B myself.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/28/15 07:33 PM

Because my teacher doesn't want to use the Faber method, and I still like it, I'm using the books to supplement my study on my own. I know this is going to be difficult to know when to progress, but I'll see how far I can get. Because it's a year since I've last used a Faber book in a lesson, I've gone back to close to the end of Book 3A and I'm working on Battle of Jericho. This piece is much more advanced then the work I'm currently doing in Bastien Book Two and my progress moving forward will be very slow. I"m hoping to finish this book by christmas and then starting Book 3B after that, but I'll have to see how things go.So far I am only using the lesson book.
Posted By: mom3gram

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/28/15 08:10 PM

I'm coming to the end of the Faber Adult Book 1. I've had it for a long time, but was using Alfred as my main lesson book. I bailed about a third of the way through Alfred AIO Book 2 - it just got too hard for me without a teacher. And that led to a long time of not playing. So I've been working on completing the Faber book, as well as a bunch of other books around levals 1-2. Working on the 40 piece challenge.

I found (for me) that the pieces in the Faber adult book were easier than the ones in Alfred,....but the Alfred was much easier to understand. I'm not sure where I'm going when I finish Faber Adult Book 1. But I have a lot of supplemental books that I bought, or were given to me, that I can work on while deciding. I'm tempted to try the Accelerated Book 2 but don't know if I can move into that seamlessly.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/29/15 12:11 AM

mom3gram:

I think there is some overlap between the end of Faber All In One Adult Book 1 and Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner Book 2. That's OK, you can skip by the material you have already learned (or review it wink )

The nice thing about Accelerated Book 2 is that when you are done, you move seamlessly into the "Regular" Piano Adventures series Level 3A, which will continue you all the way through until you finish Level 5.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/30/15 01:46 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Welcome dat77 smile

So you are currently in the standard Faber Piano Adventures Level 4 books? I think that is as far as any contributor to this thread has gotten I believe.

I'm 2/3 done Level 3B myself.


I just started 3A yesterday, hurray!!! I LOVE Faber, it's so non-threatening, LOL. So I realized that some of the pieces in AAIO book 2 are actually 3B pieces, or very close to 3B. That's why I was so stuck when I got to the inversions unit. Inversions aren't even covered until 3B! Now I feel better, and 3A is starting out great.

Hey, before I forget, if anyone needs to correlate the new 2nd Editions to 1st Editions (levels 2 and 3), here's the link how to do this if you have (like I did) some books as 2nd ed and some as 1st. I just found the link, it's pretty cool!

http://pianoadventures.com/secondedition/correlations.html

Sounds like everyone's moving right along, awesome job everybody!!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/30/15 01:52 AM

Originally Posted by dat77

I will be ordering a couple books from sheet music plus. Is anyone else taking advantage of their 20 percent piano method sale? Right now I'm just doing the lesson and performance books plus learning to use a fake book and some classical. What other books are most of you using?


I was tempted, but I didn't order anything. I have my levels 3B and 4 already, that's plenty, lol. I did just pick up 3A sight reading, which I wasn't planning to use, originally, but decided to go ahead with it. Got that on Amazon. And I bought "Amber Glow" by Vandal at my local shop. It's a wonderful piece, I love that type of music! Anyone else play Robert Vandal? Oh, and a romance collection by Martha Mier. I love her.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/30/15 04:12 AM

Ralph - What a bummer to register for a class and then find out you're not in after all, and then a no-go on your second choice. Hopefully you'll find you like the teacher and small class you ended up with. The low price is a definite bonus, as is the location being closer to you. So is it two hours every Monday morning? Or just one hour classes? Are they going to go through all of book 1 during the semester? I ask because it looks like piano class part 2 starts with the 2nd book.

Trevor - Hope you're doing okay with The Entertainer. I've got 4 songs to go before I get to it. I'm looking forward to learning that one.

Dat77 - Hello and welcome! Are you saying you went from Alfred's adult book 2 to Faber book 4? What about level 3 stuff?

Alans - I agree that it's hard to know when to pass yourself on a piece, especially when you suspect a teacher would be adding to the piece to enhance its musicality. I'm not sure where you left off with your Faber last lesson, but maybe it'd be better to start at the beginning of Book 3A if the latter part seems like too much of a stretch.

Mom3gram - Congrats on your progress. I should be done with Accelerated PA level one by the end of next week, so it was interesting reading your comments. In some ways I wished I'd just gone with the Adult AIO book because juggling the various accelerated books is a pain. So I'm tempted to switch over to the Fabers Adult AIO Book 2. Maybe if I listen to the songs in the AAIO level 2 book it'll help me decide.

Ebonykaway - Congrats on your progress as well. So some of the pieces in the AAIO book 2 are actually level 3? It sounds like the AIO book moves along more quickly. I'm not sure I'd like that since I sometimes suffer from too-much-too-soon which can be stressful.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/30/15 07:43 AM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Trevor - Hope you're doing okay with The Entertainer. I've got 4 songs to go before I get to it. I'm looking forward to learning that one.


I'm having a lot of fun with it. As ever (increasingly so as the pieces get harder), it's relatively easy to get it to 75%, but that last 25% of nailing and polishing it is the tricky bit. It's slowly working itself out, though!

dat77: Thanks for the heads up on the Sheetmusic Plus sale. 3A is pretty far away, but buying them now would save a bit.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/30/15 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Ralph - What a bummer to register for a class and then find out you're not in after all, and then a no-go on your second choice. Hopefully you'll find you like the teacher and small class you ended up with. The low price is a definite bonus, as is the location being closer to you. So is it two hours every Monday morning? Or just one hour classes? Are they going to go through all of book 1 during the semester? I ask because it looks like piano class part 2 starts with the 2nd book.


I just got off the college website after checking just to assure that I was enrolled and to find the building on the campus map. The class ended up with only 8 students, so I'm happy about that.

That's welcome info about the Music II class starting at AAIO Level 2, as, I think that will be appropriate for me around years end. I've perused AAIO 1 (indeed, I used it when I started piano in April) and I think much of the Level 1 material will be a review for me. I do remember that Alfred's introduced chords much earlier, and I am weak in that area. I'm sure there will be other things in the Alfred's level 1 program that I am also short on, so that the current semester will not be boring for me. My main concern is getting direction on the "non book" type of things such as posture, muscle relaxation, finger posture, arm movement, etc. It would be nice to finish the AAIO Level 1 in a semester and proceed seamlessly into Level 2 in January.

If the Level 1 class material proves to be a little boring for me, I'll still have the November ABF recital to provide me some excitement. And, I intend to continue my progress through the Faber Piano Adventures series, as, I have developed quite a bit of trust in their methodology and in their devotion to making their program as effective as possible.

The class meets two mornings per week, Monday and Wednesday. I like this part, as learning is more effective when broken into segments like this. Up to a point, the more times one cycles through preparation, performance, evaluation, and then feedback, the better one remembers things.

It starts tomorrow!!! cool
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/31/15 01:45 AM

Hi Ebony,

Congrats!!

I have just started level 3A myself; actually about 2 weeks ago but I am waiting for the next edition of the books to arrive before starting anew. I am planning to keep the 2nd edition books as my core and use the first edition pieces as supplementary material. Thus I think I will be taking a bit of time with each unit. Brian mentioned that the 1st edition pieces are a bit better but the 2nd edition books are better organized and have more material.

Good to know we can share our experiences.

Are you using the first or the 2nd edition books?

Regards

Mario
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/31/15 02:36 AM

Hi Ralph,

It sounds like it's going to be a great piano class. I can see where meeting twice a week could be better. Alfred's AAIO book 1 does introduce more chords sooner as you remember. It also introduces full scales and key signatures, while the Faber Accelerated Book 1 only gets as far as pentascales.

If they're going to finish the book in one semester then it's going to move along at a fast pace. Faster than I'd be comfortable with, but I'm sure you're up for the challenge.

Good luck and looking forward to a report on your first class.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/31/15 02:42 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Ralph,

It sounds like it's going to be a great piano class. I can see where meeting twice a week could be better. Alfred's AAIO book 1 does introduce more chords sooner as you remember. It also introduces full scales and key signatures, while the Faber Accelerated Book 1 only gets as far as pentascales.

Since I have studied both the Alfred's and Faber methods, I can confirm Linda's summary of one of the main differences between the two.

For me, the Alfred's approach did not work well, and I ended up stopping after a year or so. For other folks, well, your mileage may vary. smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/31/15 10:34 PM

Well, I had my first piano class this morning and I'm happy so far. As expected, we spent most of the hour on introductions, teacher's expectations, and the course goals and outline.

I arrived early enough that I could go to the campus bookstore to purchase the "other" required text, The Complete Book Of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences. I had time to begin reading it, and, was excited to see that it offered very technical explanations of the circle of fifths, triad inversions, and other stuff I have not yet been exposed to. By nature, I enjoy learning things in depth, seldom being content just to perform things, and preferring instead, to fully understand what I am doing and what the foundational underpinnings of the activity are. So, I'm excited about this book and the information it contains.

One of the first things the teacher said to us was that this book would be our "saviour," so I suspect we will be spending considerable time on the foundations of music, as well as the performance. I'm happy with this.

Another little delight was his brief playing on an actual piano. I have not been around real pianos much, my limited experience has been mostly hearing and now playing digitals. He played some on a Yamaha upright, and, in a word, it was wonderful. As good as the digitals are, the real thing is clearly superior. I'm not sure if this revelation will be good for me, or, bad for me. I feel yearnings welling up within me that I will not be able to financially satisfy. smile I hope to get some time on that instrument.

As I had suspected, it is a small class of 8 students. Several of them are music majors, so hopefully, they are motivated and the class will move along without much delay.

The syllabus lays out the following sequence:
Circle of Fifths
Major Scales (C, G, D, A, E and B)
Harmonizations with primary triads and inversions
Black key major scales (F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb)

The sheer number of scales we will cover raised my internal alerts. I have been playing for four months now, and have not yet ventured outside of the key of C. In the next four months, however, I will traverse a dozen scales. I'm not sure how this is going to work, but, if anyone can do it, I can.

From my limited contact so far, I suspect the teacher likes teaching, so, that is another positive. I didn't really detect anything that concerns me about the coming experience, so, I'm optimistic that a good semester lies ahead.

Wish me luck!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/31/15 11:56 PM

Hi Ralph;

This sounds pretty exciting to me! smile

I'm not quite sure when is the right time to go into major scales in a big way; There probably is not a single "right" time for everyone. I would not worry about it at all. Work as hard as you can, and most important of all, enjoy!

Right now I'm learning all 12 major and minor triads, and quite frankly, this is the easiest part of what I'm learning. You should be fine.

Keep us informed!
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/01/15 01:09 AM

Hey Ralph, I love your update with all the details. I'm excited for you and of course wish you good luck. I believe at some point you guys will be playing your pieces for the class, right? Does that make you nervous? One reason I was seriously considering signing up for one of those piano classes was to get that experience, even though just the thought of it gets my heart pounding.

As Brian said, keep us informed! smile

Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/01/15 10:29 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi Ebony,

Congrats!!

I have just started level 3A myself; actually about 2 weeks ago but I am waiting for the next edition of the books to arrive before starting anew. I am planning to keep the 2nd edition books as my core and use the first edition pieces as supplementary material. Thus I think I will be taking a bit of time with each unit. Brian mentioned that the 1st edition pieces are a bit better but the 2nd edition books are better organized and have more material.

Good to know we can share our experiences.

Are you using the first or the 2nd edition books?

Regards

Mario


Hi Mario!

I'm using 2nd edition books, and just got the sightreading one in the mail today. The further I go with Faber, the more I appreciate it. It's great to have another person in the same book and at the same level! We can commiserate, LOL!

I've been thinking a lot about Faber's method of introducing the triads and pentascales before the full scales themselves. It's taken me about 4 solid months, but I can play all the major scales pretty easily now. I knew about half the circle of fifths from years ago when I was playing. But since I've been learning and practicing major and minor triads via Faber, things really seemed to have clicked. Yesterday sat down to play scales, and for the heck of it I decided to see if I could get any of the minors down. You know what? After doing triads and knowing the fingering from the majors, the minors ended up being a piece of cake! I was shocked!! Now I have all the major and minors down! And more shocking is that they got up to the same speed as the majors I've been playing all this time! So I really think that breaking things down and learning them solidly is a big key to progression, or at least it was for me. I just feel like I have a solid base underneath me now, as opposed to when I was learning many years ago, doing complicated pieces (Chopin preludes and such) but learning little theory and technical work. It's like I didn't understand what I was really doing back then! I was just getting muscle memory, but none if it made sense. Now....totally different.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/01/15 10:35 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Ebonykaway - Congrats on your progress as well. So some of the pieces in the AAIO book 2 are actually level 3? It sounds like the AIO book moves along more quickly. I'm not sure I'd like that since I sometimes suffer from too-much-too-soon which can be stressful.


I was actually discouraged by it, I just wasn't ready. Then the next unit ended up being reasonable again, after that one really challenging (for me) piece. It seemed very out of place. So of course I had to investigate, LOL.

Brian, I found the triads to be so hard when I first started, then something kicked in, lol. It's so interesting to see neural connections being made. Just amazing!
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/02/15 06:21 PM

@ Ralph. Thanks for the lengthy post on your course. It does sound like a bit of work but I 'm sure you will rise to the challenge. Looking forward to reading more.

@ Brian. Perhaps the best way to approach scales is gradually. Faber AAIO 1 certainly focuses on the pentascales. These seems to line up fairly well with the RCM Preparatory exams where the focus is playing (learning) certain pentascales. I have now added this and some simple chord & triad exercises to my practice. While I don't intend to take the exam, I do find it helpful to see what skills you are expected to know as you progress. Always best to lay a solid foundation to build on.

@ebonykawai. Good job on the scales and triads. I'm starting to build a foundation on these as well.

Getting ready to start African Celebration.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/02/15 11:56 PM

Wow, ladies and gentlemen, this thread is really starting to cook now! grin

I love the fact that we have students in multiple levels of the Faber books, should be getting some great feedback here.

For me, right now I'm in the Level 3B Technique book doing three different exercises with the 12 major and minor triads. After one day this stuff is kinda hard for me. The pieces however in Unit 5 of my books are really great, including a beautifully arranged version of Listz's Liebestraume.

And oh yeah, I LOVE the new sightreading books. In fact, before I start any new pieces in the Lesson book, I go through all 5 days of the sightreading exercises first.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/03/15 03:22 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX

For me, right now I'm in the Level 3B Technique book doing three different exercises with the 12 major and minor triads. After one day this stuff is kinda hard for me.


It will come to you. Keep up the good work.

Originally Posted by BrianDX
And oh yeah, I LOVE the new sightreading books. In fact, before I start any new pieces in the Lesson book, I go through all 5 days of the sightreading exercises first.


I am in absolute agreement with you about the Sight Reading books. I too, use them as my warmup. However, I go all the way back to the first page and play through the every piece up to my current level. I only play each of them once, so as to prevent memorization. It not only reinforces sight reading the notes, but also, forces me to pre-identify changes in dynamics, which has been a weakness for me so far. It only takes me about 15 minutes to go through all the sight reading exercises up to my current point about 2/3 of the way through level 1. So, I find it a great time investment.

Linda: Thanks for the good luck wish. I'm not sure about playing in front of the class. I suspect I'll be just fine if we do, though. I spent years as a trial attorney, and, I remember being nervous for my very first jury trial. But, after that, I sailed and owned the courtroom. As for confidence, I learned that the key (at least for me) to confidence is PREPARATION! Out of some 20+ jury trials, only once did one of my guys get convicted as charged (two others got convicted of lesser included offenses, all the rest walked). I was fiendish in preparation, usually knowing the facts better than the actual witnesses by time the trial started. If I am called upon to play for the class, I'll take the same approach and I think I'll be fine.

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
But since I've been learning and practicing major and minor triads via Faber, things really seemed to have clicked. Yesterday ..... the minors ended up being a piece of cake! I was shocked!! Now I have all the major and minors down! And more shocking is that they got up to the same speed as the majors I've been playing all this time!


That's awesome, Ebony. It's a great feeling when your work pays off and rewards you. Well done.

NorwichTim: Good luck with African Celebration.

Today, teacher assigned two octave scales with each hand (hands separate) in the keys of C, G, and D, for next week. I was already pretty smooth at multiple octaves in C with the right hand, but, had neglected the left. I just finished practicing it, though, and have the left hand clicking along pretty well. The key of G will be my next focus. I'm anxious to get onto those black keys. They will be a challenge, I'm sure, but also a great thrill when I overcome them. And, I WILL overcome them. grin

How much would all of you be interested in sharing some of our music? I am short on knowledge about how to utilize those websites that let you store and share music files. But, if any of them are free (which I like a lot!), it might be fun to post our Faber or other pieces once in a while to let others listen, enjoy, or critique. Each piece could possibly be a big help to the others who are approaching that level and will be crossing that same bridge. Plus, I love hearing pieces by composers I previously knew nothing about.

It might also be a big help to anyone who is shy about playing for others, to just get used to letting others hear one's play.

Well, I'm going to play an little more before going to bed. Happy Ivorying (another verb!), all. smile
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/03/15 07:32 PM

Originally Posted by raubucho
I'm anxious to get onto those black keys. They will be a challenge, I'm sure, but also a great thrill when I overcome them. And, I WILL overcome them. grin

How much would all of you be interested in sharing some of our music?


LOL, I hit a wall at Bb, it seemed to take me forever to get the fingering for it and, really oddly, I found Eb and Ab much easier. I have no idea why. The other two came faster than Bb, it was so weird. Basically the same fingering! The brain is a true oddity! I still have some issues with F# alternating half step and whole step, it's such a pain, lol. I'm getting faster, but that one had me for a while, too.

I'd share some music, though there's lots of it on Youtube. Quite a few people have shared the different levels, including the AAIO. But I'd be glad to share if someone needed help! smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/03/15 11:36 PM

Hi Ebony and others,

Ebony I am still at Unit 1, as I am still waiting for the 2nd edition books to arrive. It is good because now I am perfecting the Performance pieces which are really very good.

Yes I agree with all you guys that the sight reading books are fantastic and I'll think I'll do the same and play the pieces each day from the beginning (time permitting).

Regarding the scales I agree with everyone that learning it a few at a times as in the Faber approach with all the concomitant pieces is the best approach. Right now I am learning C, F, G. F with both hands was slightly tough as it required the fingering in the left and right to differ slightly. But now I can play it quite easily. I used to wonder about the importance of scales when I first started learning the piano using the Alfred approach (which puts less importance on scales learning) but now I truly appreciate it.

One disadvantage about using the 2nd edition is that there are no youtube videos out there.

I wonder if we should not record our pieces and share using SoundCloud or something. That being said does anyone know how I can record from my digital piano which has a usb port, directly to my android phone or Ipad?

Regards

Mario



Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/03/15 11:50 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
One disadvantage about using the 2nd edition is that there are no youtube videos out there.

Mario, since about 1/2 of the pieces in 2nd edition are the same as the first, there should be a good number of videos out there. For me at Level 3B, about half of the pieces have videos. I'm lucky in that if I need to, I can record my teacher playing newly assigned pieces.

I have about 15-20 pieces recorded from my various Faber books over the last 18 months. I would be more than happy to share them, not quite sure how to do it.
Posted By: AndrewJCW

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/04/15 02:41 AM

You could put them on YouTube. You could probably do 20 videos in 30 mins if you have a decent internet connection.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/04/15 03:06 AM

Hope everybody is doing well!

I received my sight reading books (1 & 2) and have started working on the first few pages of book 1. I wish I'd bought it sooner while I was still working with the level one lesson book. I have the accelerated level 2 books, but I haven't started using them yet. Right now my teacher has me working out the the Alfred's book.

Raubucho - I can't believe you're having to learn all those scales already. I hope they're also teaching you the basics that you wanted to learn. Good to hear you'll be fine if you need to perform in front of others. I've always suffered from stage fright. But maybe in a small group setting I could do it.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/05/15 11:54 AM

So Linda, how do you manage your "dual life"? smile

Do you practice your Faber pieces during the same practice time as your teacher-assigned Alfred's work?
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/06/15 01:13 AM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
I also work on pieces from the Preparatory Book of Festival Collection. Festival Collection gives me additional, original pieces to work on.


Hey, NorwichTim. I just picked up the Festival Collection today. I was torn between the Preparatory Level and the Level 1, but went with the Preparatory. My piano class is moving us into the keys of G and D soon, so I wanted some music in those keys. And, like you, I like playing music in its "original" form, rather than music in a simplified, "arranged" form.

I'll be on to the level 1 materials soon enough, and the store keeps a good supply of them in stock. I bought the one with the CD, and I enjoy listening to the music while I study the score. I'll get a chance to play some tonight.

Linda: Good for you, obtaining those sight reading books. I really think those have been very helpful to me in improving my sight reading. Remember: DO NOT PRACTICE THE PIECES! One time only, and turn the page. Once I committed to "one attempt only", I find myself much more serious and attentive when I play them. That little sick feeling of having to leave a wounded performance behind, for me, is a real motivator to get it right the next night. Maybe that will work for you.

I had a disappointment today. While at the music store, I also purchased "Journey Through the Classics," a Hal Leonard publication similar in nature to the Festival Collection. It did not come with a CD. So, I got on the internet and looked for performances on YouTube. For several of the pieces, I could not find any recorded performances. Then, by accident, I clicked on a similarly named piece by the same composer, and the recording was playing the piece from my book that I was searching for. Then, I went back through the other pieces from the book for which there had been no YouTube videos, and found several of them on YouTube, but listed under different names. For instance, the piece in my book titled "Procession" by Alexander Reinagle was played on YouTube under the name of "Promenade". And, it turns out quite a few of the names of pieces in my book are different from the names of the exact pieces being posted on YouTube. Some of the YouTube performances are by college music professors, so I'm hesitant to suspect mere carelessness on their parts. I'm questioning the quality of the book at this point.

Have any of you had a similar experience? I'm also wondering if there is an innocent explanation that rests more upon my relative inexperience and lack of knowledge of the musical world than upon any error on the publisher's part. If you have any light to shed on this, please do.

I short while ago, I checked out the Faber & Faber Developing Artist series that BrianDX is using, but was disappointed to find that the series begins at level 2, which is a bit too advanced for me right now. I'll get to them, eventually.

I hope eveyone else is doing well.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/06/15 04:47 PM

Originally Posted by raubucho
I short while ago, I checked out the Faber & Faber Developing Artist series that BrianDX is using, but was disappointed to find that the series begins at level 2, which is a bit too advanced for me right now. I'll get to them, eventually.

Hi Ralph.

Faber does publish level 1 and "preparatory" books in this series as well. If you have problems finding then PM me.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/07/15 12:56 AM

Hi Brian,

I agree with Andrew that YouTube is probably best and I think you don't need to always share with everyone but can select.

Otherwise I have seen people on this website sharing using the online storage site named box.net which gives you quite a bit of storage for free.

There is also SoundCloud where you can upload and then put links to that. This site and YouTube would be the best options I think.

I would also like to share my pieces but I can't figure out how to get the music saved from my keyboard which has a usb port to my ipad or android device. Does anyone know how to do that. I also have two headphone ports.

Regarding the 2nd edition books. I was playing two songs in the first unit of Level 3A called Mockingbird and Carnival of Venice. Both these sounds have similar versions in the 2nd edition but they seemed to have been simplified considerably. I can only theorize that besides re-arranging the units they have also simplified or completely removed and replaced songs that were a bit more burdensome. Is that anyone else's experience.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/07/15 12:03 PM

There is a gentleman named Alan Chan on YouTube that has recorded a good number of the Faber pieces. We use these along with recordings from his teacher. We use his teacher's first - but sometimes we don't have them and Alan Chan is usually a good back up.

Brian- If you are willing, I think it would be great if you recorded your pieces on YouTube- particularly "missing" pieces. Finally, do you have the classics 3A 3B book by Faber? My son has learned a few pieces from that book and those pieces sound lovely.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/07/15 03:15 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Regarding the 2nd edition books. I was playing two songs in the first unit of Level 3A called Mockingbird and Carnival of Venice. Both these sounds have similar versions in the 2nd edition but they seemed to have been simplified considerably. I can only theorize that besides re-arranging the units they have also simplified or completely removed and replaced songs that were a bit more burdensome. Is that anyone else's experience?

Hi Mario;

That does seem to be one of the differences between the two editions. My wife is currently learning "Yellowbird" which seems like a simpler re-arrangement of "Mockingbird". I did not realize that Carnival of Venice had also been simplified.

The same thing happened in Level 3B, where two pieces were slightly re-written and simplified. However, Level 3B was also re-organized as far as changing and adding units. That did not happen in Level 3A.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/07/15 03:34 PM

OK folks, I tried to upload my recording of "Mockingbird" from the first edition of level 3A.

Please let me know if you can get to this link:

Mockingbird
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/07/15 10:09 PM

I think it is wonderful that you posted your work to share with other learners as there really aren't many Youtube videos of Faber method book pieces. Hope you continue. That's very nice of you.
Posted By: Albunea

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/07/15 10:58 PM

Originally Posted by raubucho

I had a disappointment today.


I have some basic method books and have read here sometimes the threads of other method books I don't know, and there are many titles shared among them all. In one of my books, a song is titled Pajarillo (Little Bird), and when I played it I realized it was something like Love me Tender, famous by Elvis Presley. laugh So it seems many piano books share the same songs with different arrangements. You can get an idea of how the song sounds with any of the versions, but for accuracy you want to find exactly your method pieces on YouTube. Maybe that edition is not yet, but probably it will be soon.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/08/15 12:12 AM

Originally Posted by pianoMom2006
... do you have the classics 3A 3B book by Faber? My son has learned a few pieces from that book and those pieces sound lovely.

Hi pianoMom2006;

I'm not quite sure what "classics" book you are referring to. Are you referring to "Popular Repertoire" book in 3A?

Thanks,
Brian
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/08/15 12:16 AM

Originally Posted by pianoMom2006
I think it is wonderful that you posted your work to share with other learners as there really aren't many Youtube videos of Faber method book pieces. Hope you continue. That's very nice of you.

You are welcome. Here is a list of what I recorded in 3A between 6-10 months ago:

- Campbells are Coming
- Carnival of Venice
- Cossack Ride
- Great Wall of China
- Land of the Silver Birch
- Persian Market
- Sakura
- Song of Kilimanjaro
- Tropical Fish
- Lunar Eclipse (duet with my teacher)

It takes me about 15 minutes or so to build a project and then upload it to Youtube. Some these pieces already exist there posted by Alan Chan or Christopher Brent.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/08/15 08:59 AM

Thought I'd share my list of YouTube resources for figuring out how to play Faber tunes. If one doesn't have it, another usually does. They also tend to differ in camera angle and play style, so it's sometimes nice to see more than one.

Tiny Mozarts (Beth_Frances on this forum) has a lot of nice videos (sometimes a bit easier to find using her website).

Rhapsody Piano Studio has lots of good videos on the supplimental (Pretime to Bigtime) books.

Christopher Brent doesn't have any playlists set up so you'll have to do a bit of searching to find what you need.

Alan Chan
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/08/15 09:27 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by pianoMom2006
... do you have the classics 3A 3B book by Faber? My son has learned a few pieces from that book and those pieces sound lovely.


I'm not quite sure what "classics" book you are referring to. Are you referring to "Popular Repertoire" book in 3A?


Possibly this one? https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbepoJVSPd57CAOCeNDgZUwN0GF--hxSx
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/08/15 11:13 AM

Trevor- Thank you for the tip on Rhapsody Studios. BrianDx this appears to be the book my son is learning to play pieces from.
Posted By: John BC

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 12:32 AM

Hi!

Just new to this place. Adult Beginner of about 7 weeks. About 1/3rd through Book 1 of Accelerated Piano adventures for Older Beginner. Nice to follow what others are doing.

John
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 01:03 AM

Thanks Trevor for posting the resources.

Thanks Brian for sharing.

I was investigating how to get tunes off my Yamaha digital piano and stumbled upon this wonderful app by Yamaha called PianoDiary http://usa.yamaha.com/products/apps/pianodiary/

You don't have to have a Yamaha piano, just a midi usb output port.

Unfortunately there only seems to be the iphone/Ipad version of it and no Android. Lucky I had an old iPad that was collecting dust, and so after a bit of dusting I connected it to my piano which has a midi usb output using the Apple Camera connection kit. PianoDiary allow you to record your tunes or rather record midi (which is basically meta information about the tune) and presents it in a beautiful diary/calendar form. The software also plays the Midi files. The wonderful things about storing in midi format is that not only is the files are very small (a few kilobits) but also the software allow you to change the voice and do other snazzy things like put some reverb and chorus. Best of all it allows you to immediately upload to YouTube.

Here is links to the three songs I uploaded to YouTube from 3A Unit 1.
I changed the voice to MusicBox because it sounded nicer to me but if you want I can also upload in Grand Piano.

Carnival of Venice: https://youtu.be/lnIZdc4Uomc
Sakura: https://youtu.be/3xf8APiIX6M
Looking Glass River: https://youtu.be/z4p5TShkeLQ

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 02:15 AM

Originally Posted by John BC
Hi!

Just new to this place. Adult Beginner of about 7 weeks. About 1/3rd through Book 1 of Accelerated Piano adventures for Older Beginner. Nice to follow what others are doing.

John

Welcome John BC to our little group! smile

Keep us informed as to what you are currently playing in the book; a lot of us have been through those pieces as well.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 02:26 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Thanks Trevor for posting the resources.

Thanks Brian for sharing.

I was investigating how to get tunes off my Yamaha digital piano and stumbled upon this wonderful app by Yamaha called PianoDiary http://usa.yamaha.com/products/apps/pianodiary/

You don't have to have a Yamaha piano, just a midi usb output port.

Unfortunately there only seems to be the iphone/Ipad version of it and no Android. Lucky I had an old iPad that was collecting dust, and so after a bit of dusting I connected it to my piano which has a midi usb output using the Apple Camera connection kit. PianoDiary allow you to record your tunes or rather record midi (which is basically meta information about the tune) and presents it in a beautiful diary/calendar form. The software also plays the Midi files. The wonderful things about storing in midi format is that not only is the files are very small (a few kilobits) but also the software allow you to change the voice and do other snazzy things like put some reverb and chorus. Best of all it allows you to immediately upload to YouTube.

Here is links to the three songs I uploaded to YouTube from 3A Unit 1.
I changed the voice to MusicBox because it sounded nicer to me but if you want I can also upload in Grand Piano.

Carnival of Venice: https://youtu.be/lnIZdc4Uomc
Sakura: https://youtu.be/3xf8APiIX6M
Looking Glass River: https://youtu.be/z4p5TShkeLQ

Nice job Mario! I definitely would like to hear your pieces in Grand Piano mode as well.

Here is a version of Carnival of Venice that I recorded a while ago. It has some pedaling in it, as well as an attempt for sharp staccatos in the left hand:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIXTd9uOmm8&feature=youtu.be
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 04:06 AM

Nice playing Brian.

Gosh I don't think I can manage that speed.

Somehow with the MusicBox voice the peddling in the beginning does not show much.

I'll upload the Grandpiano versions of these songs.

Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 08:42 AM

One more! This Youtube channel is also useful because he breaks down the tunes a bit in his videos. You have to search, though, because they're not organised into playlists.

https://www.youtube.com/user/SuperMANgino/search?query=piano+adventures
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 10:17 AM

Totally forgot about SuperMANgino! He has recorded a large number of videos for the Accelerated books Levels 1 and 2. Plus, he spends a lot of time breaking down the structures of the pieces.

As I moved into Level 3A and 3B his videos diminished in frequency; that's why I now use Mr. Brent and Mr. Chan.

My guess is however, after a few months the new pieces in the second edition versions of 3A and 3B will begin to show up.

As I have stated before I think, I'm lucky in that my teacher is always willing to let me record her playing my newly assigned pieces.
Posted By: John BC

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/09/15 05:47 PM

Thanks!

Just finished the Gypsy Band in the Lesson Book and working on the Staccato in the Technique and Artistry Book. Lesson today to see what is next.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/10/15 03:49 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by raubucho
I short while ago, I checked out the Faber & Faber Developing Artist series that BrianDX is using, but was disappointed to find that the series begins at level 2, which is a bit too advanced for me right now. I'll get to them, eventually.

Hi Ralph.

Faber does publish level 1 and "preparatory" books in this series as well. If you have problems finding then PM me.


BrianDX: Thanks for the heads-up about the Level 1 Developing Artist book. After reading your post, I went to the Faber website and found it listed there. I think I had dismissed it early on, as the link to the book preview doesn't work, and, I was unsuccessful finding it on two occasions looking for it at the local music stores. So, I kind of forgot about it, which gradually grew into me thinking it did not exist.

Thanks to your post, however, I decided to take another look. I had to go to the music store, anyway, as the Marlais Festival Collection I purchased a couple of days ago had a defective CD. When I got to the store, their only other copy of Marlais also had a defective CD. So, I searched to see if there were any other books of interest that I could exchange for, and, I then found the Level 1 Developing Artist book you told me about.

I got it home and played the CD while reading the scores. It is a wonderful collection. Of the 22 selections, there are 18 that I like so much I must play them. That's a high percentage for me, as, I usually only want to devote effort to about 40-50% of the offerings in these type of collections (These books often times span the centuries from Baroque through Modern, and, I rarely like the modern). This volume only has a couple of throw-away, modern pieces. I'm really happy with the purchase. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post and setting me on course to find it.

Piano Class Update: My scales for piano class are coming along pretty well. C is a breeze, both up and down, either hand. G is also pretty easy, now. D still gives me some problems. For some reason, I stumble coming down the D scale with my right hand. From Treble D, with my pinkie, I flow downward to my thumb on G, then mess up bringing my middle finger over the thumb and onto F#. I think my hand, at that point, obscures my view of F and F#, and that causes me to stumble. At this stage, I am heavily reliant on visual, instantaneous feedback, and the sudden disappearance of those keys behind my hand throws me off.

One thing I have not yet given a chance is slowing down enough that I don't need the visual. I suspect I'll commit the sequence to memory when I do. I'm still stuck in "stupid" mode. crazy But, I'll get it soon.

The teacher seems ok with us proceeding at our own pace. That should work well for me since I already have much of the material in the first half of Afreds AIO covered.

Brian and Mario: Nice job on the music you posted. I too, would like to hear yours in Grand Piano, Mario. I hope to record and post some of the lower level Faber materials. Even though they won't be much help to our current group (most of whom are ahead of me), they might prove helpful to newcomers who come along. Plus, any feedback stimulated is always appreciated.

I need to spend a little time investigating Soundcloud and Box. They seem to be the file hosting sites most favored by the contributors to the recent ABF recital 39.

John BC: Welcome to our group. I hope your piano adventure is very rewarding. PianoWorld is great. There are a lot of very helpful members who devote considerable attention to questions and concerns you might post. This place is amazing.

BTW, you are working out of Book 1 of Accelerated Piano adventures for Older Beginner (emphasis mine), and, you have "BC" in your moniker. Just how old are you?!?!?!?! grin

You don't have to answer that, I just couldn't help myself. laugh

Anyhow, happy playing (couldn't think up a new verb) everyone.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/11/15 02:13 AM

Hi Ralf and others.

Yes definitely send us links to your tunes.

It is definitely nice to hear people you know play and the feedback (positive and improving) can be very useful.

I have uploaded piano versions of my tunes to YouTube. Here are the links.

Sakura: https://youtu.be/cBQiHhDNDf0
Looking glass river: https://youtu.be/sP7nYavgfVQ
Carnival of Venice: https://youtu.be/_R78V0s5aGQ
Tropical Fish: https://youtu.be/_2Kt2PFvGLM

Regards

Mario

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/11/15 11:23 AM

Mario;

Nice job on your pieces! I especially like your recording of "Tropical Fish". To me, this little piece in the Technique book is one of the reasons I love Faber; lots of skills are required to make this sound proper, but at the same time it is fun to learn and practice.

For folks who are not yet at Level 3, listen to this piece to see the fun stuff you have to look forward to. smile
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/11/15 01:13 PM

Tropical Fish does sound fun. I prefer your version, Mario, to the one recorded by Alan Chan on youtube which sounds a bit rushed and soulless. Great job!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/11/15 06:16 PM

That is one of the issues I have with the Chan pieces; generally played too fast without the prerequisite feelings.

I think the Brent recordings are a bit better in this regard...
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/12/15 05:29 AM

This is a test of my new Soundcloud account. I recorded a short piece I have been working on called March, by Daniel Gottlob Turk. Despite the complete absence of instructions on Soundcloud, I managed, I hope, to effectively open a Soundcloud account and to post my performance there.

This is my first real venture into the key of G, and the most taxing level of left hand accompaniment I've attempted so far. I want to do some of the tunes from the Faber Developing Artist book I just bought, but the left hand accompaniment in those pieces is a little more advanced. So, I thought I'd do this one first. Here is the link, let's hope it works!

https://soundcloud.com/user-907897415/march-daniel-gottlob-turk

Fingers crossed.......
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/12/15 06:23 AM

Hi Brian and Trevor. Thanks for your complements.

Ralph that sounded very good.

There is a guy named Bruce Seigal who I think has only played one of Fabers tunes called Fascination (from 3B if I am not mistaken). You should watch and listen to this guy play. He puts so much into it. Every bit of of his person is in the music. He is truly inspirational to watch. Here is a link.
https://youtu.be/B0jd8T5ZmS0

I can't wait to get to this piece. Brian you must be getting closer to this piece if you have not already passed it.

Regards

Mario

Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 12:56 AM

Thanks, Mario. It's funny how meaningful letting others hear my music is. Just after I posted the piece, I started fly-specking it and found an error in my playing. Then today, while I was out refereeing soccer matches, I thought of another place where I think I erred. The first measure consists of three quarter notes followed by two eighth notes. I have a tendency to accelerate into the eighth notes too early. In this case I played it like one-two-threeand-four, instead of "one-two-three-fourand", which the score requires. It still sounds nice, but is not correct. It's been bugging me all day, but I've only now arrived back home. I think I'll play and record it again tonight, only properly this time.

Thanks for the link to the Seigal fellow. It was nice. Like so many times since I've joined this forum, I recognized the melody of "Fascination", though I have no idea from where. It must have been a part of a famous movie or something.

Well, I'm going to relax and websurf for a while, then get to the keys. Good evening, all.
Posted By: alans

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 02:39 AM

Are the Faber sight reading books a new series? I looked them up on their site and there as almost no information. Going to the music store this week to check them out. Please let me know how you use them? Do you just play each piece once a day?do you return to the old pages?
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 03:40 AM

Originally Posted by alans
Are the Faber sight reading books a new series? I looked them up on their site and there as almost no information. Going to the music store this week to check them out. Please let me know how you use them? Do you just play each piece once a day?do you return to the old pages?


I love any opportunity to speak highly of these books. I believe they are one of the best investments I've made.

They are "supplemental" to the Faber series. In my case, I am using the Piano Adventures series, having completed the Primer Level, and now working on Level 1. On the http://pianoadventures.com/ homepage they are under the heading of "Basic Piano Adventures", but the books are titled just "Piano Adventures".

Their purpose is to provide many samples of sight reading material so you can continuously present yourself with new, unmemorized material to play. If you follow the instructions on every page to the effect of "Do Not Practice This", you will have to play without memorization, forcing yourself to sight read. I found this feature EXTREMEMLY HELPFUL, as I was continually requiring numerous passes through each lesson book piece in order to master it. In the process, I was memorizing the piece, usually long before having it mastered. So, I was not really exercising my sight reading capabilities, playing from memory about 90% of the time, while only sight reading the first 10 or 15 attempts.

My current practice sessions include playing through the entire book from beginning to the point I am currently studying at, but only allowing myself ONE ATTEMPT at each piece. I play once, and turn the page. Personally, I find the prospect of having to leave behind an unsatisfactory performance a powerful motivator to play attentively and properly the next night. It is working for me. I hope it works for you, too.

I think they are a great addition to the Faber series.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 04:41 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi Brian and Trevor. Thanks for your complements.

Ralph that sounded very good.

There is a guy named Bruce Seigal who I think has only played one of Fabers tunes called Fascination (from 3B if I am not mistaken). You should watch and listen to this guy play. He puts so much into it. Every bit of of his person is in the music. He is truly inspirational to watch. Here is a link.
https://youtu.be/B0jd8T5ZmS0

I can't wait to get to this piece. Brian you must be getting closer to this piece if you have not already passed it.

Regards

Mario

Mario;

Coming up in a few weeks!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 04:46 PM

Originally Posted by raubucho
... My current practice sessions include playing through the entire book from beginning to the point I am currently studying at, but only allowing myself ONE ATTEMPT at each piece. I play once, and turn the page. Personally, I find the prospect of having to leave behind an unsatisfactory performance a powerful motivator to play attentively and properly the next night. It is working for me. I hope it works for you, too.

I think they are a great addition to the Faber series.

Hi Ralph;

I have brought the level 3B sight-reading read to my lesson a few times. According to my teacher, I am "allowed" three passes through the piece. The first one is just scanning the piece, no playing. The second pass is playing through very slowly. The third pass is playing with all dynamic markings, proper note valuations, etc. After that iteration I'm done.

In her opinion, the phrase "do not practice" does not completely equal "play only one time through", but pretty close to that.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 05:07 PM

Hi Folks! I haven't posted in a while, but am still getting in some piano time every day. I've completed the lesson and theory level one books, but still finishing up some pieces in the performance and technique books. I'm half way through sight reading book 1.

It was great listening to everyone's video/audio uploads. It has me thinking about setting up a soundcloud account for myself.

Brian - My practice times are split up into multiple sections each day (5 mins here, 10 mins there, etc, so I mostly work in one book per session. My Alfred pieces are coming along at a slower pace since they aren't getting as much attention now as the Faber ones.

Ralph - For your Journey Through the Classics book, does it not have "Audio Access Included" on the upper left corner of the front cover and an access code on the first page? As for your piano class, I couldn't imagine learning all those scales at once.

Trevor - Thanks for sharing those YouTube links. Mostly I've been using Tiny_Mozarts videos, but it's good to see other people playing as well.

John - Welcome to the forum. Are you only using any of the other supplemental books besides the technique one?
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 05:09 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by raubucho
... My current practice sessions include playing through the entire book from beginning to the point I am currently studying at, but only allowing myself ONE ATTEMPT at each piece. I play once, and turn the page. Personally, I find the prospect of having to leave behind an unsatisfactory performance a powerful motivator to play attentively and properly the next night. It is working for me. I hope it works for you, too.

I think they are a great addition to the Faber series.

Hi Ralph;

I have brought the level 3B sight-reading read to my lesson a few times. According to my teacher, I am "allowed" three passes through the piece. The first one is just scanning the piece, no playing. The second pass is playing through very slowly. The third pass is playing with all dynamic markings, proper note valuations, etc. After that iteration I'm done.

In her opinion, the phrase "do not practice" does not completely equal "play only one time through", but pretty close to that.

All the sight reading pieces have a repeat, is that what you're referring to as the "second pass"?

Also wondering how are mistakes handled? Stop and correct or just keep going?
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 11:38 PM

Hi,

I do the 2 passes system. The first is scanning the music and sometimes just touching the keys (not actually playing them) for slightly complicated passages and the second is actually playing it with all articulation.

I agree getting it wrong and that sinking feeling you get that you are not allowed to play it again is a great motivator for scanning it much more thoroughly and getting it right the first time.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/13/15 11:45 PM

Hi Linda,

From what I understand you just continue playing and not stop and correct the mistake. In fact there is sight-reading software out there (Wessar??) where the passages disappear as you play them, thus not allowing you to go back.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/14/15 02:17 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015


I wonder if we should not record our pieces and share using SoundCloud or something. That being said does anyone know how I can record from my digital piano which has a usb port, directly to my android phone or Ipad?




I'm sorry to be so late responding to this. I had intended to do so earlier, but somehow forgot.

I've been reading some about trying to use my Privia DP as a midi controller, and sending its signals to my laptop which will house software with sound samples of very nice pianos. The desired outcome would be that I could play on my Privia with its graded hammer action, but get the benefit of rich, luscious sounds taken from some of the world's greatest pianos.

During the course of those readings, I have stumbled onto quite a few articles specifically addressing getting midi signals out of the Yamaha P-105, a well regarded digital, and into a computer/ipad/or android device. The P-105 may be comparable to your equipment, as, it does not have midi in or out ports. Rather, it has a port labeled "USB to Host". This USB port carries midi signals to a computer via the computer's USB port. Apparently there is available to Yamaha digital owners a Yamaha program or "app" (free, I think) that does exactly this (kind of like a garageband program). I don't know if it works with other brands of digital pianos.

As for myself, I use a laptop, which has a Linux operating system, and onto which I have loaded Audacity, the sound recording/editing software package. It has a capacity to take my digital piano's "line out" signal, record it, and then save it as an MP3 file. I'm guessing that the Yamaha "app" referred to above, is similar.

The actual connections I use are: piano "line out" to a "1/4 to 1/8" adapter to a 1/8" stereo cable to a 1/8-to USB adapter, which gets plugged into the laptop. Audacity recognizes the signal so inputted, records it, and saves it as an MP3 file.

I think the search term "softsynth" might get you pointed in the right direction, or somewhere close to it.

I hope something in here is of help to you.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/14/15 03:01 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by raubucho
... My current practice sessions include playing through the entire book from beginning to the point I am currently studying at, but only allowing myself ONE ATTEMPT at each piece. I play once, and turn the page.


Hi Ralph;

I have brought the level 3B sight-reading read to my lesson a few times. According to my teacher, I am "allowed" three passes through the piece. The first one is just scanning the piece, no playing. The second pass is playing through very slowly. The third pass is playing with all dynamic markings, proper note valuations, etc. After that iteration I'm done.

In her opinion, the phrase "do not practice" does not completely equal "play only one time through", but pretty close to that.


I think I like that approach. I am weak at recognizing dynamic markings while playing, staying busy enough to just get the tempo and pitch correct. The slow pass especially seems appropriate for me, as that would give me one pass through to get the melody settled before adding dynamics. Yet, it is few enough passes that memorization would not likely be a problem, and sight reading would still be needed and exercised. I think I am going to try this.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/14/15 08:54 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I wonder if we should not record our pieces and share using SoundCloud or something. That being said does anyone know how I can record from my digital piano which has a usb port, directly to my android phone or Ipad?


The way I did it (when my computer was closer to my piano!) was to record my playing via USB MIDI in Pianoteq, then save it out as an MP3 file.

I've only done it once, mind, a while agoā€¦ smile https://soundcloud.com/antikewl/largo

You should be able to do something similar using Garageband on the iPad.
Posted By: John BC

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/14/15 06:16 PM

Hi Linda

Thanks! My teacher is just having me use the Lesson and Technique Book at this point, along with another technique book called Dozen a Day.

regards

John
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/14/15 07:56 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet


Ralph - For your Journey Through the Classics book, does it not have "Audio Access Included" on the upper left corner of the front cover and an access code on the first page? As for your piano class, I couldn't imagine learning all those scales at once.


