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Posted By: Mils Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 02:41 AM
I actually just contacted an in home teacher I found on fb. I got a quick reply, which is good but he uses the Schaum series. Has anybody ever worked with that and what are your thoughts?
I think I’m a little averse to teachers who use “series” because authors of every series emphasize something different and it implies being stuck on those books indefinitely, whatever they may contain. I hadn’t seen anybody mention them (Schaum books) in my other discussion.
Posted By: Roger Ransom Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 05:06 PM
When I was a beginning student I went through the entire Schaum series along with the Thompson series. This was in the 50s. I feel it was able to give me a good basis for all the playing I've done since then. I still have the books and have used them to successfully teach my Granddaughters who are doing well.

I like them.
Posted By: Roger Ransom Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 05:09 PM
When I was a beginning student I went through the entire Schaum series along with the Thompson series. This was in the 50s. I feel it was able to give me a good basis for all the playing I've done since then. I still have the books and have used them to successfully teach my Granddaughters who are doing well.

I like them.

Like everything else here, I'm certain you will find people who disagree.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 05:41 PM
As a child, my teacher used Schaum, Thompson and Michael Aaron
However, I don’t think Mils will find the included pieces any more fun than the books he has tried. As a kid, I just learned them—-one page at a time and never questioned whether they were fun or not.
Posted By: Emery Wang Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 06:30 PM
I also used Schaum and Thompson in the 70s when I was learning. I kind of wish my kid's teacher still used them, as they were great, and I like them better than the new stuff they use today. Today's books use too many additional things to make it entertaining for the kids. Just confuses and clutters things, if you ask me.
Posted By: ebonykawai Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 06:34 PM
I would ask if the teacher is open to using any the books that were recommended here. I don't understand why some teachers are so glued to these books, you would think they would have at least a little flexibility. It's not like they are being asked to teach Rachmaninoff!

I'm glad you were able to find someone, though! Keep looking, hopefully you will have a few teachers to pick from.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 06:49 PM
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I would ask if the teacher is open to using any the books that were recommended here. I don't understand why some teachers are so glued to these books, you would think they would have at least a little flexibility. It's not like they are being asked to teach Rachmaninoff!

I'm glad you were able to find someone, though! Keep looking, hopefully you will have a few teachers to pick from.


Go look at the index for Schaum, Thompson etc. and see if you consider the music more ‘fun’ than Alfred’s and Faber. If the choice is looking for what is more fun/less boring, I am not finding it. I don’t remember everything but there were such hits as ‘little brown jug’ and ‘top of old smokey’ You just learn what you need and move on... eventually you get to ‘fun’

I would recommend that any beginning pianist see the fun in improving so that he/she can reasonably play fun music.


Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 07:42 PM
Originally Posted by Mils
I actually just contacted an in home teacher I found on fb. I got a quick reply, which is good but he uses the Schaum series. Has anybody ever worked with that and what are your thoughts?

Avoid at all cost. Those books are horribly outdated and do not contain more recent developments in piano pedagogy. I grew up using those books in addition to three other series, and even at age 9 I was finding the Schaum books lackluster. The main problem with the Schaum books is that they simplified a lot of older music. I detest simplifications.

Originally Posted by Mils
I think I’m a little averse to teachers who use “series” because authors of every series emphasize something different and it implies being stuck on those books indefinitely, whatever they may contain