Until reading your post, I had not realized that an "Audio Access Included" version of that book was available. Your post prompted me to go to its website, and sure enough, there is one that comes with Audio Access for only a few dollars more. It might not have made enough difference for me, as, I do not have internet at home, relying instead on a nearby public wifi spot for internet.

I've grown quite fond of listening to the music while following the score with my eyes. I think, somehow, that will be help to me in aurally recognizing intervals, both melodic and harmonic. Also, it helps me develop and internal guage for things like the actual volume difference between forte and piano, how much slowing does "ritardando" call for, etc. I think I learn a lot from the CD performances. And, I like the music and enjoy just listening.

I probably will not go back and re-purchase the Audio Access version, as, I currently have a couple of books with CD that have ample music to keep me occupied long enough that I may be ready to attack level 2 by time I learn a lot of those pieces.

My scales are coming along just fine. C is a breeze, G is about a breeze, and D I can reliably do, though it takes a more concentrated effort. In D, I still rely fairly heavily on counting my fingers as I play them. I wouldn't say it is committed to memory as well as needed just yet.

Announcement to follow!?!?!?!?!?!
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/14/15 08:15 PM

For a while now, I have been a little unhappy with the sounds coming out of my Privia 310. I've researched whether these things CAN get out of tune, without any positive results. I just haven't liked the way it sounds, enough so that one night recently I opted not to practice. I remember, as I considered pulling the piano out, thinking about the sound I did not like, and, I think it influenced me to not practice.

I was concerned about this, and started researching things like pianoteq and other programs that allow you to host really nice piano sound software in the computer, and access those sounds by using the digital piano as a midi controller, and letting the computer add the nice sounds. The major drawback for me is that I have to set up the piano and take it back down each time I play, and adding computer set up was feeling like more burden than I wanted to take on.

During my research into ways to get better sound, I happened upon articles and youtube videos about the better sounding digitals. Some of them sounded quite nice, and seemed like a possible solution to my unhappiness. One such piano was the relatively inexpensive Yamaha P-105. Its grand piano sound samples come from a Yamaha concert grand called the CFIIIS, which is reputed to be quite a nice piano.

On Friday, a nearly new P-105 came on the local Craigslist market for $325, including a double brace X stand, an X brace bench, and a nice, high quality gig bag. It became available when the budding church it was used in disbanded. I went to look at it last night, and bought it. It does sound better than the Privia. The action, as reported by many, is slightly heavier than the Privia, but not by enough to be disturbing.

I stayed up late last night getting used to it, and starting to learn its features. So far, I've learned its recording device, the one that records your performance and allows you to play it back. I plan on learning its built-in metronome today(oddly, the Privia didn't have a metronome).

I am anxious to do some side-by-side comparisons of the music I have recorded on the Privia to the same pieces recorded on the Yamaha. I hope the sound difference justifies the purchase.

Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/15/15 01:05 AM

I recorded March by Daniel Gottlob Turk again, but on my Yamaha this time. I'm playing the piece better now, and, I like the sound of the Yamaha better.

PW wouldn't let me go back and edit the original post, so, here is the link to the new version:

https://soundcloud.com/user-907897415/march-daniel-gottlob-p-105

Back to practice! smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/15/15 10:50 PM

That sounded very nice Ralph. Keep posting your tunes.

Just one thing on the digital piano, I have noticed that playing on a weighted keyboard which also mimics the hammer action of a normal piano is much better to play with.

But one deficiency my piano suffers and I guess which all digital pianos (barring the top-of-the line ones) is that the dynamic range is not so great as a normal piano i.e. hitting the key very hard makes the piano very loud and very soft makes the piano very soft and the whole range in-between. One tip I picked up on this website was to put the volume of the digital piano at full and play using headphones.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/15/15 10:54 PM

Hi Trevor and Ralph,

Thanks for your tips.

I did find a method that works perfectly for me. It is a ipad/iphone app called Piano Diary made by Yamaha which works with any midi keyboard not just a Yamaha. I have posted instructions on how to connect in another post earlier.

Regards

Mario

Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/15 12:26 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
That sounded very nice Ralph. Keep posting your tunes.


Thanks, Mario. It now includes the corrections I wanted to make, and, I think, is in proper form.

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Just one thing on the digital piano, I have noticed that playing on a weighted keyboard which also mimics the hammer action of a normal piano is much better to play with.


The Casio Privia I changed from also had weighted, graded piano action, so it is not that big of a change for me. I switched mainly for what I think is improved sound, and, low price, of course. smirk

Originally Posted by Mario2015
But one deficiency my piano suffers and I guess which all digital pianos (barring the top-of-the line ones) is that the dynamic range is not so great as a normal piano i.e. hitting the key very hard makes the piano very loud and very soft makes the piano very soft and the whole range in-between. One tip I picked up on this website was to put the volume of the digital piano at full and play using headphones.


I noticed exactly the attribute you refer to. Last night I ventured in to the world of setting the dynamic range of the Yamaha. Since I was polishing the piece so I could record and post it, I was very attentive to dynamic markings in the score. Dynamics is usually the final point of detail in finalizing a piece.

The final measure and a half has a decrescendo mark, and it comes at the busiest, and most difficult point in the piece, both left and right hands making complementary, but differing moves at the same time. It is a point at which I normally descend into "battle mode," crushing the keys with force commensurate with my skyrocketing tension, rising blood pressure, and rapidly disappearing composure.

In the course of overcoming this melee, and in frustration over not being able to quiet the final notes to the point I thought appropriate, I decided to look into the piano's dynamic settings. It has 4 settings, one for no dynamic effect at all, and then three more ranging from a slight difference between a hard strike and a soft one, to a great difference between them. I tried all three, and could not get what I thought would be an acceptable available range. I settled for the setting that gives the greatest range as it seemed closest to what I perceive a real piano's range to be.

I'm glad you wrote, as, I was not aware that lack of dynamic range is a common shortcoming in digital pianos. I now have the comfort of knowing that the instrument is not defective, and, that I have done everything available to set its dynamics to the most beneficial posture.

I too have picked up the same advice from this forum about playing the digital with the volume all the way up. The explanation I remember was that keeping the volume up forces one to learn to play the keys softly in order to better learn the nuances of achieving a delicate sound when that is called for.

Also, I'm glad to hear you have found Yamaha's Piano Diary and have been able to make it work for you.

I think I'll start a new piece tonight, though, I haven't selected it just yet. Tomorrow, I have to perform the two octave scales in C, G, and D, both hands, but hands separate for my piano class. I should be just fine on those.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/15 02:00 AM

The first instrument we started our lessons with was a Kawai CN34, which had weighted keys and a grand action feel, as well as a nice sound.

We were fortunate enough to upgrade substantially to an intermediate-grade Yamaha grand 17 months ago. The feel and sound difference as you might expect was not subtle, and IMHO has directly improved our playing skills as well.

Now a lot of folks either don't have the money, space, or the logistics to have a grand piano in the middle of their house, especially without a headphone option.

Still, about six months later we were able to buy a used 2001 Yamaha upright that blows the socks off our Kawai digital, and was much cheaper to boot. Having a spare bedroom to put it in solved the headphone problem.

My point here is that any instrument, even a inexpensive digital is infinitely better than no piano at all. But ultimately, in order to reach more advanced levels of playing you will need an instrument that is worthy of your emerging talents. Even an older used upright in great condition will probably be able to get you there.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/15 03:52 AM

Mario - That makes sense to not stop for corrections while sight-reading. It's just that it's so hard not to! Something I really need to work on. And after thinking about it more, it seems the "second pass" you guys are talking about must be on the repeat. Seems doing it that way would make it a little less boring.

John - I'd recommend getting the sight reading books to go along with the other ones you're working on. It's something you can do on your own.

Ralph - What? No internet at home? That's no way to live. I enjoyed listening to March. I thought it sounded great. How's your piano class coming along, other than those scales that you're conquering? BTW, I actually ended up signing up for the non-credit piano class at Brookhaven. The course book is Faber's Adult All-In-One book. I had my first class last Thursday. I was happy to find out that everyone moves along at their own pace and there's frequent one-on-one time with the teacher.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/15 11:49 AM

Well that time is coming real soon for me in Level 3B. This is something that I have been thinking about for over a year since I first took a look at the first edition of 3B in a music store.

Well what time is it? smirk

Basically, in my view when you start at Level 1 in the Faber series you are at the beginning rung of the 8 step "Elementary" level (I'm using the Piano Guild nomenclature). As you move through Level 1, Level 2, and so-forth, you keep moving up the different Elementary steps. By the time you start Level 3A you have reached the mid-elementary level I think. At 3B, late-elementary.

The last unit of 3B (both first and second editions) covers an introduction to sixteenth notes. This is the longest unit in any of my Faber books up until now (40 pages total in the four core books), and the difficulty level is considerably upped.

When I looked at some of the pieces a year ago they looked quite impossible to play. So probably in about 4 weeks I'll start to see how well all of these lessons and exercises have prepared me for this unit.

According to my teacher, once I complete this unit (and move on to Level 4) I probably (for all intents and purposes) have reached the first step of the Intermediate level. This is significant as my original goal starting out two years was to reach this level maybe 5-10 years down the road (or maybe never).

I think that one of the posters in this thread said they were at Level 4. I would like to hear comments about how well you are doing.
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/15 03:58 PM

Well I have to agree with Brian, this site is hopping and becoming a wealth of information. I have enjoyed all the music posted. I had discovered most of the sites mentioned and have found Chris Brent and TinyMozart to be most helpful with the AAIO music.

Welcome to all the new members!

Ralph: Good job on the March. The old link does not work so I could not compare. Congrats on the new piano. I also saw were you wrote -"The first measure consists of three quarter notes followed by two eighth notes. I have a tendency to accelerate into the eighth notes too early. In this case I played it like one-two-threeand-four, instead of "one-two-three-fourand", which the score requires."

From my Fundamental Keys book, we would count the piece for the eighth notes the entire way. Hold the quarters for the 1 and and then the eighths come out right. This may seem like the quarters are slower but it leads to the piece being smoother and you lose the sense of playing the eighth notes too quickly.

Linda: Much success in your class!
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/15 09:14 PM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim

Ralph: Good job on the March. The old link does not work so I could not compare. Congrats on the new piano. I also saw were you wrote -"The first measure consists of three quarter notes followed by two eighth notes. I have a tendency to accelerate into the eighth notes too early. In this case I played it like one-two-threeand-four, instead of "one-two-three-fourand", which the score requires."

From my Fundamental Keys book, we would count the piece for the eighth notes the entire way. Hold the quarters for the 1 and and then the eighths come out right. This may seem like the quarters are slower but it leads to the piece being smoother and you lose the sense of playing the eighth notes too quickly.


Thanks for listening to and commenting on the piece, NorwichTim.

Thanks, also, for sharing the tip from Fundamental Keys. I want to verify that I understand exactly what you are describing. Are you saying that in a measure such as the one I described, in 4/4 time with three consecutive quarter notes followed by two eighth notes, you would count as follows: ONEand TWOand THREEand FOURand. And, that by adding the "and"s through the entire measure, you sort of prepare your mind and body for the eighth notes at the end by already having your body and mind counting in eighths? If so, that sounds clever, and probably quite effective. I am going to try that.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/16/15 09:45 PM

Brian, I am very happy for you. You have accomplished a lot in your short two years of playing, and I am sure there is still much, much more to come. You will surmount the coming challenges with the same personal attributes that have helped you overcome all the ones that now lay behind you. It will be exciting to watch you progress, and to hear you playing all the new repertoire that opens up to you with the addition of sixteenth notes. Your skill and comfort at the keys was readily apparent in your recent recital submission.

Linda, thanks for listening and for the comments.

I did my scales (C, G, and D) for the teacher today, and did well. Too my surprise, I did get a little nervous, or something, and had one little stumble coming down the D scale with my right hand. I absolutely know it was the fact that the teacher was standing over me, and GRADING me. I was not expecting that little bout with the nerves. For next week, I have three more scales to memorize and perform.

Otherwise, the class seems to be plodding along through the simple basic tunes in the Alfred's books. Since Alfred's introduces chords/doubles early I am having to focus on those already as I have had very limited exposure to them so far, and Alfred's is already presenting them.

Since the teacher seems willing to accommodate students who move along faster, finishing the AAIO in a semester still seems a possibility, with the chord work probably presenting the greatest challenge to me.

I am not sure the course is all that well thought out. By next week I will have mastered six scales, yet, I do not think the AAIO will even touch on scales beyond C, G, and D, maybe F. I am concerned that I will be devoting considerable effort to scales that will be forgotten or atrophied long before I get around to using them.

Did you keep the Saturday teacher in addition to the piano class? If I remember correctly, the teacher for the non-credit class was named Ditucci, or something like that. I'll be anxious to hear your evaluation of him/her. In just a couple of months I'll have to decide where to take Piano II, and it would be good to know about the teachers that are available.

This thread has ascended my priority list and is one of my daily "must visit" places. I enjoy interacting with all of you, and am profiting immensely.

Keep up the good work, all.

Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/15 12:22 AM

Hi from Down Under.

Brian...Congrats!! That is a great achievement, and in such a short period of 2 years.

I hope the Fabers continue making series beyond Level 5 because I really like their rounded approach. I have had piano teachers before who have not taught me a tenth of what I am learning with the Faber series (supplemented with YouTube).

I have a question for you guys because I feel I am not alone with this problem. In today's practice I was trying to record the very beautiful piece called 'Morning' but the more I desired to play it perfectly the more I became reliant on memory and thus stumbled when my memory gave way. What is the solution to this?

Regards

Mario



Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/15 11:27 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi from Down Under.

Brian...Congrats!! That is a great achievement, and in such a short period of 2 years.

I hope the Fabers continue making series beyond Level 5 because I really like their rounded approach. I have had piano teachers before who have not taught me a tenth of what I am learning with the Faber series (supplemented with YouTube).

I have a question for you guys because I feel I am not alone with this problem. In today's practice I was trying to record the very beautiful piece called 'Morning' but the more I desired to play it perfectly the more I became reliant on memory and thus stumbled when my memory gave way. What is the solution to this?

Regards
Mario

Hi Mario. The Faber lesson books only go to Level 5, which is probably somewhere around the mid-Intermediate level. I think this is common for most of the method books in use today. Faber does publish graded music in their Developing Artist series as well as other books, that go to through the Advanced level.

I think at some point most folks who progress to the more advanced level of playing are taking private lessons with teachers who are comfortable with that level of instruction.

Since starting out we have always understood that Faber lessons will only take us so far. I very much look forward to the day where we "graduate" from the series. The good news for us is at that point we should be able to handle most of the types of music we would like to play going forward. Also, our teacher is quite capable of the kind of instruction we will need long term; she teaches a number adults who are quite advanced.

As far you trying to record "Morning", well that is what we call in the ABF "Red Light Syndrome". frown What you are experiencing is common, and for me personally, is a big issue. For most of the pieces I'm learning right now (and would love to submit to the next ABF Recital) I am unable to get a clean recording that I feel comfortable submitting. This is a shame to be sure.

Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/15 05:06 PM

Ralph:
I think you have mostly got it. In a piece with 1/8 notes and 1/4 notes, I always count the entire piece using one and, two and ... Otherwise, what tends to happen is you start playing the quarter notes to fast in the beginning and when the eighth notes come you are unable to play them twice as fast. This way you develop a good steady rhythm. I certainly struggle getting a steady rhythm. I even set my metronome app to count it that way when I use the metronome.

I sure hope this "Red Light Syndrome" is not something we are all going to catch. Mario has it, Brian seems to be admitting he has it bad and even poor Ralph seems to have a touch. What ever shall we do???
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/15 09:27 PM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Ralph:


I sure hope this "Red Light Syndrome" is not something we are all going to catch. Mario has it, Brian seems to be admitting he has it bad and even poor Ralph seems to have a touch. What ever shall we do???


For "Red Light Syndrome" I self-medicate at the ABF September Piano Bar. My favorite medicine, a wonderful concoction by fellow ABF'er, Amaruk:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2455973/1.html



Posted By: AndrewJCW

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/17/15 09:59 PM

I'd keep up with the scales Ralph. They're pretty universally agreed upon as a useful thing to have in the fingers, regardless of your course or method. Hands together 2 octaves all major scales is a good beginner goal I think.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/18/15 05:53 AM

Brian:

Thanks for the reassurance that I was not alone in suffering from RLS. I wonder if a treatment with a prescription of Sight Reading would cure that. Sight reading does help you to disregard imperfections and move on.

Tim yes it is infectious; you may want to quarantine Ralph, Brian and I for a while.

Ralph thanks for the link. That is a wonderful place to go to.

Regards

Mario



Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/18/15 08:45 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015

I have a question for you guys because I feel I am not alone with this problem. In today's practice I was trying to record the very beautiful piece called 'Morning' but the more I desired to play it perfectly the more I became reliant on memory and thus stumbled when my memory gave way. What is the solution to this?



Mario and Brian: I have no idea if this helps, but I thought I'd share just in case it does offer some help.

I am still improving my sight reading. Sometimes I approach a practice piece with great resolve to sight read to perfection. Invariably, that fails, as I sort of fall asleep at the wheel and drift off the score, or, suddenly "awaken", not knowing where I am at. This even happens on pieces which I have fairly well committed to memory already.

On the other hand, I often practice specifically focused on getting the tempo right, and force myself to count the entire piece out loud. Oddly enough, it is usually during these 'counting aloud" attempts that I successfully get the correct pitch on each and every keystroke, and, never get lost.

My hypothesis is that our memories are quite powerful, and adept at logging information, accurately storing it, and making it readily available to us when we need it. If we just leave our memory alone, to do its job without the interference of our tendency to micro-manage, it works wonderfully. But, when put under the thumb of our cognitive faculties, i.e., when we overtly try to "manage" or "control" that memorized knowledge, we do a much poorer job of it than would our natural memory capacity.

For decades I have trained high caliber soccer players, and have found that, though the earliest moments of learning skills involve some cognitive exercise, the ultimate success of executing complex movements under the heightened pressure of an actual match depends largely on how successfully the coach and player managed to shift that newly acquired knowledge out of the player's cognitive box and into the player's intuitive library of knowledge. When the game is on, the player who thinks about what he needs to do to execute the move, will fail to execute. In highly complex matters, such as deceiving a field opponent, or, executing a difficult piano performance, our memory and its possessed knowledge, is much better able to serve us if we just leave it alone to do what it does best.

For me, I suspect the beat counting sufficiently occupies my cognitive faculties, that my memory is left to operate on its own, free of interference, which it then does quite well.

Perhaps you could try beat counting, or looking ahead one full measure, or some other simple task that would occupy your cognitive side, and free your memory to do what it does best.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/19/15 02:50 PM

Hi everyone, sorry I haven't posted lately, we've had a slew of home improvements going on this summer and they are finally almost at an end (thank goodness!). I'm really happy to see so much going on in this thread!

Quick question for those working in the PA regular books (not all-in-one): How do you manage your practice for the week? Each Unit is broken down into smaller pieces, "groupings" if I can call them that, with each grouping giving a bit out of each book we work with. My question is, how much do you take on for the week? One grouping, two? The whole unit together?? I'm not sure I'm working in the most efficient way and would love some input on how others are managing this. Also, for the AB books (2A, 2B, 3A, 3B), how long does each book generally take to make your way through it? I was working in All-in-One and switched to the regular books, so I feel a little off balance. It's going well, but I want to check if I'm working efficiently or spending too much time, too little, etc.

Input PLEASE!!!! Have a great day, pianists!
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/19/15 09:00 PM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai

Quick question for those working in the PA regular books (not all-in-one): How do you manage your practice for the week? Each Unit is broken down into smaller pieces, "groupings" if I can call them that, with each grouping giving a bit out of each book we work with. My question is, how much do you take on for the week? One grouping, two? The whole unit together?? I'm not sure I'm working in the most efficient way and would love some input on how others are managing this.

Input PLEASE!!!! Have a great day, pianists!


My practices vary quite a lot. The constants have been progressing through the books, from front to back, then, on to the next book.(finished Primer Level, now 1/2 through Level 1). And, I nearly daily play through the current level Sight Reading book from page 1 through the page that corresponds to my current page in the Lesson Book.

I do not divide the course into segments (and possibly ignore any segmenting done by the book). I just proceed taking on new material as I decide that I have sufficiently mastered the previous.

I am currently off this program as I have enrolled in a piano class at the local CC and have been diverted somewhat over to the Alfred's program that the course uses. Plus, I have recently been following my interest in learning some original pieces that are at my level, such as the March I posted before. When my schedule becomes less cluttered, and I have the Alfred's thing under control, I'll be back to things as usual.

I suspect I'm doing myself no harm in proceeding this way. I'm constantly learning things or pushing the limits of my current abilities, and making progress.

As for you, I'd suggest adopting a somewhat aggressive attitude toward making sure you are always challenged, and either learning new concepts or new pieces that push upward from your current comfort level. I wouldn't worry about how many pages you are covering, focusing instead on monitoring whether you are constantly in a challenging, learning mode.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/15 01:57 AM

Hi Ralph,

I think you are right about allowing your subconscious mind to do the work and not interfere by trying to use our conscious minds. Like if we are riding a bike, if we really focus on every action I am sure we will go for a toss.

But the skill I am trying to get for myself is the ability to read and not use memory at all (although I suspect there will always be a small memory element to it). I want to play like someone tells one a story by reading a book rather than from telling it from memory. There is a thing called chunking where when we first start to learn to read we do so one alphabet at a time. Slowly we start chunking syllables and then words and then word combinations (thus now we never really look at letters when we read). I want to be able to do the equivalent in music. Now I am reading one note at a time, but at some point I want to progress to note combinations. I know that skill takes time to build but I do not want that skill to be compromised by my ability to memorize.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/15 02:04 AM

Hi Ebony,

I took 3 weeks to complete the first unit of 3A. When I did Unit 2 Accel for older beginners it used to take me 1 week per unit.

I am not sure if the 3 weeks was because Unit 1 was unusually long. I have started to record my pieces and until I have recorded with a certain degree of perfection (I have learnt to live with small mistakes) I don't go past. The sight reading books seems to indicate that we need three weeks per unit. There are three pieces from each unit of the first two units and five combinations of these three pieces.

I usually start with lessons and technique and then move on to performance. I keep theory for last.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/15 02:11 AM

Hi All,

I have recorded some more pieces from Faber 3A Unit 1. Feedback is welcome.

Long, long ago: https://youtu.be/KOVp5BBZBls

Morning: https://youtu.be/5LVSYEqE3JA

Yellow Bird: https://youtu.be/RHOou3i4F6g

Court Dance: https://youtu.be/ldPigNmG2Dg

Court Dance (Rock version): https://youtu.be/bHM-xQ65sFA

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/15 02:59 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
...In today's practice I was trying to record the very beautiful piece called 'Morning'(emphasis added)...



Funny, I was just getting ready to post asking whether you were talking about the "Morning" by Anton Diabelli from the Faber and Faber Developing Artists Level 1 book. I just finished listening to the CD of the pieces in that book (looking for my next recital piece) and saw the Diabelli composition. As I readied to type, I noticed that you had only moments ago posted the links to your recordings (above). I listened to your recordings, and it is a different piece than the one I am looking at.

I also discovered that the piece I recently recorded titled "March" appears to have been re-used by Turk as the basis for another piece, which appears in the book referenced above, under the title of "Little Dance." I wonder what the story is behind that. With the number of short pieces Turk, Hook, Telemann, Praetorius, and other wrote, and because of their relative simplicity, I wonder if they were piano teachers, and had to write their own training materials for beginning students. Since I already know a fair amount of "Little Dance" from having done "March", I think I may take on the larger of the two pretty soon.

Mario, nice job on those recorded pieces. I like the piano "voice" much better than the one you used before. And, I especially enjoyed hearing your left hand part on "Long, Long Ago", as I have recently attempted some of these level 1 songs that utilize a similar left hand part, and I have struggled with them. I have been able to roll fairly easily through the 5-3-1-3 sequence on the tonic chord and switch to the Dominant chord successfully when I play left hand alone. But, I"m a fish out of water when I try to put the right hand part into the mix. In time, I'll get there, but it was nice to hear you doing it now.

Well, it's off to practice for me.

Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/15 03:53 AM

Hi Ralph,

The left hand part is called an Alberti bass which is quite commonly used in Classical music. The unit 1 of 3A has a lot of practice pieces for this bass.

Copying each other; old classical times plagiarism.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/15 04:56 PM

Mario: Lovely playing. I enjoyed them all. The reading skill you are after comes with lots of reading. Just like when we learned to read. I suggest getting a Preparatory book like Festival Collection and practicing reading these very simple pieces. It has typically been suggested that our reading skills are best practiced several levels below our current level. Sight reading is always a work in progress at our level.

Ralph: I know what you mean about the names. I was looking at a piece by Thomas Attwood called Tuneful Dialog. I learned it as a piece called Duettino. Turk's pieces often have different names or his Marches are simply titled March yet he has multiple Marches in different keys. I suspect some of the names are a matter of translation from the original name. All of the people you mentioned wrote for students and likely had students but I'm not sure they were teachers like we would think of them today. Writing for students appears to have been common practice even people like Bela Bartok wrote books for students.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/15 06:53 PM

Mario;

Very nice playing on Yellowbird! I love the piano voice you are using as well.

OK, I have one suggestion that will really complete the piece. There are several places where you need to connect the right hand legato style. Measure 2 is an example. You need to flow from the half note to the quarter note combination and connect everything. You can do this because the half note used fingers 3&5, and the second used fingers 2&4. This is the extra "stuff" I usually have to spend an extra week or two on before my teacher will pass the piece.

Keep up the good work!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/22/15 07:17 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi Ebony,

I took 3 weeks to complete the first unit of 3A. When I did Unit 2 Accel for older beginners it used to take me 1 week per unit.

I am not sure if the 3 weeks was because Unit 1 was unusually long. I have started to record my pieces and until I have recorded with a certain degree of perfection (I have learnt to live with small mistakes) I don't go past. The sight reading books seems to indicate that we need three weeks per unit. There are three pieces from each unit of the first two units and five combinations of these three pieces.

I usually start with lessons and technique and then move on to performance. I keep theory for last.

Regards

Mario


Thanks for the input, it took me 3 weeks, too! It was really long, so I feel better now, thank you! Going by the sight reading book makes good sense, I didn't notice this until you mentioned it. Thanks again, Mario and everybody!
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/22/15 09:37 PM

Yesterday, I passed my second test on scales, A, E, and B major scales. I have another test tomorrow on Eb, Bb, and F, I think. There are all starting to muddle together, and I find I am only memorizing them in a temporary manner just to get past these graded performances. It seems it will be eons before I get around to playing anything in keys other than C, G, D, or F. I think the effort I am currently devoting to keys such as Bb is wasted energy, as, I know I will have forgotten it long before I ever get around to playing it, and, will have to re-learn the scale at that future time.

On the other hand, I'm grasping the chord work being introduced in the course/Alfred's pretty well. Most of my current songs involve left hand accompaniment using C and G7 chords, with the melody mostly in the right hand. I have one song on my plate that is the opposite, using right hand chords for accompaniment to a left hand melody. This should be good exercise for me.

I have not made much headway in my PA Level 1 book since starting this course, and miss it. I am, however, looking through the Faber Developing Artist Book 1 for a piece to polish up for the coming 40th ABF recital in November. There are several pieces which are within reach and which I enjoy listening to, including Canario by Von der Hofe, Gavotte in C by Telemann, The Highlander (La Montagnarde) by Mouret, and Sonatina in G (1st Movement) by Atwood. I am going to start tinkering with them soon so I can determine if one of then presents the optimal combination of acheivability and listening/playing pleasure.

There are a couple offerings from other books, that I really like, particularly a few composed by Mary Leaf. She is a composer/teacher that has made a specialty of composing enjoyable, musical songs for beginner/intermediate level pianists. She also seems to have a bit of a penchant for Scottish sounding music, incorporating unusual, almost percussive left hand chord accompaniments that capture some of the flavor of Scottish bagpipe or fiddle music. I love the stuff, and it has the upper hand in terms of the "listening pleasure" element of my recital piece selection process. My mom was a Scot, so, maybe it's in my genes.

I hope you are all doing well.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/23/15 12:30 AM

Thanks Brian for your complement and useful feedback.

I did not realize that till you mentioned it. In the absence of a teacher this sort of feedback is invaluable. Please keep it coming. I now know that I need to work on getting the Legato right and also my staccatos need to be a bit more sharper.

You obviously have a wonderful teacher. Would it be possible to persuade her to settle in Sydney Australia; it is a very nice place smile.

Thanks Tim for your complement; I very glad you enjoyed them. Re. sight reading....I'll look into the festival collection to complement the Faber sight reading book. Also you mentioned that ones sight reading skills are normally a few levels below normal playing skills which makes perfect sense. So maybe I could try playing my level 1 and 2 pieces as additional material.

Its nearing Christmas time and I heard TinyMozart playing the Level 3A Christmas collection and it sounded really good. Can anyone advise whether I could play it now with my existing skills (3A unit 1) or I could only do so after I have completed level 3A which will possibly be after Christmas the way I am going?

Regards

Mario

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/24/15 12:18 PM

Mario, you will find I think that not all of the pieces in the Christmas book are at the same level of difficulty.

Scan through the pieces and see what you can find. Since you are already in Level 3A, I'll bet many of the songs in the book will not be "stretch pieces" at all. They will just require a little more time to learn them.

And hey, you have three months to learn them! smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/25/15 02:28 AM

Thanks Brian. I think I'll order the book and give it a shot.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/27/15 11:36 PM

Hi Ralph,

Nice job on getting those scales done. I understand your concern about learning all those scales now. I know I don't retain stuff unless I am constantly reviewing/practicing it. I pretty much ignored scale work while going through the Alfred's book. But I recently got back to learning the C major scale when I got to that unit in my Faber's Adult All-In-One book. Next week I'll be getting to the G major unit, so I'll be learning that scale soon.

I no longer have a private teacher. Right now I'm happy with Mrs Ditucci at the community college. There are 9 of us in the class, some just starting out, some in the 2nd book, and at least one already finished with both books and now working on classical pieces. There's even a 10 yr old there learning with her mom. So we're all learning at our own pace and the teacher goes around and helps each of us in turn, then comes around at least once more to ask if we have any questions or need more help. Whoever she's helping unplugs their headphone so she can hear them playing. Sometimes I listen in, hearing the teacher's comments/coaching as well, and other times I tune it all out so I can focus on whatever I'm working on. I like the class well enough that today I signed up for the next one already, so I've got my lessons covered until at least mid-December.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/15 02:35 AM

Hey, Linda. Thanks for the acknowledgement on the scales. They come easy enough, and, depart just as easily. I do not currently remember much of anything about the ones I've already tested on! cursing But, I've done well, and have a current grade of 96%. So, I guess the teacher is satisfied that I'm doing well.

I think we'll be doing scales the entire semester long, as, the syllabus shows we will also do all the minor key scales, as well. I wouldn't mind, except that they take up too much of what I consider precious time. One of my biggest pleasures, to date, has been putting together a piece for the ABF recital, and, I want to do it again for the coming November recital. But, with the current regimen of tackling new Alfred's materials, and new scales each week, I'm afraid I won't be able to devote the time I want to recital preparation. Not sure, yet, how I'll work that one out.

I'm liking what we are doing in Alfred's, mainly due to the integration of chords. I'm up to about page 50, where the two versions of When the Saints Go Marching In (one with L-R chord-melody, and, the other with R-L chord-melody). Everything is fine up to that last one, I'm stumbling a bit when it comes time to change chord with the right hand from the C chord to the F chord. I'm a little clumsy shifting fingers 3 and 5 from E and G over to F and A. But, it's coming along.

I still miss my Faber studies, but, they'll be on hold for a bit.

Tomorrow I test on scales of F, Bb and Eb. I did them just fine tonight, so I should be ok tomorrow.

I'm glad your class with Mrs. Ditucci is going well. These junior college courses, especially when they turn out to have such small class sizes, could turn out to be the bargain of the century. I'm content with mine, so far.

Brian: How are you coming along with the 16th notes? I'm sure you must be excited about the increasing challenge, and the expanding repertoire that comes with it. I can't wait to get to that point.

Well, it's off to my night time practice. I hope all of you are doing well.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/15 11:42 AM

Ralph;
I'm still on Unit 6 of the lesson book (Inversions) and probably will be for another two weeks or so. As soon as I have first impressions on Unit 7 (Sixteenth notes) I'll let everyone know how well Faber presents this topic.

Linda;
Keep up the good work! Your group lesson sounds very interesting and fun.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/15 11:34 PM

Hi guys,

I have a question. What exactly is playing Tenuto. The book says to press the keep 'deep' for the full value; I am assuming that means that for a quarter note to be played Tenuto it has to be pressed for a full beats in a 4/4. But that is what one typically does for any note, doesn't one?

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/30/15 03:31 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi guys,

I have a question. What exactly is playing Tenuto. The book says to press the keep 'deep' for the full value; I am assuming that means that for a quarter note to be played Tenuto it has to be pressed for a full beats in a 4/4.


I had no idea, so I did some short research. It seems you have it right, hold the note for its full value.


Originally Posted by Mario2015
But that is what one typically does for any note, doesn't one?


From what I can tell, the Tenuto instruction means to hold the note for as much as the beat as is possible, while still playing the next beat. I think it is a micro-refinement or adjustment to the miniscule gap between the note you are finishing and the coming note. If you are playing two consecutive notes of the same pitch, you must necessarily lift ever-so-slightly early from the first note in order to be ready to strike the second. That miniscule segment of silence between the lift and the next strike is the period that the Tenuto instruction is concerned with. It says to hold that first note absolutely as long as possible before lifting your finger for the next note.

I got this info from what seems to me a pretty good Youtube video on the topic. It's link is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxfBzxiyG3c

In a way, it seems like an instruction to play almost, but not quite, Legato.

One question goes begging, though. If what I have written above is correct, then it seems that "Tenuto" would be synonymous with "Legato." One possible resolution would be if "Tenuto" is reserved for consecutive notes of the same pitch, whereas "Legato" refers to notes of differing pitch. Per the definition of "Legato", it would be impossible to play a series of same-pitch notes "Legato" as the sound would be interrupted by the lifting of the finger for each next note. That could provide justification for another term to be used when same-pitch notes come in sequence. Did the piece in which you encountered the Tenuto marking involve notes of the same pitch?

I hope this is right. If your research uncovers a different meaning, please share it with us. I recently encountered the tenuto sign, the little horizontal line above or below the note head, but, due to the press of time, did not get a chance to research it, and played on, anyway. blush I may go back and attempt to locate it, to see about the possible same-pitch/differing- pitch hypothesis.

Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/30/15 04:04 AM

Thanks Ralph.

Yes there does not seem to be a difference between playing Legato and Tenuto the way it is defined in the book and what that chap on YouTube showed.

However, I did a google search for the definition (should have done that earlier) and it seems it should be held for slightly longer that note says for it to qualify. So a quarter must be played for a bit longer than a quarter.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/01/15 04:00 AM

For Tenuto think "longer" and "firmer", with greater emphasis. But you always play the next note on time. If you want to "steal time" from the next note, that is known as "rubato".

Both of these skills are covered in depth at Level 3A and above.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/01/15 06:01 AM

Hi Brian,

I think what the definition in Google says, if my understanding is correct, is to hold the note a bit longer than what it is (say quarter), but the next note/s should be played on time; thus there is an overlap.

I think that would gel with what you say as 'longer'. I am not sure what 'firmer' means. Does it have to be slightly louder as well?

I was learning Level 3A Lunar Eclipse when I encountered this.



Posted By: MRC

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/01/15 09:29 AM

You need to know this: the interpretation of the word "tenuto" has changed over the centuries, and at the present time the term does not have a "standard" meaning that all musicians will agree upon.

In the 17th and 18th centuries it was considered normal not to hold a note for its whole written length. C.P.E. Bach, in his treatise on keyboard playing, wrote that if there is no indication to the contrary, a note is held approximately for half its written value. An indication to the contrary would be a legato slur or the word "tenuto". So if you see this word in a piece by Haydn, or Mozart, or one of their contemporaries, it means that, exceptionally, you should hold the note right until the end of the written value.

In the 19th century things started changing. It became more of a habit to play legato even if this was not actually specified. More and more composers started using the word "tenuto" to mean that the note should be held slightly longer than usual, implying a rubato as well.

In interpreting 19th and 20th century pieces scholars may disagree as to what the composer intended by "tenuto". One composer may not necessarily use the term in a consistent manner in all their works. In each case the player must make their own decision, based on musical knowledge and personal taste.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/01/15 01:42 PM

Originally Posted by MRC
You need to know this: the interpretation of the word "tenuto" has changed over the centuries, and at the present time the term does not have a "standard" meaning that all musicians will agree upon.

In the 17th and 18th centuries it was considered normal not to hold a note for its whole written length. C.P.E. Bach, in his treatise on keyboard playing, wrote that if there is no indication to the contrary, a note is held approximately for half its written value. An indication to the contrary would be a legato slur or the word "tenuto". So if you see this word in a piece by Haydn, or Mozart, or one of their contemporaries, it means that, exceptionally, you should hold the note right until the end of the written value.

In the 19th century things started changing. It became more of a habit to play legato even if this was not actually specified. More and more composers started using the word "tenuto" to mean that the note should be held slightly longer than usual, implying a rubato as well.

In interpreting 19th and 20th century pieces scholars may disagree as to what the composer intended by "tenuto". One composer may not necessarily use the term in a consistent manner in all their works. In each case the player must make their own decision, based on musical knowledge and personal taste.

Excellent post! I should have mentioned in my comments above that my interpretation of tenuto in "Lunar Eclipse" was my teacher's interpretation. smirk

Basically "longer" meant "hold onto the note as long as possible without missing the beat of the next note". "Firmer" meant give the note a little more "oomph" (not to be confused with "louder").

For pieces with rubato, my teacher instructs me to actually "steal a little time away" from the next beat.

This is subtle stuff, no doubt.

And yes, depending on which period my pieces are in, that can change a bit. The good news is, we usually go over details like this before I start working on a new piece, so that I don't spend a whole week practicing it incorrectly.

P.S. When I get a chance, I'll post my recording of "Lunar Eclipse" which is actually a duet with my teacher.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/04/15 04:56 AM

Hey everyone, sounds like you're all progressing nicely.

I finished the level one core books for the Accelerated series. There are still some songs in the performance book that I haven't gotten to yet, but I decided to set those aside for now so I can work on the last couple songs in the Alfred's book. As for my Faber's all-in-one book, I'm in the last unit working on the last few songs. I hope to have them ready in time for my next class. I've already purchased the second book and am really looking forward to moving on to level two!

Ralph - Way to go with that grade of 96! Hopefully you'll find some time for a recital piece. I think I'm going to try and participate in the next one. I like the chord integration in the Alfred's book, but I also like the Faber's pieces with fewer chords and melody in both hands, plus there're a lot of staccato notes, including playing staccato in one hand and legato in the other hand, that isn't in the Aflred's book. Guess I got the best of both by going through multiple method books.

Brian - Yeah, the class is great and I like the teacher, so as long as I continue to make progress I'm happy. I was just flipping through the Adult all-in-one level 2 book and they introduce sixteenth notes in the last unit. I imagine it'll be a year or so before I get to that point. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to your review of your unit 7's presentation.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/05/15 12:07 PM

Hi folks!

Just started unit 7 last night. The first couple of pages move you "gently" into sixteenth notes, with all three variations (straight, dotted quarter before, dotted quarter after) explained.

The nice thing is the tempo is reasonable (69-72 BPM on the quarter note), so I don't feel I'm rushing or going too fast.

Between all four core books this unit has 36 pages, and with vacation and other scheduled breaks in my lesson schedule through Christmas, my goal is to finish this up by the end of the year.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/05/15 01:21 PM

Just realised that I'm very neearly at the end of AAIO Book 1. Currently working on Polovtsian Dance (which is the same, I think, as the final piece in the Accelerated book 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze6o_JfpXNM ). I wasn't really looking forward to any of the end pieces of the book, but this one is surprisingly lovely. It's always nice when you come across a lesson piece that you actually want to polish.

Just been making some enquiries about getting a real life teacher. I feel like I'm at about the same level now as I was when I stopped playing piano all those years ago. I hope to carry on with the Piano Adventures series, but we'll see what happensā€¦!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/06/15 10:10 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Mario, you will find I think that not all of the pieces in the Christmas book are at the same level of difficulty.

Scan through the pieces and see what you can find. Since you are already in Level 3A, I'll bet many of the songs in the book will not be "stretch pieces" at all. They will just require a little more time to learn them.

And hey, you have three months to learn them! smile


I have the Christmas book and it's really nice, and I'm at 3A. You can play a lot in there!

Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/06/15 10:22 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Ralph;
I'm still on Unit 6 of the lesson book (Inversions) and probably will be for another two weeks or so.


The All-in-One course introduced inversions too early, I think. When I was still working with that book, I was stuck on Swing Low Sweet Chariot for quite a while. I was surprised to find out they are really level 3B work. The arrangement for Swing Low in 3B is in G, as opposed to C in AIO, but almost identical (actually, it looks a teensy bit easier!). I was relieved to know that there wasn't something wrong with me, LOL. I got really stuck there! Playing inversions kind of fast was really hard for me, but I practice them and it got easier over time. I'm glad I can do them again when my ability level is more reasonable!
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/06/15 10:57 PM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
The All-in-One course introduced inversions too early, I think. When I was still working with that book, I was stuck on Swing Low Sweet Chariot for quite a while. I was surprised to find out they are really level 3B work.


Ah, yes. You switched from the AAIO to the regular books, didn't you?

I'm getting towards the end of book one now and was wondering if switching to the regular books might be a better decision. How far did you get into Book 2 before deciding to take the leap to 3A?
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/06/15 11:38 PM

Hi Brian and MRC,

MRC from your post it seems that Tenuto could be legato or rubato depending on your preference.

Brian your definition is similar to legato with a bit of oomph which I am not really clear about.

Wikipedia defines it of either altering the duration or dynamics as both ways would emphasize the note.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/06/15 11:39 PM

Trevor,

Exactly how I felt when suddenly in the end I was surprised by such a beautiful piece.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/06/15 11:41 PM

Thanks Ebony for that re-assurance. I will get the book and give it a go.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/15 03:07 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Ralph;
I'm still on Unit 6 of the lesson book (Inversions) and probably will be for another two weeks or so.


The All-in-One course introduced inversions too early, I think. When I was still working with that book, I was stuck on Swing Low Sweet Chariot for quite a while. I was surprised to find out they are really level 3B work. The arrangement for Swing Low in 3B is in G, as opposed to C in AIO, but almost identical (actually, it looks a teensy bit easier!). I was relieved to know that there wasn't something wrong with me, LOL. I got really stuck there! Playing inversions kind of fast was really hard for me, but I practice them and it got easier over time. I'm glad I can do them again when my ability level is more reasonable!

This is one of many reasons why my teacher does not care for the Adult All-In-One books.

And yes, inversions are deep into Level 3B. Right now I'm working on Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and boy this is the hardest piece I've yet come across. I will really need help with this at tomorrow's lesson. In the first edition of 3B this piece was presented in a slightly easier form. So Faber decided this was not hard enough? Yikes! shocked
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/15 02:40 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
The All-in-One course introduced inversions too early, I think. When I was still working with that book, I was stuck on Swing Low Sweet Chariot for quite a while. I was surprised to find out they are really level 3B work.


Ah, yes. You switched from the AAIO to the regular books, didn't you?

I'm getting towards the end of book one now and was wondering if switching to the regular books might be a better decision. How far did you get into Book 2 before deciding to take the leap to 3A?


Hi Trevor!

I went through Unit 6 in the All in One Book 2, then started with 3A, which was a really smooth transition for me. A couple of the pieces in 3A I'd seen already, so it was nice to know I was kind of in the right place. I probably could have started it a little earlier, but I'm weird that way and afraid to miss anything. There's a good review unit at the start of 3A, and I think if you know those things included, you're fine to go. Personally, I got a LOT out of Unit 4 in Book 2, but if you're going to 3A, then I'd skip Unit 5 on inversions. It's just too early, in my opinion, and all it did was frustrate me and make me feel like a dummy, LOL. Unit 6 All in One 2/Looking Glass River is covered early in 3A, so there's a possibility that you might be able to transition from book one directly to 3A but take that with a grain of salt because I did get a lot out of Units 1-4 in All in One book 2.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/15 02:47 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX

This is one of many reasons why my teacher does not care for the Adult All-In-One books.

And yes, inversions are deep into Level 3B. Right now I'm working on Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and boy this is the hardest piece I've yet come across. I will really need help with this at tomorrow's lesson. In the first edition of 3B this piece was presented in a slightly easier form. So Faber decided this was not hard enough? Yikes! shocked


I had nightmares about that song, LOL!!! Just practice going from 1st to second to third inversions and back again, in C, G, and F whenever you have spare time, and try to get them going kind of fast so that your hand doesn't even think about the positions anymore. Then the song gets easier. It's those transition in the song that are so darn hard. You have to get to the place where your fingers find them 1-2-3, one right after the other. It takes a lot of practice! I do inversions daily along with my scales and arps. Eventually it gets better, I promise!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/15 04:39 PM

I actually grabbed my 3B book and tried out Swing Low. Wow, I have to say this one IS quite a bit harder than the one in All in One 2. Looking at it, it seemed like it should be a bit easier, but it's not. AIO only had C inversions, I believe, and this one has G, which isn't bad, but then D too! And what's complicated is the D inversions are going 3rd-1st-2nd, which is HARD just because it's out of order. But thank goodness at least we have triads down so we can figure out the inversions!

Yeah, this piece is pretty hard. It would take me a while to get this one under my fingers. I'm glad I don't have to tackle it for a long time yet!!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/15 07:27 PM

It's the D Major inversions that make this harder than it should be. After three weeks in Unit 6 I'm getting more comfortable with first and second inversions involving only white keys. In these cases, the order of the inversions is not the hardest part.

However, moving around to the different inversions when there is one or more black keys involved makes this exponentially more difficult.

Add in the "swinging eighths" and other goodies, well..... shocked
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/08/15 12:14 AM

Well, I've ordered a copy of the 3A lesson book and I'll see how it compares. Iirc, from flicking through the pages, the first couple of units of AAIO book two are revisiting what was learned in book one, but I'll have both anyway so I'll start book two and see how it goes. I rather like the idea of having extra sight reading and theory from the supplimental books.

What's funny is that Swing Low sounds like it would be really easy to play. I much prefer the ones that sound complex but are actually really easy. wink
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/08/15 02:57 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
What's funny is that Swing Low sounds like it would be really easy to play. I much prefer the ones that sound complex but are actually really easy. wink

That's one of the things I really like about Faber. There are numerous pieces in Level 3A and 3B that sound far more complicated than they are to learn.

There are a few, however, that work the other way. Swing Low is one of those. frown

Update: Well, we threw out the swinging eighths and my teacher counted the timing aloud as I played it. It went much better. I think that's the way we'll keep it for now. Perhaps in a week or two we'll add the swing back if things are going more smoothly.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/08/15 04:09 AM

Hey, everyone! It's nice to see everyone is progressing. I'm kind of glad I'm the caboose in this train. I get to pick up the morsels of knowledge and experience that falls off your tables as you speed along ahead of me.

Those inversion problems sound scary. I'll be careful as I eventually approach them!

I've been immersed in my class, and, it is taking most of my piano time. I'm doing well,and the teacher likes the fact that I work hard and produce regular progress.

I had no idea that playing chords could be so difficult. The Alfred's is heavy on chords, and I have to admit that they take a lot of concentration and practice to play them. I'm doing it, but it is taxing me.

I've recently grown neglectful of counting beats, and it has cost me. I've been struggling with a little song that is in 3/4 time, and had a chord on the second beat of every measure. It was the first time I had confronted such a thing, and it seemed both weird and mysterious to me. I had a hard time figuring out the beat.

But, I pressed on in my charming, hard headed way, and finally got something that sounded pretty nice. It was different, confirming my initial reading of the piece. Today, when I played it for the teacher, he cut me off only about two measures into the piece. He said my rhythm was "janckie", or something like that. It was so bad, apparently, that he had to come up with a new word to describe it. Kind of a cross between "junkie", and "skanky", I think. He turned away and went to help another student. frown From what I read around the forum, it seems that is one of the benefits of a good music teacher, they tell it like it is.

Anyhow, I had recently grown sloppy, omitting my counting, and ended up playing some of the quarter notes at the end of measures as if they were a dotted quarter notes, or even a half notes. I think the reality was that I was overwhelmed with the number of chord changes coming every third beat, and sort of paused to catch my breath at the end of measures, resulting in improper time being added there.

So, the lesson for today? COUNT THOSE DAMN BEATS!!!!!!! mad

I haven't done anything in my Faber's for a while. I left off about 3/4 through PA Level 1. I'll get back to it though, probably at the end of the semester.

I'm still wanting to prepare a recital piece, but, have no idea where I will find the extra time. I should probably quit my job. grin
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/08/15 12:12 PM

Hey Ralph; great to hear you are progressing along! smile

It's all relative; two years ago I'd have been on the back of the train. The only important thing is: BE ON THE TRAIN! grin
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/09/15 06:56 AM

Thats great Ralph.

Regarding timing, have you tried playing with a metronome. It is a bit of a pain and I only use it at the initial stages of learning a piece, but it is quite good. Later I like to vary the tempo a little bit acc to the natural feel of the piece and my mood.

Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/10/15 12:06 AM

Hey, Mario!

I am fairly new to the metronome. So far, I prefer to avoid it during the early stages of learning a piece as I find it a distraction from the initial task of learning the notes. I have found it helpful later on, though, when I can move through the piece playing all the proper notes, and am shifting focus toward playing in proper tempo.

That last fiasco was probably more the product of my ego exceeding my achievement in the moment, thinking I had it, and had nothing more to worry about. Over confidence did me in.

I sometimes find it hard to count the beat, particularly if the song has a beat that I am not that experienced with. But, counting beats always pays off. I'm just not smart enough (yet!) to be devoted to the practice. blush

On another topic, I think I have selected a piece for the next recital. It is "The Swing" by Carl Czerny. I suspect it was a training/teaching piece, but, it has a melody that is nice to listen to. And, it has a robust and uninterrupted line of broken chords/arpeggios in the left hand that I am finding very challenging. I intend to master it in time for the recital. It will be a great pleasure if I do. This is the biggest left hand challenge I have faced to date. But, I like the song and am going to do it well.

I hope you are all doing well.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/12/15 12:30 PM

Hey Mario and Ralph;

See my comments on the new thread about metronome practicing ("Can you still practice without metronome?").

At the beginning of Unit 7 Faber starts out with some really excellent exercises (Lesson and Technique books) involving all three patterns of sixteenth notes, with a sliding tempo that starts pretty slow (60 bpm) and then ramps up from there to reasonably quick (92 bpm).

On Wednesday I should get my first actual piece to practice. The seven pieces in this unit (spread across three books) are really excellent, probably the best I've yet seen.

The "graduation" piece is a four page, three minute adaptation of Pachelbel's Canon.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/14/15 11:36 PM

Ralph....I agree it can be a bit of a distraction. I have a digital piano and so can control the volume of the metronome to barely audible so that it is not so distracting.

Brian...read your comments and other about Metronome playing....very nice. When you do go out of sync with the metronome it can be terribly distracting. I wish the metronome would adjust to bring you back in sync (I guess that is not its purpose). I prefer playing with accompaniment. There is a piece of software I have for my ipad which import the midi files for the Faber series and gives you the score and accompaniment. There is also a feature where the score and accompaniment follows you. I can't for the life of me remember what that software is called and I don't have the ipad at the moment. I have not used it in a while but maybe I should.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/14/15 11:49 PM

Hi,

I've got a question for you guys.

How do you practice.

For example, I am at the 3A level and I am spending around 3 weeks per unit. I spend about 1 to 1.5 hours each day and try to cover the material in all four books. I may repeat a piece at most 3 times before moving to a different piece (I am afraid that if I repeated it or parts of it more times I would end up memorizing the piece and then not really playing from the score). I play the piece in full rather than in parts (easy to do in the Faber series as the pieces are short). I play very slowly to begin with and as the days progress I get faster and faster till I can play at the stated tempo. Sometimes if I feel that the stated tempo is a bit to fast of too slow I may adjust to a tempo that I think I want the piece to be. When I think I have reached a certain level of perfection (may not be completely perfect) I record the piece; that signals the end of my learning of that piece.

I feel that maybe my approach may not be the best. I would love for you to share how you go about with your practice.

Regards

Mario

NB: I really do like listening to Chris Brent's version on YouTube. If Chris has not done a certain piece I go to TinyMozart. Thanks for the tip from you guys about these two wonderful people who have generously shared their playing with us.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/16/15 12:26 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi,

I've got a question for you guys.

How do you practice.

For example, I am at the 3A level and I am spending around 3 weeks per unit. I spend about 1 to 1.5 hours each day and try to cover the material in all four books.


I am not consistent in the duration of my practice sessions, other than to say that when I take the time to set up the piano, I usually stay at it for two hours or so. But, since I have to set up and take down each time I play, I only get one session per day. I average 6 days per week, not counting my two per week piano class sessions.

Before signing up for the piano class, I was pretty devoted to including the following in nearly all my practice sessions:

1. Playing each and every piece between the beginning of the sight reading book and the point in the book that corresponds to my current page of study in the lesson book. I played those pieces either once, or twice, and turned the page, regardless of how well I had played them. Like you, I did not want to risk memorizing them and ruining their value as sight reading practice fodder.

2. Playing all the lesson book pieces from the preceeding two weeks or so, for the purposes of review of the concepts they taught, improving my performance of them, and for the corresponding pleasure and reinforcement of playing something that I can play pretty well.

3. Playing/practicing whatever piece I was learning for "interest" only, including pieces for the ABF recital, or, for whatever reason that they interested me.

Now, since signing on for the piano class, the class regimen has pretty completely dictated what I do during practice. I unhappily had to learn all the major scales, hands separate, two octaves, and perform them for grade. I have already forgotten all of them except those that I use in my playing.

And, my teacher is not shy about pushing me through the regimen at almost counter-productive speed. I think he recognized that I was motivated, practiced diligently, and produced progress. However, I think he has gone a little too fast, often times skipping songs in the Alfred's AAIO that he thinks are too easy. He commented to me that he thinks Alfred's goes too slowly.

The other day, he assigned me several songs, skipping several others in the process. When I practiced that night, I noticed one of the skipped songs that I thought was important for me. It is titled "Cafe Vienna", in 3/4 time, and one of its salient characteristics is a left hand, semi-broken chord arrangement in which you play the first (bottom) note on the first beat of the measure, and a double consisting of the third and fifth notes on the second and third beats, a seemingly common accompaniment to right hand melodies. It is a simple accompaniment that I had not yet encountered and acquired.

Believing it important, I practiced it anyway, instead of moving forward several songs to the next one he had assigned. When I played for him Wednesday, I told him I had not yet approached the furthest advanced songs he had assigned, as I thought Cafe Vienna was an important song with important skills for me to learn. Fortunately, he was completely ok with me slowing my pace to take that one in and to learn its lessons.

All told, though, I am flying through Alfred's (already on page 113 of 144 in the lesson portion of the book. As a result of this pace, my practice sessions have been almost exclusively geared toward mastering the assigned songs. I sometimes slow to take in some of the lessons between assigned songs if I think I am weak in those areas. But, keeping up with the pace of learning all the songs has dominated my practice.

I have still managed to devote some of my attention to my desired recital piece (which also has a broken chord, left hand accompaniment to a right hand melody). With the recent break from leaning scales, I have some time for that. It is almost the end of October, though, and I am concerned that I am too far behind in my recital piece practice to have something I am happy with by the recital deadline.

At semester's end, I anticipate returning to my former practice routines as outlined above.

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I may repeat a piece at most 3 times before moving to a different piece (I am afraid that if I repeated it or parts of it more times I would end up memorizing the piece and then not really playing from the score). I play the piece in full rather than in parts (easy to do in the Faber series as the pieces are short).


I'm not sure if you mean to say you are doing this with all the lesson pieces, or, with only the sight reading pieces. I do it like this with sight reading pieces (play it, and turn the page), but, with lesson book pieces, I sometimes grind away at them for considerable lengths of time, usually until I can perform the skill that is being presented.

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I play very slowly to begin with and as the days progress I get faster and faster till I can play at the stated tempo... When I think I have reached a certain level of perfection (may not be completely perfect) I record the piece; that signals the end of my learning of that piece.


I too, am a believer in starting slowly. I have not been intelligent enough to be absolutely faithful to slow starting, but, when I have, the progress has come much more quickly. I hope to get smarter in this regard. grin

I hope all the rest of you are doing well and making progress.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/16/15 08:47 AM

Always interesting to hear how other approach their practice. Thanks, guys.

I've been a little slow on the practice this week. I've been super busy at work and don't have the mental capacity to play piano well in the evening. That said, to keep me active and amused I've been teaching myself the Star Wars theme from the 2B Chordtime Popular book, as well as reviewing past pieces.

Current status: For He's a Jolly Good Fellow (Yawn!) in the final unit of AAIO Book 1. Still hoping to finish off this book (three pieces?) before my birthday next month.

Also, still on the hunt for a piano teacher. I've been put in touch with a guy, but yet to meet. Fingers crossed!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/16/15 08:08 PM

Trevor, Ralph and Mario: Great to hear from you!

I'm kind of lucky in that my teacher totally controls which pieces and exercises that I play, and when they are considered "passed".

This weekend I will start practicing my first two pieces with sixteenth notes. The exercises leading up to these pieces have gone well so far, and my teacher passed me on all of them the other day. smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/16/15 08:27 PM

Well done, Brian. I'm happy for you, as, I anticipate that the world of available repertoire is going to expand exponentially for you with your venture into the world of sixteenth notes. It sounds very exciting to me.

Keep up the work, Trevor, and don't spend too much time on that yawner! I'd say, if it doesn't inspire you, just finish it, master the included lesson, and move on. Be sure to always keep something interesting on your plate, such as the Star Wars theme, or, something else that excites you.

Have fun, everyone, and have a good weekend.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/17/15 08:33 PM

Hi Everyone!

It's great to see everyone moving along and doing well. I finished with the Adult All-In-One Book 1 and have moved on to Book 2. I actually had purchased the core books for the accelerated level two series, but was not happy at the thought of coordinate them all like I did with level one, just too much hassle. So I sent them back and got the 2nd adult all-in-one book instead. I'm really glad I did since I like the format so much better, and the skills that are covered as well s the way it's all presented.

Right now I'm in Unit 3 which covers: The F major scale, phrase marks and "breathing" with the wrist, inverting the IV and V7 chords, motive/imitation, swing rhythm, wrist rotation, and playing a lead sheet with broken-5ths accompaniment. Lots of fun stuff to work on. And for the most part I've been enjoying the selection of pieces in this book, with only one so far that I didn't care for.

Brian - Did you finish Swing Low Sweet Chariot by now. If so, how'd it go with overcoming any difficulties? Did you get it to swing? My graduation piece (a long ways off, of course) is also Pachebel's Canon. I don't know if it's the same arrangement, but the version in my book sounds really nice and something I'm definitely looking forward to learning.

Trevor - I liked the Polovtsian Dance, as well The Carnival of Venice. Can't say the same, though for the piece called Banuwa. I saw your *yawn* regarding For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. Do you not like playing the lead sheets? I do. Even more so since I'm learning different ways to enhance the accompaniment.

Ebonykawai - It's good you're finding nice songs in your Christmas book. I was thinking about getting one, but then decided I have enough on my plate for now. Maybe next year.

Ralph - You're moving fast, hang on to your hat! smile Regarding your story about the "janckie" rhythm, you said your teacher just walked away? I don't necessarily have a problem with being told straight up how something is, but didn't he at least help you sort it out first? You said you'll be going back to the Faber's method when the semester ends? Does that mean you're not planning on continuing on with the 2nd piano class?

Mario - I found the metronome has come in handy on numerous occasions, especially when I'm trying to figure out a tricky (to me) rhythm. I'd be interested in checking out that accompaniment software you mentioned, that is, if it can be used on a regular computer. Any chance you've remember what it's called?
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/17/15 11:21 PM

Congratulations on "beating" book 1, Linda! I don't know, it's something about those folksy songs that you've heard so many times before that they become a little tedious. In the same way that I love ragtime but The Entertainer drives me up the wall.

But, yes, I rather like the lead sheets. It makes me feel like I actually know some chords. smile

I'm just moving onto Banuwa now, and it's horrible. Thankfully it's really just a review piece so I'll rough it out and move on quickly. smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/17/15 11:45 PM

Hey, Linda. Nice to hear from you.

Congratulations on finishing book 1 and moving on to book 2.

As for my class, I'm currently not planning to go on to course 2. I think the piano regimen (Piano 1, followed by Piano 2, 3, and 4 etc.) is just not a good match for me. It is designed for music majors, people whose main focus and concentration is music. Thus, the extensive attention paid to endless scales is justified, as music majors must also learn to play all major and minor scales, hands together, three octaves by the end of piano 2, with even more advanced objectives scheduled for Piano 3 and 4. So, in the context of music majors, I can see that the course makes sense.

For me, though, it inhibits my desired developmental path, as, it takes me away from learning the piano "skills" needed to execute, by channelling huge portions of my time into things such as the scales. I think there is a very real possibility that I can happily piano my way through the rest of my life using only 1/3 or 1/4 of the scales. So, I believe my time has been poorly spent in light of my goals.

I did not want to paint an inaccurate picture of my teacher with the "walking away" story. I like this guy a lot. However, most of his class time is spent moving around, listening to us play, one at a time, while the others practice with headphones. Even though there are only eight of us, moving about and trying to listen to all of us consumes most of his hour. When he walked away, he immediately started listening to another student who had a piece to perform. There was nothing bad intended, he just had to get on to the next student in his effort to let everyone have their chance to play. I don't believe there was anything disrespectful about it, he just has to move on quickly in order to serve everyone. I suspect individualized lessons with him would be quite profitable.

Another burden he bears is that, though these are all music majors, they are NOT piano majors. Most of them had no piano experience, so, they are absolute beginners. As such, they require a lot of attention when he is with them. And, they are usually quite behind me in their progress, frequently needing two or three sessions of playing a given tune for him in order to pass the piece.

The things I had mostly hoped for, have not been forthcoming. I was/am concerned about things like mechanics (posture, wrist/hand/finger movement, and other things that books are ill-suited to teach), and had hoped he would come around correcting deficiencies in those areas that he might note. But, I think the other duties of the position consume his time, and there is no time left for things such as what I had wanted. All in all, I think the course is just a mis-match for me.

Now that you are 6 weeks or so into your course, I'd love to hear an update, particularly about how individualized your teacher has been able to make the experience, and how well he/she can make the course match your individual needs and goals.

I liked the way you described your course earlier in the semester, and, will likely replace my "music major" course with one of the adult ed courses like yours for next semester.

I whipped that "Cafe Vienna" piece into nice shape. It has a very simple broken chord accompaniment for the left hand, and is the first such piece I have learned. I need to learn such left hand accompaniments RIGHT NOW, as the piece I selected for the coming ABF uses it, and I want to put in a pleasing performance. So far, the accompaniment on the recital piece (The Swing, by Carl Czerny) is proving more difficult. I think it is mainly the speed. The "Cafe Vienna" piece crawls along at a very manageable tempo. The Swing, on the other hand, is bright, fun, and clips along at a much faster pace. I just timed the CD performance of it with my metronome and it was played at 187 beats per minute in 6/8 time. Actually, I'm glad I listened to it just now, as I have been practicing it at an only slightly slower tempo, and am making progress. I hadn't listened to the recording in a while, and was fearing that I was so far behind the proper tempo that I wouldn't be up to speed for the recital. Maybe I'll get it done in time after all.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/18/15 01:19 AM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Brian - Did you finish Swing Low Sweet Chariot by now. If so, how'd it go with overcoming any difficulties? Did you get it to swing? My graduation piece (a long ways off, of course) is also Pachelbel's Canon. I don't know if it's the same arrangement, but the version in my book sounds really nice and something I'm definitely looking forward to learning.

Hi Linda smile

Still working on Swing Low Sweet Chariot, but thanks to my teacher I have it down pretty well. In fact, I plan to play it in public at our teacher's fall musicale in mid-November. I'm swinging most of the piece, however there is a small part in the middle that I will not.

Level 3B's version of Pachelbel's Canon in D is 4 pages long and has quite a few measures with sixteenth notes. Probably won't get to that for about a month.

Keep up the good work; let us know how your are doing.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 12:48 AM

Hi everyone,

This week was the last class for Piano I. After the teacher spent some one-on-one time with everyone she surprised us by announcing that before the end of the class we were each going to play something for the group. I wish I could say I played my piece - Sloop John B - without a mistake, but there was one measure in the middle that I fumbled. Otherwise I'm happy to say I survived the experience!!

Piano II starts next week, so I'll be continuing on with the group lessons. Right now I'm working on The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Londonerry Air. They both seem pretty straight forward, so I think I should be able to have them ready for the next class.

How's everybody else doing?
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 12:56 AM

Hi Ralph,

I don't blame you for not going on to the course 2 piano class. How many more classes do you have left? Are you planning on finishing the Alfred's book in that time, or perhaps on your own when the course ends?

I'd forgotten your classes are only an hour long, so in that context I'll cut your teacher some slack. My teacher has more time for interaction with a two hour class. But boy that is a loooong time to spend at the piano. Sometimes some of us leave early if we don't need any more help from the teacher that day.

The teacher for my class doesn't seem concerned with the mechanics of playing that you mentioned. And she isn't very demanding when it comes to passing a piece. However, she does correct for wrong notes, incorrect rhythm, poor dynamics, and all that other stuff that makes the piece sound musical. She's very encouraging and nice, which makes playing for her a more relaxing experience. She seldom teaches to the group and when she does it's not for more than a few minutes. So for the most part it's individualized one-on-one time. For example, I have enough time to demonstrate the pieces I'd been practicing for the week, get feedback, corrections, and advice, go over the next 2 or 3 pieces and sometimes have them demoed for me, and go over any lesson material between the new pieces before she moves on to the next person. Then when she's done with everyone she usually checks to see who has questions or needs help. I learn something at every class and continue to make progress, so overall I feel it's a good match for what I want out of piano.

I'll be looking forward to hearing your recital piece. I have a hard time playing fast. It's something I need to work on.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 08:37 AM

Is it me, or the Carnival of Venice at the back of AAiO Book 1 significantly harder than anything else in the book? I'm going to be working on this for months at this rate! Tempted to move onto book 2 and keep going on this as well. The stuff at the start of book 2 looks a lot easier!
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 12:18 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Is it me, or the Carnival of Venice at the back of AAiO Book 1 significantly harder than anything else in the book? I'm going to be working on this for months at this rate! Tempted to move onto book 2 and keep going on this as well. The stuff at the start of book 2 looks a lot easier!


I agree it's a challenging piece, but I seriously doubt you'll be on it for months. smile I don't see any reason why you couldn't start working on Unit 1 of the 2nd book while you finish up Carnival of Venice, since it's just reviewing what you covered in book 1.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 12:19 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Is it me, or the Carnival of Venice at the back of AAiO Book 1 significantly harder than anything else in the book? I'm going to be working on this for months at this rate! Tempted to move onto book 2 and keep going on this as well. The stuff at the start of book 2 looks a lot easier!

Hi TrevorM. I learned this piece early in PA Level 3A. It was a bit tricky, as there is quite a bit of left/right hand coordination required. My trick was to learn each hand separately, and then slowly put things together.

An important thing that I might have failed to mention to the Faber students in this thread, is that many of the tempo markings suggested for pieces are too fast according to my teacher. For pieces like the Carnival of Venice, keep it nice and slow and steady, at least at the outset.

P.S. There are actually two version of this piece floating around in the Faber books. The version I learned in Level 3A first edition is slightly harder (IMHO) than the current version my wife is learning in the second edition. Not sure what version you have in the Adult book.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 12:27 PM

Hi Linda;

I think you are having a pretty good teaching experience based on your description, probably better than most. Our teacher is very big on technique, sometimes even more so than the occasional wrong notes I hit.

She seems to be more concerned about the "way" I play a piece rather than "how" I play it. But the more I read threads in this forum, the more I'm convinced we have a special teacher.

The Faber books have a lot of subtle technique pointers. Pay very close attention to them if you can.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 12:47 PM

Thanks, folks. Hah, I know I won't really be on it for months, but it sometimes feels like it. On returning to it later I could see that it's slowly coming together and I'll get there eventually, but it seems a long way off. I have no problem playing either of the hands separately -- they're pretty straightforward, sight-readable, even -- but when together it proves a lot more of challenge. The left hand is a pretty straight forward 1-2-3 beat, but I'm always hitting the right hand notes too early (often on a 2 when I should be playing on a 3).

Anyway, it's *passable* if I play it slow (I mean, REALLY slow), so I know I'll get there eventually.

Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 01:22 PM

Hi Brian,

Thanks for your comments. My biggest concern is playing with tension. At the beginning I was very stiff with claw-like hands. Paying attention to those technique pointers in the Faber books has certainly helped. Now, while there's still room for improvement, I am playing in a much more relaxed manner. But it still would be nice to have a teacher overseeing/correcting/advising my technique. Maybe one day I'll find a teacher more like yours.:)
Posted By: Just Steven

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/25/15 01:58 PM

When I was six years old, I had a teacher at school who taught us to sing. She taught us solfa scale, then wrote the entire song, the music in solfa scale and the lyric, on the board. We learned a phrase at a time while she clapped one, two, three etc. Before the session was over, we all sang in tune in unison. 30 kids all sang in tune. At the end of the year, she gave us the book containing all the songs we learned. The second year, every time she introduced a new song, she did counting only. We all sang as it's written (the music without the lyric) on the board while she tapped her desk with a stick. Tick, tack, tick, tack. On the third year, half the class song the top line, and the other half sang the second line. We had a beautiful choir.

When I began learning to play violin, metronome was introduced at the very beginning. For weeks my teacher taught fingering before I could draw a bow. Moving and stretch a finger on the finger board at every four counts as she watched.

Put together at the end of the year, we had children orchestra.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/26/15 04:46 AM

Hey, everyone.

No big news, here. I've jettisoned my initial choice for recital piece. It was just too much for me to master at this point. It had a broken chord left hand accompaniment that, though looking easy enough on paper, was just at too high a tempo for me to make it my first such conquest. I was progressing too slowly to have it ready in time for the recital.

So, I"ve selected another. It is similar to some selctions I mentioned in a recent post, that had a "bagpipe" flavor to it. The one's I posted about where from a contemporary composer, Mary Leaf. But, the one I have selected is "The Highlander (La Montagnarde) by Mouret (that spelling may not be correct). It is in the Developing Artist book, level 1, I believe. It also has a bagpipe sound to it, and I like it. I just started on it a couple of days ago and it is coming along nicely.

The "bagpipe" sound comes from a simple left hand accompaniment that consists of a block chord of only two notes, with a grace note one half step below the top note. It was tricky to play, at first, but I'm getting the hang of it. The book came with a CD, so I already know I like the tune. I can't wait to get it in nice shape, as I like it very much.

Linda, your course sounds a lot more like what I was looking for. I may try it, or one similar over at Richland College.

Keep plugging away at "Carnival", Trevor. You'll get on top of it in no time.

Brian: Thanks for the heads up regarding those tempo markings. That may save the rest of us some headaches further down the road.

Welcome to our corner of the ABF, Just Steven. We are a varying degrees of progress within the Faber Piano Adventures world and enjoy sharing our experiences. I hope you join us.

It's late and I need to get to sleep. Piano class bright and early in the morning. I hope to get passed on "Got the Blues" and "Can Can" tomorrow.

Enjoy your pianos, everyone.

Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/28/15 03:45 AM

Hey Ralph, how'd you do on those 2 pieces? Are you enjoying the blues section? Not a lot of time to get a new piece ready for a recital, but sounds like you're up for the challenge. Good luck!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/28/15 12:52 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Anyway, it's *passable* if I play it slow (I mean, REALLY slow), so I know I'll get there eventually.

Well TrevorM, that is actually the definition of "learning" the piece.

You are now in the "fine-tuning" phase of the piece, just learning to pick up the tempo at bit. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/28/15 12:59 PM

Welcome Just Steven! We have a nice little group here at all phases of the Faber lessons series.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/28/15 04:08 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by TrevorM
Anyway, it's *passable* if I play it slow (I mean, REALLY slow), so I know I'll get there eventually.

Well TrevorM, that is actually the definition of "learning" the piece.

You are now in the "fine-tuning" phase of the piece, just learning to pick up the tempo at bit. smile


Haha. Yes, yes. Anyway, it's coming along. Haven't had too much time to play over the past week though, sadly. Too much work and far too tired to be properly productive at the keyboard.

Yes, it's like the one in 3A, but a little simpler. It doesn't have the couple of extra runs and the fancier ending, but otherwise the same. Funnily enough, Brian, I just searched Youtube to confirm and your recording popped up. smile

I'm currently simultaneously working on the first piece in AaiO Book 2, Allegro Moderato (officially a Faber Graduate?), which is also called Horse Drawn Carriage in the 2B lesson books.

I'm also attempting the first piece of Scott Joplin's School of Ragtime with varying success. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/28/15 06:59 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Brian,Thanks for your comments. My biggest concern is playing with tension. At the beginning I was very stiff with claw-like hands. Paying attention to those technique pointers in the Faber books has certainly helped. Now, while there's still room for improvement, I am playing in a much more relaxed manner. But it still would be nice to have a teacher overseeing/correcting/advising my technique. Maybe one day I'll find a teacher more like yours.:)

Well Linda, that is one of my problems as well. I have gotten quite a bit better in this regard, maybe about 50 out of a scale of 100. The trend lines are good. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/28/15 07:01 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
I'm currently simultaneously working on the first piece in AaiO Book 2, Allegro Moderato (officially a Faber Graduate?), which is also called Horse Drawn Carriage in the 2B lesson books.

I wish I could rename this thread to "Faber Enthusiasts", as that's what we really smile all are.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/31/15 03:47 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Brian,Thanks for your comments. My biggest concern is playing with tension. At the beginning I was very stiff with claw-like hands. Paying attention to those technique pointers in the Faber books has certainly helped. Now, while there's still room for improvement, I am playing in a much more relaxed manner. But it still would be nice to have a teacher overseeing/correcting/advising my technique. Maybe one day I'll find a teacher more like yours.:)

Well Linda, that is one of my problems as well. I have gotten quite a bit better in this regard, maybe about 50 out of a scale of 100. The trend lines are good. smile


I'm with you on the trend lines concept!!

At my last lesson the teacher pointed out I'm not digging deep enough into the keys and therefore not getting a good range of dynamics. She had me play, as loudly as I could, a passage that I had just played fairly decently. When I tried that the piece totally fell apart since it felt and sounded so different. It was disappointing in that I thought I'd gotten past that poor technique after a previous teacher pointed out the same thing. Now I realize it's going to take constant monitoring on my part, along with additional work such as her suggestion to practice my technique with the major C, G, and F scales.

A bit of a setback perhaps, but I still feel like my progress is trending upwards. smile
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/31/15 03:48 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by TrevorM
I'm currently simultaneously working on the first piece in AaiO Book 2, Allegro Moderato (officially a Faber Graduate?), which is also called Horse Drawn Carriage in the 2B lesson books.

I wish I could rename this thread to "Faber Enthusiasts", as that's what we really smile all are.


Ditto!!
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/02/15 10:00 PM

I dodged a bullet today.

I had my mid-term exam, which consisted of performing An die Freude (Ode to Joy), then naming and playing randomly presented notes from the 4 octaves around middle C, and then playing a scale, randomly selected from the major scales, hands separate, two octaves.

I was happy going in with my An die Freude, and was fairly comfortable that I would be ok on the random note presentation. But, I had already resolved that I was not going to devote the attention necessary to memorize all 15 or so major scales. I only had about 10 days to prepare for the exam, and have been somewhat distressed that it's time demands were eating up almost all available time, to the detriment of my ABF recital piece, and to the other piano ventures I prefer to undertake.

So, I showed up this morning prepared to do well on 2/3 of exam, and to utterly fail at the other third.

When I got there, my randomly selected scale was Db. Fortunately, I had replaced the jettisoned scales preparation in favor of a hurried, last minute assault on the Circle of Fifths, and that is what saved me. I quickly identified Db's position on the circle, and remembered the number and identities of the flatted notes. It was my great fortune that this key uses all five of the black keys, and none of the flatted half-step keys such as C and F. All I had to do was conjure up the correct fingering and start to play.

I got the fingering almost perfect, with one small error on each hand, and therefore scored around 80% on that part of the exam. Since my performances of the note identification/play and the An die Freude were pretty good, I ended up with an 88% mid-term exam grade, and will continue with my current course grade of A.

Best of all, I now get to devote my best efforts to preparing my ABF recital piece. I really love those recitals and would hate to miss one.

I hope you are all doing well.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/02/15 10:12 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet


At my last lesson the teacher pointed out I'm not digging deep enough into the keys and therefore not getting a good range of dynamics.... I thought I'd gotten past that poor technique after a previous teacher pointed out the same thing. Now I realize it's going to take constant monitoring on my part


Hey Linda! Good luck with focusing on self monitoring in that regard. Your teacher's advice sounds similar/related to the advice I've picked up on this forum about playing with your digital piano volume turned all the way up. If I remember the advice correctly, it was basically a technique to force oneself to control the finger/keystrokes so as to develop the touch/feel necessary to play the lighter end of the dynamic range (pp, ppp, etc.).

I've been playing at full volume ever since reading that, and, I think it has helped me with my touch. I suspect your teacher's advice is good. In the immediate, short term, your playing will be disappointing or difficult, but, I think in very short time you will be playing with greater control, and with a wider available range of dynamic expression.

I'm optimistic that it will work for you.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/04/15 01:40 AM

Those of you that are using the PA method books with a teacher: How many pieces do you normally work on simultaneously?

I'm curious because I tend to just work on a single piece at a time and I'm not sure if this is terribly efficient.

Also, does your teacher ever tell you to skip a unit or spend longer on another?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/04/15 02:20 AM

TrevorM;

Generally speaking I work on 4-6 pieces at a time, usually spread between the Lesson, Performance, and Technique books.
As the material has gotten harder, I am now slowly moving to between 3-4 pieces.

Throughout Levels 1, 2, 3A and 3B we have never skipped an entire unit. However, for various reasons, about 10% of the material is skipped.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/04/15 10:47 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX

Generally speaking I work on 4-6 pieces at a time, usually spread between the Lesson, Performance, and Technique books.
As the material has gotten harder, I am now slowly moving to between 3-4 pieces.

Throughout Levels 1, 2, 3A and 3B we have never skipped an entire unit. However, for various reasons, about 10% of the material is skipped.


Thanks Brian!

My current (self-taught) practice is usually:
- Warm up with Dozen a Day
- Work on a single piece from PA AAIO.
- Play a piece from the PA Accelerated sight reading book.

Looks like I should probably switch out the single piece and divide my time on 2-3 pieces.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/04/15 12:26 PM

Two or three pieces should work just fine. Since I spend a minimum of one hour per day practicing, having several pieces to work on makes the hour move along and gives me some diversity.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/05/15 10:21 PM

Hi Trevor,

I don't have a teacher but I'll throw in my 2 pennies worth anyway.

I try to practice everything from the lessons, technique, performance and theory book and also do a piece from the sight-reading book. I do a maximum of three tries on either the whole piece or part of the piece depending on its complexity and length.

I read in some past forum that one should not practice a piece over and over again as one will end up memorizing the piece and then subsequently not sight read at all; especially for those who can memorize quite easily. That makes perfect sense to me.

I practice about an hour to an hour and a half.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/05/15 10:30 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Everyone!

It's great to see everyone moving along and doing well. I finished with the Adult All-In-One Book 1 and have moved on to Book 2. I actually had purchased the core books for the accelerated level two series, but was not happy at the thought of coordinate them all like I did with level one, just too much hassle. So I sent them back and got the 2nd adult all-in-one book instead. I'm really glad I did since I like the format so much better, and the skills that are covered as well s the way it's all presented.

Right now I'm in Unit 3 which covers: The F major scale, phrase marks and "breathing" with the wrist, inverting the IV and V7 chords, motive/imitation, swing rhythm, wrist rotation, and playing a lead sheet with broken-5ths accompaniment. Lots of fun stuff to work on. And for the most part I've been enjoying the selection of pieces in this book, with only one so far that I didn't care for.

Brian - Did you finish Swing Low Sweet Chariot by now. If so, how'd it go with overcoming any difficulties? Did you get it to swing? My graduation piece (a long ways off, of course) is also Pachebel's Canon. I don't know if it's the same arrangement, but the version in my book sounds really nice and something I'm definitely looking forward to learning.

Trevor - I liked the Polovtsian Dance, as well The Carnival of Venice. Can't say the same, though for the piece called Banuwa. I saw your *yawn* regarding For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. Do you not like playing the lead sheets? I do. Even more so since I'm learning different ways to enhance the accompaniment.

Ebonykawai - It's good you're finding nice songs in your Christmas book. I was thinking about getting one, but then decided I have enough on my plate for now. Maybe next year.

Ralph - You're moving fast, hang on to your hat! smile Regarding your story about the "janckie" rhythm, you said your teacher just walked away? I don't necessarily have a problem with being told straight up how something is, but didn't he at least help you sort it out first? You said you'll be going back to the Faber's method when the semester ends? Does that mean you're not planning on continuing on with the 2nd piano class?

Mario - I found the metronome has come in handy on numerous occasions, especially when I'm trying to figure out a tricky (to me) rhythm. I'd be interested in checking out that accompaniment software you mentioned, that is, if it can be used on a regular computer. Any chance you've remember what it's called?



Hi Linda,

Sorry to my late reply to your query. Just been having a very busy time at work. The app I mentioned is an ipad app. However there is a Mac and PC version of it as well. See the link below.
http://www.timewarptech.com/hcx.php

You can set to accompany you in three ways:
1. You play and it follows you; thus if you slow down and stop so will it
2. It will play at the tempo you set it and you just have to keep up (much like a metronome).

3. Same as 2 but if you play a wrong note it will stop and wait for you to correct yourself

It is compatible with an Midi files; the Faber ones included.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/06/15 12:18 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I read in some past forum that one should not practice a piece over and over again as one will end up memorizing the piece and then subsequently not sight read at all; especially for those who can memorize quite easily. That makes perfect sense to me.

According to my teacher (and many others in this forum) your true chance to sight-read a new piece of music disappears after 2-3 tries. But that's OK. Make the best use of those 2-3 attempts, including visually reviewing the music even before you try to play it for the first time.

Some folks have a hard time memorizing pieces, I fortunately do not, at least so far. For our Guild auditions last May we had to memorize 5 pieces, so it goes without saying we practiced those pieces many many times.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/08/15 06:06 AM

Hey everyone,

Thought I'd check in with an update. I'm working on unit 4 this week, which covers the major and minor triads. Since one of my goals is to be able to play from lead sheets, I'm going to try to set aside a few minutes each day to work on learning them all and getting fluid at playing them in blocked and broken forms.

In other piano playing news, our class teacher informed us that we're getting together with her other class to perform a recital for family and friends on December 17. I am beyond nervous and have no idea what to select for a recital piece. On the plus side I'll get to play on a grand piano for the first time.

Ralph - So glad that bullet missed you, and congrats on getting a high score on your exam!! Regarding DP volume, I now have mine dialed all the way up. It seems so loud to me now but like you said, it does provide a better range of dynamics. So that'll help at home, but at school the volume is only up around half-way. I guess so it's not too distracting to the other students when we're playing for the teacher. I'll ask her about it at the next class.

Trevor - I work on a few pieces at a time, along with learning the theory and technique material in the lesson book. I can see why a teacher would spend longer on some units, especially as the material gets more complicated and the pieces get longer, but I can't imagine why they'd skip a unit. So far my teacher hasn't skipped over any material.

Mario - Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Brian - I wish I could memorize as easily as you do. I'm one of those who have a hard time retaining stuff. Well, not so much short term, but long term... forget it (haha). I really haven't bothered trying lately and instead rely on the score. But then at my last lesson after I finished playing "Malaguena" for the teacher she wrote "Memorize!" at the top of the page. So I guess I better start exercising my memory muscles and hopefully do a better job playing it next week.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/10/15 10:42 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by Mario2015
I read in some past forum that one should not practice a piece over and over again as one will end up memorizing the piece and then subsequently not sight read at all; especially for those who can memorize quite easily. That makes perfect sense to me.

According to my teacher (and many others in this forum) your true chance to sight-read a new piece of music disappears after 2-3 tries. But that's OK. Make the best use of those 2-3 attempts, including visually reviewing the music even before you try to play it for the first time.

Some folks have a hard time memorizing pieces, I fortunately do not, at least so far. For our Guild auditions last May we had to memorize 5 pieces, so it goes without saying we practiced those pieces many many times.


Hi Brian and Ralph,

I should clarify that I don't play a piece at most 3 times ever, I just mean I don't play it more than 3 times per day. That being said, if there is a very difficult phrase in the piece I will play that phrase over and over till I have memorized it.

I do end up memorizing to a certain extent but it is, I believe, memorizing of the good kind. I end up not memorizing the whole piece by heart but only chunks of the piece. Thus I still have to follow the score but I don't follow it note by note.

However if I played the whole piece more than three times a day I would end up memorizing the piece and then not follow the score at all, and thus getting susceptible to memory glitches completely stopping and ruining my play.

I believe in the neuroscience literature this is called memory chunking. When you first learn to drive a car you are conscious of every thing; you foot on the accelerator, your hand changing gears and steering, etc. Once parts are chunked in memory you drive without much thinking of what you are doing driving-wise, but just trying to focus on the road especially if it is unfamiliar territory.

Being able relatively easily memorize has its benefits. Sometimes, if I really like a piece I'll memorize it and then I don't need a score at all. But not having a good memory has the advantage of forcing one to focus on the score; thus playing from the score is relatively easy for those people.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/11/15 12:47 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi Brian and Ralph,

I should clarify that I don't play a piece at most 3 times ever, I just mean I don't play it more than 3 times per day. That being said, if there is a very difficult phrase in the piece I will play that phrase over and over till I have memorized it.

I do end up memorizing to a certain extent but it is, I believe, memorizing of the good kind. I end up not memorizing the whole piece by heart but only chunks of the piece. Thus I still have to follow the score but I don't follow it note by note.

However if I played the whole piece more than three times a day I would end up memorizing the piece and then not follow the score at all, and thus getting susceptible to memory glitches completely stopping and ruining my play.

I believe in the neuroscience literature this is called memory chunking. When you first learn to drive a car you are conscious of every thing; you foot on the accelerator, your hand changing gears and steering, etc. Once parts are chunked in memory you drive without much thinking of what you are doing driving-wise, but just trying to focus on the road especially if it is unfamiliar territory.

Being able relatively easily memorize has its benefits. Sometimes, if I really like a piece I'll memorize it and then I don't need a score at all. But not having a good memory has the advantage of forcing one to focus on the score; thus playing from the score is relatively easy for those people.

+1 smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/11/15 01:08 PM

Update on my travels through Unit 7 at the end of 3B:

I'm about half done, having learned 4 pages of exercises, and two pieces from the Lesson book and one piece from the Performance book.

That leaves one piece remaining in the three core books (not counting theory). Hopefully these will be learned and mastered by mid-December.

I think it is this unit especially that shows why I like the Faber books so much. When you first look at the pieces in this unit, you see plenty of sixteenth notes, triplets, grace notes, and complicated left/right hand measures. But after slowly and carefully starting with the exercises and moving to each piece, things are going quite well.

I think this concept is carried through in all of the books, all levels. I like the way these books build skills one at a time, and then layer those skills upon pieces later on.

I'll give you a very specific example: In Level 3A Alberti Bass is introduced. I had a lot of issues with that; it took weeks to get the hang of it. One of my current pieces has several measures of Alberti Bass (albeit in sixteenth notes and moving through black keys in IV chords shocked ). I'll be darn if that part of the piece is no problem for me. smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/12/15 12:40 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
...One of my current pieces has several measures of Alberti Bass (albeit in sixteenth notes and moving through black keys in IV chords...


Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!! I"m quite sure I would break several fingers if I attempted that! laugh

I'm glad that progress is coming to you smoothly. I agree with your assessment of the effectiveness of the Fabers' methods. They are outstanding teachers and their method is very well thought out.

I had a nice metronome experience the last two days. I am preparing a piece for the current ABF recital. The CD recording that came with the book had the piece played at 192 bpm in 4/4 time. For various reasons, my progress has been delayed, and I recently grew concerned that I would not have it ready by the deadline, or, would have to submit a version played at a substantially slower tempo. I did not like that idea as I find the piece delightful at original tempo, but not so much at slower pace.

As of the night before last, I was comfortably and nicely playing it at 140 bpm. At quicker tempos, I was getting ragged. I decided to use the metronome to slowly increase the pace, a little bit at a time, to see what happened.

So, I put it up to 145, only slightly faster than I had already been playing. In very short order, I was playing it well a 145.

So, I put it up to 150. Again, in very short order, I was playing it smoothly.

I kept going up in increments of 5bpm, and, each time I was smoothly playing at the increased pace in only moments. I couldn't believe what was happening.

My progress finally ground to a halt at 170. Though I was not yet at proper tempo, I was ecstatic over how much progress was made is just one practice session.

So, last night, I resumed this practice, starting at 160, and working my way all the way up to 180.

And, this afternoon, I made it to proper tempo, 190!!!! yeah, me!!!!!!!!!!! It is not as smooth as I would like it yet, and, I could tell that I sacrificed some control in the area of dynamics, but I was hitting the notes at 192 bpm.

So, I have some work to do in terms of dynamics and getting it to sound more musical. Luckily, I had already accomplished that at the slower tempos, so, I know what sound I am looking for, and where to improve it. I'm optimistic I can have a performance I am happy with by the Saturday deadline.

I can't believe I hadn't already discovered this application of the metronome.

I hope you are all doing well.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/13/15 09:00 AM

Great to read about everyone's progress.

I am beginning again at the start of level 1 basic version.

I played for 6 weeks then took ill in July. I have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. I have stabilised a bit now, on meds and getting hearing aids. It could take 30 years to lose my hearing altogether or it could just be a few. It just makes me all the more determined that I will learn to play first. A dream stays a dream until we take action, so I am determined I am not going to let this get me down.
I have restarted lessons last week and treated myself to a new digital piano, a Kawai CA97.My teacher says it is the closest to a real piano he has come across and it has a lovely balanced sound.

So I have revised my scales and they are more or less still there.
I have Eb, F, A, C , E, G, B, D Major and minor covered and Bb and F# major. Will keep practicing them for a few weeks before adding any more and as I said will restart PA level 1 today. My teacher isn't using a method book with me, so will be doing it on my own.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/13/15 12:14 PM

Originally Posted by Smurfette
Great to read about everyone's progress.

I am beginning again at the start of level 1 basic version.

I played for 6 weeks then took ill in July. I have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. I have stabilised a bit now, on meds and getting hearing aids. It could take 30 years to lose my hearing altogether or it could just be a few. It just makes me all the more determined that I will learn to play first. A dream stays a dream until we take action, so I am determined I am not going to let this get me down.
I have restarted lessons last week and treated myself to a new digital piano, a Kawai CA97.My teacher says it is the closest to a real piano he has come across and it has a lovely balanced sound.

So I have revised my scales and they are more or less still there.
I have Eb, F, A, C , E, G, B, D Major and minor covered and Bb and F# major. Will keep practicing them for a few weeks before adding any more and as I said will restart PA level 1 today. My teacher isn't using a method book with me, so will be doing it on my own.

Wow Smurfette, best of luck for your treatments of this disease. From what I've read, there are many possible treatments that can help you live with this for quite a long time. And who knows, maybe in a few years there will be a pill you can take a couple of times a week to kick its butt. At least for now, you and Beethoven have several things in common (the most important one being love of music). Unlike Beethoven, you have 21st century medicine on your side.

I kind of know what it feels like to be on a tight schedule with my piano studies. My teacher has called me "relentless" in this regard. There are several reasons for this that I will not go into at this point. The main thing is, it is important to always enjoy the journey so that ambitions don't detract from things.

Keep us informed as to your PA Level 1 adventures. smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/13/15 09:40 PM

Hey Smurfette. It's good to hear from you. I'm sorry to hear about your recent troubles and diagnosis. Life presents many obstacles, but, it's the rough patches in life that give such lovely definition to the good parts. I hope you are able to manage the condition well.

I am on a hiatus from the Level 1 book, as, I enrolled in a community college piano course which uses Alfred's. But, I may be back to Faber PA when the semester ends in December. If so, it will be nice to have someone moving through the same level at the same time.

Keep us posted. And, keep your chin up! smile
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/14/15 03:13 AM

Hi Smurfette, and welcome. What a wonderful attitude you have regarding your health issues and continuing with your piano journey. Are you a smurfette because you like the blues?
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/14/15 03:42 AM

Hi all,

Had a good lesson this week. Got passed on to the next unit where they go over the 1st inversions. That seems like a simple enough concept, which makes me wonder if I'm missing something. Maybe this theory stuff isn't so scary after all.

Still undecided on a recital piece. The one piece I had sort of decided on my teacher shot down as being too simple. So I think I might try the Gavotte piece that I picked for the PW Baroque recital. I'm just not confident I can learn it by December 17.

There's a very tiny chance I might submit something for the November PW recital. If I do it'll be a short piece from the last unit I did, nothing fancy.

Well, seems like everyone else is chugging along just fine. Time for me to get some practicing in.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/14/15 07:21 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX

Wow Smurfette, best of luck for your treatments of this disease. From what I've read, there are many possible treatments that can help you live with this for quite a long time.

Yes, while symptoms are regular, the actual progression of the disease is variable with each individual, so I just have to remain positive and do as much as I can with my music in the meantime, though I doubt I will ever compare to Beethoven lol

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I kind of know what it feels like to be on a tight schedule with my piano studies. My teacher has called me "relentless" in this regard. There are several reasons for this that I will not go into at this point. The main thing is, it is important to always enjoy the journey so that ambitions don't detract from things.


People say I am patient, but I am not, I want everything done as soon as poss, preferably yesterday lol, but I do have a determination to get things done. I am autistic and love routine , organisation and pattern, so when I set my mind on something I give it a lot of my time.


Originally Posted by raubucho
Life presents many obstacles, but, it's the rough patches in life that give such lovely definition to the good parts.


It most certainly does. Yes it will be good to have someone on the same level. I will be slow probably as I have other stuff assigned by my teacher. Currently revising Bach's Prelude in C and learning Chopin's Wiosna.


Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Are you a smurfette because you like the blues?

LOL, no It is what my hubby called me when we first met, I'm petite, like the smurfs and had blue hair at the time .

That is encouraging that your teacher thought your first choice too simple, good luck with your recital preparation.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/14/15 01:52 PM

I just submitted my first recording to the Nov Recital. Bach's Prelude in C. I think I forgot to breathe while playing !
It is rather scary recording a piece, compared to the relaxation of playing on your own, much worse than playing for my teacher.
Oh well 'tis done now...... LOL
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/14/15 06:41 PM

That's great, Smurfette. I was going to try to record something this morning but I can't find the cable that connects to my DP's headphone jack. Now that I just wrote that I realize I don't know where my headphones are either. Huh. Back to searching...
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/14/15 09:39 PM

I found the cable and headphones and got a recording submitted. It's just a short piece from the lesson book. Looking forward to listening to everybody's submissions.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/15/15 10:59 PM

Originally Posted by Smurfette

It most certainly does. Yes it will be good to have someone on the same level. I will be slow probably as I have other stuff assigned by my teacher. Currently revising Bach's Prelude in C and learning Chopin's Wiosna.

Interesting. Since by the end of this year I will have reached by initial goals set in the fall of 2013 when I started lessons, I want to start working on a "reach for it" piece to be learned sometime by mid-2016. That piece is Wiosna.

Keep us informed as to your progress. Bach's Prelude in C is covered at the end of Faber Level 4, which I also hope to get to by the end of 2016.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/16/15 08:56 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX

Interesting. Since by the end of this year I will have reached by initial goals set in the fall of 2013 when I started lessons, I want to start working on a "reach for it" piece to be learned sometime by mid-2016. That piece is Wiosna.

Keep us informed as to your progress. Bach's Prelude in C is covered at the end of Faber Level 4, which I also hope to get to by the end of 2016.


My teacher is using ABRSM exam books as well as some repertoire books I own to teach me. Currently doing one grade 1 piece and a grade 3 one as my challenge piece.
When prelude in C was assigned I split it into 4 chunks and spent 20 mins day on each bit. Wiosna I just added a bar at a time. My teacher did laugh as Wiosna was supposed to take 2 months not 2 weeks.
I did express concern that just dumping the earlier grades and beginning at grade 3 would mean a gap in technique, so we will continue with one difficult piece and lots of grade 1 pieces.
I have a lot to cover with scale practice anyway.
PA will be my way of making sure methodical technique acquisition occurs, I will be doing it alone but if I struggle with any exercise I will ask teacher for help.

Linda I am glad you found your cable and was able to submit a piece to the recital. I listened to it and it sounds fun and lively. Well played !
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/16/15 01:05 PM

By the way Linda and Smurfette: Nice job on your recital recordings! smile

I played the Malaguena in front of 25 people last year and boy was I nervous! Still, I love to hear this Faber piece; brings a smile to my face...
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/16/15 01:14 PM

One other thing: Yesterday my wife and I played at our teacher's adult-only musicale. Of the 8 non-expert performers, five of us are at Faber Level 3. It's nice to have company and hear other folks playing pieces I have learned in the not-too distant past.

On Wednesday I will probably be assigned the last piece in the 3B core books. It's been an interesting journey since I stated 3B in late February; Switching out the first edition for the second edition in the middle, three multi-week vacations, and really challenging pieces that I thought were unplayable.

Faber may certainly not be for everyone, I understand that. But the combination of my teacher, the Faber books, and my consistent practice regime has worked for me.

Throw in the completely unexpected composition of five original pieces by my own hand (two performed in public), 2015 has been a great year.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/17/15 10:33 AM

Thanks and you too Brian, well played. I am sure Wiosna will be easy for you.
Congrats on playing in front of a live audience.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/19/15 10:56 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
One other thing: Yesterday my wife and I played at our teacher's adult-only musicale. Of the 8 non-expert performers, five of us are at Faber Level 3. It's nice to have company and hear other folks playing pieces I have learned in the not-too distant past.

On Wednesday I will probably be assigned the last piece in the 3B core books. It's been an interesting journey since I stated 3B in late February; Switching out the first edition for the second edition in the middle, three multi-week vacations, and really challenging pieces that I thought were unplayable.

Faber may certainly not be for everyone, I understand that. But the combination of my teacher, the Faber books, and my consistent practice regime has worked for me.

Throw in the completely unexpected composition of five original pieces by my own hand (two performed in public), 2015 has been a great year.



Hi Brian,

Congrats on your achievement. You have been and continue to be an inspiration to us.

It would be nice to hear your original pieces if you would be willing to share them with us.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/22/15 07:05 PM

Originally Posted by Smurfette
Linda I am glad you found your cable and was able to submit a piece to the recital. I listened to it and it sounds fun and lively. Well played !
Thank you. It's a fun piece to play.

Originally Posted by BrianDX
By the way Linda and Smurfette: Nice job on your recital recordings! smile

I played the Malaguena in front of 25 people last year and boy was I nervous! Still, I love to hear this Faber piece; brings a smile to my face...
Thanks, Brian. My teacher actually suggested I play the Malaguena for our upcoming class recital. I'm keeping it under my fingers as a back up plan. smile

Originally Posted by BrianDX
One other thing: Yesterday my wife and I played at our teacher's adult-only musicale. Of the 8 non-expert performers, five of us are at Faber Level 3. It's nice to have company and hear other folks playing pieces I have learned in the not-too distant past.

On Wednesday I will probably be assigned the last piece in the 3B core books. It's been an interesting journey since I stated 3B in late February; Switching out the first edition for the second edition in the middle, three multi-week vacations, and really challenging pieces that I thought were unplayable.

Faber may certainly not be for everyone, I understand that. But the combination of my teacher, the Faber books, and my consistent practice regime has worked for me.

Throw in the completely unexpected composition of five original pieces by my own hand (two performed in public), 2015 has been a great year.
It does indeed sound like a great year for you. But wait, the year's not over yet, so there's still time for more greatness.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/23/15 12:59 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by BrianDX
One other thing: Yesterday my wife and I played at our teacher's adult-only musicale. Of the 8 non-expert performers, five of us are at Faber Level 3. It's nice to have company and hear other folks playing pieces I have learned in the not-too distant past.

On Wednesday I will probably be assigned the last piece in the 3B core books. It's been an interesting journey since I stated 3B in late February; Switching out the first edition for the second edition in the middle, three multi-week vacations, and really challenging pieces that I thought were unplayable.

Faber may certainly not be for everyone, I understand that. But the combination of my teacher, the Faber books, and my consistent practice regime has worked for me.

Throw in the completely unexpected composition of five original pieces by my own hand (two performed in public), 2015 has been a great year.



Hi Brian,

Congrats on your achievement. You have been and continue to be an inspiration to us.

It would be nice to hear your original pieces if you would be willing to share them with us.

Regards
Mario

Thanks Mario! One of the pieces I submitted to the ABF recital the last time around. Should be easily accessible to listen to. The other three I have not had a chance to record yet, at least being played with my own hand.

There was an audio recording made of our duet last Sunday. Once I get it I'll publish it in this thread.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/26/15 11:53 PM

A quick check in after a little holiday. Currently working on Oh Sole Mio in Unit 2, which I now feel like I've been working on for an infinity years. I refuse to move on until I perfect it, or go insane. Whatever comes first.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/27/15 01:50 PM

Thanks for checking in Trevor. That piece was a favorite of mine, harder to perfect that one might think just scanning the notes.

For those of you who live in the States, Happy Thanksgiving. smile

For those of you who live outside the U.S, thanks so much for checking in here when you can. To me, having participation at a global level makes these topics more interesting and affirming.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/27/15 08:31 PM

Hey, Trevor. Nice to hear from you.

My teacher (community college class) recently assigned me Ol Sole Mio, but from the Alfred's AAIO book, which is the coursebook for the class. So far, I've neglected it, choosing instead to work on my recital piece, a baroque piece from a book I recently bought, and learning scales two hands together (a recently upgraded personal goal in my routine). I'll start on Ol Sole Mio very soon.

I walked through it two weeks ago when it was first assigned, and, my initial impression was that the struggle would center around the frequent chord changes. Unlike previous pieces I've learned, this one seems to incorporate chords more into the melody, rather than confining them to just accompaniment. I think I'll start it tonight.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/27/15 10:12 PM

Hi Everyone,

No lesson for me this week due to the holiday. Some of my fellow classmates were at the same place in the book as I was at the last lesson, but they're moving on to the next unit even though their pieces were nowhere near polished. Our teacher is a very easy passer, so I'm slowing myself down and will work on each piece to where I can play it smoothly and musically.

For unit 5 I pretty much have Gavotte and Swing Low Sweet Chariot under control. But the other piece, a lead sheet for Song of Joy, is giving me some grief. The right hand plays mostly first inversion chords, with finger #5 voicing the top-notes melody. I can more or less do it, but not without some discomfort in my forearm so I think I should stop trying for now.

Other than that I'm making some nice progress on my Gavotte in G Major recital piece.

Trevor - Try to keep your sanity. What's your idea of "perfect"? Are you working on other pieces also, or just that one?

Brian - Looking forward to hearing that duet recording.

Ralph - I found the Alfred's version of O Sole Mio to be more difficult than the Faber's one. I'm sure you'll do better with the arpeggiated chords than I did.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/28/15 12:09 PM

Wow Linda I'm impressed! It took me two years of concentrated study to be able to get to the point in Level 3B where I was able to learn and perfect Swing Low Sweet Chariot so I could play it in public.

Your progress is quite noticeable in 2015. No stopping you now! smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/28/15 07:47 PM

Hey, everybody. I hope you are all doing well.

I have not returned to my Faber books yet, as, I still have a couple weeks of class which uses the Alfred's. These last couple of weeks will require me to complete two more songs from that book, a new piece given just before the final, and to play all scales and cadences for the major keys. Though I have been resistant to learning all the scales at this early juncture, I have recently taken on the challenge of playing all the scales, two octaves, hands together. The hands together goal may be more a reflection of the particular keys I am currently working on, F# and C#, which, using all of the black keys, are not that difficult to learn. I may have to back off some when I get to the major flat keys.

I had a bit of a revelation recently, not in terms of new knowledge, but rather, in terms of better understanding of existing knowledge. A couple weeks ago I found a book of baroque and classical pieces at Level 1 or 2 (can't remember just now). Out of curiosity, I sat down to plink away at the first piece, Rigaudon by G.P. Telemann. It is a short piece in ABA form. I only had a little time right then, so, I slowed way down in order to be able to "hear" the piece before having to put it away. I was happy to find that I got control of the melody (right hand) surprisingly quickly for the A part. I could tell that I liked it, so I elevated it to a high priority piece, and have been working steadily on adding the left hand part, as well as the B part.

Over the course of this little venture, I remembered how well I learned the right hand, A part by going slowly, and have been keenly aware of the benefits of that practice throughout. Now, two weeks later, I am ready to record it, and, am pleased with how it sounds.

About an hour ago as I stopped practicing my Rigaudon piece, I got curious about the next piece in the book. It is a selection from the notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach (I hope I didn't butcher that name). It is in the key of F, a key I have not spent much time in. It also is short, and in AABB form. I started very slowly, and, had the right hand melody for all parts playing smoothly in less than an hour. This is very fast learning compared to my recent history. I'm getting kind of excited about the prospects, in terms of how much more music I might be able to learn now.

The slowing down thing REALLY, REALLY works. Previous pieces at this level have typically taken me a month or so to get into nice shape. I also used the super slow approach to resurrect a couple of pieces I had learned previously, and allowed to slip into dis-use. They came back quite nicely with the slow practice method.

It's funny how you (I) can know things on a cognitive level, but still not actually utilize them. I have known, cognitively, for months about the benefits of practicing very slowly. But, it is only recently that I believe I am coming the point of REALLY knowing it, i.e., it is incorportated into my practice regimen with the same reliability as sitting down, or placing my hands on the keys.

I think I may be getting smarter! laugh
Posted By: blackjack1777

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/29/15 04:56 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Everyone,

No lesson for me this week due to the holiday. Some of my fellow classmates were at the same place in the book as I was at the last lesson, but they're moving on to the next unit even though their pieces were nowhere near polished. Our teacher is a very easy passer, so I'm slowing myself down and will work on each piece to where I can play it smoothly and musically.

For unit 5 I pretty much have Gavotte and Swing Low Sweet Chariot under control. But the other piece, a lead sheet for Song of Joy, is giving me some grief. The right hand plays mostly first inversion chords, with finger #5 voicing the top-notes melody. I can more or less do it, but not without some discomfort in my forearm so I think I should stop trying for now.

Other than that I'm making some nice progress on my Gavotte in G Major recital piece.


Hi Linda, I think your approach is correct. My teacher does not move me on until the pieces are musical and polished. I think it's a good habit because I'm working on some side pieces and all of that attention to detail carries over to when you're working on something without the assistance of your teacher. I say continue on your path, you will be all the better for it. smile

Good luck on Gavotte and your recital. I'm super excited to hear how yours goes. I'm also working on my recital pieces and this week, unfortunately, I'm struggling with nervousness and getting my pieces perfected so I can play them from a cold start perfectly every single time. I'm putting aside my other work until I can finish my recital which is next week. eek
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/29/15 06:04 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet

Ralph - I'm sure you'll do better with the arpeggiated chords than I did.


I saw that monstrosity and was initially intimidated, and bewildered by it. But, I was in class at the time and had the opportunity to ask the teacher what that "snake" was doing in my music score.

After he explained it, I was less intimidated. I realized that quite a few of my chord attempts to date had come out "semi-appregiated" anyway. So, I figure I'm already half way there. grin

I got the right hand melody of Ol Sole Mio under control last night, except for the second ending where the appregiated chord appears. That will probably come tonight.

I think I'll learn to spell "appregiated" first. smile

Linda and Blackjack: I'm envious of your recital opportunities. Playing in front of others is something I really want to get accustomed to. I'm frequently disappointed with the way mistakes creep in when I play for my teacher. Probably about 70% of my performances for him are marked by mistakes that, in practice, I had already long put behind me.l And, I absolutely know that it is just from nervousness, fear of failure, etc.

So, I was thinking of hosting a piano get-together for fellow ABF members, or for all PW members, even classmates from my piano class. I've seen several members of PW and ABF from Texas, so a nice turnout seems a real possibility. Perhaps some of our ABF fellows would even travel to join in. I envision it as a fun, informal opportunity to play in front of supportive, caring colleagues, to receive encouragement, and get inspired by each others' successes.

And, playing would in no way be required. Just available, and supported if chosen. Listeners would be welcome.

I thought of renting a banquet room or a piano room at our college with a quality piano for a day.

Do any of you have experience with such an event? I would love your feedback or ideas about it.

I hope you are all doing well.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/03/15 02:32 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Wow Linda I'm impressed! It took me two years of concentrated study to be able to get to the point in Level 3B where I was able to learn and perfect Swing Low Sweet Chariot so I could play it in public.

Your progress is quite noticeable in 2015. No stopping you now! smile

A couple of things... (1) I don't play it perfectly, as I still am a little clumsy in a couple of spots, and (2) it's a simpliler verson than the one you played. For example my version doesn't have sixteenth notes. So while I don't deserve the "impressed" comment, I do feel like I'm making good progress, so I'll accept that one. Thank you. smile
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/03/15 02:33 AM

Originally Posted by raubucho
The slowing down thing REALLY, REALLY works. Previous pieces at this level have typically taken me a month or so to get into nice shape. I also used the super slow approach to resurrect a couple of pieces I had learned previously, and allowed to slip into dis-use. They came back quite nicely with the slow practice method.

It's funny how you (I) can know things on a cognitive level, but still not actually utilize them. I have known, cognitively, for months about the benefits of practicing very slowly. But, it is only recently that I believe I am coming the point of REALLY knowing it, i.e., it is incorportated into my practice regimen with the same reliability as sitting down, or placing my hands on the keys.

I think I may be getting smarter! laugh

I'm with you on the slow practice. Even though I know better I keep speeding up and have to remind myself to slow down. Same thing with other bad practice habits I have such as wanting to play the whole piece every time. No wonder it takes me so long to learn a new piece.
I'm still waiting to get smarter. grin
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/03/15 02:44 AM

Originally Posted by blackjack1777
Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet
Hi Everyone,

No lesson for me this week due to the holiday. Some of my fellow classmates were at the same place in the book as I was at the last lesson, but they're moving on to the next unit even though their pieces were nowhere near polished. Our teacher is a very easy passer, so I'm slowing myself down and will work on each piece to where I can play it smoothly and musically.

For unit 5 I pretty much have Gavotte and Swing Low Sweet Chariot under control. But the other piece, a lead sheet for Song of Joy, is giving me some grief. The right hand plays mostly first inversion chords, with finger #5 voicing the top-notes melody. I can more or less do it, but not without some discomfort in my forearm so I think I should stop trying for now.

Other than that I'm making some nice progress on my Gavotte in G Major recital piece.


Hi Linda, I think your approach is correct. My teacher does not move me on until the pieces are musical and polished. I think it's a good habit because I'm working on some side pieces and all of that attention to detail carries over to when you're working on something without the assistance of your teacher. I say continue on your path, you will be all the better for it. smile

Good luck on Gavotte and your recital. I'm super excited to hear how yours goes. I'm also working on my recital pieces and this week, unfortunately, I'm struggling with nervousness and getting my pieces perfected so I can play them from a cold start perfectly every single time. I'm putting aside my other work until I can finish my recital which is next week. eek

Thanks, Blackjack. In some ways I like having control of when I can move on from a piece, but the other hand it'd be nice to have a teacher with a higher standard.

Thanks for wishing me good luck at my recital. Good luck to you too. Believe me, I'm nervous also. I'm working on getting it memorized so I can focus on the musicality of the piece. Right now I'm focusing on getting the last third memorized. And same as you, it's cutting into my regular practice time which of course is slowing down my progress in my method book. But I guess working on a recital piece is progress of another sort.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/03/15 03:11 AM

Originally Posted by raubucho
Linda and Blackjack: I'm envious of your recital opportunities. Playing in front of others is something I really want to get accustomed to. I'm frequently disappointed with the way mistakes creep in when I play for my teacher. Probably about 70% of my performances for him are marked by mistakes that, in practice, I had already long put behind me.l And, I absolutely know that it is just from nervousness, fear of failure, etc.

So, I was thinking of hosting a piano get-together for fellow ABF members, or for all PW members, even classmates from my piano class. I've seen several members of PW and ABF from Texas, so a nice turnout seems a real possibility. Perhaps some of our ABF fellows would even travel to join in. I envision it as a fun, informal opportunity to play in front of supportive, caring colleagues, to receive encouragement, and get inspired by each others' successes.

And, playing would in no way be required. Just available, and supported if chosen. Listeners would be welcome.

I thought of renting a banquet room or a piano room at our college with a quality piano for a day.

Do any of you have experience with such an event? I would love your feedback or ideas about it.

I hope you are all doing well.

A piano get-together sounds like fun. I'm not sure that I'd be brave enough to play in front of strangers, though. Especially if my recital goes badly and I end up humiliating myself - I'd be forever traumatized and spend the rest of my life playing to an empty room.

I'm happy to say I have grown accustomed to playing badly (ie: in the midst of learning a piece) in front of my classmates. At first I was very self conscience knowing everyone could hear me, but now I don't even give it a second thought. Of course, that took weeks of classes to get to that point. However, playing in front of new people still scares me. My chance of participating in a new group is greatest with the least amount of people attending. And the more informal, the better.

If you decide to go ahead with this, let me know if there's anything I can do to help.
Posted By: blackjack1777

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/03/15 05:33 PM

Hi Linda, yes definitely try to get your pieces memorized. My pieces are memorized. There is no way I would attempt a recital trying to read the music it would be a 100 times more difficult for me at this point in my piano career. smile

Ralph, I think your idea of a piano get together is a good one to get exposure to playing in public. Another resource you might try is the site meetup.com. I know there are some piano groups out here in my area of CA, I'm sure TX has the same.

In general, I am not the type of person that particularly has a goal of playing in public, I'm mainly doing the recital because my teacher really wanted me to give it a try. If I enjoy it I may do more public playing in the future, but it is definitely not one of my main goals. Too much pressure, I enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of my piano room grin
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/04/15 02:18 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
There was an audio recording made of our duet last Sunday. Once I get it I'll publish it in this thread

Here you go. You can ignore the last 20 seconds of the video; I built the project for youtube before I realized the end contained applause and comments from the audience.

https://youtu.be/BVRocZXWgq4

Double Feature: Swing Low Sweet Chariot

https://youtu.be/H9It8knOMjs
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/05/15 04:23 AM

Just to prepare for the EOY: I would like each poster in this thread to list their 2015 accomplishments, and more importantly, their 2016 goals.

I'll have my list ready by the 25th.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/07/15 01:18 AM

Hey, Brian. This is a nice idea, as, overlooking past successes is easy to do, and it is nice to remind oneself of the successes we've had. I think the following represent my best 2015 adventures, and the objectives coming soon.

MILESTONES:

Bought my daughter a Roland, her first piano, in January
Bought and played my first digital piano in April
Completed Piano Adventures Primer Level
Ā¾ Complete Piano Adventures Level 1
approx Ā¾ complete Alfred's AAIO under direction of CC teacher with A grade
All major scales, two octaves, hands separate
All major scale Cadences, hands together
Two ABF Recital submissions
Played my first acoustic piano at CC
In two weeks I will have 3 credit hours with grade of A toward a music degree I'll never complete :-)


ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

Recorded piano performance via midi connection from piano to computer/Audacity
Recorded piano performance via midi USB connection to computer/Pianoteq
Made some music that sounded like music

PIANO SKILLS UNDERTAKEN:

Sight reading (duh)
Playing over full range of grand staff in major keys of C, G, and F
Thumb cross-under and finger cross over in an actual song
Playing songs with eighth notes
Left hand block chord accompaniment to right hand melody (I, IV, V, and V7)
Right hand block chord accompaniment to left hand melody (I, IV, V, and V7)
Playing two handed pieces with non-chord left hand accompaniment to right hand melody

CURRENT FOCUS/'GOALS:

Phrasing and dynamics, to go beyond mere note playing
More independence and control of fingers 4 and 5
Rigaudon by G.P. Telemann
Little Dance, by Turk


ā€œON THE HORIZONā€ FOCUS/'GOALS:

Sixteenth Notes
Clear Sailing, by Mary Leaf
Village Dance, and, The Swing by Czerny
Sonatina in G, 1st Movement., by Attwood
An American Tapestry, by Timothy Brown
Celebration at Dunvegan Castle, by Mary Leaf
Playing live in front of people
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/07/15 07:26 PM

Hey Ralph, this is exactly what I was referring to.

Thanks! grin
Posted By: skyzero

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/11/15 04:46 AM

New to PW and wanted to pop in and say I just started AIO Adult Piano Adventures 1. This is my second go around with the piano. Played for almost 2 years with a teacher, got busy with life and haven't touched my piano in almost 5 years. Trying a new method to learn this time:

Faber series + Musiah. We'll see how it goes! I'm currently on level 3 of 13 in Musiah and surprisingly, the two years of private lessons are quickly coming back into my hands and fingers.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/11/15 01:14 PM

Thanks everyone for your reponses! My struggle around O Sole Mio isn't so much around the playingā€¦ with fingers, at least. My problem comes from pedalling. I just can't seem to get it right.

I don't go overboard (by any stretch!) with perfecting these pieces but, because I can't do the pedaling, I can't mark it as "done". It's annoying because I can do the earlier pedal exercise just fine, and there are no other in-between pedaling exercises in the AiO book.

I'm also very tempted to drop the AiO book 2 and pick up the standard 2B books instead. They seem to cover pedaling a bit more in those, and the repertoire seems a little bit more exciting and varied. 2B seems to go over a few things that I've already done, but 3A looks a little too advanced right now.

Oh, I've also started working on this jazzy Jingle Bells piece. It's a little out of my comfort zone, and I doubt I'll have it perfected in full by Christmas, but I'm having fun with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c6Hd16Rbzo
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/11/15 01:20 PM

Originally Posted by skyzero
Faber series + Musiah. We'll see how it goes! I'm currently on level 3 of 13 in Musiah and surprisingly, the two years of private lessons are quickly coming back into my hands and fingers.


Welcome! I used Musiah for a while. I think I got to level 6? It was great for improving my timing, I think. I stopped using it because I got a new piano which is away from my computer. There's been an iPad version "coming soon" for a long time now, but it doesn't seem to get mentioned anymore.
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/22/15 05:07 AM

Well, I finally finished with Faber 3A! After a short holiday break I'll start on 3B in Jan. that lesson will also mark 2 years of lessons. I'm going to work on some Vince Guaraldi Christmas tunes during the break.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/22/15 04:06 PM

Fantastic! Make sure you have the 2nd edition of the 3B books, including the sight-reading book.

I'll be curious as to your thoughts and experiences as you progress through this next level.

Brian
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/22/15 04:13 PM

I will have 2nd Edition, the 3A books were 2nd Edition as well.
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/23/15 01:34 AM

Hi everyone. Sorry about not updating for a while, but this is the busy season for me at work. But now that the Christmas rush is pretty much over things are back to normal.

Blackjack - I envious that you're able to memorize each of your pieces. The class teacher was not happy with my attempt to memorize what was supposed to be a recital piece. Well, to be more accurate, she didn't like that I couldn't play and follow along to the sheet music. Therefore, no safety net if I blanked during a live performance.

Brian - I enjoyed listening to A Spanish Waltz and Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Both were great!

Ralph - Lots of great milestones and goals in that list. You've accomplished a lot in such a short time - well done!

Skyzero - Welcome to PW! Since you're previous experience is coming back you'll probably get through the first book in no time.

Trevor - No point in sticking with the AiO if you're not happy with it. I sympathize with you about the pedaling. That's something I haven't gotten the hang of yet.

PFred - Congrats on your progress. Enjoy your holiday break.

My group piano classes ended for the semester. I had gotten as far as unit 6 in the second adult all in one book. I won't be signing up for the next group class because I found a private teacher instead. Get this Brian - she's been teaching piano for about 50 years! We had our first meeting yesterday and we decided that (for now at least) instead of continuing with the Faber's method we'll be using the Succeeding with the Masters Festival Collection books along with a sprinkling of other genres for variety.

Well, it's been fun. Good luck to all of you. Who knows, I may end up back with the Faber's method one day. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/23/15 11:20 AM

Best of luck Linda on your new teacher for 2016. Sorry to see you go though... frown

Keep in touch from time to time.

Brian
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/23/15 06:20 PM

As Brian requested, here's the year in review.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
I continue to use both Fundamental Keys and Faber AAiO1. Along with supplemental materials. In FK I have played all of the pieces up to page 66 - Horvath's Canzonetta. This represented learning 11 new pieces. In AAiO1, which I started at the end of June, I have worked through the first 10 chapters as far as Half-time Band. I have certainly enjoyed working with Faber and it has really filled in a lot of the material I thought was missing from FK.

In addition, I have worked with The Festival Collection Preparatory book to have supplemental pieces to play. Another thing, I started doing was looking at the RCM exams to see what skills you should have at various levels. I worked on the requirements for the Preparatory A exam and a advanced playing piano friend felt I new the material well. I don't feel the need to actually sit for the exams but the guidance they provide, I have found helpful.

Lastly, joining PW and the ABF! You have all been so helpful.

PIANO SKILLS UNDERTAKEN:

Sight reading - I am now able to play the left or right hand separately for a piece I am trying to learn fairly accurately as long as the interval is not above a 4th. I need a little more practice on 5th and 6ths but I think that is coming up real soon in Faber. I find it helpful to get a sense of the sound of the piece before I listen to a recording.

Learning some of the Pentascales : C, D, F, G, A major and A, E, D minor

Playing songs with eighth notes and learning how to play a single eighth note after a dotted quarter note.

Finally getting to play the Black Keys!

Playing two handed pieces with non-chord left hand accompaniment to right hand melody - actually this is not how FK works so I have never done the chord accompaniment. Even very early pieces in FK are that way. Look at Duettino by Thomas Attwood. This was my 4th piece.

Transposing a piece to a different key or location. I had a lot of fun with Czerny's Going Downtown. Once I had the piece memorized, I played around with it starting in various locations on the keyboard or moving one hand up or down an octave. It was a lot of fun to try and see which combinations had a pleasing sound and which did not.

CURRENT FOCUS/'GOALS:

Try to maintain a repertoire of 3 pieces I can play from memory.
Getting my counting to be a more consistent
These last few days of the year I am just going back and playing older pieces. For FUN!


ā€œON THE HORIZONā€ FOCUS/'GOALS:

In Faber, its on to Greensleeves and I am hoping to complete AAiO1 by the end of March and start on AAiO2.
In, Fundamental Keys, the next pieces are Turk's Minuetto and Wohlfahrt's Village Dance.
I'm going to attempt the 40 Piece Challenge in 2016 and learn how to record music for the recitals. Better get the piano tuned too!

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to all.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/23/15 10:24 PM

Sounds like a pretty good year to me smile

Hopefully 2016 will be even better!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/23/15 10:39 PM

OK, here are mine for 2015:

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

1) Finished up Faber Level 3A
2) Started Faber Level 3B (First edition)
3) Re-Started (and completed) Faber Level 3B (2nd edition)
4) Composed five pieces, and performed two at our teacher's adult recitals
5) 1000+ posts in Piano World
6) Started Book 2 of the Faber Developing Artist series
7) Studied and completed two Beethoven pieces (original form)
8) Completed the ABF "40 pieces a year challenge" (81 total)

PIANO SKILLS UNDERTAKEN:
1) Spent quite a bit of time using the Faber sight reading books. I'm doing considerably better in this regard than last year.
2) Pentascales for all major and minor keys
3) Sixteenth notes!

CURRENT FOCUS/'GOALS:
1) Getting a good start in Level 4.
2) Better practice habits
3) Try to lower the anxiety level of live performances
4) Better deal with "Red Light Syndrome"

ā€œON THE HORIZONā€ FOCUS/'GOALS:
1) Complete Faber Level 4
2) Complete Faber DA Book 2
3) Learn and pass one or more Mozart pieces (original form)
4) Learn and pass "Wiosna" by Chopin (original form)
5) Try to continue to contribute to the ABF recitals
6) Complete the "40 pieces a year challenge" for 2016

Happy Holidays to all.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/23/15 11:34 PM

It's great to see everyone's accomplishments. I'll come back with mine soon!

Just dropping in with a quick update. I've made the switch from the AaiO Book 2 to the regular 2B books! I feel like it was a great decision. There's just so much more supportive information.

I was struggling quite a bit with the pedal so I've dropped myself in at Unit 6 which seems to match up perfectly to where I was in AaiO 2 at the end of Unit 2. Unit 6 has a huge amount of pedal practice material (plus more the other books). Additionally, I wasn't happy with my sight reading progress, and the accompanying sight reading books are exactly what I need.

The bundle of books was pretty overwhelming at first (I still haven't found a teacher), but now I've grounded myself in the lesson book (and use that as an anchor to dip into the other books) I feel a lot more in control.

Anyway, onwards! smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/24/15 12:54 AM

Fantastic TrevorM!

I think you articulated very well why our teacher prefers the PA series in general. The other core books all revolve nicely around the Lesson book. And don't forget the Sight-reading supplement. I now do all five days of sight-reading exercises before starting in on the actual piece in the lesson book.

Have a great holiday. I'll be tuning in to all of the Boxing Day matches over your neck of the woods Saturday morning!
Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/26/15 03:05 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Best of luck Linda on your new teacher for 2016. Sorry to see you go though... frown

Keep in touch from time to time.

Brian

Thanks, Brian. I'll keep an eye on this thread to see how you all are doing.
Posted By: blackjack1777

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/26/15 11:27 PM

Originally Posted by TX-Bluebonnet

Blackjack - I envious that you're able to memorize each of your pieces. The class teacher was not happy with my attempt to memorize what was supposed to be a recital piece. Well, to be more accurate, she didn't like that I couldn't play and follow along to the sheet music. Therefore, no safety net if I blanked during a live performance.

...

My group piano classes ended for the semester. I had gotten as far as unit 6 in the second adult all in one book. I won't be signing up for the next group class because I found a private teacher instead. Get this Brian - she's been teaching piano for about 50 years! We had our first meeting yesterday and we decided that (for now at least) instead of continuing with the Faber's method we'll be using the Succeeding with the Masters Festival Collection books along with a sprinkling of other genres for variety.

Well, it's been fun. Good luck to all of you. Who knows, I may end up back with the Faber's method one day. smile


Hi Linda,

Congrats on finding a teacher!! I know that you were looking for a while, so that is excellent news. Finding a good teacher can be extremely challenging. I think you'll enjoy having private lessons again. I'm sure we will run into each other in the various threads on here! smile

As for your recital, maybe your new teacher will have some recitals that you can take part in as part of her studio in the future smile As for me I have to admit I'm quite relieved to not have any recital for another 12 months. I really prefer just to play for myself smile

Posted By: TX-Bluebonnet

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/27/15 02:14 AM

Originally Posted by blackjack1777
Hi Linda,

Congrats on finding a teacher!! I know that you were looking for a while, so that is excellent news. Finding a good teacher can be extremely challenging. I think you'll enjoy having private lessons again. I'm sure we will run into each other in the various threads on here! smile

As for your recital, maybe your new teacher will have some recitals that you can take part in as part of her studio in the future smile As for me I have to admit I'm quite relieved to not have any recital for another 12 months. I really prefer just to play for myself smile


Thanks, Blackjack. At least this time it's an actual certified teacher (as opposed to someone from craigslist or wyzant), so there's hope. Recitals never came up during our first meeting, so I'm not sure if she even has them. Like you, I also really prefer playing just for my own enjoyment, except I do enjoy the challenge of participating in the PW quarterly recitals. I'll see you around! smile
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/05/16 06:02 AM

As I begin my 3rd year of lessons this week, I've also started the 3B books. Lots of minors from the looks of it.

Fred
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/06/16 01:13 AM

Best of luck PFred!

I'll be very curious as to your experiences with 3B. Most of the pieces are still fresh in my mind.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll finally pass the duet in the back of the Performance 3B book, and at that point I'm 100% done those books.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/06/16 01:33 AM

Here is mine

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

1) Completed the Accelerated books and started 3A
2) Practiced an average of 1 hour every day
3) Developed my sight reading skill and less reliant on memory
4) Learnt and recorded every piece from the three core book (lessons, technique and performance)


PIANO SKILLS UNDERTAKEN:
1) Sight reading and less reliance on memory
2) The major scales of C F G
3) Triplets

CURRENT FOCUS/'GOALS:
1) Begin level 3B soon
2) Video record my performance so I can see my body posture, etc
3) Post more on YouTube to get people to post comments and feedback
4) Improve on certain technical skills


ā€œON THE HORIZONā€ FOCUS/'GOALS:
1) Begin Level 4 later this year
2) Learn a few Blues and Jazz pieces from the level 3 Jazz book
3) Learn and play some New Age pieces from Kevin Kern, etc

Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/06/16 01:39 AM

Hi guys and gals,

I wonder if someone could help me here.

There is a piece in 3B which is giving me a bit of trouble. It is called 'the fly's adventure'. I love this piece and it is quite easy to learn. Now you may be wondering what the heck is the problem then.

Well.....I am finding it not so easy to play. At that speed I just can't seem to be able to play the triplets evenly. Any hints or tips on how I can accomplish this would be most welcome.


Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/06/16 05:34 AM

BrianDX, what's next?
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/06/16 05:40 AM

All you Ipad and iPhone users out there. Good news. Faber have a free app for you. It has books to level 2b at the moment. Plans are to include more levels in the future. Great to practice with a full accompaniment.

See link:
http://pianoadventures.com/player/



Android users. Sorry guys. I myself will have to rely on my old aging iPad.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/07/16 02:56 AM

Originally Posted by PFred
BrianDX, what's next?

Well, I'm not quite done yet with 3B. Our duet tonight was much better than before, however the best recording of several takes still had some mistakes.

I'm now determined to get this piece RIGHT. In fact, it will be the first thing we do next week. Once done, I'll post the recording in this thread.

What's next in Level 4? Maple Leaf Rag by Joplin. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/07/16 02:57 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi guys and gals,

I wonder if someone could help me here.

There is a piece in 3B which is giving me a bit of trouble. It is called 'the fly's adventure'. I love this piece and it is quite easy to learn. Now you may be wondering what the heck is the problem then.

Well.....I am finding it not so easy to play. At that speed I just can't seem to be able to play the triplets evenly. Any hints or tips on how I can accomplish this would be most welcome.

Interesting! There were a just a few pieces that we skipped in 3B; this was one of them (gave me a headache).
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/07/16 02:59 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Here is mine

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

1) Completed the Accelerated books and started 3A
2) Practiced an average of 1 hour every day
3) Developed my sight reading skill and less reliant on memory
4) Learnt and recorded every piece from the three core book (lessons, technique and performance)


PIANO SKILLS UNDERTAKEN:
1) Sight reading and less reliance on memory
2) The major scales of C F G
3) Triplets

CURRENT FOCUS/'GOALS:
1) Begin level 3B soon
2) Video record my performance so I can see my body posture, etc
3) Post more on YouTube to get people to post comments and feedback
4) Improve on certain technical skills


ā€œON THE HORIZONā€ FOCUS/'GOALS:
1) Begin Level 4 later this year
2) Learn a few Blues and Jazz pieces from the level 3 Jazz book
3) Learn and play some New Age pieces from Kevin Kern, etc

Wow Mario; best of luck!

If you can progress through 3A, 3B, and start in Level 4 in 12 months that will be impressive!
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/07/16 04:04 PM

Iā€™ve been meaning to do a proper review and targets post for a while, but never found the time to do it properly. So hereā€™s my 2015 Piano Adventures brain dump!

Achievements and milestones:
- Finished the AaiO Book 1
- Started book two, but decided to switch to the basic books on book 2B (Unit 6) where peddling is covered much more heavily. Also bought into the supplemental material, which has been fantastic for practicing technique Iā€™m not so great at on other pieces so they donā€™t become stale.
- Accidentally discovered improvising for the first time while practicing Beach Partyā€™s chord progression!
- Failed to find a teacher

Aims for 2016:
- Finish 2B (Iā€™ve skimmed ahead and tried sight-reading parts of pieces later in the book and it all seems straightforward, so Iā€™m confident that this will be fairly quickā€¦ Famous last words!)
- Finish 3A
- Play that Jazzy Jingle bells piece that I attempted (and failed to do) this year when Iā€™m a bit more proficient.
- Continue to hunt for a teacher, although Iā€™m happy enough working it out on my own for now. Itā€™s at the plateaus that I struggle and need motivation and support.
- Practice for at least 5 days per week.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/10/16 06:07 PM

Great goals Trevor!

I'm curious as to what pieces you are currently studying in 2B?

BTW: "Beach Party" is one of my favorites in 2B. Not too hard to play, but it brings a smile to my face every time I hear it (Growing up in the 60's and all...)
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/10/16 10:16 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Great goals Trevor!

I'm curious as to what pieces you are currently studying in 2B?


Thanks, Brian. I'm currently finishing off Pumpkin Boogie (great fun to play) and, with almost perfect timing, about to move on to Deck the Keys. wink

I have the supplemental books, but haven't really dipped into those much, other than Theory. Oh, another goal for 2016: more sightreading practice!

I've had a flip through some of the repertoire books and have played a few of those to see what takes my fancy. There's a 2B Star Wars theme and Linus and Lucy that I think I'll polish up. The problem with music at this level is that they're all so short and barely feel like a repertoire!

I'm not sure if I congratulated you on reaching the end of 3B. But, great work! Level 4, for me, is where it starts to sound like "real" piano music. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/10/16 11:55 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM

I'm not sure if I congratulated you on reaching the end of 3B. But, great work! Level 4, for me, is where it starts to sound like "real" piano music. smile


Thanks Trevor! Although such things are relative, according to my teacher the end of 3B constitutes a kind of graduation from the Elementary to the Intermediate level. The last unit in 3B was sixteenth notes, and it took several months of very hard practice to get through it (albeit I still have that duet to finish up this Wednesday).

I have no idea how long it will take to get through Level 4, but I'm in no hurry, as the quality of the pieces I'm learning now demand my full attention and commitment. Also, there are very few pieces at this point that are arranged. That in itself is very motivating and satisfying.

And it all comes to a close with Prelude in C by Bach, something I personally thought I would never be able to play. We'll see...
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/11/16 10:07 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
And it all comes to a close with Prelude in C by Bach, something I personally thought I would never be able to play. We'll see...


Level 4 also kicks off with an arranged version of Maple Leaf Rag, which is one of the pieces that made me return to piano all these years later. smile
Posted By: KaylaX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/16 01:14 AM

Hiya,

I am in Book 2

I have never done book 1, my teacher just had me start at book 2.

Can I join in with you all ???
Posted By: KaylaX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/16 01:18 AM

Hiya,

Is anyone here in Book 2 ???

My teacher just had me start in Book 2. I have not done book 1 .......

Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/16 01:53 AM

Welcome, KaylaX!

It's quiet in here at the moment, thus the echo. laugh

Yes, this is the spot where Faber learners share their trials and tribulations. I have been on Faber hiatus, as I spent the recent fall semester enrolled in a college piano class, and the instructor had us work from the Alfred's book. I did not like it as much as Faber, and I am just now moving my efforts back into the Faber sphere.

If you are in Book 2 of the Adult All In One series, then you are probably ahead of me, though I am not sure. In my original not-so-well-thought-out plan I decided to proceed through the Faber Piano Adventure series, the series designed for kids. I am currently about 3/4 through the Level 1 book, having already completed the Preparatory Level. As soon as I finish it, I am going to re-visit my original decision about using the children's books, and may switch to the AAIO.

Some of the other regulars will be along shortly to greet you and to bring us up to speed on where they are in their journey.

Welcome to ABF and to the Faber thread. I think you will like it here.
Posted By: KaylaX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/16 02:02 AM

Thank you for posting smile

I didnt realize that there is a Fabers all in one ???

The book I have is "Fabers, Accelerated piano adventures" for the Older Beginner.

My book is actually 3 seperate books. Kinda along the lines of the Fabers Piano Adventure series. My teacher says that when I am done with this rather thick book, then I will be ready for book 3A in the kids adventure series.

Oh, this can be so confusing.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/16 10:02 AM

Welcome, Kayla! Accelerated Book 2 is around the same level Book 2A/2B in the regular series, so you're probably playing at about the same level as me.

In other news: I've found another local teacher, who I'm arranging to meet this week! Classically trained, with 10 years teaching experience. He's asked me to bring my Piano Adventure book and now I'm slightly terrified. I've not played in front of a teacher for over 30 years!

I'm sure it'll be fiiiine. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/16 01:45 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Originally Posted by BrianDX
And it all comes to a close with Prelude in C by Bach, something I personally thought I would never be able to play. We'll see...


Level 4 also kicks off with an arranged version of Maple Leaf Rag, which is one of the pieces that made me return to piano all these years later. smile

I'm currently learning the Maple Leaf Rag for tomorrow's lesson. It is tricky, bu I'm beginning to get the feel of it. However, it will take weeks to get it down right and at the proper speed.
Posted By: KaylaX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/16 01:52 AM

Hey, TrevorM

Good luck with the new teacher. You will do great. But hey, ive been with my teacher for almost a year now and i still freeze up when I have to play at my lessons. I make all kinds of silly mistakes and fumbles. I can play perfect at home though, but then I get to lessons and everything goes out the door. urggggg

I cant wait to hear how the lesson goes smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/16 01:52 AM

Originally Posted by KaylaX
Hiya,

I am in Book 2

I have never done book 1, my teacher just had me start at book 2.

Can I join in with you all ???

You sure can! smile

The Accelerated PA series (Book 1 and 2) is what our teacher started us with. This series flows exactly into the main Piano Adventures series at Level 3A.

The AAIO books are slightly different, and when you are finished with book 2 you continue somewhere between PA Levels 3A and 3B.

It's confusing, however once you get to PA level 3 and above it is a straight path to the top (PA Level 5).
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/16 01:54 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
In other news: I've found another local teacher, who I'm arranging to meet this week! Classically trained, with 10 years teaching experience. He's asked me to bring my Piano Adventure book and now I'm slightly terrified. I've not played in front of a teacher for over 30 years!

I'm sure it'll be fiiiine. smile

Great news! Let us know how it goes...
Posted By: KaylaX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/16 01:54 AM

Hey Raubucho,

Thank you for the AWESOME welcome smile

I am about half way through the Fabers accelerated series smile

Some pieces I enjoy and some (most) I roll my eyes at. lol smile I think I enjoyed the AAIO books better smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/16 01:57 AM

Originally Posted by KaylaX
Thank you for posting smile

I didnt realize that there is a Fabers all in one ???

The book I have is "Fabers, Accelerated piano adventures" for the Older Beginner.

My book is actually 3 seperate books. Kinda along the lines of the Fabers Piano Adventure series. My teacher says that when I am done with this rather thick book, then I will be ready for book 3A in the kids adventure series.

Oh, this can be so confusing.

Technically once you get to Piano Adventures Level 3A it is no longer just a kid's series, but adults as well.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/16 02:18 AM

Originally Posted by raubucho
If you are in Book 2 of the Adult All In One series, then you are probably ahead of me, though I am not sure. In my original not-so-well-thought-out plan I decided to proceed through the Faber Piano Adventure series, the series designed for kids. I am currently about 3/4 through the Level 1 book, having already completed the Preparatory Level. As soon as I finish it, I am going to re-visit my original decision about using the children's books, and may switch to the AAIO.

Hi Ralph. I think the bottom line is that if you are motivated with good practice habits and at some point professional instruction, any decision as to what books to proceed with will work for you.

I've done a lot of research on this, and spoken to my teacher at length. We both feel that the basic structure of the Piano Adventures series works better overall for both kids and adults. Why? Because the structure of the series with each level having a set of "core" books works really well. You have the Lesson, Theory, Performance, Technique, and Sight-Reading books working together to teach skills.

At least for me and my wife, this structure (along with our fabulous teacher) has worked extremely well.

Now, here is the slight problem with the PA series:
The look and feel of the early PA levels (Prep, 1, 2A, 2B) definitely has a "kids" feel to it. However, Levels 3A and up feel more adult oriented (albeit with nifty graphics and other things).

This is where the Accelerated PA for Older Beginners comes into play. It replaces all of the PA books through 2B, and has a more adult feel to it. This is the series our teacher starts adults using.

If someday Faber published a "Level 3" and "Level 4" Accelerated PA series, our teacher would probably go with that. But they don't, so at 3A kids and adults merge together.

Having said that, Levels 3A, 3B, and 4 have recently had second editions published, and these books are pretty amazing IMHO.

Regardless of your decision, best of luck, and as always, keep us up to date! smile
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/15/16 10:36 PM

Had my first meeting with my teacher today. I was super nervous that I was pretty much doing everything wrong when learning on my own!

He asked me to bring along what I was working on so I brought along the 2B Lesson book and played "Deck the Keys". He gave me a few pointers, complimented me on my position and quizzed me on some of the notes and chords as I played.

He then skipped me ahead to Unit 9's Lazy Chord Blues and spent maybe half an hour working on this short piece, giving me pointers on timing, counting, where I should emphasise, encouraging more confident playing, playing one hand where I played the other on problem bars, making me sing (!) the piece to get a better feel of the music. Then, when I had the piece down, working it further by adding a bit of a swing and trying different stuff out, like adding a bit of pedal to a bar that wasn't marked, but had harmony (I definitely wouldn't have recognised this).

So, yes, having a teacher is definitely recommended!

I'm continuing to work on Lazy Chord Blues for now, and maybe trying the New World Symphony on the following page if I have time. In a regular lesson he'd set proper homework and challenges, and my first real lesson may be less than a week away, depending on where I can fit into his lesson schedule.

I think we're going to continue with PA, for now at least, because I'm happy working through it. He said he doesn't normally work with method books because he usually works with grades 6-8 on their own repertoire. I said that I like the variety of it, and mentioned my fondness for ragtime. He's classically trained, but said he enjoys playing that ragtime too, so that's good news!

He'd also just moved in and hadn't had the piano tuned yet. It was pretty hilarious going from my perfectly tuned digital keyboard to a slightly wonky-sounding acoustic. smile

Anyway, all good so far, and I've got a great deal out of it already. Onwards!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/18/16 02:15 AM

Great news Trevor! smile Weekly updates please...

Well on Wednesday night we finished our duet at the end of level 3B, so that finishes that series. Took 11 months to complete.

So far the first couple pieces and exercises in Level 4 are really interesting, and yes, kinda hard. But after a week or so working with The Maple Leaf Rag things are starting to click.

Another example where Faber understands what a student at this level can really handle. Now I can't play at 144 bpm yet, and may not for quite some time. Having said that, the piece sounds great at 120 bpm, and that's probably good enough to pass this within a week or two.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/19/16 06:13 PM

Great news on Book 4, Brian. I've had a listen to some of the pieces in Book 4, and the accompanying books (Take the A Train, in Bigtime Popular I think, sounds great) and there are some really nice pieces in there.

Looks like my regular lesson day will be a Tuesday now from next week. Wish me luck! smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/20/16 01:25 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Great news Trevor! smile Weekly updates please...

Well on Wednesday night we finished our duet at the end of level 3B, so that finishes that series. Took 11 months to complete.

So far the first couple pieces and exercises in Level 4 are really interesting, and yes, kinda hard. But after a week or so working with The Maple Leaf Rag things are starting to click.

Another example where Faber understands what a student at this level can really handle. Now I can't play at 144 bpm yet, and may not for quite some time. Having said that, the piece sounds great at 120 bpm, and that's probably good enough to pass this within a week or two.


Congrats Brian.

I am still in the third last unit of 3A. I decided that I will try to play The Fly's Adventure semi-decently and at the lowest tempo of the recommended range before moving on. The toughest part for me is getting the timing right for the part where it goes down with a series of triplet-quarter combos. I am getting the timing right sometimes.

Our purchase of a labrador puppy has slowed my practicing a bit as she's that age where she wants constant attention and we love giving her that.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/20/16 03:34 AM

Hey, puppies need attention to. smile Our family was blessed with a Labrador for many years when our kids were young.

Maybe your dog will start to sing along with your pieces at some point... smirk

Good luck with The Fly. You're a better man than I....
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/20/16 10:08 AM

Congrats on the new puppy, Mario. We got a Whippet a couple of months ago. I usually play with headphones, but when I play without he usually sits wide-eyed as if to say "what the heck is that noise and where is it coming from."

He's pretty hilarious.
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/20/16 02:46 PM

Congrats Brian on moving to Book 4. Trevor, do keep us posted on how your lessons. For those of us without a teacher, these insights are helpful. Looks like everyone else is making progress too.

I too practice every morning for the pets. Our old dog seems to simply tolerate it, the cats ignore it but the bird occasionally sings along. Or perhaps he is just trying to tell me to play the right notes.

Getting ready to tackle Greensleeves in AAiO1 after finishing up Half-time Band.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/20/16 02:59 PM

Greensleeves is great. You can pretend that you're Vince Guaraldi! wink

In teacher news, my regular lesson will now be every Tuesday from next week. It seems like ages away, but then I haven't nailed New World Symphony yet.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/22/16 01:11 AM

The arranged version of the New World Symphony is a wonderful piece, where the essence of Dvorak really comes through.

It was a pleasure to learn, and I kept it in my repertoire for over a year.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/22/16 09:33 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
The arranged version of the New World Symphony is a wonderful piece, where the essence of Dvorak really comes through.

It was a pleasure to learn, and I kept it in my repertoire for over a year.


It's fun to play, and I love the dramatic chords at the beginning (and/or end).

I didn't play for a day, though, and completely forgot how to play it! Took me 10 minutes to figure out where my fingers should be again. I must make sure I practice the day before my lesson! smirk
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/25/16 12:18 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Congrats on the new puppy, Mario. We got a Whippet a couple of months ago. I usually play with headphones, but when I play without he usually sits wide-eyed as if to say "what the heck is that noise and where is it coming from."

He's pretty hilarious.


That's pretty funny.

The first time I played without the headphones she politely sat and listened but after a few seconds gave a big yawn, went straight back to her crate, put her paws over her ears and went to sleep.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/25/16 12:22 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Hey, puppies need attention to. smile Our family was blessed with a Labrador for many years when our kids were young.

Maybe your dog will start to sing along with your pieces at some point... smirk

Good luck with The Fly. You're a better man than I....


She is a lot of fun. But needs constant attention in the few hours she is not sleeping.

I think I have finally got my timing right after playing with a metronome. Now I just need to up the tempo from 140 to 150 and I think I'll be ready to record. May take me a week or so. Another reason I am persevering with this piece is because it is an easy piece to keep in memory and sounds wonderful.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/25/16 12:28 AM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Congrats Brian on moving to Book 4. Trevor, do keep us posted on how your lessons. For those of us without a teacher, these insights are helpful. Looks like everyone else is making progress too.

I too practice every morning for the pets. Our old dog seems to simply tolerate it, the cats ignore it but the bird occasionally sings along. Or perhaps he is just trying to tell me to play the right notes.

Getting ready to tackle Greensleeves in AAiO1 after finishing up Half-time Band.


I was quite hoping that Rexie (our pup) would sing along as some pups in YouTube, but obviously she is not an admirer of my work. Don't blame her though.
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/26/16 01:16 PM

Hello, this is my first post on this thread. I recently changed teachers for a number of reasons. After two weeks I know I made the right decision. I don't want to say anything bad about my previous teacher but felt something was missing.

Anyways, I am now having to take a step back. We are changing from Alfred'a All In One to Faber. I had looked at the Faber series but my previous teacher preferred Alfred's. So now I am working on Faber 2A.

I think this will be a good part of the Journey. Working on The Merry Widow Waltz this week.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/26/16 01:23 PM

Originally Posted by Bsw
I think this will be a good part of the Journey. Working on The Merry Widow Waltz this week.


Welcome aboard! I never played that piece because I jumped in at 2B, but it sounds like fun. Enjoy!

As for me, my first proper piano lesson this evening. Wish me luck! laugh
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/26/16 09:49 PM

First proper lesson, and I definitely had a bout of "I played this better at home". I just kept messing up and the hour flew past. Very frustrating.

Anyway, still on New World Symphony but with some new fingering, pedalling, and intonations to work on.

I'm a bit worried, now I'm home, that I only have one piece to play for a whole week. I'll ask of I can work on a couple of pieces at a time next week, to save my sanity.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/27/16 03:08 AM

Sounds like one of my typical lessons, TrevorM smirk

I generally like to have a couple of different pieces to work on during the week, in addition to an exercise or two. Faber has many different exercises to learn in conjunction with the lesson book, and I find many of them challenging and a kind of change of pace during a practice session.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/27/16 03:11 AM

Originally Posted by Bsw
Hello, this is my first post on this thread. I recently changed teachers for a number of reasons. After two weeks I know I made the right decision. I don't want to say anything bad about my previous teacher but felt something was missing.

Anyways, I am now having to take a step back. We are changing from Alfred'a All In One to Faber. I had looked at the Faber series but my previous teacher preferred Alfred's. So now I am working on Faber 2A.

I think this will be a good part of the Journey. Working on The Merry Widow Waltz this week.

Welcome aboard our thread Bsw! Lots of good stuff going on here (I think?). wink Keep us informed as to your progress.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/02/16 11:15 PM

Lesson two done. Played terribly again (although I loosened up towards the end)ā€¦ hopefully I'll start to relax over time!

Still with Piano Adventures and moving onto Duke of York's Strut while polishing New World Symphony a bit more. Teacher seems impressed by PA and is happy to continue using them. I'm also practicing scales for, I think, the first time ever: A major and Bb major. Next week he's also going to introduce a longer piece to work on as well, which I'm looking forward to. He's going to email me a couple of options to choose from.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/03/16 04:03 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Lesson two done. Played terribly again (although I loosened up towards the end)ā€¦ hopefully I'll start to relax over time!

Still with Piano Adventures and moving onto Duke of York's Strut while polishing New World Symphony a bit more. Teacher seems impressed by PA and is happy to continue using them. I'm also practicing scales for, I think, the first time ever: A major and Bb major. Next week he's also going to introduce a longer piece to work on as well, which I'm looking forward to. He's going to email me a couple of options to choose from.

Sounds like a very good start to me. You will loosen up at your lesson over time. And it's safe to say, you have great lessons, good ones, and once in a while, a real stinker.

I don't have an official count, but this lesson coming up tomorrow is close to #100.

The two pieces I'm currently learning is a good example of the ups and downs of Faber pieces. The Burgmuller piece is impossible to play at speed right now (My left hand is slower and less agile than the right). This will take weeks to get it to a passable state.

So to kill time tonight and take my mind off Burgmuller, I do the sight-reading reading exercises for the next piece in the lesson book, Medieval Fair by Nancy Faber. Within one hour I go through all the exercises, and pretty much have the piece learned, albeit not up to speed yet.

You never know what the next challenge will bring...

Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/03/16 02:40 PM

I had my third lesson with new teacher. The first lesson was mainly an introduction to each other and expectations and then the second lesson was a continuation and a little playing. Now we are getting down to it. We are working on playing music, not just hitting notes and reading the score. I am learning to listen to what I am playing. So, one assignment is to memorize The Merry Widow Waltz. I did yesterday and then was able to listen to what I was playing. Some difference.
I will look at this part of the journey as learning music, not just piano.
Posted By: mom3gram

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/04/16 02:14 PM

This morning I completed the Faber Adult Piano Adventures Book 1. smile
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/04/16 07:20 PM

Great job mom3gram! What a nice accomplishment. I'm getting there myself. Hoping to be done by end of April. So what are you going to do now?
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/04/16 08:29 PM

Congratz mom3gram!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/05/16 03:51 PM

Originally Posted by PFred
Congratz mom3gram!

+10! smile

Are you immediately moving on to Book 2?
Posted By: mom3gram

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/05/16 05:16 PM

I don't think so, Brian. At least not now. I bought the PA 2a and also the Alfred Premier 2a to see which one I like best. I'm also trying to re-learn some if the first pieces in my Alfred Adult Book 2, but I think they are STILL over my head.
Posted By: JimF

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/05/16 11:33 PM

Well done, mom3. Keep it up!!
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/08/16 12:45 AM

Originally Posted by mom3gram
This morning I completed the Faber Adult Piano Adventures Book 1. smile


Congrats mom3gram!! Well done!!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/12/16 09:45 PM

Two good lessons in the past two weeks, moving into Unit 2 of Level 4.

I have to say that so far this is my favorite set of core books. The pieces are hard, but not too hard. Most of the pieces are either original form classics (Like Arabesque by Burgmuller), or great original compositions by Nancy Faber. It's interesting that the first edition of these books did not have a Technique book at all. So far this second edition Technique book has been pretty good, with two original form pieces, plus a very nice arranged version of the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata coming up next.

Hope everyone out there is practicing hard and having fun!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/14/16 02:50 AM

Hi everyone, I haven't posted in ages but I'm still here! Lost momentum for a time, but I finally got committed to finding a teacher and did so about a month ago. I'm feeling SO much more motivated and getting the direction I needed, so I'm extremely grateful for that.

Just wanted to pop in here quick and say "hi", and hoping to start posting again more regularly. So glad to see how everyone has been doing, you guys have done GREAT!!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/15/16 09:30 PM

Welcome back! Keep us informed as to your thoughts on the new teacher. smile
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/17/16 12:48 PM

Not much progress this past fortnight. I've been too busy to get in some proper practice time, and my teacher was sick last week. Still, lesson yesterday went well, I think. Now working on Canoeing in the Moonlight in 2B. Plus A, Bb and E (I think!) scales while maintaining Duke of York Strut and New World as "repertoire" pieces. Plus some finger exercises based on the A scale.

Congratulations on completing Unit 1, Brian! The pieces in Book 4 sound pretty good.

Congratulations on completing Book 1, mom3gram! Definitely worth pushing ahead, I think. New pieces that seem hard at first are often a lot easier after just a few tries. Piano Adventures seems pretty well structured in that regard.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/17/16 04:44 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Welcome back! Keep us informed as to your thoughts on the new teacher. smile


I like her a lot, Brian! She's making me memorize the things that I was too lazy to do before (key sigs and such, names of cadences, etc) and I just started a Chopin prelude a couple days ago. Still working with Faber 3A, but she says I'm at higher level than that, so we're touching on each unit and moving on, and I'm playing more classical pieces from Alfred's Masterworks series. I feel so much more engaged than I was, and really excited about this new direction!

Hope you guys are all doing great and enjoying the journey!
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/17/16 06:13 PM

That's great, ebonykawaii! It's much easier to progress with good support.

You also reminded me that I'm also going to start on some of the Faber Developing Artist pieces as well next week, which I'm looking forward too.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/18/16 02:19 AM

Good move TrevorM!

There are many good pieces in those books. Which exact book will you be using?

EbonyKawaii; let us know which Faber pieces you are learning in 3A; sounds like you may not be there much longer!

Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/18/16 10:39 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX

There are many good pieces in those books. Which exact book will you be using?


I have both the Prep and Book 1. I think I'm Book 1 level (ish), but my teacher says that there's value in the Prep book (and likes that it has duets) so we'll start with that.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/19/16 01:27 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
That's great, ebonykawaii! It's much easier to progress with good support.

You also reminded me that I'm also going to start on some of the Faber Developing Artist pieces as well next week, which I'm looking forward too.


That series is VAST, so much good stuff! Anyone can find loads of pieces they enjoy. I was amazed when I saw just how much there is, knocked my socks off, LOL!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/19/16 01:29 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
EbonyKawaii; let us know which Faber pieces you are learning in 3A; sounds like you may not be there much longer!


The ever-annoying Amazing Grace, LOL!!!! I'll be so thrilled if I never play that song EVER again!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/21/16 01:56 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by TrevorM
That's great, ebonykawaii! It's much easier to progress with good support.

You also reminded me that I'm also going to start on some of the Faber Developing Artist pieces as well next week, which I'm looking forward too.


That series is VAST, so much good stuff! Anyone can find loads of pieces they enjoy. I was amazed when I saw just how much there is, knocked my socks off, LOL!

There are five different books in this series. The last book (Book 4) is late Intermediate and is over 100 pages long! There are probably enough pieces to keep me busy for years if I ever get there (1/3 done Book 2).
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/21/16 10:48 AM

BrianDX- I was just wondering if you or your wife are planning on participating in Guild this year?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/22/16 01:52 AM

Hi pianoMom2006!

Great question! After talking about it over the holidays we decide to skip the Guild Auditions for 2016. The pieces we are learning are getting harder, and keeping 5-6 pieces memorized until May seemed daunting this year.

Add in the fact that I am spending more time composing and doing other stuff, made the decision easy.

Keep in mind that our 2015 Guild experience could not have been more positive, and we definitely plan to do it again, hopefully in 2017. I just feel I need another year under my belt to tackle Level IA or IB material. This level is 3-4 times harder than EF or EG material from last year.

Just curious, have you participated in any Guild auditions as an adult?



Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/22/16 02:57 AM

No Brian. I can't even play a primer book. It's my 9 year old son that plays piano not me- I love hearing him play and it really gives me so much joy. I sit in on his lessons and listen to him practice every night so my insight and enthusiasm is all from watching him learn and grow.


I liked reading your (first hand) feedback about Guild from last year as it's hard to get much feedback from an 8 year old. I know he enjoyed the experience as he did very well.
My son will be participating again this year so I was wondering if I was going to be able to look forward to your commentary.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/24/16 03:34 AM

Well, just encountered a lovely adaptation of the Moonlight Sonata. Great to learn this. So far Level 4 is my favorite of all of the series. We'll see if that continues...
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/24/16 10:01 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Well, just encountered a lovely adaptation of the Moonlight Sonata. Great to learn this. So far Level 4 is my favorite of all of the series. We'll see if that continues...


I had a sneaky peek ahead at Level 4 and really liked a lot of the pieces.

Lesson a bit later this week, and once again I haven't practiced as much as I'd liked. Particularly scales. I *know* they're important, but I hate doing them so SO much. frown
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/26/16 11:37 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Lesson a bit later this week, and once again I haven't practiced as much as I'd liked. Particularly scales. I *know* they're important, but I hate doing them so SO much. frown


Went into this weeks lesson apologising for my lack of progress in scales. I don't feel like I'm improving *at all*, but he says that I'm doing better than I think.

Following a week of playing Canoeing in the Moonlight, I've been assigned my first piece of original music to try: Bach's Prelude in C Major, which uses a similar phrasing to the Faber piece. Should be fun!

Right, bach to those scalesā€¦ (sorry)
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/27/16 12:42 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Well, just encountered a lovely adaptation of the Moonlight Sonata. Great to learn this. So far Level 4 is my favorite of all of the series. We'll see if that continues...


I bought the books ahead of time, I also thought that most of the songs looked really nice! Can't wait to get to them!

Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/02/16 12:21 PM

Just realised that Prelude to C is actually the last piece in Book 4! I don't think I'm expected to master it all right nowā€¦ or my teacher has pretty high expectations of me. smile

The thing is, it's a pretty simple piece, but remembering how to play it beyond about bar 6 is a bit of a challenge!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/02/16 04:52 PM

I'm very much looking forward to learning Prelude in C, however I have about 1/2 of lesson book to go before then!

I will confess to playing around with the first 6-8 measures. Not too difficult, however over 4 pages there are dozens of broken chord and melody note changes, many very subtle.

My teacher is a big proponent of learning pieces like this by playing the broken chords as a block first. I'm doing this with the Moonlight Sonata and this technique works very well.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/02/16 06:08 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I'm very much looking forward to learning Prelude in C, however I have about 1/2 of lesson book to go before then!

I will confess to playing around with the first 6-8 measures. Not too difficult, however over 4 pages there are dozens of broken chord and melody note changes, many very subtle.


Yes, I think it's a bit too tricky for me to manage the whole piece (and I don't think I'm expected to, yet!), but it's rather nice to be touching on a "proper" classical piece.

Originally Posted by BrianDX
My teacher is a big proponent of learning pieces like this by playing the broken chords as a block first. I'm doing this with the Moonlight Sonata and this technique works very well.


Yes, my teacher also encourages this when learning scales, tooā€¦ blocking out the 3-4-3-4 fingers to get used to where they should lie. He also warned me not to dwell on this for too long, though, as the aim is to play them fluidly without a pause as the fingers change position.

Hadn't thought of doing this with the Bach piece, though. He pretty much said, "give this a go" at the end of my last lesson so haven't had any guidance so far. I'm going to give this a try.

I must also practice my scales, which I have, once again, been neglecting to do. smirk
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/03/16 03:44 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM

I must also practice my scales, which I have, once again, been neglecting to do. smirk

I think I have taken the art of neglecting to play my scales to a whole new level. My teacher is not amused. grin
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/04/16 11:22 PM

Uh oh, Brian, LOL! Just play 'em during some weird time of the day when you're not evening practicing. Knock them off like right before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning. That's what I've been doing, plus my cadences and a few arps. Then you can just concentrate on your pieces when you actually sit down to practice. I even eat an apple or something during mine, it's like you're there by accident, LOL.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/04/16 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I'm very much looking forward to learning Prelude in C, however I have about 1/2 of lesson book to go before then!

I will confess to playing around with the first 6-8 measures. Not too difficult, however over 4 pages there are dozens of broken chord and melody note changes, many very subtle.

My teacher is a big proponent of learning pieces like this by playing the broken chords as a block first. I'm doing this with the Moonlight Sonata and this technique works very well.


Bri, have you taken a look at Amber Glow by Robert Vandall? It would be a good prelude to this prelude. I just finished it, polishing it up for my next lesson Tues. LMK if you want to see it, I can scan it for you.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/07/16 04:05 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Bri, have you taken a look at Amber Glow by Robert Vandall? It would be a good prelude to this prelude. I just finished it, polishing it up for my next lesson Tues. LMK if you want to see it, I can scan it for you.

Yes, please smile
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/08/16 03:39 AM

Message me your email addy.... smile
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/08/16 11:10 PM

Tried playing a recent piece from memory today, with success I think.

I must be doing ok because I've been assigned a new piece in book 4. Continuing to work on Bach's Prelude in C, and now also In the Hall of the Mountain King. Should have asked for Maple Leaf Rag if I'd realised it was on the page before!

More scales, too: G major and Eb major.

Hope I can do this. My teacher seems to think I can! smirk
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/09/16 12:58 AM

Hi TrevorM;

You are roughly where I am right now (Unit 3-4). I pretty much take these pieces as they are presented in the book, sort of like a slow freight train (as I have described by my teacher and my wife) smile
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/09/16 03:20 AM

Well, I had the worst lesson EVER today. I've been really stressed out for the past week since my hubby got laid off. Just can't concentrate on anything, and I've been so busy helping him with updating his resume, keeping track of interviews, looking for job openings, plus my own stuff, teaching classes, the kids, the house, etc., not to mention trying to get my practice time in. But I'm so exhausted, I feel like my practice isn't really entering my brain. I feel so scattered and life seems to chaotic lately. It's only been a week. Feels like much longer. I'm so frustrated about this turn of events.

My teacher was so understanding, though. We just went over a few things, nice and slowly, so really calmed me down. At the end of the lesson, I was playing much better and felt a lot calmer. This woman is a godsend. She also said I'm putting way too much pressure on myself. Does anyone else do that? I work really hard at the piano, but she said that it should be my safe place where I can work out my emotions and help myself get centered. She said the piano should always be your best friend, where you go for solace. I really need to work on that. Does anyone else feel that way?

Sorry to vent. Just been a terrible week. I hope it gets better this week.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/09/16 04:00 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Well, I had the worst lesson EVER today. I've been really stressed out for the past week since my hubby got laid off. Just can't concentrate on anything, and I've been so busy helping him with updating his resume, keeping track of interviews, looking for job openings, plus my own stuff, teaching classes, the kids, the house, etc., not to mention trying to get my practice time in. But I'm so exhausted, I feel like my practice isn't really entering my brain. I feel so scattered and life seems to chaotic lately. It's only been a week. Feels like much longer. I'm so frustrated about this turn of events.

My teacher was so understanding, though. We just went over a few things, nice and slowly, so really calmed me down. At the end of the lesson, I was playing much better and felt a lot calmer. This woman is a godsend. She also said I'm putting way too much pressure on myself. Does anyone else do that? I work really hard at the piano, but she said that it should be my safe place where I can work out my emotions and help myself get centered. She said the piano should always be your best friend, where you go for solace. I really need to work on that. Does anyone else feel that way?

Sorry to vent. Just been a terrible week. I hope it gets better this week.

Sorry about your past week. I have had periods like that where my job, family, etc. are intruding on my piece of mind.

At times a week that that can also intrude on your outside world. I can tell you that practicing and participating in lessons almost always makes me feel better. When times are good (as they normally are), my piano studies are the cherry on the top.

I also put too much pressure on myself at times, however I try to turn that to my advantage; the harder I work, the further I progress.

Hopefully next week will be better for you and your family. smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/09/16 04:54 AM

I am sorry to hear about the travails that are upon you. But, I'm happy to see that you are well equipped with self-awareness and understanding, and that will help you along the way.

It is very important to recognize and understand that you will have weaknesses and even failures along the way. You will sometimes fail to carry all of the burdens you want to carry. You have a lot on your plate, and it is a normal part of life that GOOD PERSONS sometimes are unable to shoulder all of the burdens laid upon them or undertaken by them. This is just a part of life, and does nothing to diminish who you are. Baseball players never bat a thousand, Leonel Messi does NOT score every time he touches the ball, and Shaquille O'neal did not succeed at every dunk he attempted. But, who remembers any of that? They are all great, as are you. Do not beat yourself up when those occasional less-than-perfect moments come along.

Do not beat yourself up when those occasional less-than-perfect moments come along.

Do not beat yourself up when those occasional less-than-perfect moments come along.

Do not beat yourself up when those occasional less-than-perfect moments come along.

They are just occasional moments of less-than-perfect, and nothing more than that.

You and your family will get through all of this.

As for your piano time, perhaps you would do well to temporarily shift some of you time away from learning and keeping up with lessons, and toward just playing some for pleasure. It will not hurt your playing, and it could be a great help to you.

It sounds like your piano teacher is good at more than just piano. She sounds great!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/10/16 08:39 PM

Thanks for the support, guys!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/15/16 01:17 PM

No problem! smile

Well, with week off from lessons I can focus on my three Unit 3 pieces in the Lesson Book. All fairly hard, but fun to learn and practice.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/16 02:28 AM

OK, so tomorrow marks my 2 1/2 year anniversary starting lessons with our wonderful teacher, and starting from the ground up with Faber Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner Book 1.

In 30 months I've progressed through the middle of Level 4.

So, I've made a decision. Take a 2-3 month break from the lesson books and go in a different direction.

I have to start to catch up with my Developing Artist Book 2 pieces, plus learn and perfect my 3 movement sonatina for our Spring Musicale at the end of May. In addition I have never played a piece outside of the Faber series until now. My teacher has some other material that she wants to assign, and I'm really looking forward to that.

Plus, I have a "special project" I've had my eye on for 6 months: Learning to play my first Chopin piece in original form "Wiosna" from ABSRM Grade 3 exam book.

I plan to start back on the second half of PA Level 4 by mid-June, and hopefully finish by the end of this year.

With any luck, Level 5 will be done by the end of 2017, and then..... Who knows.

I've heard that less than 1% of students who start Piano Adventures Level 1 ever graduate through Level 5. I would very much like to be in that group.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/16 03:40 AM

You're going to make it, Brian. You love what you are doing, and you are up to the challenge. I think you will find great ways to enjoy the break and have some wonderful piano experiences.
Posted By: John BC

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/16 03:56 AM

Awesome! Congrats! I start Faber Books 2 this week.. woo hoo smile

regards

John
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/16 10:33 AM

Great news, Brian!

I seem to be on a similar track right now. I've broken the back of Mountain King this week after my teacher pushed me ahead to Book 4. To be honest I was lacking confidence, but my teacher seemed to think I could do it, and it seems like I can! I will say it was a bit of a frustrating experience going from relatively easy pieces to pieces which took a couple of days to get down, to harder pieces which take a few weeks to learnā€¦ but I've found it very rewarding.

He asked again what I'd like to get out of learning piano, and I still don't know how to answer. He's happy to continue working through the Faber books because he agrees that it's well constructed, but he's asked me to think of some pieces (pop, blues, jazz, classicalā€¦ anything) that I'd like to play for myself. Luckily, with an Easter break in the way I have a couple of weeks to think about it, but again, I'm a bit stumped for now!

Anyway, in the mean time, I'm working on Medieval Fair. smile

P.S. Yesterday I went back and tried some 2A level pieces and discovered how far I'd come! Sometimes I feel like I'm not progressing all that much, but when I can sight-read pieces that I really struggled-tinkered with just a few months ago it gives a great sense of accomplishment.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/16 02:41 PM

Originally Posted by raubucho
You're going to make it, Brian. You love what you are doing, and you are up to the challenge. I think you will find great ways to enjoy the break and have some wonderful piano experiences.

Thanks Ralph!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/16 02:43 PM

Originally Posted by John BC
Awesome! Congrats! I start Faber Books 2 this week.. woo hoo smile

regards

John

Hi John; Keep us informed as to how you are doing!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/16 02:48 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Great news, Brian!

I seem to be on a similar track right now. I've broken the back of Mountain King this week after my teacher pushed me ahead to Book 4. To be honest I was lacking confidence, but my teacher seemed to think I could do it, and it seems like I can! I will say it was a bit of a frustrating experience going from relatively easy pieces to pieces which took a couple of days to get down, to harder pieces which take a few weeks to learnā€¦ but I've found it very rewarding.

He asked again what I'd like to get out of learning piano, and I still don't know how to answer. He's happy to continue working through the Faber books because he agrees that it's well constructed, but he's asked me to think of some pieces (pop, blues, jazz, classicalā€¦ anything) that I'd like to play for myself. Luckily, with an Easter break in the way I have a couple of weeks to think about it, but again, I'm a bit stumped for now!

Anyway, in the mean time, I'm working on Medieval Fair. smile

P.S. Yesterday I went back and tried some 2A level pieces and discovered how far I'd come! Sometimes I feel like I'm not progressing all that much, but when I can sight-read pieces that I really struggled-tinkered with just a few months ago it gives a great sense of accomplishment.

First of all, I loved learning Medieval Fair!

You make a great point here. The grind of knowing the next piece to learn may be harder than the last one can really get to you after a while.

Last, week, my wife was playing something in Level 3A that I remembered took me 3 weeks to learn about 15 months ago. Well, just for fun I sat down and within 5 minutes I had it nailed. Sometimes you have to do that to understand how far you have come over time...
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/09/16 03:31 AM

Spent most of tonight learning my first original form Mozart piece in the Performance book.

Already after an hour or so things are going well. There is some complicated left/right hand coordination going on, as well the first example of what my teacher calls "finger pedaling".

After hundreds of hours of practice, lessons, and more practice, learning a piece like this so quickly is a real rush.

For more advanced players, sure this is pretty simple Mozart. But for me, it took 30 months to get here.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/20/16 04:59 AM

Hi guys and gals,

I've not really been away but just lurking in the background.

I've finally finished Level 3A; I thought I would finish it by the middle of Feb but the last few chapters were quite challenging and I want to play all the pieces relatively well before moving on.

The book recommends moving to level 4 for some people which strikes me a bit strange as there is a lot of stuff that is covered in Level 3B that is not covered in 3A.

Anyway, given the way I am going, I think I'll modify my goal to just finishing 3B by the end of the year.

Brian, congrats on your achievement.

On the topic of playing the older levels relatively easily, one thing to note that even if you have not played a piece in 1.5 years you would still retain some finger memory. The challenge is to play something new from 3A and see how long it would take (like from the older version of 3A). I am sure it would be relatively easy but not as easy as stated.

Regards

Mario


Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/20/16 12:51 PM

Hi Mario! I just started 3B myself about a week and a half ago! I don't know why it would be recommended to skip to 4, as 3B introduces minor keys, major and minor triads and chord inversions, unless you're coming from the end of Adult 2, which does cover those.

I really like the techniques in 3B so far and find the faster music really invigorating! I'm also starting to work strongly with the metronome for scales and pieces. I never paid that much attention before, playing with the metronome, I used to just listen to the tempo and count it in my head. This is a nice change.

I'm looking forward to summer and having more time to play. Two weeks ago I had my new piano delivered, a Clavinova 565 grand and it is GORGEOUS. I absolutely LOVE it!!! Still have my U1 as as well, so it's the best of both worlds for me. I find myself playing a lot more, and my goal is to get through 3B by Sept. so I can start level 4 in lessons.

Brian, congrats on your progress! Great to see everyone still here plugging away!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/20/16 05:27 PM

Great to hear from you folks!

I concur, Level 3B should not be missed, as it builds technique that you will need going forward, especially the last unit which introduces 16th notes.

I'm basically through half of Level 4, and as I mentioned above I'm going to spend the majority of my time the next few months in the Developing Artist Book 2.

My plan is to start up Level 4 in the early summer, and by the end of 2016 to be finished both Level 4 and DA Book 2.

That will leave Level 5 at the start of 2017.

Hey EbonyKawai, how about about some pics of your new 565? smile
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/21/16 12:48 AM

Bri, I have DA book 2, as well, I'm dying to play some pieces in there! A few I've already played like Beethoven Eccossaise and Sonatina in G, they're not bad at all. It's a REALLY nice change to be able to play original forms, though to its credit, PA does have some as well. But I really like the Developing Artist series, a real breath of fresh air.

Don't mind if I do, LOL, here's some pics. The room has not great lighting in the morning, so the wall color often comes out weird, but here's the new baby, regardless! 3hearts

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I'm madly in love!!!!!!!!

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/21/16 03:48 PM

Great setup. Love your cat as well! smile

I see you have the iconic 1849 photo of Chopin. Two questions:
1) Where did your buy this photo?
2) What are the other two photos you have behind the piano? Can't quite make them out...
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/21/16 05:05 PM

HI guys

It's been a long time since I checked in. A little vacation plus laziness, mostly! smile

Loving the new piano, ebony! Reminds me of the big old grand that I used to have lessons on as a child.

Re: skipping 3B. My teacher actually skipped me from 2B to 4. I presume because the pieces offer a bit more of a challenge. I don't think skipping 3B is a problem if you have a teacher to guide you. I expect it'd be more of a problem if you're skipping both the pieces in 3B AND not getting the technical information taught to you in some other way. Say, if you're self-teaching.

Re: going back to 2A pieces. In my case, I was looking again at pieces from the accompanying repertoire books that I hadn't properly played before. Or, had played a bit of and thought "This is a bit hard, I'll try that again later." And then never did. I'd never practiced them, and they were definitely easier! smile

Anyway, must get some practice in again tonight. I've fallen out of the routine and finding it very difficult to get back in again! Tips welcome!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/21/16 05:50 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Great setup. Love your cat as well! smile

I see you have the iconic 1849 photo of Chopin. Two questions:
1) Where did your buy this photo?
2) What are the other two photos you have behind the piano? Can't quite make them out...


I print all my pics, or at least Office Max does, LOL. On glossy photo paper, an 8X10 is about $1.50. I just google what I want, download the largest and best one I can find, then tweak it in Photoshop so they come out nice. Young Brahms is on the top, Clara Schumann below. If you want them, shoot me an email at ebonykawai@gmail.com, I'd be happy to hurl them over!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/21/16 05:52 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM

Re: skipping 3B. My teacher actually skipped me from 2B to 4. I presume because the pieces offer a bit more of a challenge. I don't think skipping 3B is a problem if you have a teacher to guide you. I expect it'd be more of a problem if you're skipping both the pieces in 3B AND not getting the technical information taught to you in some other way. Say, if you're self-teaching.



Agreed!! They know where you're best placed, the teacher is always the best guide. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/22/16 10:30 AM

Completely agree on this as well.

In fact, my teacher has already mentioned that Level 5 is not completely necessary, as by then I'll have the basic knowledge and she can guide me the rest of the way.

However, being the stubborn and focused person that I am, I have insisted that I will complete all five levels being I'm done with Faber, since so few students ever do this. Besides, I'm already spending about 50% of my time outside of the core books in level 4.

One mild nice surprise; I was preparing my Developing Artist Book 3 for later this year/early next year. It seems that I have already passed two pieces, since these were both in PA Level 4.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/26/16 12:02 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi Mario! I just started 3B myself about a week and a half ago! I don't know why it would be recommended to skip to 4, as 3B introduces minor keys, major and minor triads and chord inversions, unless you're coming from the end of Adult 2, which does cover those.

I really like the techniques in 3B so far and find the faster music really invigorating! I'm also starting to work strongly with the metronome for scales and pieces. I never paid that much attention before, playing with the metronome, I used to just listen to the tempo and count it in my head. This is a nice change.

I'm looking forward to summer and having more time to play. Two weeks ago I had my new piano delivered, a Clavinova 565 grand and it is GORGEOUS. I absolutely LOVE it!!! Still have my U1 as as well, so it's the best of both worlds for me. I find myself playing a lot more, and my goal is to get through 3B by Sept. so I can start level 4 in lessons.

Brian, congrats on your progress! Great to see everyone still here plugging away!


Hi Ebony,

Looks like we're working at the same pace because I remember our starting 3A at more-or-less the same time. Good to know that we are not going too fast or too slow.

I am too liking the faster pieces in 3B. At last feel I am somewhat of a pianist.

Congrats on your new piano. It looks gorgeous. It must be such a pleasure to play it.

Re. not skipping 3B here's my two-penny worth. I am one of those people who like to do things completely and feel completely guilty or unsure when they start skipping things; it would make me feel that it would be the beginning of an end to my piano playing. I think I would have this feeling regardless of whether or not I had a piano teacher. Also my experience with teachers has led me to not put my full trust in them and their ability to judge (in part because I would not know them too well). Also my experience has led to believe that they are more inclined towards steering you to their own way not because it is necessarily the best way (even in their opinion), but because it is the way they are most comfortable with. This may or may not be in your interest.


Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/26/16 02:58 AM

I can add that we are the students and have some say in this. It would be different if we the students wanted to skip a level and our teachers said no.

The other way around, we can choose to not skip material if we want to, unless the teacher can make a very compelling argument to the contrary.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/26/16 05:23 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I can add that we are the students and have some say in this. It would be different if we the students wanted to skip a level and our teachers said no.

The other way around, we can choose to not skip material if we want to, unless the teacher can make a very compelling argument to the contrary.


But the main problem is this inverse relationship one has with ones teacher in that the more you trust your teacher the less likely you are to question his/her judgement about skipping material or taking on a new pathway or varying an existing pathway. Because of information asymmetry (our relative lack of information compared to our teacher) we would find it very difficult to make a 'rational' judgement on whether or not our teachers arguments are compelling enough. Our degree of trust in our teacher would naturally colour our judgement. Having a degree of healthy mistrust of the judgement of your teacher is possibly the best strategy one can adopt. Just like it is healthy to mistrust the opinion of your doctor and thus question it and seek a second and third opinion. This is not because one thinks that his doctor is evil but because one knows that the doctor is human and thus fallible.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/26/16 01:31 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by BrianDX
I can add that we are the students and have some say in this. It would be different if we the students wanted to skip a level and our teachers said no.

The other way around, we can choose to not skip material if we want to, unless the teacher can make a very compelling argument to the contrary.


But the main problem is this inverse relationship one has with ones teacher in that the more you trust your teacher the less likely you are to question his/her judgement about skipping material or taking on a new pathway or varying an existing pathway. Because of information asymmetry (our relative lack of information compared to our teacher) we would find it very difficult to make a 'rational' judgement on whether or not our teachers arguments are compelling enough. Our degree of trust in our teacher would naturally colour our judgement. Having a degree of healthy mistrust of the judgement of your teacher is possibly the best strategy one can adopt. Just like it is healthy to mistrust the opinion of your doctor and thus question it and seek a second and third opinion. This is not because one thinks that his doctor is evil but because one knows that the doctor is human and thus fallible.

I completely understand where you are coming from Mario.

This brings up an entirely separate topic that could be a thread in itsef: "Do you trust your piano teacher?".

Here is the way I see it. There is no doubt in either my wife's mind or mine that we have a top 5% teacher. The reason that I say this among other things is she is used to teaching as many adults as younger children. After 30 months of lessons she knows me inside and out, as I know her as well. I have my personality quirks, so does she.

We have come to an understanding that I pretty much dictate what I want to work on (and sometimes skip). At that point for each piece that I learn, she controls how I am supposed to play it, and more importantly, when I am done with it. Once in a while I may disagree as to how to interpret a piece; 75% of the time I do it her way. However, now that I have been composing for a year she hears me out a bit more on these matters.

I think once I finish up with Faber probably late next year, she will take more control over "what's next", as I have frankly no idea.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/26/16 01:46 PM

I agree with you both, it's a challenge, to be sure! My last teacher many years ago dropped the method book I was using but as we went forward, I learned almost no theory. I really had no idea of what I was playing and it became mostly memorization. This time around I wanted to make certain that I know all the theory I should, so I do want to stick to PA until there's no doubt that I know what I need to know to continue.

I've actually stopped lessons a few weeks ago. I think that having a teacher is great, and I definitely plan to get back to lessons, but I feel like I just have too much going on in my life at the moment to stick to a set schedule of progression. I was finding myself getting stressed out if I couldn't get through all the stuff I was supposed to work on, and that took a lot of joy out of my learning. Even though my teacher was fine with things, I came to realize that I wasn't, and that I felt too much pressure with lessons. So as it stands, she's told me that I should carry on with 3B and if I have any questions, to call her and ask. I think that I'll get through this level perfectly fine this summer, and then start back with her at level 4 in Sept. By then, my chaotic home life should be much more stable, and hopefully I won't be as stressed out.

I'd like to get to where you are, Brian, in my ability to express my needs and desires to a teacher. I do need to work on that so stress doesn't come into the equation again, firmly knowing that I am there on my own terms, and free to go as fast or slow as I want. But it's hard for me, it's my personality, I guess.

Mario, yep, we go about the same speed! That's very comforting, sometimes I feel like a turtle because I have so much else going on in my life. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/08/16 02:09 AM

Just want to share a few of my past week's experiences with two of the harder pieces in the Developing Artist Book 2.

The first piece, In The Garden by Gurlitt contains several sections where the left hand is playing one part of the melody, and the right hand was playing both the second part of the melody, with two other fingers providing the harmony, keeping in mind that all three voices are played at slightly different volumes. Well my teacher was amazed that after two weeks of practice I played it well enough to pass.

Then on Wednesday I was assigned The Happy Farmer by Schumann, which is step above the Gurlitt piece in terms of difficulty. After three days of hard work I can finally play all of the parts reasonably well.

My point here is, once again I see the wisdom of how Faber builds the various lessons books and the skills that are taught. Hopefully by June I will have finished the rest of the pieces including a four page sonatina by Beethoven. Then its back the level 4 PA.
Posted By: PFred

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/19/16 04:56 AM

Just wanting to keep this thread from falling back too far. I'm in the middle of 3B, just starting Hava Nagila. 3B has had some interesting pieces. Having fun!
Fred
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/19/16 01:28 PM

Hava Nagila was a lot of fun to learn and play; it took me several weeks to master the repeating notes using different fingers, as well as getting it up to proper speed. Good luck!

On a separate note, after speaking to my teacher last night we have decided that once I finish Level 4 (hopefully by late this year) we will be moving away from the Faber method books (specifically Level 5). We will be using the Faber Developing Artist Book 3, as well as teacher-selected repertoire pieces.

Kinda hard to believe; seems like I just started Faber Level 1 last month. smile
Posted By: yellojello

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/16 05:28 PM

Greetings!

I decided to join the club and will start Adult Piano Adventures Book 1, which should arrive this weekend. Also have a Roland FP30 arriving today. I'm excited to start!

Also, noticed most of you are already advanced past Book 1, and also have a teacher, but have any of you watched or used the new Faber video resources? It was just posted March 31, 2016, so these probably weren't available when many of you started Book 1. They also have one for their My First Piano Adventure Book A if you have any kids.

Faber Adult Piano Adventures Book 1 Videos

I don't plan on getting a teacher yet, but wondering if these videos are similar to how a teacher would teach? This could be really great for self-taught starters.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/16 05:46 PM

Welcome to the Faber club!

Until your post I did not know these video existed. They certainly did not exist in the Fall of 2013 when my wife started with Faber. I looked at the first couple; not bad at all.

Best of luck; keep us informed as to your progress. smile
Posted By: mom3gram

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/16 06:02 PM

They would have been a big help to me. Good luck with your piano adventure.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/16 08:55 PM

I downloaded the app to see what it was like, it's quite nice, but they don't have anything at my level. I wish they had CDs. I tried to order one for 3B but it's not completed yet, so no go. I'm starting Unit 3 in 3B, so you're just a hop ahead of me, Fred!

Brian, that's great news! Book 3 has some wonderful pieces in it. I'm working on Solfeggio in D by JCF Bach. It's so lovely! Harmony of the Angels is absolutely GORGEOUS, too. There's a few from Anna Mag. notebook that I played 20 years ago, lol, when I knew no theory. It will be really cool coming back to them from this different place I'm at. I'm also wondering if Level 5 is where I want to go. I might just do the theory book to make sure I have it all. I really want to get going with classical repertoire. I'll definitely do Level 4, but I think I also may just move on from there. I'm glad you mentioned this, as I wasn't sure, but I think I am now. So thanks for helping me make up my mind.

Welcome, yellowjello! PA is an excellent series. I still can't believe how much I learned this time around. smile

Carry on, everyone!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/25/16 02:15 PM

So after getting some input, I've decided to leave Faber entirely and move to the RCM curriculum. I found a teacher and am quite excited to be starting the curriculum in the fall! This summer I'll be working on Level 3 pieces and technical work so that I can show her what I'm capable of, and then she'll decide after evaluating me where best to place me, either level 3 or moving on to 4. I'm really happy to get this settled, as I've felt kind of rudderless lately, and it feels great to have a solid direction now. Just wanted to update you all! smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/27/16 02:01 AM

Best of luck ebonykawai. We'll miss you smile

Just as an aside, I've cross-referenced my current pieces to the RCM curriculum publications, and at Faber Level 4 the pieces that exist on both lists seem to be concentrated at Grade 3, with a couple at Grade 4, and also a few at Grade 2.

Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/27/16 09:32 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Best of luck ebonykawai. We'll miss you smile

Just as an aside, I've cross-referenced my current pieces to the RCM curriculum publications, and at Faber Level 4 the pieces that exist on both lists seem to be concentrated at Grade 3, with a couple at Grade 4, and also a few at Grade 2.



LOL, I know, come with me! smile thumb
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/03/16 04:16 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
So after getting some input, I've decided to leave Faber entirely and move to the RCM curriculum. I found a teacher and am quite excited to be starting the curriculum in the fall! This summer I'll be working on Level 3 pieces and technical work so that I can show her what I'm capable of, and then she'll decide after evaluating me where best to place me, either level 3 or moving on to 4. I'm really happy to get this settled, as I've felt kind of rudderless lately, and it feels great o have a solid direction now. Just wanted to update you all! smile


Hi Ebony,

Sorry to see you leave. Will pay us an occasional visit and let us know how you are doing.

I am still stuck in the first unit of 3B; its been more than 5 weeks. The pieces are quite fast and I am taking ages for my playing to adapt to the speed. Hope to move to the next unit next week.

Regards

Mario
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/03/16 01:14 PM

Hi Mario2015;

Level 3B is quite a step up from 3A, so don't get discouraged. It took me over a month just to get adjusted to the more advanced material. Believe me, keep plugging along and the subsequent units will fall a bit better in place.

I can also tell you that some of the suggested tempos in the 3B pieces and exercises are just too fast, both in the technical ability of the student and the overall feel of the pieces. My teacher was very good at determining what tempo was sufficient for passing the piece and moving on.

Is there there anything in particular in Unit 1 that has you stuck?
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/04/16 11:04 PM

Hey everyone!

Sorry to hear so many are leaving the Piano Adventures trainā€¦ but it's great that we've all progressed this far and that the folks that are leaving are doing so because the Faber books have taught them so much!

I've talked to my teacher about following the ABRSM syllabus and, maybe, later down the line, doing the grade 5 exam for real. I don't feel any need to prove myself (at 40 you really start to not care what other people think!), but it's nice to have a goal. I suggested that I was about a grade 2-3 level and he agreed and suggested maybe a 4, but I think that's pushing itā€¦ or maybe I don't have enough confidence. Either way, I'm behind on quite a lot of things like scales and all that other stuff, they can't be too hard to learn, right? wink

Anyway, I feel like I've got about as far as I can in the Piano Adventures books. I'm currently studying "The Spy" in Book 4, which is actually a lot of fun (even if I can't get my left and right hands to play nicely yet!). And I'll definitely be coming back to play the arrangement of the Jurassic Park theme in the Book 4 Popular Repertoire book.

I think I mentioned before that I was trying out some Scott Joplin? I think I got ahead of myself there. It was great fun to get to play some, but I was making such slow progress that it became a chore. I'll come back to those again in a few months. smile

Mario, I didn't do 3B, but if you're really struggling with a piece it's sometimes just worth moving on, and coming back later. Often your brain and fingers will just figure it out while you're not working on it. That's the case for me, anyway! Also, I often found that I struggled on particular styles of music, and that the next piece would be really easy in comparison. Finally, always the oldest and most obvious bit of advice that I forget, too: slow down and take it one bar at a time. You'll get over that hurdle soon enough, just keep at it. smile

Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/05/16 12:29 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015

Hi Ebony,

Sorry to see you leave. Will pay us an occasional visit and let us know how you are doing.

I am still stuck in the first unit of 3B; its been more than 5 weeks. The pieces are quite fast and I am taking ages for my playing to adapt to the speed. Hope to move to the next unit next week.

Regards

Mario


For speed, what I've been doing is playing with the metronome at a speed that I can accomplish pretty easily. Then bump the speed up by a notch, stay there till I have it, then go up another notch. Really, it's that easy, it's a very gentle way to get to where you want to be, speed-wise. I'm doing this with the Bach piece I'm playing, you get used to it.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/05/16 09:29 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Hey everyone!

Sorry to hear so many are leaving the Piano Adventures trainā€¦ but it's great that we've all progressed this far and that the folks that are leaving are doing so because the Faber books have taught them so much!

I think you are exactly right about this Trevor.

I will be very interested in how things go when I return to the second half of Level 4 in early July, after spending 8-10 weeks in repertoire material alone (and essentially finishing Faber Developing Artist Book 2).

As I have mentioned earlier, I plan to be finished Level 4 by the end of this year, and then go off in a different direction. It will be bitter-sweet, as by then I would have spent 40 months in Faber PA.

Once that happens, I'll figure out the "If I had to do it over again" stuff. Since everyone is different, my experience may not be applicable to anyone else.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/07/16 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Hi Mario2015;

Level 3B is quite a step up from 3A, so don't get discouraged. It took me over a month just to get adjusted to the more advanced material. Believe me, keep plugging along and the subsequent units will fall a bit better in place.

I can also tell you that some of the suggested tempos in the 3B pieces and exercises are just too fast, both in the technical ability of the student and the overall feel of the pieces. My teacher was very good at determining what tempo was sufficient for passing the piece and moving on.

Is there there anything in particular in Unit 1 that has you stuck?


Thanks for the encouraging statements Brian. Also thanks for the advise regarding the speed. I ended up recording at slightly lower speeds than the minimum recommended for some pieces and at the minimum for the others. Yes the upper limit of the speed did not seem to gel well with the feel of the tune.

I guess speed will come with time. Right now I am concentrating on getting the timing right as for example triplets sound horrible when the timing is off and it usually goes off when I try to play too fast.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/07/16 11:31 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Hey everyone!

Sorry to hear so many are leaving the Piano Adventures trainā€¦ but it's great that we've all progressed this far and that the folks that are leaving are doing so because the Faber books have taught them so much!

I've talked to my teacher about following the ABRSM syllabus and, maybe, later down the line, doing the grade 5 exam for real. I don't feel any need to prove myself (at 40 you really start to not care what other people think!), but it's nice to have a goal. I suggested that I was about a grade 2-3 level and he agreed and suggested maybe a 4, but I think that's pushing itā€¦ or maybe I don't have enough confidence. Either way, I'm behind on quite a lot of things like scales and all that other stuff, they can't be too hard to learn, right? wink

Anyway, I feel like I've got about as far as I can in the Piano Adventures books. I'm currently studying "The Spy" in Book 4, which is actually a lot of fun (even if I can't get my left and right hands to play nicely yet!). And I'll definitely be coming back to play the arrangement of the Jurassic Park theme in the Book 4 Popular Repertoire book.

I think I mentioned before that I was trying out some Scott Joplin? I think I got ahead of myself there. It was great fun to get to play some, but I was making such slow progress that it became a chore. I'll come back to those again in a few months. smile

Mario, I didn't do 3B, but if you're really struggling with a piece it's sometimes just worth moving on, and coming back later. Often your brain and fingers will just figure it out while you're not working on it. That's the case for me, anyway! Also, I often found that I struggled on particular styles of music, and that the next piece would be really easy in comparison. Finally, always the oldest and most obvious bit of advice that I forget, too: slow down and take it one bar at a time. You'll get over that hurdle soon enough, just keep at it. smile



Thanks for the advise Trevor.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/07/16 11:32 PM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by Mario2015

Hi Ebony,

Sorry to see you leave. Will pay us an occasional visit and let us know how you are doing.

I am still stuck in the first unit of 3B; its been more than 5 weeks. The pieces are quite fast and I am taking ages for my playing to adapt to the speed. Hope to move to the next unit next week.

Regards

Mario


For speed, what I've been doing is playing with the metronome at a speed that I can accomplish pretty easily. Then bump the speed up by a notch, stay there till I have it, then go up another notch. Really, it's that easy, it's a very gentle way to get to where you want to be, speed-wise. I'm doing this with the Bach piece I'm playing, you get used to it.


Thanks for your advise Ebony.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/08/16 12:47 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I guess speed will come with time. Right now I am concentrating on getting the timing right as for example triplets sound horrible when the timing is off and it usually goes off when I try to play too fast.

Hi Mario;

My wife is currently learning the Malaguena in Level 3A and she is having the same issue. My advise to her: determine a comfortable speed that she can play each triplet sequence; then go back and play that tempo on the quarter note for the entire piece. That way, it doesn't sound like she is slowing down when she gets to the triplets.
Posted By: uptick

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/08/16 05:56 PM

Hi guys,
I've recently got Alfred's adult all in one book 1, but figure I would get faber's as well for supplmental studies. However, there seems to be two versions of faber's book 1 all in one book... do most people get the one with theory or the regular one?


https://www.amazon.com/Adult-Piano-...amp;sr=8-1&keywords=faber+all+in+one

https://www.amazon.com/Adult-Piano-...amp;sr=8-7&keywords=faber+all+in+one
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/08/16 06:10 PM

Hi Uptick:
These appear to be the same. The first one is the 2nd edition where the later is the original that I am using. I found Faber to be superior to Alfred's. Like you, I wanted a supplemental volume to Fundamental Keys which is my primary book. I just couldn't get into the LH cord playing in Alfred's. Faber tries to develop hand independents which is a critical skill and I found the songs better as you progress.
Posted By: uptick

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/08/16 06:20 PM

One is published in 2001 while the other in 2002 though. Doesn't make a lot of sense for them to publish a new edition 1 year after the first edition.

I was thinking that maybe one contains theory and more information, while the other is mainly about techniques and song practices; not entirely sure though, hopefully someone could clarify :P
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/08/16 08:47 PM

The first link appears to have the new 2016 cover. 2002 was apparently its original publication date.

It's worth getting the newer edition if you can as it has free accompanying videos and audio via their website https://pianoadventures.com/online-support-for-adult-piano-adventures/

The second one comes with a CD, but that's available on their website for free anyway so not worth the bother.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/09/16 11:25 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by Mario2015
I guess speed will come with time. Right now I am concentrating on getting the timing right as for example triplets sound horrible when the timing is off and it usually goes off when I try to play too fast.

Hi Mario;

My wife is currently learning the Malaguena in Level 3A and she is having the same issue. My advise to her: determine a comfortable speed that she can play each triplet sequence; then go back and play that tempo on the quarter note for the entire piece. That way, it doesn't sound like she is slowing down when she gets to the triplets.


That's a good piece of advice. Thanks Brian.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/09/16 11:29 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
The first link appears to have the new 2016 cover. 2002 was apparently its original publication date.

It's worth getting the newer edition if you can as it has free accompanying videos and audio via their website https://pianoadventures.com/online-support-for-adult-piano-adventures/

The second one comes with a CD, but that's available on their website for free anyway so not worth the bother.


Also, as Brian pointed out and now that I have had both versions I agree with, the Fabers have rearranged the units and modified the pieces so that it is more in line with the skills acquired and so progress is easier. For example in the older version, once in a while you would come to a piece which in part or whole was relatively difficult to play and slowed your progress.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/09/16 11:55 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
For example in the older version, once in a while you would come to a piece which in part or whole was relatively difficult to play and slowed your progress.


I certainly second that advice and I'm glad they fixed it! The triad inversions section was given too early, IMO, at least with the music they suggested. That hung me up for weeks and got me really frustrated.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/10/16 02:59 AM

I was in the middle of Level 3B when the second edition was published. I made the decision (with my teacher) to restart with the newer edition, and skip the sections I had already completed. It was a great decision and I'm glad it worked out.

Even the subtle changes they have made in Level 3A are nice. My wife is currently working on "Chariot Race", and I noticed they slightly altered the last 1/3 of the piece to make it easier to learn, yet keep the fun aspects.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/14/16 11:21 AM

Has anyone else played The Spy in Book 4? I'm currently working on it but I just can't get my hands to relax while playing, particularly the right hand. And because my hand is automatically tensing up it's becoming painful to play.

This hasn't happened before and I assume it's because the right hand is a series of fast-ish chords? The frustrating thing about it is that I'm aware of the tension but fixing it seems completely out of my control. I'm really starting to hate it and I've only got the first 10 bars or so down. frown
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/14/16 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Has anyone else played The Spy in Book 4? I'm currently working on it but I just can't get my hands to relax while playing, particularly the right hand. And because my hand is automatically tensing up it's becoming painful to play.

This hasn't happened before and I assume it's because the right hand is a series of fast-ish chords? The frustrating thing about it is that I'm aware of the tension but fixing it seems completely out of my control. I'm really starting to hate it and I've only got the first 10 bars or so down. frown

I learned and passed that piece a few months ago. I know what you are experiencing Trevor, and the combination of slow practice and several sessions with my teacher fixed all of my issues.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/14/16 02:28 PM

Thanks, Brian. "Slow down" is usually the answer to any piano playing problem! I have a lesson tonight and my teacher will probably say the same thing. smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/15/16 12:16 PM

Good luck Trevor!

So far (mid-way through Level 4) this is my favorite Nancy Faber piece. It is hard to play correctly, but such fun to learn and listen to, that it is worth the effort to get it down correctly.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/17/16 06:28 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Good luck Trevor!

So far (mid-way through Level 4) this is my favorite Nancy Faber piece. It is hard to play correctly, but such fun to learn and listen to, that it is worth the effort to get it down correctly.


I have to say I love that piece. Just heard it from TinyMozart on YouTube. Nice jazzy little piece. Can't wait to get to it.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/17/16 10:02 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
I have to say I love that piece. Just heard it from TinyMozart on YouTube. Nice jazzy little piece. Can't wait to get to it.


It's tougher than it looks, but I'm getting there. SLOWLY.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/17/16 12:48 PM

It looks like I will be re-starting Level 4 in two weeks after a 3 month hiatus. My teacher and I decided to only focus on the Lesson and Performance books at this point.

I've been thinking about this the last few weeks. I'm coming to the opinion that Faber's concept of four core books has its merits, but only through the Elementary level (Basically PA Level 3A).

Beyond that (at least through Level 4) it seems to me that sticking to just the Lesson Book (including the sight-reading supplement which I absolutely love) and the Performance Book, plus teacher-selected repertoire pieces is the best way to progress, at least for me.

I have to say I am a bit tempted to still try the Level 5 Lesson and Performance books (there are no Technique or Sight-reading books), but my teacher seems to be against the idea.

We'll see...
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/17/16 02:19 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
I have to say I am a bit tempted to still try the Level 5 Lesson and Performance books (there are no Technique or Sight-reading books), but my teacher seems to be against the idea.


I'm certainly not going to go through book 5, but there are a lot of great pieces in the lesson book that I'd still like to try at some point, including a version of St Louis Blues.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMFLV1svOUsRIsFiYXK5peYfIZLBhyM9L

The stuff in 5 seems a lot harder than the stuff in 4!
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/18/16 09:38 PM

Well, I'm back, LOL. The RCM teacher fell through, she just has too many students and nothing fits into my schedule, even in the fall. I was disappointed at first, and started on RCM level 3 pieces, which are really enjoyable. I finished the Bach Musette in D and am 3/4 of the way through the Clementi Sonatina in C, 1st movement. Going that way, there's really only repertoire and theory, and I started to miss the way that PA mixes things up, giving lead sheets and short studies and the like. So I've decided to continue on with PA and choose one RCM piece every few weeks to learn, as well. I'm finishing 3B in the next couple weeks, then starting 4. Since I did 16th notes and octaves in the musette, and chord inversions and major and minor triads already, which are also in the technical part of RCM that I'm following, I'll just be finishing up two pieces in performance, then Pachelbel Canon. Then I'll start level 4 PA.

As for The Spy, I agree, you have to play it SLOW!! The Clementi I'm playing is great because it forces me to go really slow and get the fingering correct, or else all heck breaks loose, LOL. That was an important lesson I needed to get into my brain. Slow and steady will eventually win the race!

Oh.....one other thing I've been up to: I bought a violin. I played for 3 years in middle school, LOL. It's going to be a really interesting summer! smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/20/16 10:57 AM

Wow ebonykawai your summer is starting off a lot busier than mine smile

I think your strategy as far as Level 4 is concerned is pretty sound. Had this been six months ago knowing what I know now, I would have split my studies the following way: 50% PA Level 4 Lesson and Performance books only; 25% repertoire (In my case Faber Developing Artist Literature Book 2); 25% "special assignments" from my teacher and other sources.

A this point we'll see how the summer goes, however I'm starting to think maybe I should do the same thing for Level 5 as well.

We'll see...
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/20/16 02:08 PM

I'm also thinking I'll go through level 5. With the addition of appropriate level repertoire, I can't see how any of it would be a waste of time. There really is a lot of small bits of information scattered within PA that I now appreciate. I think it's a good direction!

Happy first day of Summer!! smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/21/16 07:00 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Well, I'm back, LOL. The RCM teacher fell through, she just has too many students and nothing fits into my schedule, even in the fall. I was disappointed at first, and started on RCM level 3 pieces, which are really enjoyable. I finished the Bach Musette in D and am 3/4 of the way through the Clementi Sonatina in C, 1st movement. Going that way, there's really only repertoire and theory, and I started to miss the way that PA mixes things up, giving lead sheets and short studies and the like. So I've decided to continue on with PA and choose one RCM piece every few weeks to learn, as well. I'm finishing 3B in the next couple weeks, then starting 4. Since I did 16th notes and octaves in the musette, and chord inversions and major and minor triads already, which are also in the technical part of RCM that I'm following, I'll just be finishing up two pieces in performance, then Pachelbel Canon. Then I'll start level 4 PA.

As for The Spy, I agree, you have to play it SLOW!! The Clementi I'm playing is great because it forces me to go really slow and get the fingering correct, or else all heck breaks loose, LOL. That was an important lesson I needed to get into my brain. Slow and steady will eventually win the race!

Oh.....one other thing I've been up to: I bought a violin. I played for 3 years in middle school, LOL. It's going to be a really interesting summer! smile


Wow Ebony....congrats..looks like you breezed through Level 3B. I am still stuck on unit 2 of that level. The going is tough for me.

I can't wait to learn The Spy.

Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/21/16 02:09 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015

Wow Ebony....congrats..looks like you breezed through Level 3B. I am still stuck on unit 2 of that level. The going is tough for me.

I can't wait to learn The Spy.



Mario, it's only because I played before, for about 3 years. I've been trying to get up to speed in the last year and this time around I was seriously doing theory, which I never did before. So I've been going though at my own pace, learning the theory as I go, but yeah, I did go faster because I'm trying to get back to the level I was at when I stopped played before. I'm almost there, so the journey for me seems like it's taken a while, but at least I have the theory down solid now and I fully understand the music. Before when I was learning with a teacher, she never had me learn theory so I had no idea about what the chords and inversions were and how harmony worked, even though I was playing Chopin preludes. It wasn't a good way to learn, back then, so this time I did things differently, and I'm SO GLAD I did!!

Take your time, you're doing great, Mario!!! 3B is a jump, you'll get more comfortable soon!
Posted By: yellojello

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/22/16 05:24 AM

Still slowly self learning book 1 and found this YouTube channel quite helpful and informative. "Lets Play Piano Methods" YouTube channel

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/22/16 12:15 PM

Welcome yellojello!

For those folks who are completely self-learning, a study aid like the one you attached could be of help. In fact, the first 50 seconds of the first video explains very nicely why a teacher is so important.

Best of luck and let us know how you are progressing through the wonderful world of Faber. smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/23/16 07:07 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by Mario2015

Wow Ebony....congrats..looks like you breezed through Level 3B. I am still stuck on unit 2 of that level. The going is tough for me.

I can't wait to learn The Spy.



Mario, it's only because I played before, for about 3 years. I've been trying to get up to speed in the last year and this time around I was seriously doing theory, which I never did before. So I've been going though at my own pace, learning the theory as I go, but yeah, I did go faster because I'm trying to get back to the level I was at when I stopped played before. I'm almost there, so the journey for me seems like it's taken a while, but at least I have the theory down solid now and I fully understand the music. Before when I was learning with a teacher, she never had me learn theory so I had no idea about what the chords and inversions were and how harmony worked, even though I was playing Chopin preludes. It wasn't a good way to learn, back then, so this time I did things differently, and I'm SO GLAD I did!!

Take your time, you're doing great, Mario!!! 3B is a jump, you'll get more comfortable soon!


Hi Ebony,

That explains it.

A bad teacher can really ruin things for you. That is why I have placed myself in the hands of the Fabers. I've had a teacher before and she was rubbish (no theory...no set pace, etc.).

A violin is such a beautiful instrument but what I hear extremely hard to play. You've very brave to take on two instruments at a time smile. But they would be a perfect complement.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/24/16 12:13 AM

Awww, thanks, Mario! Not that brave, really, I played violin in school for about 3 years, as well, but that's over 40 years ago, LOL!! Violin IS hard, to me much harder in some ways than piano because you have to find the notes yourself with your fingers and your ears. It's REALLY challenging! And then bowing takes a good while to get down, too. I was amazed that my arm remembered how to shift forward to keep the bow straight in the strings, I was certain I wouldn't remember anything at all. The body and mind are quite incredible!

I won't be getting so in depth with the violin, mostly just playing Irish and Scottish tunes. So I suppose I should be calling it a fiddle, LOL! It's a lovely instrument.

I totally agree about teachers, you have to be careful. I'm probably going to go back to having one again, but it's kind of a nice break without one, really. I'll probably go back to my most recent teacher in Sept. She really is quite good. My last teacher, years ago, was very nice and all that, but by not doing theory, I was just playing in the dark. Music has such a depth to it!

I also have a ukulele, BTW, which is CAKE to play, OMG it's so easy!! And it's a real blast, I can play it while I'm in the back yard on my hammock! I'm learning Campanella technique on that, and also playing Irish and Scottish music. It sounds like a harp, it's so beautiful.

The world is full of music just waiting to come alive! We're all so lucky, aren't we? It's amazing!
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/24/16 02:37 PM

A little bit off-topic (trying to ignore our terrible election results right now!), but how did you learn the uke? I've had one lying around for ages but never got around to learning to play it. Are there any books/videos/websites you'd recommend?
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/24/16 05:48 PM

Trevor, the uke is super easy to play and it's a blast! Here's a few links on Youtube, honestly, just put in "beginner ukulele" and SO much comes up! I like this guy, he has a bunch of great stuff and he explains it very well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qh2JQwkhjk

It depends what you want to play, really, you can learn the chords to play and sing along, or you can learn fingering and play it more like a harp. This guy is great, too, for teaching how to read tablature and how to play by fingering:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ji8DUkEDrA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_qBwSr2WbY

Ukulele for Dummies is a pretty good book, there's a lot of info in there, but you can get something shorter that gives basic chords and fingering easy songs. Check Amazon, there's DVDs too, but so much is on Youtube, it's crazy!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/25/16 02:45 AM

I tried to learn the guitar (left-handed) a year or so ago. With my full-time job and other things, it became clear after a few weeks that I could only deal with learning one musical instrument at a time. shocked

Well after a 3 month break, I have started Unit 4 of the Lesson book. Feels good to be back, however the last few months were pretty amazing, having played/passed 10 pieces of various difficulties to finish up Developing Artist Book 2.

Moving on to the Developing Artist Book 3 next week.

Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 06/28/16 09:22 AM

Thanks for the Uke tips, ebonykawaii! I already have the Ukulele for dummies book lying around. I should just use it! smile

Back on topic: Still working The Spy. It's a fun piece, but I'm finding it really tricky. My teacher gave me some tips to improve my tempo (currently: slowly, left hand stuccato) and I'm gradually relaxing my hands a bit. I'll get thereā€¦ eventually.

I've also started learning this piece by Berthold Hummel from the ABRSM grade 2 book, which is easier, but no less interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPlCxnbiaf0
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/04/16 10:09 PM

SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW progression. Anyone else just get stuck on a piece that they feel like they're going to be working on for the rest of their lives? That's how I feel about The Spy right now. I can still only play about half of the song, badly. Ugh. Sorry, just felt the need to rant.

Happy 4th! laugh
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/05/16 11:53 AM

Hey Trevor; this is definitely the place to rant smile

To me there is a difference between slow progress and no progress. For The Spy, I still hear progress being made in your words. Give it another week, and keep it slow through the tough parts. If you are not progressing after that, put it away, at least for now.

In my case, I'm on the sixth (and last week) of learning Beethoven's Sonatina in G. I pretty much know when I have reached the point of playing a piece as well as I can, and my teacher's guidance helps at this point. For this piece, I'm at 95% and that's as well as I can do for now. Time to move on.

P.S. About that Revolutionary War thing a couple of hundred years ago: Sorry wink
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/06/16 01:09 PM

I haven't posted in a while as I felt i was not getting anywhere but I have finally started on Faber & Faber 2B. It's been a little painful but new teacher has been trying to break me of bad habits allowed by previous teacher. I'm finally starting to feel like I'm making progress. I know they are easy pieces and I am anxious to move forward.
Piano is teaching me patience. And how important to have a good teacher!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/07/16 02:46 AM

Great to hear from you Bsw! Let us know what pieces currently have your attention. There are some great ones scattered throughout this level.

My own Faber "Graduation": Tonight I started Faber Developing Artist Book 3; it took me 13 month to complete Book 2. This will take several years at least. The best part: The word "Intermediate" on the front cover. grin
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/07/16 12:54 PM

Thanks Brian. First piece I'm working on is Theme from Trumpet Concerto in Eb. I'm enjoying the piece and of course some measures are giving me fits. How slow can I play to get it right!
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/08/16 02:37 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW progression. Anyone else just get stuck on a piece that they feel like they're going to be working on for the rest of their lives? That's how I feel about The Spy right now. I can still only play about half of the song, badly. Ugh. Sorry, just felt the need to rant.

Happy 4th! laugh


Hi Trevor,

Exactly how I feel about some of those fast moving 3B pieces.

But to echo Brian's words, it is progress none-the-less.

Keep with it. It is a beautiful piece and you progressing toward being able to play it well.
Maybe then put it up on soundcloud or youtube for us to enjoy.

R
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/08/16 02:43 AM

Originally Posted by Bsw
Thanks Brian. First piece I'm working on is Theme from Trumpet Concerto in Eb. I'm enjoying the piece and of course some measures are giving me fits. How slow can I play to get it right!


Hi BSW,

Ebony gave me some excellent advice when I was struggling with some fast pieces. I would like to share it with you.

Play at a slow pace and write down the tempo. Use a metronome to measure it.

Then increase the tempo a bit and play. Once you get comfortable, increase it a bit more....and so on.

I find it useful to write the current tempo on the music sheet.

Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/08/16 01:21 PM

Mario

Thanks for the tempo advice.. I will give it a try as I tend to slow down in more challenging spots and then speed up. I am getting better at playing slow but need to be more consistent thru out the whole thing
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/09/16 03:02 AM

This is great advice; I have done the same thing for numerous pieces in 3B and 4.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/13/16 07:01 AM

Originally Posted by Bsw
Mario

Thanks for the tempo advice.. I will give it a try as I tend to slow down in more challenging spots and then speed up. I am getting better at playing slow but need to be more consistent thru out the whole thing


Hi BSW,

We all do the same thing because we know what the right tempo feels and playing slow is quite uncomfortable to the ears and fingers.

I had to force myself to play the entire piece slowly rather than normal for the easy parts and then slow for the difficult parts. I now believe that this is a good approach.


Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/23/16 11:28 AM

Update: Completed Unit 4 in the Lesson book, moving on to the Performance book for Unit 4, where there is a very nice three movement composition by Nancy Faber.

Hopefully by the end of August I'll be moving on the Unit 5, which is the last one (and by far the longest of any unit in any of the Faber books) in Level 4.

Looking back 18 months ago there seemed to be two significant units lurking ahead. The first one was Unit 7 in 3B (sixteenth notes), and the second was Unit 5 in 4 (Key signatures with multiple sharps).

I'm well past the first challenge, but the next worries me a bit. I have problems remembering sharps sometimes in pieces. Having 3 sharps for A Major and 4 for E Major seems a difficult hurdle. We'll see how the Faber method deals with this.

I can tell you this: My admiration for these books grows weekly, as I progress into more difficult material.
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/23/16 07:33 PM

Mario

I am forcing myself to play slow and at the same pace throughout the whole piece. It is coming together with the dynamics. My teacher does not let me get away with anything so I am learning to be patient with new piece. This is quite different than my old teacher. He would pass me when I knew it was not right and I was not progressing. I finally feel like I am playing the piano, not just hitting the keys.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/16 02:03 AM

Originally Posted by Bsw
My teacher does not let me get away with anything so I am learning to be patient with new piece. This is quite different than my old teacher. He would pass me when I knew it was not right and I was not progressing. I finally feel like I am playing the piano, not just hitting the keys.

Now you know what our teacher is like. smirk
Keep that up and you'll be pleasantly surprised where you are in a year or so...
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 07/28/16 05:59 PM

I am totally surprised at where I am after 6 months smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/01/16 12:20 AM

Originally Posted by Bsw
Mario

I am forcing myself to play slow and at the same pace throughout the whole piece. It is coming together with the dynamics. My teacher does not let me get away with anything so I am learning to be patient with new piece. This is quite different than my old teacher. He would pass me when I knew it was not right and I was not progressing. I finally feel like I am playing the piano, not just hitting the keys.


Hi BSW,

I am glad it is coming together.
Having the right teacher is so important and makes such a difference.

I myself have just finished the 2nd unit of 3B; it took me two months. As I am self-learning I am trying to be hard on myself and unless I can record the piece playing somewhat well I don't go past. I look at videos on YouTube as a reference; especially those by Chris Brent and Little Mozart.

I know I miss out on the teacher maybe correcting a wrong technique but then I had teachers who would not only overlook wrong technique but also wrong playing of notes, dynamics and tempo. Maybe after Unit 5 I'll get a teacher.
Posted By: owenj

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/05/16 08:26 PM

Hi everyone! I've recently started playing the piano (1 week today), though I'm also an adult starter on the violin (2 years) so I've got a little bit of music knowledge under my belt already. I have a teacher for the violin, but at the moment I'm self-teaching for the piano.

I'm using both Alfred's Adult AIO and Faber Adult AIO book 1, and I like both methods. The unit format in Faber is nice, and I'm currently in unit 7.

It sounds like most people who have completed the Adult AIO book 1 decided not to go on with the second book but instead go to the Accelerated series? My only quibble so far with PA is that I prefer most of the music in Alfred's, and it sounds like book 2 in the PA Adult duology isn't very popular.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/06/16 02:13 AM

Hi owenj;

Our teacher started us right out with the Accelerated PA for the Older Beginner Book 1 and off we went. I will admit that some of the Faber pieces at the earlier levels aren't the most interesting. However, I'm only two weeks away from my third pianoversary with Faber, and the pieces get way more interesting and demanding over time. IMHO there are many great pieces in the Accelerated PA books at level 2 to learn and enjoy.

Best of luck and tell us how you progress.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/07/16 08:17 PM

Hi everyone! It's been an absolutely INSANE summer on my end and I'm only just starting on PA Level 4 today. I actually did the review part about a month ago, but got thrown off track with life things. We hosted a bridal shower for my daughter's best friend in my back yard last Sunday, a week ago. That took up crazy amounts of my time and energy, so since Aurora Borealis on page 6, I barely played for a month. Holy cow!! The shower, plus a bunch of other duties scattered here and there, really side tracked me. I'm glad it's summer so I don't feel as guilty as I usually would, LOL.

Anyway, great to see you all on here, still plugging away! I've got two months now of normal life ahead of me (LOL, knock on wood) and hope to catch back up and be solid in my playing routine by the fall.

Awesome job on level 4, Bri! What's your favorite piece so far? How was Arabesque, was it easier than it sounds? I love being forced to play fast, it's such a challenge!

Owenj, I play violin, as well, or really just started back not too long ago. It's so much easier than piano, in some ways, but harder in others. Great instrument!

Keep on keeping on, everybody! Hope you're all having a wonderful summer! Back to the keys....
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/08/16 05:51 AM

Originally Posted by owenj
Hi everyone! I've recently started playing the piano (1 week today), though I'm also an adult starter on the violin (2 years) so I've got a little bit of music knowledge under my belt already. I have a teacher for the violin, but at the moment I'm self-teaching for the piano.

I'm using both Alfred's Adult AIO and Faber Adult AIO book 1, and I like both methods. The unit format in Faber is nice, and I'm currently in unit 7.

It sounds like most people who have completed the Adult AIO book 1 decided not to go on with the second book but instead go to the Accelerated series? My only quibble so far with PA is that I prefer most of the music in Alfred's, and it sounds like book 2 in the PA Adult duology isn't very popular.


Welcome to the forum Jaime. I am currently in 3B and I'm enjoying nearly all the pieces.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/08/16 05:52 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi everyone! It's been an absolutely INSANE summer on my end and I'm only just starting on PA Level 4 today. I actually did the review part about a month ago, but got thrown off track with life things. We hosted a bridal shower for my daughter's best friend in my back yard last Sunday, a week ago. That took up crazy amounts of my time and energy, so since Aurora Borealis on page 6, I barely played for a month. Holy cow!! The shower, plus a bunch of other duties scattered here and there, really side tracked me. I'm glad it's summer so I don't feel as guilty as I usually would, LOL.

Anyway, great to see you all on here, still plugging away! I've got two months now of normal life ahead of me (LOL, knock on wood) and hope to catch back up and be solid in my playing routine by the fall.

Awesome job on level 4, Bri! What's your favorite piece so far? How was Arabesque, was it easier than it sounds? I love being forced to play fast, it's such a challenge!

Owenj, I play violin, as well, or really just started back not too long ago. It's so much easier than piano, in some ways, but harder in others. Great instrument!

Keep on keeping on, everybody! Hope you're all having a wonderful summer! Back to the keys....


Welcome back Ebony. We missed you here.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/08/16 04:44 PM

Awww, thanks, Mario! Missed you all, as well, it's nice to finally have time to catch up!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/08/16 07:49 PM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi everyone! It's been an absolutely INSANE summer on my end and I'm only just starting on PA Level 4 today. I actually did the review part about a month ago, but got thrown off track with life things. We hosted a bridal shower for my daughter's best friend in my back yard last Sunday, a week ago. That took up crazy amounts of my time and energy, so since Aurora Borealis on page 6, I barely played for a month. Holy cow!! The shower, plus a bunch of other duties scattered here and there, really side tracked me. I'm glad it's summer so I don't feel as guilty as I usually would, LOL.

Anyway, great to see you all on here, still plugging away! I've got two months now of normal life ahead of me (LOL, knock on wood) and hope to catch back up and be solid in my playing routine by the fall.

Awesome job on level 4, Bri! What's your favorite piece so far? How was Arabesque, was it easier than it sounds? I love being forced to play fast, it's such a challenge!

Owenj, I play violin, as well, or really just started back not too long ago. It's so much easier than piano, in some ways, but harder in others. Great instrument!

Keep on keeping on, everybody! Hope you're all having a wonderful summer! Back to the keys....

Great to hear from you ebonykawai smile

Arabesque was really fun to learn; I was able to play about 90% of it up to speed. There is a two measure section toward the bottom of the first page where the left hand is carrying the quick 16th notes, and my left hand dexterity is not quite up to the challenge yet.

However, the real treat so far in Level 4 is the Nancy Faber piece Chanson, which is hard to play, but has a beautiful melody throughout. The 3 movement Seaside Suite which I'm currently learning is also a blast to play.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/10/16 01:18 AM

Hi Brian and other folks here.


I am struggling to understand the instructions in the techniques book to play the up-touch. It says 'from the surface of the key, spring off with active fingers and forearms thrust. Use a quick,upward wrist motion."

Thus this mean that I have to simultaneously move my forearms forward and move the wrist upwards from the rest position.

This is where a teacher would have been handy, but in the absence of a teacher I wonder if one of you kind folks would send me a video link for a demonstration of this technique. Or alternatively describe it a bit more, like for a two-year old child.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/10/16 02:05 AM

Hi Mario,

Here's PA's blog, it's a bit more in-depth:

https://pianoadventures.com/2016/01/28/level-3b-playing-fast/

Drop touch is sinking the weight into the keys. Up touch is sort of like jumping up off the keys. Your fingers are jumping off by pressing down with the pads of the fingers and and then lifting, if that makes sense. It's an energetic movement so that you start to get to the next chord quicker, instead of just lifting the fingers and moving them. That's what is for me, anyway, once i started getting better at playing fast. Hope this is helpful!
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/10/16 03:59 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi Mario,

Here's PA's blog, it's a bit more in-depth:

https://pianoadventures.com/2016/01/28/level-3b-playing-fast/

Drop touch is sinking the weight into the keys. Up touch is sort of like jumping up off the keys. Your fingers are jumping off by pressing down with the pads of the fingers and and then lifting, if that makes sense. It's an energetic movement so that you start to get to the next chord quicker, instead of just lifting the fingers and moving them. That's what is for me, anyway, once i started getting better at playing fast. Hope this is helpful!


Thanks for that Ebony. Do you also have to move your forearm forward. I suppose that would give you more power when playing loud but probably don't need it when playing soft. Am I right? How does the forearm thrust work. Do you just push into the keys from an angle?
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/11/16 12:58 PM

Welcome OwenJ!
I'm in the same position you are. I'm self learning piano, but unlike you I have never played an instrument. I started with Alfred's which I did not like. Too much with the chords. I switched to Fundamental Keys which I love. It really develops hand independence from the beginning. I picked up Faber Adult AiO after reading this forum and concluding that one book can't cover all the material. I quickly got to where you are now in Faber. Songs were a little less than interesting but starting around chapter 9 and moving forward, I have found the songs to be lovely to play and a challenge to learn. Nice mix too. I'm still working on Skater's Waltz but just finished Rise & Shine. I have listened to TinyMozart play the upcoming pieces on Youtube and I'm excited. I am hoping to complete Faber by the end of September and already have AiO 2 ready to go. Looking though it I see lot's of lovely pieces that will be challenge for me to learn.
Not sure why people switch after AiO1. I seem to recall this thread has some of their rational in earlier posts. But I was not convinced there is a need to do it. We can easily just move into 3A when the time comes. Wishing you much success with your piano journey.

To the rest of the gang, your progress and adventures on the path ahead are certainly inspiring. Thanks!
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/14/16 11:30 PM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Welcome OwenJ!
I'm in the same position you are. I'm self learning piano, but unlike you I have never played an instrument. I started with Alfred's which I did not like. Too much with the chords. I switched to Fundamental Keys which I love. It really develops hand independence from the beginning. I picked up Faber Adult AiO after reading this forum and concluding that one book can't cover all the material. I quickly got to where you are now in Faber. Songs were a little less than interesting but starting around chapter 9 and moving forward, I have found the songs to be lovely to play and a challenge to learn. Nice mix too. I'm still working on Skater's Waltz but just finished Rise & Shine. I have listened to TinyMozart play the upcoming pieces on Youtube and I'm excited. I am hoping to complete Faber by the end of September and already have AiO 2 ready to go. Looking though it I see lot's of lovely pieces that will be challenge for me to learn.
Not sure why people switch after AiO1. I seem to recall this thread has some of their rational in earlier posts. But I was not convinced there is a need to do it. We can easily just move into 3A when the time comes. Wishing you much success with your piano journey.

To the rest of the gang, your progress and adventures on the path ahead are certainly inspiring. Thanks!


Hi,

From what I recall of the discussions it is probably better to move from Adult all in one Book 2 to PA 3A although you could move to 3B as there is a bit of overlap with 3A. My personal preference, and what many of us pursued is doing the Accelerated Piano Adventure Book 1 and Book 2 (4 book sets in each) and then moving to PA 3A. There is more consistent progression here. Make sure you get all 4 core books for each level if doing the accelerated or PA i.e. the lessons, performance, technique and artistry, and theory.

Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/15/16 12:25 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi Mario,

Here's PA's blog, it's a bit more in-depth:

https://pianoadventures.com/2016/01/28/level-3b-playing-fast/

Drop touch is sinking the weight into the keys. Up touch is sort of like jumping up off the keys. Your fingers are jumping off by pressing down with the pads of the fingers and and then lifting, if that makes sense. It's an energetic movement so that you start to get to the next chord quicker, instead of just lifting the fingers and moving them. That's what is for me, anyway, once i started getting better at playing fast. Hope this is helpful!


Thanks for that Ebony. Do you also have to move your forearm forward. I suppose that would give you more power when playing loud but probably don't need it when playing soft. Am I right? How does the forearm thrust work. Do you just push into the keys from an angle?


Hey Mario and all my Faber friends. I do not definitively know the answer to your question about the "thrust" part of the description. However, I have been interested in Randall Faber's ideas, and have watched some of those videos on the PA website.

My take on this matter of confusion is that the selection of the word "thrust" might have been a bad choice, as, most people think "forward" when they use or hear the word "thrust." I suspect Faber was trying to describe the upward movement of the arm as part of, or the result of, the upward wrist movement he teaches as preparation for playing the next note/chord. I suppose you could say the arm therefore "thrusts" upwards. I suspect if he was here he would clarify by emphasizing the upward movement of the wrist, with the upward arm movement, or "thrust" as just a part of that undertaking.

That's what I suspect, anyway.

It's nice to see all of you progressing.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/15/16 02:57 AM

Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi Mario,

Here's PA's blog, it's a bit more in-depth:

https://pianoadventures.com/2016/01/28/level-3b-playing-fast/

Drop touch is sinking the weight into the keys. Up touch is sort of like jumping up off the keys. Your fingers are jumping off by pressing down with the pads of the fingers and and then lifting, if that makes sense. It's an energetic movement so that you start to get to the next chord quicker, instead of just lifting the fingers and moving them. That's what is for me, anyway, once i started getting better at playing fast. Hope this is helpful!


Thanks for that Ebony. Do you also have to move your forearm forward. I suppose that would give you more power when playing loud but probably don't need it when playing soft. Am I right? How does the forearm thrust work. Do you just push into the keys from an angle?


Hey Mario and all my Faber friends. I do not definitively know the answer to your question about the "thrust" part of the description. However, I have been interested in Randall Faber's ideas, and have watched some of those videos on the PA website.

My take on this matter of confusion is that the selection of the word "thrust" might have been a bad choice, as, most people think "forward" when they use or hear the word "thrust." I suspect Faber was trying to describe the upward movement of the arm as part of, or the result of, the upward wrist movement he teaches as preparation for playing the next note/chord. I suppose you could say the arm therefore "thrusts" upwards. I suspect if he was here he would clarify by emphasizing the upward movement of the wrist, with the upward arm movement, or "thrust" as just a part of that undertaking.

That's what I suspect, anyway.

It's nice to see all of you progressing.


Hi Ralph,

Thanks for that.

Actually I just saw a video of him doing the up-touch on YouTube. I saw it in slow motion. It seems to me that the fingers start of with a small angle with the keys. Then the forward motion of the forearm pushes the fingers into the keys and into a 90 degree angle and then the fingers fly off to the next set of keys.

See video and let me know your impression.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aNX3-CZPsM&list=PLROQq1cZUMn__fEA5c1D-D1uGVEXmKaiv&index=18
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/19/16 12:55 PM

My teacher tries on almost a weekly basis to impress upon me this technique, which she refers to as "Get off it". smile
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/19/16 08:30 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi Mario,

Here's PA's blog, it's a bit more in-depth:

https://pianoadventures.com/2016/01/28/level-3b-playing-fast/

Drop touch is sinking the weight into the keys. Up touch is sort of like jumping up off the keys. Your fingers are jumping off by pressing down with the pads of the fingers and and then lifting, if that makes sense. It's an energetic movement so that you start to get to the next chord quicker, instead of just lifting the fingers and moving them. That's what is for me, anyway, once i started getting better at playing fast. Hope this is helpful!


Thanks for that Ebony. Do you also have to move your forearm forward. I suppose that would give you more power when playing loud but probably don't need it when playing soft. Am I right? How does the forearm thrust work. Do you just push into the keys from an angle?


Hey Mario and all my Faber friends. I do not definitively know the answer to your question about the "thrust" part of the description. However, I have been interested in Randall Faber's ideas, and have watched some of those videos on the PA website.

My take on this matter of confusion is that the selection of the word "thrust" might have been a bad choice, as, most people think "forward" when they use or hear the word "thrust." I suspect Faber was trying to describe the upward movement of the arm as part of, or the result of, the upward wrist movement he teaches as preparation for playing the next note/chord. I suppose you could say the arm therefore "thrusts" upwards. I suspect if he was here he would clarify by emphasizing the upward movement of the wrist, with the upward arm movement, or "thrust" as just a part of that undertaking.

That's what I suspect, anyway.

It's nice to see all of you progressing.


Hi Ralph,

Thanks for that.

Actually I just saw a video of him doing the up-touch on YouTube. I saw it in slow motion. It seems to me that the fingers start of with a small angle with the keys. Then the forward motion of the forearm pushes the fingers into the keys and into a 90 degree angle and then the fingers fly off to the next set of keys.

See video and let me know your impression.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aNX3-CZPsM&list=PLROQq1cZUMn__fEA5c1D-D1uGVEXmKaiv&index=18


Thanks for that, Mario. After watching the video you referenced, I agree with your interpretation of it. In the video you can clearly see his elbow, and hence the forearm, moving forward in unison with the fingers going down into the keys. And, he even describes it as such.

These new videos he has done seem to contain a great amount of useful information.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/23/16 11:39 PM

Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Hi Mario,

Here's PA's blog, it's a bit more in-depth:

https://pianoadventures.com/2016/01/28/level-3b-playing-fast/

Drop touch is sinking the weight into the keys. Up touch is sort of like jumping up off the keys. Your fingers are jumping off by pressing down with the pads of the fingers and and then lifting, if that makes sense. It's an energetic movement so that you start to get to the next chord quicker, instead of just lifting the fingers and moving them. That's what is for me, anyway, once i started getting better at playing fast. Hope this is helpful!


Thanks for that Ebony. Do you also have to move your forearm forward. I suppose that would give you more power when playing loud but probably don't need it when playing soft. Am I right? How does the forearm thrust work. Do you just push into the keys from an angle?


Hey Mario and all my Faber friends. I do not definitively know the answer to your question about the "thrust" part of the description. However, I have been interested in Randall Faber's ideas, and have watched some of those videos on the PA website.

My take on this matter of confusion is that the selection of the word "thrust" might have been a bad choice, as, most people think "forward" when they use or hear the word "thrust." I suspect Faber was trying to describe the upward movement of the arm as part of, or the result of, the upward wrist movement he teaches as preparation for playing the next note/chord. I suppose you could say the arm therefore "thrusts" upwards. I suspect if he was here he would clarify by emphasizing the upward movement of the wrist, with the upward arm movement, or "thrust" as just a part of that undertaking.

That's what I suspect, anyway.

It's nice to see all of you progressing.


Hi Ralph,

Thanks for that.

Actually I just saw a video of him doing the up-touch on YouTube. I saw it in slow motion. It seems to me that the fingers start of with a small angle with the keys. Then the forward motion of the forearm pushes the fingers into the keys and into a 90 degree angle and then the fingers fly off to the next set of keys.

See video and let me know your impression.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aNX3-CZPsM&list=PLROQq1cZUMn__fEA5c1D-D1uGVEXmKaiv&index=18


Thanks for that, Mario. After watching the video you referenced, I agree with your interpretation of it. In the video you can clearly see his elbow, and hence the forearm, moving forward in unison with the fingers going down into the keys. And, he even describes it as such.

These new videos he has done seem to contain a great amount of useful information.


I agree Ralph. These video are extremely useful not just for technique but also for music theory.

The uptouch movement, the way he does it, is so comfortable for the fingers and elbows and can be used in so many places.

In another video describing the uptouch, he says that the fingers should lead the elbow/forearm and not the other way around. I guess what it means in practical terms is that we focus on getting the fingers in a steeper angle from a flatter angle and let the elbow/forearm aid in this.
Posted By: owenj

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/24/16 12:27 AM

Thanks Brian and Ebonykawai!
Yes, violin is definitely easier yet harder than piano. I think it's easier to sound "nice" on the piano since you don't have to worry about intonation and the bow hand being good. But, I find syncing the two hands difficult when playing the piano if the left hand is doing anything more than simple chords. Oh, and the fingering keeps throwing me off since I'm not used to the thumb being finger 1!

Originally Posted by Mario2015

Welcome to the forum Jaime. I am currently in 3B and I'm enjoying nearly all the pieces.


Thanks Mario. Too soon to tell which Faber course I'll want to stick with in the future. 4 sets for each level of the accelerated series sounds daunting though.

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Welcome OwenJ!
I'm in the same position you are. I'm self learning piano, but unlike you I have never played an instrument. I started with Alfred's which I did not like. Too much with the chords. I switched to Fundamental Keys which I love. It really develops hand independence from the beginning. I picked up Faber Adult AiO after reading this forum and concluding that one book can't cover all the material. I quickly got to where you are now in Faber. Songs were a little less than interesting but starting around chapter 9 and moving forward, I have found the songs to be lovely to play and a challenge to learn. Nice mix too. I'm still working on Skater's Waltz but just finished Rise & Shine. I have listened to TinyMozart play the upcoming pieces on Youtube and I'm excited. I am hoping to complete Faber by the end of September and already have AiO 2 ready to go. Looking though it I see lot's of lovely pieces that will be challenge for me to learn.
Not sure why people switch after AiO1. I seem to recall this thread has some of their rational in earlier posts. But I was not convinced there is a need to do it. We can easily just move into 3A when the time comes. Wishing you much success with your piano journey.

TBH, I'm enjoying Alfred a little more, though now that I'm on Units 9/10, I'm getting more in to Faber. I picked up both to try and round out my method book education more, and decided to cap it there--but I was looking at Fundamental Keys too. I love buying music books...


Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/24/16 12:55 AM

Originally Posted by owenj
Thanks Brian and Ebonykawai!
Yes, violin is definitely easier yet harder than piano. I think it's easier to sound "nice" on the piano since you don't have to worry about intonation and the bow hand being good. But, I find syncing the two hands difficult when playing the piano if the left hand is doing anything more than simple chords. Oh, and the fingering keeps throwing me off since I'm not used to the thumb being finger 1!

Originally Posted by Mario2015

Welcome to the forum Jaime. I am currently in 3B and I'm enjoying nearly all the pieces.


Thanks Mario. Too soon to tell which Faber course I'll want to stick with in the future. 4 sets for each level of the accelerated series sounds daunting though.

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Welcome OwenJ!
I'm in the same position you are. I'm self learning piano, but unlike you I have never played an instrument. I started with Alfred's which I did not like. Too much with the chords. I switched to Fundamental Keys which I love. It really develops hand independence from the beginning. I picked up Faber Adult AiO after reading this forum and concluding that one book can't cover all the material. I quickly got to where you are now in Faber. Songs were a little less than interesting but starting around chapter 9 and moving forward, I have found the songs to be lovely to play and a challenge to learn. Nice mix too. I'm still working on Skater's Waltz but just finished Rise & Shine. I have listened to TinyMozart play the upcoming pieces on Youtube and I'm excited. I am hoping to complete Faber by the end of September and already have AiO 2 ready to go. Looking though it I see lot's of lovely pieces that will be challenge for me to learn.
Not sure why people switch after AiO1. I seem to recall this thread has some of their rational in earlier posts. But I was not convinced there is a need to do it. We can easily just move into 3A when the time comes. Wishing you much success with your piano journey.

TBH, I'm enjoying Alfred a little more, though now that I'm on Units 9/10, I'm getting more in to Faber. I picked up both to try and round out my method book education more, and decided to cap it there--but I was looking at Fundamental Keys too. I love buying music books...




One recent advantage of the adult books by Faber is that you have Ron Faber on YouTube showing you what to do for each and every unit of the 2 course books. Also there is an app for ios which allows you to download the music for the two books and you could then learn to play with full accompaniment.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/25/16 02:47 AM

Well it's welcome to A Major time!

Amazing that after three years of study, I finally played a piece today with 3 sharps smile

Typical Faber; They sure make you wait, but when the time comes you should be ready for it. Nice nice original form pieces coming up soon. So far, so good.

Building toward Prelude in C...
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/25/16 03:18 PM

Hi all, welcome Owen.

My lesson this week was probably the best I have had since changing teachers and switching to Faber. Played Theme from "The Surprise" Symphony by Haydn and he was thrilled. Said it is the best I have played any piece! Of course as a reward I now have 2 pieces to start playing, Trepak and Largo. I love Largo. And he is thinking of starting me on The Minuet from Anna Magdeline's Notebook. This will be the first full piece for me, not just part for an exercise.
Posted By: blackjack1777

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/26/16 12:59 AM

BSW congrats on passing your pieces! smile I think you will enjoy working on a Minuet from Anna Magdalena's Notebook. I just finished one in G Minor and I'm working on one in D Minor now. They're probably my two favorite pieces I've ever worked on. Look forward to hearing about your progress on it. grin
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/26/16 11:10 AM

Originally Posted by Bsw
Hi all, welcome Owen.

My lesson this week was probably the best I have had since changing teachers and switching to Faber. Played Theme from "The Surprise" Symphony by Haydn and he was thrilled. Said it is the best I have played any piece! Of course as a reward I now have 2 pieces to start playing, Trepak and Largo. I love Largo. And he is thinking of starting me on The Minuet from Anna Magdeline's Notebook. This will be the first full piece for me, not just part for an exercise.

Once you start learning full pieces from the masters then you will really feel like you're getting somewhere!

When you say "Largo", do you mean Dvorak's New World Symphony (second movement)? If so, that is one of my all time favorites.

Please keep us up to date on your progress.
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 08/26/16 12:09 PM

Brian

Yes, Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony. It is beautiful. I'm enjoying learning it. And yes, I am starting to feel like I am making progress finally. It's a good feeling.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/16 12:10 AM

Is everyone on their summer holidays? This place has been so very quiet.

It took me forever to complete Unit 3 of 3B; mainly because some of the pieces were quite fast and had to reach at least the minimum speed. But finally have. Looks like 3B is going to take a year. I was way too optimistic last year about forecasting completion of Level 4 this year.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/21/16 06:35 PM

Hi Mario;

Don't get discouraged; It took me a whole year to get through Level 3B. Lots of hard stuff.

Believe it or not, I'm actually finding Level 4 easier than 3B. I think the pieces and exercises in 3A and 3B really set a student up nicely to what follows.

I'll have my own update in a couple of weeks...
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/22/16 10:20 AM

Hiya,

I last posted here in November 2015. I had been playing for about 10 weeks and was at unit 6 of the basic level 1 books.
My teacher was not using a method book, so PA was my own supplement.

Well my health really put a spanner in the works.

I was ill for about 6 weeks, with my Meniere's Disease going through a bad patch them I seemed to get one cold after another. Due to complications from a childhood cancer in my pharynx, a cold of the type which increases mucous is a major thing for me. Of course one of these hit our family , including in and out laws, and refused to go away. Doctors said it was widespread and lasting about 12 weeks.

I ended up with aspiration pneumonia because of it, and while waiting to be seen at the hospital had a heart attack, triggered by a choking episode. I am now using a nebuliser every 2-3 hours everyday and on special medicine used by people with cystic fibrosis which helps a lot. They discovered I have coronary heart disease too, so on aspirin for life. Of course this meant I needed a hospital bed at home as I can no longer lie flat, and I was more or less stuck in it for 7 months.

Happily I have managed downstairs for the past two weeks and started piano again, although I will not have lessons until I know my health is stable as I do not want to annoy a teacher by regularly cancelling lessons at the last minute.

I am now on unit ten of level one and revising my scales that I had learned.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/22/16 02:13 PM

Very nice to hear from you Smurfette smile

Best wishes on your recovery and very much looking forward to hearing details about your piano studies progress.
Posted By: Ralphiano

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/22/16 10:09 PM

Welcome back, Smurfette! And, it is nice to hear that your are regaining your strength and ability to practice again. Health troubles suck. I hope your current upswing continues. smile
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/23/16 03:27 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Hi Mario;

Don't get discouraged; It took me a whole year to get through Level 3B. Lots of hard stuff.

Believe it or not, I'm actually finding Level 4 easier than 3B. I think the pieces and exercises in 3A and 3B really set a student up nicely to what follows.

I'll have my own update in a couple of weeks...


Thanks Brian.
Good to know that someone else took as long and that I'm not being unusually slow
Nice the gradient of difficulty is less.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/23/16 03:28 AM

Originally Posted by Smurfette
Hiya,

I last posted here in November 2015. I had been playing for about 10 weeks and was at unit 6 of the basic level 1 books.
My teacher was not using a method book, so PA was my own supplement.

Well my health really put a spanner in the works.

I was ill for about 6 weeks, with my Meniere's Disease going through a bad patch them I seemed to get one cold after another. Due to complications from a childhood cancer in my pharynx, a cold of the type which increases mucous is a major thing for me. Of course one of these hit our family , including in and out laws, and refused to go away. Doctors said it was widespread and lasting about 12 weeks.

I ended up with aspiration pneumonia because of it, and while waiting to be seen at the hospital had a heart attack, triggered by a choking episode. I am now using a nebuliser every 2-3 hours everyday and on special medicine used by people with cystic fibrosis which helps a lot. They discovered I have coronary heart disease too, so on aspirin for life. Of course this meant I needed a hospital bed at home as I can no longer lie flat, and I was more or less stuck in it for 7 months.

Happily I have managed downstairs for the past two weeks and started piano again, although I will not have lessons until I know my health is stable as I do not want to annoy a teacher by regularly cancelling lessons at the last minute.

I am now on unit ten of level one and revising my scales that I had learned.


Hi,

Sorry to hear about your poor health.
Good to know that you have recovered well enough to start playing again.
Wish you a speedy recovery.
Posted By: Arghhh

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/16 05:55 PM

This thread is so long, so it's quite possible what I'm looking for is already written above. So sorry!

For those of you who moved from PA Accelerated into PA 3A, how did you find the transition? Was there much overlap of concepts, or was it good reinforcement?

In 3A, what were some of the more challenging spots?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/16 07:18 PM

I found that transition very smooth; there are a couple of "review" pieces and exercises at the start, but then off you go smile

As I recall, some challenging skills included Chromatic scale, keeping hands together during "ragged time", and ledger lines.

As always with Faber, if you do the exercises and work hard on the pieces (hopefully with a teacher's help) these skills will be learned in time.
Posted By: PianoStudent88

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/28/16 08:42 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
keeping hands together during "ragged time"

BrianDX, what do you mean by "ragged time"?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/16 12:45 PM

Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by BrianDX
keeping hands together during "ragged time"

BrianDX, what do you mean by "ragged time"?

If you take a look in your Lesson book at a piece called "The Snowflake Rag" you will see early in the piece that the left hand is playing a simple broken chord pattern as quarter notes in 4/4 time, however right hand has tied eighth notes (syncopation) which cross the quarter note boundary. This is referred as "ragged time" and is tricky to get used to, but once you do these types of pieces are a lot of fun to play.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/16 03:51 PM

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

I just started level 2A today. I played the review piece through gritted teeth as I dislike Oh When the Saints. I guess this influenced the tempo I played at, maybe in a rush to get it over and done with . When I downloaded the midi files for this level I discovered that compared to their tempo I had been playing at breakneck speed. LOL

I kept previous level repertoire books as sightreading material for at the end of the next level , so was using the Pretime books today. Some of the pieces are using concepts only taught in the later half of level 1 , so am glad I did this and will continue to do so, leaving level one supplementary rep books till end of 2A.

Sorry if this has been answered already, but how do you work through the different books, do you complete a unit in lesson book , then do same unit in T&A etc., or do you work all the books simultaneously, using the page numbers indicated at the bottom of the page ?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/29/16 08:48 PM

Hi Smurfette;

Our teacher usually assigns pieces/exercises in multiple books at a time, using the general Faber guidelines at the bottom of the pages.

I prefer to do the lesson and technique/artistry pieces first, and then focus on the corresponding performance pieces separately.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/30/16 12:09 AM

Originally Posted by Arghhh
This thread is so long, so it's quite possible what I'm looking for is already written above. So sorry!

For those of you who moved from PA Accelerated into PA 3A, how did you find the transition? Was there much overlap of concepts, or was it good reinforcement?

In 3A, what were some of the more challenging spots?


I also moved from PA accelerated to PA 3A.

The transition was quite smooth. 3A just expands on what you learnt earlier. 3B then tries to build up your speed and so this can be quite challenging; I spent only 4 or 5 months on 3A, but 3B is probably going to take me a year. Then in Level 4 you learn to shape the music so I guess a lot of emphasis on technique and listening to and appreciating what you play (playing with your soul).

See the link below for a description of the different levels and what their uses are.
https://pianoadventures.com/blog/piano-pedagogy/
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 09/30/16 07:43 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Hi Smurfette;

Our teacher usually assigns pieces/exercises in multiple books at a time, using the general Faber guidelines at the bottom of the pages.

I prefer to do the lesson and technique/artistry pieces first, and then focus on the corresponding performance pieces separately.


Thanks Brian, that makes sense. I found the performance pieces took several days to play correctly on first sitting, whereas I was ready to move on with the other books. So I think I will do the corresponding pages in the lesson, theory, and t&a books until a unit is completed and then do the performance, sightreading, and previous level's gold star books.

I have 8 keys completed in scale learning; major, harmonic minor, similar and contrary motion, and thirds and sixths apart. So 4 I am hoping to learn by xmas. Once they are all learned I can practice them in rotation and start chromatics.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/16 12:17 PM

Well here's my update:

I'm currently working on the last three pieces in the Lesson Book for Level 4. Due to a series of "other-than-piano" issues, plus preparation for our Teacher's fall musicale in early November, I feel my forward progress has basically stopped, which has never happened to me before in over 3 years of lessons.

Sure the final piece is Prelude in C which is a sight-reading nightmare, and the other two pieces are in A Major and E Major and I'm still trying to deal with the additional sharps in these two key signatures.

Still I'm not complaining, I feel very lucky to be where I am.

Hopefully a more positive update soon.
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/16 01:48 PM

BrianDX-

I don't know if this will make you feel better...but I hope it does.

My son at 6/almost 7 years of age began playing piano at the same time as you did (He started late August 2013). Do you know what piece he's learning this week? Carnival of Venice from Faber 3A. I looked at YouTube to hear what it should really sound like and do you know whose rendition I came across? Yep- yours which you recorded over 1 year ago. My son practices a minimum of an 1 hour every day and he's done that for years.

My son took a one year break from the Faber series between 2B and 3A and used another level 3 book last year. I was more than a little disappointed when my son's teacher brought Faber 3A out as his new books for the 2016-2017 year- particularly because he did so very well at Guild in the Spring. I'll tell you this much though- practice is going much better at least in terms of focus/cooperation now- and he seems happier now. I also thought after completing one level 3 book set last year that the Faber 3A pieces would be a breeze- but they aren't so his teacher obviously made the right decision.

Don't be hard on yourself. You are doing great!


Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/16 05:40 PM

Thanks pianoMom2006 smile

I guess sometimes a dose of perspective is needed. I forgot that I had recorded that piece last September. It wasn't half bad smirk

I can only comment on the Faber series; I know there are many others out there, but so far they have certainly worked for me and my wife. Add in a great teacher and a great instrument and there you go.

I certainly hope your son continues on his forward path. There are great things coming up in the Faber series, and hopefully in the future as an adult he will have a music skill for life.
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/07/16 08:07 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Thanks pianoMom2006 smile


I certainly hope your son continues on his forward path.


Yes of course. I think that everyone has setbacks in piano and it's okay. Fortunately, he's not likely to get a job as a pianist so he can take his time to explore.
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/08/16 08:01 AM

There will always be plateaux in our learning, but yes the overall picture seems to be one of really good progress for you Brian. Aren't the last pages of each level more challenging/ take longer than the other pages usually, even without you having other things to do at the same time ?

I practised Prelude in C by playing it as blocked chords first , then broken chords as written. Unfortunately I memorized it naturally by the fourth day , but I still followed the music, by focusing on two notes in each chord at first, until it became easier to follow all the notes at tempo.

I was somewhat amazed at still being able to play it from memory after all those long months of being bedridden. It is incredible what the human brain can do. I very quickly revised my scales and sightread through the primer and most of level one too, upon returning to the piano, even remembering bass clef notation, lol
My point being all that work you have done is a lifetime investment that won't leave you. You are an inspiration Brian.

Will you be moving over to repertoire learning only once you complete level 4 ?
Posted By: Arghhh

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/08/16 02:40 PM

Mario,

Thanks for your answer and the link you provided explaining the pedagogy of the Piano Adventures series. I didn't know it exists and really helps to read how the books are intended to build on each other.

It sounds like Level 3A will be a good level then for my student whom I wanted to get more fluency/ease in her playing.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/09/16 12:19 AM

Originally Posted by Smurfette
There will always be plateaux in our learning, but yes the overall picture seems to be one of really good progress for you Brian. Aren't the last pages of each level more challenging/ take longer than the other pages usually, even without you having other things to do at the same time ?

I practised Prelude in C by playing it as blocked chords first , then broken chords as written. Unfortunately I memorized it naturally by the fourth day , but I still followed the music, by focusing on two notes in each chord at first, until it became easier to follow all the notes at tempo.

I was somewhat amazed at still being able to play it from memory after all those long months of being bedridden. It is incredible what the human brain can do. I very quickly revised my scales and sightread through the primer and most of level one too, upon returning to the piano, even remembering bass clef notation, lol
My point being all that work you have done is a lifetime investment that won't leave you. You are an inspiration Brian.

Will you be moving over to repertoire learning only once you complete level 4 ?

Thanks again Smurfette!

I will be moving on to Faber Piano Adventures Level 5 next month I hope. I have also started Faber Developing Artist 3, so I think my 2017 has been pretty much decided I think. There are a few repertoire pieces I'm looking at as well, one being an "easy" Chopin piece.

In some ways Level 4 has been easier than Level 3B, which I found EXTREMELY challenging.

Finally, Prelude in C is finally coming around. I like your idea on focusing on the first note of each new chord pattern. Hope to nail this at Monday's lesson.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/11/16 02:47 AM

Well that didn't take long; Basically passed the last three pieces in the Lesson Book tonight. One more new piece in the Technique book, and all that will be left will be the 1928 Blues Suite in the Performance Book to round things off. It's amazing what 3 hours of practice on Saturday and Sunday will do to help polish off things smile
Posted By: Smurfette

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/11/16 08:47 AM

šŸŽˆšŸ„‚šŸŽšŸ¦šŸ„‚šŸŽ‚šŸ„‚šŸŽˆ Happy Birthday Brian !!

Well done on this week's progress . It is great that your teacher has worked with you and your goals of completing the levels of PA.

I have E, Bb, Ab and Db major and harmonic minor scales to learn by the end of this year, and then I will start working them all in rotation over next year, probably do one key a day , and hopefully add melodic minors and/or chromatics to my practice too. I plan to spend one 20 minute session a day on this.

I have added little cards , with a scale on each, to a small box and can then pick one at random , so can practice exam style everyday too. This will take another 20 minute session up.

I intend expanding my theory knowledge this year and can at least continue to do this if I get stuck upstairs in bed again. Grade 3 level would be great .


PA wise, I will work through level 2, but will be without a teacher until I know my health is stable enough for regular lessons. This would take me to Grade 1 level and I would really be nervous about going any further self taught. Can only take it a day at time though, but it feels good writing down my goals for next year, will likely email myself this post.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 10/11/16 11:21 AM

Thanks!

Your current pursuits in lieu of past health health problems seems pretty solid to me. Should give you a very solid foundation to progress onward when to are able to re-engage with a teacher.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/02/16 12:43 PM

Just checking in with us Faber folks smile

Finished the last piece in my Technique book on Monday, and that's it for good (there's no Technique book in Level 5).

Working on the last two pieces in the Performance book and then that's all for Level 4.

I had a chance to recently talk to a couple of our teacher's students who are also in PA. Between my wife, myself, and the other students we have 6 folks either in Levels 3A, 3B, or 4. It seems that my observations about 3B "seeming" to be the hardest is correct. However, everyone is moving along at their own pace, and it is very nice indeed to have company at roughly the same skill level.

Next Sunday is our teacher's Fall Adult Musicale, where all us get together for the afternoon. Some of us play, some do not. I'm going to check up where every Faber student is and what their observations and experiences have been in the last 6 months. It's a shame I don't get to speak to these folks more often, but that's the way it is.

Thanks goodness we get to go before the advanced students (there are 6 of them and they are VERY good).
Posted By: John BC

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/03/16 04:08 PM

Congrats Brian!

I just started started 3A a few weeks ago. Book 1 and Book 2 each took almost exactly 6 months to finish. So probably a good 2 more years for me to get through all 5. A great sense of accomplishment for each one I have finished so far.
A great teacher is the number one requisite.

Well done!

regards

John
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/03/16 11:09 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Just checking in with us Faber folks smile

Finished the last piece in my Technique book on Monday, and that's it for good (there's no Technique book in Level 5).

Working on the last two pieces in the Performance book and then that's all for Level 4.

I had a chance to recently talk to a couple of our teacher's students who are also in PA. Between my wife, myself, and the other students we have 6 folks either in Levels 3A, 3B, or 4. It seems that my observations about 3B "seeming" to be the hardest is correct. However, everyone is moving along at their own pace, and it is very nice indeed to have company at roughly the same skill level.

Next Sunday is our teacher's Fall Adult Musicale, where all us get together for the afternoon. Some of us play, some do not. I'm going to check up where every Faber student is and what their observations and experiences have been in the last 6 months. It's a shame I don't get to speak to these folks more often, but that's the way it is.

Thanks goodness we get to go before the advanced students (there are 6 of them and they are VERY good).


Hi Brian,

It has been a slow but fruitful and exciting progress with me with 3B. I am going to start unit 5 and the way things are going I am hoping to start Book 4 in February of next year. I am not getting more than an hour practice on average everyday because of family obligations, work, dog, running, meditation, etc.

I guess the important thing for me right now is that I am enjoying every moment of the journey; I like nearly all the pieces and find them challenging but interesting.



Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/05/16 02:43 AM

Originally Posted by John BC
Congrats Brian!

I just started started 3A a few weeks ago. Book 1 and Book 2 each took almost exactly 6 months to finish. So probably a good 2 more years for me to get through all 5. A great sense of accomplishment for each one I have finished so far.
A great teacher is the number one requisite.

Well done!

regards

John

Thanks John. I slowed down a bit when I reached 3A, and really slowed down at 3B. Of course, your mileage may vary smile
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/05/16 02:45 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Just checking in with us Faber folks smile

Finished the last piece in my Technique book on Monday, and that's it for good (there's no Technique book in Level 5).

Working on the last two pieces in the Performance book and then that's all for Level 4.

I had a chance to recently talk to a couple of our teacher's students who are also in PA. Between my wife, myself, and the other students we have 6 folks either in Levels 3A, 3B, or 4. It seems that my observations about 3B "seeming" to be the hardest is correct. However, everyone is moving along at their own pace, and it is very nice indeed to have company at roughly the same skill level.

Next Sunday is our teacher's Fall Adult Musicale, where all us get together for the afternoon. Some of us play, some do not. I'm going to check up where every Faber student is and what their observations and experiences have been in the last 6 months. It's a shame I don't get to speak to these folks more often, but that's the way it is.

Thanks goodness we get to go before the advanced students (there are 6 of them and they are VERY good).


Hi Brian,

It has been a slow but fruitful and exciting progress with me with 3B. I am going to start unit 5 and the way things are going I am hoping to start Book 4 in February of next year. I am not getting more than an hour practice on average everyday because of family obligations, work, dog, running, meditation, etc.

I guess the important thing for me right now is that I am enjoying every moment of the journey; I like nearly all the pieces and find them challenging but interesting.

Hi Mario! First off, an hour a day of well executed practice is quite good enough I think. The journey IS the thing, you sure got that right.

What are you currently learning in 3B?
Posted By: John BC

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/05/16 03:58 AM

Hi Brian

I totally agree, It will take how long it takes, I'm not the least concerned about it. I enjoy the challenge as an ol' guy! Everything I learn seems like a bonus right now for some reason, so that's my attitude. Lots of fun.

regards

John
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/06/16 11:12 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by Mario2015
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Just checking in with us Faber folks smile

Finished the last piece in my Technique book on Monday, and that's it for good (there's no Technique book in Level 5).

Working on the last two pieces in the Performance book and then that's all for Level 4.

I had a chance to recently talk to a couple of our teacher's students who are also in PA. Between my wife, myself, and the other students we have 6 folks either in Levels 3A, 3B, or 4. It seems that my observations about 3B "seeming" to be the hardest is correct. However, everyone is moving along at their own pace, and it is very nice indeed to have company at roughly the same skill level.

Next Sunday is our teacher's Fall Adult Musicale, where all us get together for the afternoon. Some of us play, some do not. I'm going to check up where every Faber student is and what their observations and experiences have been in the last 6 months. It's a shame I don't get to speak to these folks more often, but that's the way it is.

Thanks goodness we get to go before the advanced students (there are 6 of them and they are VERY good).


Hi Brian,

It has been a slow but fruitful and exciting progress with me with 3B. I am going to start unit 5 and the way things are going I am hoping to start Book 4 in February of next year. I am not getting more than an hour practice on average everyday because of family obligations, work, dog, running, meditation, etc.

I guess the important thing for me right now is that I am enjoying every moment of the journey; I like nearly all the pieces and find them challenging but interesting.

Hi Mario! First off, an hour a day of well executed practice is quite good enough I think. The journey IS the thing, you sure got that right.

What are you currently learning in 3B?


Hi Brian,

I have just started Liebestraum. I heard Chris Brent playing it on YouTube and it sounded so beautiful; very excited about playing it.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/14/16 12:33 PM

Hi Folks.

Yesterday was our teacher's Fall Adult Musicale, and counting me and my wife there were 6 adults at various levels of the Faber books, spread out between Levels 3A, 3B, and 4. It was interesting to hear what each person was currently playing, and their thoughts on it.

Best of all there are three student all pretty much at the end of 3A. The four page graduation piece Song of Kilimanjaro awaits them. Can't wait to see where everyone is in the spring.

Mario: I played Liebestraum at the last Musicale and it was one of my favorites in that book. Enjoy!
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/22/16 12:37 AM

Hi all,

I started to write this post with my background, and my journey to this thread, when I realized it was way too long and boring. Instead, I'll just say that I'm yet another adult beginner coming back to piano after many years since childhood lessons, with flute, choir, guitar and ukulele along the way as well, some more rusty than others! I'm recently retired, and now have time to (re)start my quest to learn piano.

I bought a Kawai CE220 DP which arrived about four weeks ago, and the abbreviated version is that since then, I've gone through GarageBand lessons, then eMedia piano method (about halfway) and then some Alfred and Faber in the last few days. I'm currently working with a combination of the Faber Adult AIO book one, and the Alfred AIO book one, but after reading through this thread, I'm thinking of switching to the Faber Accelerated PA for OB, with the sight reading and developing artist books added, as I think it will give a more complete learning experience. I'm going through the initial level one material fairly quickly for right now (but not skipping any exercises or pieces or technical info), looking to find the proper place to pick up from where my knowledge/skills leave off, and because there's some repetition between methods, and also my previous knowledge. I'm self teaching for now, but I plan to find a teacher (local or remote) once I have a better sense of where I am skill wise.

I'm very glad to be here smile.




Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/22/16 01:04 AM

Welcome Linda! smile

Both my wife and I went through both levels of the Faber Accelerated PA for OB, and it was a very good experience.

The Developing Artist books are also excellent, as even the beginner pieces are in original form, so you can take joy in playing pieces exactly as they were written many hundreds of years ago.

If there are teachers in your area and you have the resources I would advise finding a teacher ASAP, as without our teacher guiding us through the various Faber pieces and exercises, we would be nowhere near where we are after 3+ years.

Welcome again!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/22/16 01:07 AM

My update:

Well tonight I started the Level 5 books. My teacher has never had a student use these books, so this will be a learning experience for both of us.

After the holidays I'll have a better initial feel to what is going on with these books. There are no technique or sight-reading books at this level, which is a bit disappointing.

Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/22/16 04:59 PM

Hello everyone. Thought I'd drop by as it's been quite I while since my last update. At the beginning of the summer I found myself with less and less time to play. This, coupled with finding myself at a frustrating plateau where I needed to put in some serious effort to progressā€¦ well, I have somehow made it about 5 months since I last touched the keyboard!

I still don't have the time, but *do* have that desire to play again. I recently heard a nice version of Pure Imagination (from Willy Wonka) from one of the Faber books, so I'm going to have a go at that to ease myself back in. I'm obviously without teacher right now, so my first port of call will be to go back to some of the pieces I had learned from before in book 4.

If anyone has some spare time they could lend me it'd be great! smile

Here's a recording of that piece (not by me!), in an attempt to hold myself to account. smile
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/22/16 09:10 PM

Thanks for the welcome, Brian! I have enjoyed reading about your journey and progress over the last couple of years, through this thread. You've come so far!

There is a local teacher who focuses on teaching adult beginners, and uses the Faber method as well. He's a little more expensive than other teachers I've come across, but that may be a good sign. I'll get a little further on my own and then get in touch with him. My piano teacher as a child may have made an impression, as I seem to still have some muscular memory with respect to curved hands, posture and wrist movements, even 40+ years later. But I am wary of developing new bad habits...

It seems that the videos that accompany the Faber Adult AIO books don't have counterparts for the Accelerated PAOB, that I've seen. I'm really enjoying getting these video insights and demos from Randall Faber, so I may stick with the adult AIO level one to the end of this book, before moving over to the APAOB, if that happens before I connect with a local teacher. Or I may try to do them side by side, even if they don't match perfectly.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/23/16 02:40 PM

Hi Linda;

What is interesting is that when my wife and I were going through the Accelerated PAOB books there were not "official" videos available form Faber as you said. However, there are many such videos available on YouTube that I really liked, that pretty much cover all of the pieces in the books.

I can tell you that our teacher much prefers the APAOB books to the Adult all-in-one series. However that is just one teacher's opinion.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/29/16 10:25 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Hello everyone. Thought I'd drop by as it's been quite I while since my last update. At the beginning of the summer I found myself with less and less time to play. This, coupled with finding myself at a frustrating plateau where I needed to put in some serious effort to progressā€¦ well, I have somehow made it about 5 months since I last touched the keyboard!

I still don't have the time, but *do* have that desire to play again. I recently heard a nice version of Pure Imagination (from Willy Wonka) from one of the Faber books, so I'm going to have a go at that to ease myself back in. I'm obviously without teacher right now, so my first port of call will be to go back to some of the pieces I had learned from before in book 4.

If anyone has some spare time they could lend me it'd be great! smile

Here's a recording of that piece (not by me!), in an attempt to hold myself to account. smile


Welcome back Trevor.

I can understand completely the frustration of not having enough time yet having a strong desire to practice. I can barely manage 1 hour and that to with lots of interruptions from family, dog, etc. I told myself I have the rest of the life to progress so now am much calmer and actually enjoying the process rather than focussing on finishing.

Plateaus are another issue. I think your idea of playing such a beautiful piece as Pure Imagination is a good one. It would be just the thing to motivate you to get back into swing and possibly start climbing again.

BTW which of the Faber books is that piece from?

Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/29/16 10:31 PM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
Thanks for the welcome, Brian! I have enjoyed reading about your journey and progress over the last couple of years, through this thread. You've come so far!

There is a local teacher who focuses on teaching adult beginners, and uses the Faber method as well. He's a little more expensive than other teachers I've come across, but that may be a good sign. I'll get a little further on my own and then get in touch with him. My piano teacher as a child may have made an impression, as I seem to still have some muscular memory with respect to curved hands, posture and wrist movements, even 40+ years later. But I am wary of developing new bad habits...

It seems that the videos that accompany the Faber Adult AIO books don't have counterparts for the Accelerated PAOB, that I've seen. I'm really enjoying getting these video insights and demos from Randall Faber, so I may stick with the adult AIO level one to the end of this book, before moving over to the APAOB, if that happens before I connect with a local teacher. Or I may try to do them side by side, even if they don't match perfectly.


Welcome Linda. This is a great forum to share our journey set up by Brian.
A lot of us here are without a teacher for various reasons so you are not alone.
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/30/16 08:14 AM

Thank you for the welcome, Mario smile

I have been wanting to do some self assessment and gauge where I am with respect to my existing knowledge and skills, before I engage with a teacher (I do realize they could help me with this, but I have many times found that my own self assessment can help expedite various things). So I'm encouraged to hear that there are others here without a teacher for the time being.

By way of an update, I've been working through the Faber Adult AIO book (after initially going through some initial material with other methods as well, for the last month), and the expected slowdown did happen a few days ago starting about unit 9 of this AAIO book 1. I'm now going through sections more slowly, albeit perhaps at a slightly faster pace than completely unknown material would be, but I'm intent on addressing my weak areas (I'm stronger on reading treble than bass due to my experience with flute, and of course weaker on dual hand material beyond my childhood piano experience). So right now I'm doing an initial work through of unit 11, while reviewing and practicing pieces in units 9-10 as well. I think things will progress more slowly from here on out, which is okay with me, as there are basics that need to be learned/built. Right now, I'm just enjoying being at the piano, learning and moving forward.




Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 11/30/16 10:13 PM

Nice to hear from everyone!

I can tell you that the Faber series is especially good IMHO for those folks who do not have a teacher at the moment. In those cases, it is especially important to pay close attention to the exercises and technique sections. Normally most of the corrections I get at my weekly lesson are those things already mentioned in the books.

On Monday I passed my last Level 4 Performance piece. I actually felt a little sad, as for over 3 years+ these books are all I've ever known. Don't get me wrong; it will take a considerable amount of time in 2017 to complete Level 5. Some of the pieces look downright impossible to play at first glance.

Still, our teacher has several adults that have "graduated" from Faber in the past, and she had a plan for any of her students that accomplish that in the future.
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/01/16 05:20 PM

Welcome Linda!
Glad to see you are working with the Faber AAiO 1 book. Like you I had some piano experience before I picked up the book and breezed thorough the first 8 chapters. Then BAM! Chapter 9 and beyond have been tough going. The concepts themselves seem very straight forward but getting those pieces to sound ok has been a slow and steady climb uphill. But I am almost there, started on Banuwa Village this morning. Slow and steady wins the race as they say.

I also do self-assessments. Mid-year I realized my counting was not up to speed and I worked for a few months on pieces that had a simple structure in 4/4 and the 3/4 time. I also found Randall Faber's videos to be really helpful and a nice addition to learning since I do not have a teacher. Although, I was initially surprised by what he was suggesting we get out of the book. I'm now looking forward to working on AAiO2 with Randall's videos as a guide.


Wishing you continued success!
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/01/16 05:24 PM

Linda:
Another thing I found overly helpful was doing the 40 Piece Challenge. I highly recommend it. Working on a lot of simple pieces and a few challenging ones really helped with getting my hands to do the same thing together or different things at the same time. I sure those in this forum who have worked on the challenge can attest to its benefits. Already thing about next years challenge as i start learning more Grade 1 pieces.
Posted By: Adam107

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/01/16 06:37 PM

Hi folks -

Long time listener and nearly first-time poster here. I just found this thread the other day and have been catching up to the present. Right now I'm on page 9: July 2015. There's so much useful info here and thank you to everyone for sharing it.

My son and I bounced around the 2B core books plus Jewish, Ragtime, Jazz and Blues, and Classical for a year or more without much purpose. Two months ago I decided we really needed to make tangible progress so that one day we could play more complicated pieces and do so with confidence. So I have been methodically working through All eight books in total with a goal towards finishing 2B and starting with 3A over the holiday. We are more or less on track. My son is a little more advanced than I and is starting 3A now. We have the core four plus sight reading, Classical, Jazz, Ragtime, Sonatinas, and Blues Improv. I really enjoy having many books to work from that all aim towards similar goals. It gives me a lot of leeway as to what to work on for any given day. It's especially nice to have the theory books to work on if it's 11pm and I want to do something that won't wake the neighbors.

Has anyone figured out how to approach the books that are marked 3A-3B? Should we work through half the pieces while we're doing the core 3A books and save the other half for when we get to 3B?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/02/16 08:07 PM

Greetings and welcome Adam107!

The core books for 3A and 3B are separate levels in Faber Piano Adventures, much like Levels 1, 2, 4 and 5.

You will start and completely finish all 4 core books in Level 3A, before proceeding to 3B. Now no peeking ahead of time! grin
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/02/16 08:19 PM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Linda:
Another thing I found overly helpful was doing the 40 Piece Challenge. I highly recommend it. Working on a lot of simple pieces and a few challenging ones really helped with getting my hands to do the same thing together or different things at the same time. I sure those in this forum who have worked on the challenge can attest to its benefits. Already thing about next years challenge as i start learning more Grade 1 pieces.

+1! I have done this in both 2015 and 2016. VERY helpful!
Posted By: Adam107

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/03/16 09:22 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Greetings and welcome Adam107!

The core books for 3A and 3B are separate levels in Faber Piano Adventures, much like Levels 1, 2, 4 and 5.

You will start and completely finish all 4 core books in Level 3A, before proceeding to 3B. Now no peeking ahead of time! grin


But the accompanying books - in this case Ragtime, Classical, and Jazz and Blues - all say 3A-3B on them. So while we're going to do all the 'core 3A' books together and then of course proceed to the core 3B books, what should we do with those accompanying books?
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/04/16 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015

Plateaus are another issue. I think your idea of playing such a beautiful piece as Pure Imagination is a good one. It would be just the thing to motivate you to get back into swing and possibly start climbing again.

BTW which of the Faber books is that piece from?


Hey Mario! It's from BigTime Popular, which is Level 4.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/04/16 11:30 PM

Originally Posted by Adam107
But the accompanying books - in this case Ragtime, Classical, and Jazz and Blues - all say 3A-3B on them. So while we're going to do all the 'core 3A' books together and then of course proceed to the core 3B books, what should we do with those accompanying books?


From my experience, they tend to be on the harder end of the scale. I assume that they're meant to be tackled once you've completed that level (or, more probably, when your teacher thinks you're ready for them wink ).
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/05/16 01:50 AM

Originally Posted by Adam107
Hi folks -

Long time listener and nearly first-time poster here. I just found this thread the other day and have been catching up to the present. Right now I'm on page 9: July 2015. There's so much useful info here and thank you to everyone for sharing it.

My son and I bounced around the 2B core books plus Jewish, Ragtime, Jazz and Blues, and Classical for a year or more without much purpose. Two months ago I decided we really needed to make tangible progress so that one day we could play more complicated pieces and do so with confidence. So I have been methodically working through All eight books in total with a goal towards finishing 2B and starting with 3A over the holiday. We are more or less on track. My son is a little more advanced than I and is starting 3A now. We have the core four plus sight reading, Classical, Jazz, Ragtime, Sonatinas, and Blues Improv. I really enjoy having many books to work from that all aim towards similar goals. It gives me a lot of leeway as to what to work on for any given day. It's especially nice to have the theory books to work on if it's 11pm and I want to do something that won't wake the neighbors.

Has anyone figured out how to approach the books that are marked 3A-3B? Should we work through half the pieces while we're doing the core 3A books and save the other half for when we get to 3B?


Hi Adam,

I agree wholeheartedly with Brian.

Each unit of level 3A/3B has corresponding units in all four core books. In fact each piece has corresponding pieces in all four books and those pieces are in the footer of each piece. So best to progress one unit at a time.

I think Fabers have wrongly labelled the books level 3A and 3B. Really 3B is a completely separate level and the focus of 3B is on speed whereas 3A is more for improving on the skills learnt at level 2. See link below for info on what the different levels do in terms of improving your skills:
https://pianoadventures.com/blog/piano-pedagogy/



Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/05/16 01:55 AM

Originally Posted by Adam107
Originally Posted by BrianDX
Greetings and welcome Adam107!

The core books for 3A and 3B are separate levels in Faber Piano Adventures, much like Levels 1, 2, 4 and 5.

You will start and completely finish all 4 core books in Level 3A, before proceeding to 3B. Now no peeking ahead of time! grin


But the accompanying books - in this case Ragtime, Classical, and Jazz and Blues - all say 3A-3B on them. So while we're going to do all the 'core 3A' books together and then of course proceed to the core 3B books, what should we do with those accompanying books?


Hi Adam,

Yes it is indeed quite confusing. I bought the Jazz and Blues book and realized I would not have the skills to play some of the pieces till after I had completed 3B. I had bought this when I was in the middle of 3A. Now 1.5 years later I am still on 3B and have a couple of months to go before finishing it. I will revisit the pieces in a couple of months.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/05/16 01:56 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Originally Posted by Mario2015

Plateaus are another issue. I think your idea of playing such a beautiful piece as Pure Imagination is a good one. It would be just the thing to motivate you to get back into swing and possibly start climbing again.

BTW which of the Faber books is that piece from?


Hey Mario! It's from BigTime Popular, which is Level 4.


Thanks Trevor.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/05/16 01:58 AM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
Originally Posted by Adam107
But the accompanying books - in this case Ragtime, Classical, and Jazz and Blues - all say 3A-3B on them. So while we're going to do all the 'core 3A' books together and then of course proceed to the core 3B books, what should we do with those accompanying books?


From my experience, they tend to be on the harder end of the scale. I assume that they're meant to be tackled once you've completed that level (or, more probably, when your teacher thinks you're ready for them wink ).


Trevor I had not yet read your answer to Adam and so answered exactly the same. Sorry. Should read all the posts before replying.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/06/16 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Trevor I had not yet read your answer to Adam and so answered exactly the same. Sorry. Should read all the posts before replying.


No problem, Mario. I'm glad our experiences and assumptions match! smile
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/10/16 08:16 PM

I'm back, after having a hectic last couple of weeks getting a final project completed for my art class, now done. I managed to get in some practice most days except the last day before the deadline, but not as much as I wished.

NorwichTim, thank you for the welcome and the comments. I'm glad to hear that you are working with the AAIO book too. Yes, the challenge for me is to have the patience to perfect the pieces before moving on, as the brain is ahead of the fingers right now. And I know that the brain/finger/arm connection is the critical building block.

I am thinking about the 40 piece challenge, as you suggested. It looks like people add pieces from the method books they are working on, and supplementing with other pieces, and that looks it might be doable for me. What do all the acronyms mean that are being used to tag the pieces? Some of them seem obvious and others do not (to me). Is there a decoder ring somewhere?

Currently, I'm polishing the pieces from unit 11 (AAIO 1), and have done an initial run through the unit 12 material (exercises, etc). Also going back and reviewing previous unit pieces too. I really enjoy that Randall Faber talks so much about technique and expression in the videos. I'm using the iPad app at the piano to view the videos and sometimes to accompany the pieces as I practice them. The player (accompaniment) portion of the app is very capable and useful, and I have it connected to my DP. The app can be used with the OB or other books as well. They've done a nice job with it.

I'm also trying one piece that is not from the book. Inspired by Montuno's recital performance of Wonderland, I acquired some of David Nevue's sheet music, and am working on Wonderland. I can do HS fine, but HT is most definitely not smooth yet!

Looking forward to spending a little more time on the piano now that my art class is over until Jan!


Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/11/16 03:46 AM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
I'm back, after having a hectic last couple of weeks getting a final project completed for my art class, now done. I managed to get in some practice most days except the last day before the deadline, but not as much as I wished.

NorwichTim, thank you for the welcome and the comments. I'm glad to hear that you are working with the AAIO book too. Yes, the challenge for me is to have the patience to perfect the pieces before moving on, as the brain is ahead of the fingers right now. And I know that the brain/finger/arm connection is the critical building block.

I am thinking about the 40 piece challenge, as you suggested. It looks like people add pieces from the method books they are working on, and supplementing with other pieces, and that looks it might be doable for me. What do all the acronyms mean that are being used to tag the pieces? Some of them seem obvious and others do not (to me). Is there a decoder ring somewhere?

Currently, I'm polishing the pieces from unit 11 (AAIO 1), and have done an initial run through the unit 12 material (exercises, etc). Also going back and reviewing previous unit pieces too. I really enjoy that Randall Faber talks so much about technique and expression in the videos. I'm using the iPad app at the piano to view the videos and sometimes to accompany the pieces as I practice them. The player (accompaniment) portion of the app is very capable and useful, and I have it connected to my DP. The app can be used with the OB or other books as well. They've done a nice job with it.

I'm also trying one piece that is not from the book. Inspired by Montuno's recital performance of Wonderland, I acquired some of David Nevue's sheet music, and am working on Wonderland. I can do HS fine, but HT is most definitely not smooth yet!

Looking forward to spending a little more time on the piano now that my art class is over until Jan!

Thanks for the update Linda. Since I don't have AAIO 1, what kind of pieces are in Unit 11?

Update for me: Two more lessons until the holiday break. I've now started all 3 core Level 5 books, so far so good. Some tough pieces to start, although the real challenge is getting them up to speed. I'm now seeing material that would normally be in the Technique and Artistry book is kind of split between the Lesson and Theory books. Not sure if Faber has any plans in the future to do a second edition of these books, which are pushing 20 years old.

One other odd thing I thought of: You would think that the Faber company would monitor the PW forum, and this thread in particular. Curious why no one from the company has ever posted anything in this thread to my knowledge...
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/11/16 06:54 AM

Hi BrianDX, the pieces in unit 11 (Intervals 4ths, 5ths, 6ths) are:

- Promenade
- Chinese Kites
- Danny Boy
- New Age Sounds
- Aria (Mozart Marriage of Figaro)
- Sixth Sense
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight
- Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

The arrangements mainly focus on moving the finger positions around and extending them instead of fixed positions, so I don't know if these match the ones you have seen in the other books from way back.

Unit 12 is turning out to be review for me (full C major scale, which I've done all my life since learning it as a child), and only two pieces that happen to be very easy based on my familiarity, so I think I'll be starting work on Unit 13 soon.

It'll be interesting to hear your reports as you go through the Level 5 curriculum, since you are the first reporting on those books in this forum. I would think folks from the Faber company would be interested in your thoughts. Certainly they are valuable to those of us who might aspire to get that far!
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/11/16 06:50 PM

Hi Linda:
In the 40 Piece Challenge, I use the codes to give someone information about where the piece came from. This seems useful since I don't want to someone to think I learned an advanced piece when in fact it was an arranged piece in a method book. I typically spell spell it out the first time, for example, Fundamental Keys ( a classical method book) and then use FK after that. Pieces with just the name and composer are sheet music I have acquired in some way and are not part of a collection.
I think at the lower levels, method book pieces are acceptable since they are often a challenge to learn. I found Lion Sleeps to be a challenge yet Chinese Kites took relatively little time.

Hope this helps.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/12/16 01:16 PM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
I am thinking about the 40 piece challenge, as you suggested. It looks like people add pieces from the method books they are working on, and supplementing with other pieces, and that looks it might be doable for me. What do all the acronyms mean that are being used to tag the pieces? Some of them seem obvious and others do not (to me). Is there a decoder ring somewhere?

I use a fairly simple system so that I am not misleading anyone as to what I am exactly playing.

OF = Original Form
AR = Arranged
OC = Original Composition (I use this for for either Nancy Faber pieces or my own).

Pretty much all of my pieces to this point have been in the Faber system, so I don't have to differentiate that.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/12/16 01:24 PM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
It'll be interesting to hear your reports as you go through the Level 5 curriculum, since you are the first reporting on those books in this forum. I would think folks from the Faber company would be interested in your thoughts. Certainly they are valuable to those of us who might aspire to get that far!

Good idea.

The first section is a review of earlier skills from Levels 3B an 4.

Unit 1 which I started a week ago deals with cadences (I, IV, V) of various keys. In this book "V" is the actual five chord, not the manufactured "V7" that both Alfred and Faber have used up till now. A nice Clementi piece in OF is the centerpiece of this section so far...
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/12/16 09:54 PM

Tim and Brian, thanks for enlightening me about the codes you use for your 40 pieces lists! Makes a lot of sense now.

I just encountered the "V7" term in unit 13 of AAIO 1, which is about the G7 chord, so your comment will help me keep this straight for my future reading/learning.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/13/16 02:15 AM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
Tim and Brian, thanks for enlightening me about the codes you use for your 40 pieces lists! Makes a lot of sense now.

I just encountered the "V7" term in unit 13 of AAIO 1, which is about the G7 chord, so your comment will help me keep this straight for my future reading/learning.

For now, the V7 chord as taught in your book is quite nice and should be mastered as is (like I've done for 3+ years).

Eventually, Faber will guide you to the wonderful world of actual V7 chords (like the G7), where you will play four notes to deliver a fuller sound. No rush though... smirk
Posted By: Adam107

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/19/16 01:46 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX


Eventually, Faber will guide you to the wonderful world of actual V7 chords (like the G7), where you will play four notes to deliver a fuller sound. No rush though... smirk


See, this is why I'm glad for this thread. Because if we weren't all following the Faber curriculum, which so far I've found to be challenging but do-able if I take it page by page, I'd say "four notes?!? I'll NEVER EVER be able to do that!!!" But I imagine that by the time I'm ready I'll be ready.

I have indeed worked through almost all of 2B and will be ready to start 3A in a week or so. I think I'll just re-polish older pieces and start nice and fresh in very early January with 3A. I'm really looking forward to it.

Meanwhile I buried the lead which is that WE GOT A NEW PIANO LAST TUESDAY!!! We replaced our lovely banged-up workhorse 60 year old Baldwin console with a shiny, brand-new Yamaha U1. Oh, does it sing. We love it. And the mute pedal is a godsend for when one of us just wants to work something out without disturbing everyone (or for post-10pm playing in our apartment).
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/19/16 02:14 AM

Originally Posted by Adam107
Originally Posted by BrianDX


Eventually, Faber will guide you to the wonderful world of actual V7 chords (like the G7), where you will play four notes to deliver a fuller sound. No rush though... smirk


See, this is why I'm glad for this thread. Because if we weren't all following the Faber curriculum, which so far I've found to be challenging but do-able if I take it page by page, I'd say "four notes?!? I'll NEVER EVER be able to do that!!!" But I imagine that by the time I'm ready I'll be ready.

I have indeed worked through almost all of 2B and will be ready to start 3A in a week or so. I think I'll just re-polish older pieces and start nice and fresh in very early January with 3A. I'm really looking forward to it.

Meanwhile I buried the lead which is that WE GOT A NEW PIANO LAST TUESDAY!!! We replaced our lovely banged-up workhorse 60 year old Baldwin console with a shiny, brand-new Yamaha U1. Oh, does it sing. We love it. And the mute pedal is a godsend for when one of us just wants to work something out without disturbing everyone (or for post-10pm playing in our apartment).


Hi Adam,

Congrats on your purchase. It makes such a difference when the sound coming out is beautiful. Yes, like so many people here have mentioned, it is amazing how if you follow the Faber PA series (using all 4 core books) unit by unit, how so very doable the pieces are and how you steadily build up the skills such that the pieces that seemed impossible a year ago are so very easy. For example there is a nice little boogie arrangement by Nancy Faber of Jingle Bells called Jingle Bells Boogie which when I heard it last Christmas on Youtube it sounded impossible to play...yet today I am killin it.


Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/19/16 03:46 PM

Originally Posted by Adam107
Originally Posted by BrianDX


Eventually, Faber will guide you to the wonderful world of actual V7 chords (like the G7), where you will play four notes to deliver a fuller sound. No rush though... smirk


See, this is why I'm glad for this thread. Because if we weren't all following the Faber curriculum, which so far I've found to be challenging but do-able if I take it page by page, I'd say "four notes?!? I'll NEVER EVER be able to do that!!!" But I imagine that by the time I'm ready I'll be ready.

I have indeed worked through almost all of 2B and will be ready to start 3A in a week or so. I think I'll just re-polish older pieces and start nice and fresh in very early January with 3A. I'm really looking forward to it.

Meanwhile I buried the lead which is that WE GOT A NEW PIANO LAST TUESDAY!!! We replaced our lovely banged-up workhorse 60 year old Baldwin console with a shiny, brand-new Yamaha U1. Oh, does it sing. We love it. And the mute pedal is a godsend for when one of us just wants to work something out without disturbing everyone (or for post-10pm playing in our apartment).

First off, congrats on the U1 smile

The beauty of the Faber system is, when they finally present four note chords you WILL be ready for them smile

The only problems I've had with Faber in this regard was the first edition of Level 3B. My teacher and I thought some of the pieces were too hard to master properly given the skill level of these books. Lo and behold when the second edition of 3B came out most of these issues had been addressed. I have not had that issue with either Level 4 or 5 (so far).
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/19/16 04:42 PM

Hi Brian,

I may have asked this before, but I'm curious to know which Faber books you use? (Lesson, Theory, etc) - There are so many of them smile

Thanks.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 12/21/16 03:15 AM

For Levels 1 through 4 I used the four "core" books (Lesson, Theory, Performance, Technique). In addition. Levels 3A, 3B, and 4 now have sight reading books as well that go with the Lesson book.

For Level 5 (which has not been updated since 1997) there are only three core books (No Technique; that is rolled up in the Lesson and Theory books as far as I can tell).
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/04/17 01:46 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
For Levels 1 through 4 I used the four "core" books (Lesson, Theory, Performance, Technique). In addition. Levels 3A, 3B, and 4 now have sight reading books as well that go with the Lesson book.

For Level 5 (which has not been updated since 1997) there are only three core books (No Technique; that is rolled up in the Lesson and Theory books as far as I can tell).


Hi Brian,

I would like to get yours and others view on the theory book. I only find it useful in parts; the rest seems to me to be catering to the needs of young kids and those interested in composing. I find the sight-reading book more useful and really regard that book to be a core book instead of the theory book.

I also encourage those who have completed or are nearing the completion of 3B to look at some of the FunTime books. I have started the FunTime Jazz and Blues (I like these genres) and I'm enjoying learning jazz standards like Misty and In The Mood. I have had the fortune of downloading the entire YouTube playlist of the tunes in the book kindly supplied by the folks from the Rhapsody Piano Studio. One piece of advice is that never listen to the same tune in the BigTime series (for those who have completed Level 4). I made the mistake of listening to Misty in the BigTime series and that sounded so rich and beautiful that I am finding it extremely difficult to play the FunTime version of it smile. I guess the broader lesson from this is that we ought to be happy with what we got and what we are right now rather than craving for something which is beyond us right now.

My favourite quote from Winnie the Pooh...
ā€œWhat day is it?"
It's today," squeaked Piglet.
My favourite day," said Pooh.ā€


Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/04/17 01:04 PM

Hi Mario;

I think I agree with you as far as the sight-reading books should be considered "core" books. I think the Theory books have their place, and so far through Level 4 I have done all of the exercises and learned the handful of pieces in them.

At Level 5 there is no Sight-reading or Technique book, and so far the Theory book is much more comprehensive in content and must be completed fully.

I think some of the original PA books did not have a technique book (I know that Level 4 did not) so the Theory books were more important. The Sight-reading books just came on the scene a few years ago, and boy are they helpful!

Happy 2017 to all of the Faber folks out there smile
Posted By: Birdgolf

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/05/17 01:14 PM

Hi, Got this nagging question. BACKGROUND: Around two years ago I completed Faber Piano Adventures level 3b (Core Book) then I went crazy and purchased all the Level 4 books 2nd Edition (Lesson, Theory, Artistry, Performance, Sight Reading, Pop. Repertoire, even the Christmas Book). Had to stop lessons after level 3, so I picked up Alfred's Adult All In One books 1 through 3 and worked on my own. Currently in Book 2 about 1/2 way through. QUESTION(s): Should/Could I switch back after completing Book 2 of Alfred's AIO (it should take about six more months)? Or should I just continue through book three of Alfred's and then go back to Faber? Thanks, Birdgolf
Posted By: Sundew

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/05/17 04:08 PM

Hi Birdgolf.
My teacher and I recently dumped Alfred book 2 about halfway through. We both disliked it. She much prefers the PA books. Which did you enjoy most? Alfred or PA 3B? I think we are perhaps similar levels. I am currently learning a Clementi Sonatina, Chopin, Mozart. Recent has been Jazz Rags and Blues book 3. Much more my cup of tea than Alfred. I have the 3B books {except pop which I have no interest in} and work on them at my own pace. Currently using PA 3A sight reading book. My own thoughts are PA offers so much more than Alfred that for me it's a no brainer. Whatever your choice, enjoy. smile
Posted By: Birdgolf

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/05/17 11:48 PM

Yo Sundew,
Thanks for your comments. My teacher pushed me hard through PA 3A and 3B so I mostly learned fingering, then pretty much forgot the pieces afterwards. Really never got the syncopation beat on Elton John's "Honky Cat." But I enjoyed many of the lesson/performace book pieces along the way. About the third year, my wife asked me to play a song from my Faber books and I couldn't play anything, even somewhat near performance level so she was wondering if we wasted our money on two years worth of lessons (hehe). Everyday I see those seven Faber books just sitting there on the shelf not being used. I'm sure it will take me a year or longer to go through them. P.S. alongside them I have eight FunTime level 3A-3B books e.g. Jazz and Blues. Thanks again, Birdgolf
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/06/17 01:13 PM

Hi Birdgolf!

You bring up a very interesting question that goes beyond which method book you are using.

I have progressed through PA Level 1 up to Level 5 which I started late last year. I can highly recommend the Level 4 core books 2nd edition (including Sight-reading). Lots of valuable skills to be learned there.

Now the interesting question: Once I finish a PA Level, should the expectation be that you can at any time go back to any of the older pieces and immediately play them at performance levels? I don't think so, however the skills to play them are still there believe me.

Here is a specific example: My wife is currently at the end of Level 3A. She is learning a piece that was one of my all-time favorites. Now 18 months ago I was also learning this piece, and it took many weeks to get it right (for my teacher). So just for fun I went back and tried to re-learn the piece. In a fraction of the time it originally took me to learn it, I was playing it better than I ever had before. I think that's the expectation here. Yes you are learning and perfecting pieces, but ultimately you are learning skills that should not diminish over time under normal circumstances.
Posted By: Birdgolf

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/07/17 02:37 PM

BrianDX: Thanks for your recommendation and reply. I get my piano tuned Monday so hopefully I will sound better smile
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/08/17 07:46 AM

A quickie update here... When I reached Section 14 in the AAIO book 1, I took some time to go back through several sections and polish up the pieces to pass them to my satisfaction. So that has taken me a bit of time and I just started Section 14 a few days ago. These pieces are more involved, but that's to be expected. So I'm working through the Entertainer, Trumpet Concerto (Haydn), and the lead sheet for Home on the Range has been a welcome respite at the end of this section.

I started tp preview Section 15 today, and was glad to see Minuet in G (Petzvold), as that's one I'm familiar with (from Garage Band, no less!), so I'm expecting that to be straightforward, anyway!

After that section, there is only Section 16, and I'll be done with this book. And I'll need to decide whether to continue with the AAIO 2, or switch over to the Older Beginner for Level 2.

Have to say that I'm starting to enjoy the pieces now, even though they are difficult. It feels more like I'm playing real music smile.


Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/11/17 04:16 AM

Hi,

I was just wondering how everyone practices. I have a set of questions re. this.

1. How long do you practice each day?

I tend to practice 1 hour on average


2. How many times per day do you practice?

I practice twice a day. Morning and evening.


3. On average how many times do you practice each piece before moving on to the next?

I practice about 2 or 3 times before moving on. I may or may not practice the whole piece depending on the length of the piece and how complicated it is. The exception to this practice of only about 3 times would be complicated measures which I would sort of memorize by practicing it over and over again till I 'got it'. My aim is really to get through most of the material of my core books in the 1 hour of practice.

4. When you finished learning a piece to you still depend on reading the piece line by line or just use reading as a sort of memory jog?

After I have 'learnt' a piece I tend to use the reading of a piece more as a memory jog. Thus I make sure i put finger placements on each note if it is not there and I think I would need it.

Please feel free to add questions and answers to this list.







Posted By: Birdgolf

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/17 12:34 AM

Hi, I practice 1.5 hours a day broken up into two 45 min sessions. I can pass a piece off in 5 to 10 days on average. Once I learn a piece then the fun begins. So I constantly review my passed off stuff; I estimate it takes about 1/3 of my practice time. Happy playing !!! Birdgolf
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/17 05:30 PM

Hi Mario:
Happy New Year!
I practice 30-45 minutes per day Monday - Saturday. I mostly practice in the early morning before work. Rarely at other times. Practice involves Technique/Lesson (Faber), two new pieces I am learning, two developing pieces and one repertoire piece. About 10 minutes to each activity on alternate days.

I learn the entire piece. It takes a week or two on easier pieces to up to a month on more advanced pieces. Learned pieces are those I can play fairly well. Tempo may not be where it should but the notes, dynamics and over all playing are fairly smooth and with few errors. Most learned pieces are not advanced to developing pieces. A developing piece is one I am seriously considering adding to my repertoire and I worked to get the piece to performance level.

Once I have learned a piece it is largely memorized. I Usually have the sheet music open so I can follow along sort of like sight reading. I find it helpful to just follow along. I do the same some times while shoulder surfing my partners playing. I do however find it helpful to have nothing in front of me and simply play from memory. Some memorized pieces I even try to play with my eyes closed.

Hope this helps, Tim
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/17 10:54 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi,

I was just wondering how everyone practices. I have a set of questions re. this.

1. How long do you practice each day?

I tend to practice 1 hour on average


2. How many times per day do you practice?

I practice twice a day. Morning and evening.


3. On average how many times do you practice each piece before moving on to the next?

I practice about 2 or 3 times before moving on. I may or may not practice the whole piece depending on the length of the piece and how complicated it is. The exception to this practice of only about 3 times would be complicated measures which I would sort of memorize by practicing it over and over again till I 'got it'. My aim is really to get through most of the material of my core books in the 1 hour of practice.

4. When you finished learning a piece to you still depend on reading the piece line by line or just use reading as a sort of memory jog?

After I have 'learnt' a piece I tend to use the reading of a piece more as a memory jog. Thus I make sure i put finger placements on each note if it is not there and I think I would need it.

Please feel free to add questions and answers to this list.









I see that my 3rd question was a badly worded. It should be

On average how many times in each practice session do you practice each piece before moving on to the next piece?

I do practice the same piece every day till I have learnt it.






Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/17 11:13 PM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Hi Mario:
Happy New Year!
I practice 30-45 minutes per day Monday - Saturday. I mostly practice in the early morning before work. Rarely at other times. Practice involves Technique/Lesson (Faber), two new pieces I am learning, two developing pieces and one repertoire piece. About 10 minutes to each activity on alternate days.

I learn the entire piece. It takes a week or two on easier pieces to up to a month on more advanced pieces. Learned pieces are those I can play fairly well. Tempo may not be where it should but the notes, dynamics and over all playing are fairly smooth and with few errors. Most learned pieces are not advanced to developing pieces. A developing piece is one I am seriously considering adding to my repertoire and I worked to get the piece to performance level.

Once I have learned a piece it is largely memorized. I Usually have the sheet music open so I can follow along sort of like sight reading. I find it helpful to just follow along. I do the same some times while shoulder surfing my partners playing. I do however find it helpful to have nothing in front of me and simply play from memory. Some memorized pieces I even try to play with my eyes closed.

Hope this helps, Tim


Thanks Tim for your detailed answer. Yes it is very useful. I have a few questions for you.

1. I noticed you did not mention the theory book, is it because you think that the theory itself is adequately covered by the lesson and technique books?

2. You mentioned that you find it useful to follow along the sheet music while playing. In what way do you find it useful?

3. You mentioned you practice for 10 minute per piece. I am guessing it is because you want to cover all the pieces you planned to practice. This is the approach I use mainly because I don't want to depend to much on memory. But some people in my experience practice only 1 or 2 pieces over and over again because they believe that this repetitive practice would make learning and memorizing easier rather than playing for a short time each day and then forgetting to some extent as the memory is not fully consolidated and having to memorize again the next day. Is there any other reason for your practicing only 10 minutes per piece?
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/12/17 11:17 PM

Originally Posted by Birdgolf
Hi, I practice 1.5 hours a day broken up into two 45 min sessions. I can pass a piece off in 5 to 10 days on average. Once I learn a piece then the fun begins. So I constantly review my passed off stuff; I estimate it takes about 1/3 of my practice time. Happy playing !!! Birdgolf


Thanks for your answer Birdgolf. Very useful.
Why exactly do you constantly review your passed stuff (I am guessed from only the unit before). Is it because of the pure pleasure of playing a piece you know or is there some other reasons?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/17 01:16 AM

Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi,

I was just wondering how everyone practices. I have a set of questions re. this.

1. How long do you practice each day?

I tend to practice 1 hour on average


2. How many times per day do you practice?

I practice twice a day. Morning and evening.


3. On average how many times do you practice each piece before moving on to the next?

I practice about 2 or 3 times before moving on. I may or may not practice the whole piece depending on the length of the piece and how complicated it is. The exception to this practice of only about 3 times would be complicated measures which I would sort of memorize by practicing it over and over again till I 'got it'. My aim is really to get through most of the material of my core books in the 1 hour of practice.

4. When you finished learning a piece to you still depend on reading the piece line by line or just use reading as a sort of memory jog?

After I have 'learnt' a piece I tend to use the reading of a piece more as a memory jog. Thus I make sure i put finger placements on each note if it is not there and I think I would need it.

Please feel free to add questions and answers to this list.

Hi Mario;

1) 1-2 hours per day, sometimes more when I'm learning a piece for the first time.

2) Normally once per day except for lesson days.

3) Probably after 15-30 minutes I move on to the next practice piece. For the harder ones maybe a bit more than that.

4) As I get to the end of the learning process for a single piece memorization starts to take over and I don't have to actually read the pages of music. For harder pieces that sometimes requires reading the pages throughout.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/17 04:24 AM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by Mario2015
Hi,

I was just wondering how everyone practices. I have a set of questions re. this.

1. How long do you practice each day?

I tend to practice 1 hour on average


2. How many times per day do you practice?

I practice twice a day. Morning and evening.


3. On average how many times do you practice each piece before moving on to the next?

I practice about 2 or 3 times before moving on. I may or may not practice the whole piece depending on the length of the piece and how complicated it is. The exception to this practice of only about 3 times would be complicated measures which I would sort of memorize by practicing it over and over again till I 'got it'. My aim is really to get through most of the material of my core books in the 1 hour of practice.

4. When you finished learning a piece to you still depend on reading the piece line by line or just use reading as a sort of memory jog?

After I have 'learnt' a piece I tend to use the reading of a piece more as a memory jog. Thus I make sure i put finger placements on each note if it is not there and I think I would need it.

Please feel free to add questions and answers to this list.

Hi Mario;

1) 1-2 hours per day, sometimes more when I'm learning a piece for the first time.

2) Normally once per day except for lesson days.

3) Probably after 15-30 minutes I move on to the next practice piece. For the harder ones maybe a bit more than that.

4) As I get to the end of the learning process for a single piece memorization starts to take over and I don't have to actually read the pages of music. For harder pieces that sometimes requires reading the pages throughout.


Thanks Brian. Very useful.

Re. point 4 memorization...I have a few questions.
1. Do you find it easier to play from memory or from reading?
2. When reading do you follow note by note or just as a sort of thing to jog your memory?
3. When reading after you have memorized the piece do you sometimes lose track of where you are on the piece?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/17 12:36 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015

Thanks Brian. Very useful.

Re. point 4 memorization...I have a few questions.
1. Do you find it easier to play from memory or from reading?
2. When reading do you follow note by note or just as a sort of thing to jog your memory?
3. When reading after you have memorized the piece do you sometimes lose track of where you are on the piece?

1. I think I play a piece better when I read the music because I'm also seeing the dynamics, tempo changes etc. that really complete the piece. Learning the correct notes is really only the first step for me and my teacher.

2. It depends on where I am in a piece. I'm getting good at reading patterns, and in those places I read a whole block of notes at one time. For tricky passages, it is mostly note by note.

3. That does not seem to happen with me. It's more likely I'll lose my place while reading from the music sheet.
Posted By: Birdgolf

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/17 02:22 PM

Thanks for your answer Birdgolf. Very useful.
Why exactly do you constantly review your passed stuff (I am guessed from only the unit before). Is it because of the pure pleasure of playing a piece you know or is there some other reasons? [/quote]

Answer: Mostly from the unit before, but I also have a "keepers" list. It seems the physics is "use or loose" in piano playing/learning. The difficult thing, I find, is how far back in the book to go each session. Cheers, Birdgolf
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/13/17 05:23 PM

Mario:
Glad to help.

Currently I am using Faber Adult All in One book 2.

I find it useful to read along so I can watch the flow of the music. I've never played music before taking up piano and I love that I can now listen to or play a piece of music and see how the notes and symbols combine to create the beautiful sounds I hear or can now create. My music, while not perfect, certainly sounds like what is written on the sheet.

I basically have about 30 minutes per day to practice so I have divided it into 3 10 minute blocks. I keep track of my practice in a journal on a specially designed sheet. I typically have two new pieces, 1 or 2 developing pieces and 3 repertoire pieces that are reviewed once a week to keep them playable. The rest of the time is techniques. Currently techniques consist of RCM Level 1 technical material, sight reading practice and using Faber's book.

I have found that this gives me a variety of things that I am working on. I never find it boring. Practice is very focused. I don't even practice the same piece on consecutive days. I find I need to let the piece develop in my head. I will sing it or mimic the sounds, hum the tune, etc. To memorize, I practice measure by measure or phrase by phrase. It's easy to memorize one measure. Then learn the next one then combine the two. Now do the same with 3 & 4, then you have two, two measure blocks that you can now combine. Voila! You now have the first line done. Do the same with the second line. With the repetition of lines, most of the times there is really not that much to memorize. At this slow pace, it is easy to learn everything at once. Depending on the complexity of the piece, I either learn hands separate or hands together.

I hope this clarifies everything. If not, let me know.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/15/17 10:50 PM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Mario:
Glad to help.

Currently I am using Faber Adult All in One book 2.

I find it useful to read along so I can watch the flow of the music. I've never played music before taking up piano and I love that I can now listen to or play a piece of music and see how the notes and symbols combine to create the beautiful sounds I hear or can now create. My music, while not perfect, certainly sounds like what is written on the sheet.

I basically have about 30 minutes per day to practice so I have divided it into 3 10 minute blocks. I keep track of my practice in a journal on a specially designed sheet. I typically have two new pieces, 1 or 2 developing pieces and 3 repertoire pieces that are reviewed once a week to keep them playable. The rest of the time is techniques. Currently techniques consist of RCM Level 1 technical material, sight reading practice and using Faber's book.

I have found that this gives me a variety of things that I am working on. I never find it boring. Practice is very focused. I don't even practice the same piece on consecutive days. I find I need to let the piece develop in my head. I will sing it or mimic the sounds, hum the tune, etc. To memorize, I practice measure by measure or phrase by phrase. It's easy to memorize one measure. Then learn the next one then combine the two. Now do the same with 3 & 4, then you have two, two measure blocks that you can now combine. Voila! You now have the first line done. Do the same with the second line. With the repetition of lines, most of the times there is really not that much to memorize. At this slow pace, it is easy to learn everything at once. Depending on the complexity of the piece, I either learn hands separate or hands together.

I hope this clarifies everything. If not, let me know.


Hi Tim,

Thanks for the tip about how to memorize the piece. Very useful.

A good idea about letting the piece developing in your head. I often will look at YouTube videos of others playing the piece I am learning and just watch their finger and listen to the tune for note perfection as well as dynamics, etc. These steps trigger mirror neurons that fire in the same pattern as when you were actually play.

I read an interesting article about how sleep helps your practice, especially the first phase of non-REM sleep in the first cycle of sleep consolidates the memory of the finger movements while practicing during the day by repeating the pattern of neuronal activity over and over again. The article also gave tips on how to enhance this process of learning. One way is to put small strong smelling substance on when practicing and then before going to bed; the smell will help in stimulating the triggering of the patterns of neuronal activity of the finger movements. I have tried that by putting Vicks on my nose while practicing a complex piece and then before going to bed. It seems to have helped because I could then play the same piece the next day with relative ease (relative to if I had not put the Vicks on).
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/30/17 10:37 PM

Hi guys,

It is a bit quiet in here.

Here is an update...

Still stuck in the 2nd last unit of 3B (its been more than a month). Swing Low Sweet Chariot has now definitely lost its sweetness.....too many bloody inverted chords smile. Brian I remember you complaining about your difficulty with this tune.

I'll get there eventually.....I hope.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 01/31/17 02:44 AM

Hi Mario;

Yes, this was hard at first due to the many inversions, some I remember, with black keys? Keep at it, you will be fine.

Right now I'm kind of stuck at the end of Unit 1; too many minor nuances my teacher is being a sticker at. That will pass too I guess.

Hey, how's everyone else doing out there in Faber land? smile

Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/01/17 07:22 AM

I'm still out here, working on the last unit of the AAIO book 1, unit 16. There are a lot of pieces in this unit, and I haven't started many of them, so I suspect this one will take me some time. I'm not getting lots of time at the bench lately, but trying to be consistent with at least a little time every day. And I'm enjoying these pieces right now (units 14, 15 and the start of 16), so it's been a pleasure to get to it when time allows. I have to wonder if this is the calm before the storm! Meaning, perhaps this is to some extent review material, and I'm due for some tough stuff and another hill to climb soon! But let me finish unit 16 first smile
Posted By: tbonesays

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/01/17 09:25 AM

Dropping by to say that I like the Faber Adult Adventure so much. I am on the last chapter and did not ask my teacher but plainly told him I'll stick with the Fabers. Their best selling point is the wide variety of popular classics that they arranged for a novice. In particular I like their version of Trumpet Voluntary, that actually sounds like a derivative but distinct piece.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/01/17 01:10 PM

Great to hear from you folks. Keep up the good work!
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/02/17 05:06 PM

I haven't played for such a long time that I got anxiety about playing *anything* on the piano at all. Overcame that a bit (I hope) last night by opening up the pieces from the back of 2B and giving them a go. I remembered FAR more than I thought, playing bits that used to be incredibly hard right off the bat. I may not be where I was a year ago, but it's given me a bit of a confidence boost. Onwards!
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/07/17 11:40 PM

Originally Posted by TrevorM
I haven't played for such a long time that I got anxiety about playing *anything* on the piano at all. Overcame that a bit (I hope) last night by opening up the pieces from the back of 2B and giving them a go. I remembered FAR more than I thought, playing bits that used to be incredibly hard right off the bat. I may not be where I was a year ago, but it's given me a bit of a confidence boost. Onwards!


Good the hear Trevor that you are back tickling those old ivory keys again.

Yes I think acquiring piano skills is like learning to ride a bike; once you learn it you never really forget. I don't think it will take you long before you are back to your top form again.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/09/17 02:52 PM

Update: After two months I'm finally moving onto Unit 2 of the Level 5 books, which deals with intervals, especially "Perfect", "Major", and "Minor" intervals. There is only one piece each in the Lesson and Performance books, but 7 pages (!!) in the Theory book.

Hopefully within a month I'll move onto Unit 3, which is huge (Circle Of Fifths).

I've decided to focus solely on the Level 5 books for now, so that no later than the end of this year I'll be done with method books. We'll see...
Posted By: Richrf

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/11/17 09:43 PM

Hi,

I'm thinking of picking up Adult PA, and I have a couple of questions:

1) Does the current edition come with an online demonstration of all exercises and pieces? The nice thing about Alfred's is that I can find demos on YouTube, but can't find similar for PA.

2) I understand there is a new edition. Has anyone picked up PA on Amazon? If so, is it the new edition?

Thanks!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/11/17 11:35 PM

Here is all the information you will need:

https://pianoadventures.com/adult/
Posted By: Richrf

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/12/17 01:34 AM

Thank you.
Posted By: Richrf

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/12/17 01:40 AM

Thank you.
Posted By: mom3gram

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/12/17 01:53 PM

Here is a playlist of videos for the Piano Adventures Adult Book 1
on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeW-cELRAmSn7DZmgbLwp_9lAMoLrG0e7
Posted By: Sundew

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/12/17 04:39 PM

Originally Posted by mom3gram
Here is a playlist of videos for the Piano Adventures Adult Book 1
on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeW-cELRAmSn7DZmgbLwp_9lAMoLrG0e7



Thanks for the link Mom3gram.

I've just looked at the first video and if the rest are that good I sure wish they had been available when I first began. I've no doubt I plonked away at 'Raindrops' and thought hey that was pretty good lol. Great demo of arm weight and relaxed wrist. I'm going to work my way through them all. smile

I'm currently using the PA 3A books for sight reading and reviewing technique. I didn't bother with PA2 adult, so not sure what I might have missed with that but the videos will help. I have a 'need' to constantly go back and review, replay, see what I might have missed, apply what I have since learnt, be more musical if I can etc.


Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/12/17 10:45 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Update: After two months I'm finally moving onto Unit 2 of the Level 5 books, which deals with intervals, especially "Perfect", "Major", and "Minor" intervals. There is only one piece each in the Lesson and Performance books, but 7 pages (!!) in the Theory book.

Hopefully within a month I'll move onto Unit 3, which is huge (Circle Of Fifths).

I've decided to focus solely on the Level 5 books for now, so that no later than the end of this year I'll be done with method books. We'll see...


Wow Brian. You're making great strides. Congrats!!!
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/14/17 11:18 PM

Brian, Congratulations on advancing to level 5. I finally completed 2B today and am starting level 3. I continue to advance slowly but I keep telling myself it is not a race. Better to learn right.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/16/17 01:21 AM

Originally Posted by Bsw
Brian, Congratulations on advancing to level 5. I finally completed 2B today and am starting level 3. I continue to advance slowly but I keep telling myself it is not a race. Better to learn right.

Bsw you are doing great. Level 3 is beginning the transition out of early to mid-elementary and into late-elementary. Keep in mind that it took me over 3.5 years of daily practice with an excellent teacher to get me where I am. Remember, the Faber method builds skills upon skills, almost without noticing it.
Posted By: Bsw

Re: Faber Graduates - 02/16/17 01:49 PM

Brian, you are so right. I listen to what I am able to do now vs a year ago and am pleased. Having an excellent teacher is so important. One year with poor teacher and it took me a year to overcome bad habits.
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/04/17 11:29 PM

My latest update - I'm working on the very last piece in AAIO book one, which is the review piece, "The Carnival of Venice". I can play it without mistakes, but not consistently, and I'm still working on refining the dynamics. But I think very soon, I'll be able to move on from this book. I'm looking forward to graduating! I have been working on this last unit for over a month.

I've also started using Fundamental Keys as a supplemental source of material, and it's been fun too.

Posted By: tbonesays

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/05/17 01:24 AM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
My latest update - I'm working on the very last piece in AAIO book one, which is the review piece, "The Carnival of Venice". I can play it without mistakes, but not consistently, and I'm still working on refining the dynamics. But I think very soon, I'll be able to move on from this book. I'm looking forward to graduating! I have been working on this last unit for over a month.

I've also started using Fundamental Keys as a supplemental source of material, and it's been fun too.



I have been on that one for four weeks. The Fabers served us our first finger 3 cross overs while the other hand changes its intervals. As soon as I try to focus on the dynamics to bring out the crescendos, I lose the fingering.

Good luck, congrats on getting through the book.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/05/17 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
My latest update - I'm working on the very last piece in AAIO book one, which is the review piece, "The Carnival of Venice". I can play it without mistakes, but not consistently, and I'm still working on refining the dynamics. But I think very soon, I'll be able to move on from this book. I'm looking forward to graduating! I have been working on this last unit for over a month.

I've also started using Fundamental Keys as a supplemental source of material, and it's been fun too.


Sounds like great progress! Keep us informed as to your graduation from AAIO Book One.

Here was my own try at this from 18 months ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIXTd9uOmm8
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/05/17 05:53 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Update: After two months I'm finally moving onto Unit 2 of the Level 5 books, which deals with intervals, especially "Perfect", "Major", and "Minor" intervals. There is only one piece each in the Lesson and Performance books, but 7 pages (!!) in the Theory book.

Hopefully within a month I'll move onto Unit 3, which is huge (Circle Of Fifths).

I've decided to focus solely on the Level 5 books for now, so that no later than the end of this year I'll be done with method books. We'll see...

Well as last week's lesson we started Unit 3 which deals with the Circle Of Fifths. There is an exercise and Faber piece in the Lesson Book, as well as another Faber piece in the Performance book. I just completed this unit in the Teory book, which had five pages.

I'll be very curious to see how this unit goes in March. I have often worried about not being able to deal with key signatures with multiple sharps/flats. So far the Faber method has been good to me, so I'll report back later this month.
Posted By: pianoMom2006

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/06/17 04:23 PM

Well if you need help learning the order of your major sharps...here's my 10 year old's go at trying to remember them through mnemonic devices. He has equally interesting ones for flats/minor keys/notes that make up each key signature.

Great
Devourer
Ate
Elephants
Bathing
Fat # (Because it's fat you need the #)
Cats #

Of course playing them is way harder. smile. FWIW- He's still struggling through level 3A while learning to play simple OFs.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/06/17 06:19 PM

One thing that helps me to remember is the Circle of 5ths and Perfect 4ths. Starting at C the next sharp key is G, a perfect 5th UP (7 steps). We know that G has one #, F. The next key is a perfect 5th up from G, so that would be D Major. The next sharp? It's a perfect 4th DOWN (5 steps) from the previous sharp.

Flats work the opposite way. For example, a perfect 5th down from F major is the key of B flat. The next flat is E flat, a perfect 4th up from the previous flat (B flat in F major).

With that, you could go through all the keys. However, after a while, I think you just remember. The corresponding minor key for any major would be a minor 3rd down from the major. Respecting the same flats/sharps you have the natural minor. Raise the 7th (both ascending/descending) you have the harmonic minor. Raise the 6th and 7th ascending, and natural descending, you have the melodic minor.

I think this is right smile
Posted By: tbonesays

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/06/17 09:36 PM

It happened again. In Carnival of Venice my Piano Dr said I was articulating the RH which is mostly slurred. When I fixed that, the LH was completely out of sync. He said to just leave it be and proceed to Book 2.
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/11/17 08:34 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX

Sounds like great progress! Keep us informed as to your graduation from AAIO Book One.

Here was my own try at this from 18 months ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIXTd9uOmm8

That level 3 arrangement is much more ornamented than the level one! shocked Very pretty. Someday I hope to get there!

I was delayed by trying to get my recording setup together, but now I'm moving on to book two. Looks like it starts with a bunch of review (wait, didn't I just do that??), so I'll be working through that.
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/11/17 08:35 PM

Originally Posted by tbonesays
It happened again. In Carnival of Venice my Piano Dr said I was articulating the RH which is mostly slurred. When I fixed that, the LH was completely out of sync. He said to just leave it be and proceed to Book 2.

When I let my fingers just do their thing with that piece, it all worked, but the minute I started thinking about what they were doing, I'd fumble it! Thus, I had a hard time stopping and starting at random places. Probably would have worked better for me to do the approach of starting from the end. But yeah, it was kind of a tricksy thing...

Congratulations on your graduation from book 1!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/12/17 09:13 PM

After struggling with my current piece (Autumn Ballad) for a week, I took a step back and re-learned each hand separately, and then put the hands back together. Things are progressing much better now. I'll see how things go at tomorrow's lesson.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/25/17 10:09 PM

Checking back in. Started Unit 4 last week (2 octave arpeggios), moving ahead once more.

Hope to hear from you other Faber folks soon.
Posted By: NorwichTim

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/30/17 01:03 AM

Well I'll check in too. Started Unit 3 in AAiO2 - F Scale. So far I am having a great time with Faber. Some pieces I find very straight forward and others quite challenging. Getting Mockingbird to sound right was a challenge, so is Sloop John B but the Allegro in F is not much of a challenge at all.

This quarter I have found that some pieces are easy to comprehend but difficult for the fingers to execute. On the sheet, I have no trouble comprehending that the left hand plays 4 staccato quarter notes while the right plays legato 1/8 notes, but executing this feat is a real challenge even slowly. I'm sure this is common. Perhaps it is time for a few steps back to make more forward progress later on.

I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy there journey of learning to play the piano.
Posted By: ViennaAutumn

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/31/17 01:28 PM

I'm curious what repertoire people move to after they finish the faber series so I can get some more ideas for myself (self-study at the moment). Any graduates or near graduates care to share what classical pieces they have transitioned to after completing the later books in the series (3b/4/5)? Also, do you continue to study theory with more advanced books?
Posted By: dat77

Re: Faber Graduates - 03/31/17 06:13 PM

I am on the last unit of faber pa 5 books. I will be finishing soon. I have been thinking about this for a while. I have recently purchased classics for the developing pianist book 2. Edited by ingrid jacobson clarfield and Phyllis albert Lehrer. They do not come with cd's but you can most likely hear most pieces on youtube since they are common classical pieces.There are 5 books each a different level. Book 2 is intermediate level. I will probably start with bach prelude in c major bwv 939. I think I will also do jamey aebersold books. Fake book and jazz. My teacher will be putting some jazz theory in the lessons. Hope this helps.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/03/17 02:59 AM

Originally Posted by NorwichTim
Well I'll check in too. Started Unit 3 in AAiO2 - F Scale. So far I am having a great time with Faber. Some pieces I find very straight forward and others quite challenging. Getting Mockingbird to sound right was a challenge, so is Sloop John B but the Allegro in F is not much of a challenge at all.

This quarter I have found that some pieces are easy to comprehend but difficult for the fingers to execute. On the sheet, I have no trouble comprehending that the left hand plays 4 staccato quarter notes while the right plays legato 1/8 notes, but executing this feat is a real challenge even slowly. I'm sure this is common. Perhaps it is time for a few steps back to make more forward progress later on.

I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy there journey of learning to play the piano.

Well I sure am! Mockingbird is kind of a seminal piece in that once you learn master it, your skills advance a bit, even though you may not realize it at the time smile

Not sure I would step back. If you slow anything down enough you can learn most sequences. This is especially important in Level 5 , as the sequences are more difficult and the only way I can learn them properly is to start very very slowly and pick up the pace afterwards.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/03/17 03:04 AM

Originally Posted by ViennaAutumn
I'm curious what repertoire people move to after they finish the faber series so I can get some more ideas for myself (self-study at the moment). Any graduates or near graduates care to share what classical pieces they have transitioned to after completing the later books in the series (3b/4/5)? Also, do you continue to study theory with more advanced books?

I am more than half way done Level 5, having completed four of six units. For a while now I have supplemented these books with the Faber Developing Artist series (Books 2 and 3), as well as my own compositions.

Many of my teacher's adult students have long transitioned away from method books. She assured me just this past week that once I'm done these books, she is ready to move me into some new stuff. The day that comes will be very strange, as for almost 4 years and six levels of Faber books (500+ total pieces) this is all I've ever known.
Posted By: ViennaAutumn

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/04/17 03:14 PM

Thank you, BrianDX and dat77.

My problem has always been that I tend to bite off more than I can chew. The Faber books were good for limiting myself to shorter and more manageable assignments. My practice time is limited so I need to select pieces that I can polish to a reasonable degree in a few weeks rather than a few months. Right now I have a few weeks where I can practice but will soon be busy again. In the past, I've enjoyed learning some of the easier bach little preludes, such as bwv 939 and 933 as well as Burgmuller op. 100 (esp. the clear stream). I need to find more like this.
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 04/30/17 11:36 PM

Hi all,

Welcome VienaAutumn and Dat77.

It has been a long time. Just finished catching up with all the posts.

I am just a piece away from completing 3B (Pachelbel's Canon). That piece is taking me a bit of time but I am determined to record it played correctly if not quite so perfectly at least once. 3B has been a long struggle; it has taken me almost 1.5 years.

I still probably have a couple of years before finishing the Faber series. ViennaAutumn like you I am a self-learner but may graduate to a teacher and a better piano after I finish the series. I like the New Age ambient stuff so need to find a teacher who has that interest; probably an impossible task given that most teachers are more classical.

I have a question for you guys. When I start level 4 I am interested in videorecording myself playing using my iphone 7 (no headphone jack). My digital piano has usb midi output and headphone output. How does one record without having to do a any video editing like lining up the audio and video stream, etc. Or should I get a Go Pro or Garmin Virb? What's your experience?
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/01/17 01:26 PM

Good to hear from you Mario!

I've been on hiatus from PA for several weeks as I prepare my sonatina for public performance on May 14th.

Once I get back I'll be starting the second half of Level 5.

I', not sure about video recording on an iPhone so I can't help you there. IMHO Level 3B was the toughest, so it is no small achievement that you at the end. grin
Posted By: Mario2015

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/04/17 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by BrianDX
Good to hear from you Mario!

I've been on hiatus from PA for several weeks as I prepare my sonatina for public performance on May 14th.

Once I get back I'll be starting the second half of Level 5.

I', not sure about video recording on an iPhone so I can't help you there. IMHO Level 3B was the toughest, so it is no small achievement that you at the end. grin


Thanks Brian. Good to know that Level 3B is the hardest. My work input has not changed that much; just found it harder to master the pieces.

I will finally be starting Level 4 tomorrow.

You're making great strides. Wow.

I hope you continue to be here after you have finished.

Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/08/17 03:02 PM

Originally Posted by Mario2015

I hope you continue to be here after you have finished.

That is a very good question Mario! I plan to monitor this thread indefinitely after completing Level 5 late this year.

I can tell you that after finishing Level 3B I feel that I got my mojo together, and that has continued for the next year or so.

I'm beginning to feel very uneasy about completing these books though. For almost 4 years its all that I have known. Still trying to process this.
Posted By: PianoStudent88

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/08/17 03:21 PM

BrianDX, some thoughts on leaving method books: I think the biggest change, at least it was for me, and I think I share some of your affinities for organization and systems, is that once you get into repertoire there tends not to be a linear and/or explicit plan of "these are the skills you will learn from this piece, and this is the order you should learn them in." In addition, the pieces tend to get longer so you will likely be spending more time on each piece. And finally, there may be several new skills you need to learn for each piece, rather than just one.

Do I understand correctly that you're also learning pieces from the Faber Developing Artist repertoire series? That seems like a good way to bridge from method books to solely repertoire, because it assures you to start out with that the repertoire has been linked to your Faber level.
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/09/17 02:44 PM

Hi PianoStudent88!

Yes, I am also using the Faber Developing Artist Book 3 as a supplement, however I have decided to pause from this book until I finish Level 5. The reason for this is that I feel most of the pieces in that book are more advanced than the remaining pieces in Level 5.

I'm very confident that my teacher will help with this transition. It's more of a mind game with me, that is, no more of "I need to pass this piece to get to the next one" thoughts.
Posted By: TrevorM

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/09/17 03:28 PM

I'm not really following the Piano Adventures method at the moment, but I am dipping into the accompanying books. In particular, I've returned to learn Pure Imagination in the Level 4 Popular repertoire book. I've returned here to offer a little tip if you have an iPad: Check out the Piano Adventures iPad app!

It doesn't have much for the higher levels (the "Popular" book is the only one available at the moment from level 4), but it's been a fantastic boost to my learning. I wish it was available when I was working through the Adult All-in-One books.

Book packs are not cheap at face level but they're SO worth it. Each book pack has a free piece to try out. Anyway, enough gushing! There's a pretty good (long) intro here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoO0dcYOdag
Posted By: dancingfish

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/20/17 10:58 PM

I have been working slowly through unit 2 of Faber PA Adult book 2. I even found myself avoiding it and spending more time working on other things, such as Fundamental Keys pieces, and I think/know it is because section 2 focuses on pedal. I'm not used to using pedal much, if at all, so far. I never got to the stage where I learned it in my childhood lessons, and my tendency since coming back has been to avoid it and play as legato as I can without it. I know it is a useful tool/technique, and yet I couldn't get over the concern that if I used it, it might end up hiding flaws in my playing that I would no longer hear. And when I initially tried to use it, I wasn't very good at it and thus I didn't like how it sounded. Well, I've finally started working on the exercises in unit 2, and am determined that I will learn this skill and become better at it. It has helped a lot to watch the instructional video from Randall Faber on this technique. And so I'm moving forward again!
Posted By: BrianDX

Re: Faber Graduates - 05/22/17 01:00 AM

Originally Posted by dancingfish
I have been working slowly through unit 2 of Faber PA Adult book 2. I even found myself avoiding it and spending more time working on other things, such as Fundamental Keys pieces, and I think/know it is because section 2 focuses on pedal. I'm not used to using pedal much, if at all, so far. I never got to the stage where I learned it in my childhood lessons, and my tendency since coming back has been to avoid it and play as legato as I can without it. I know it is a use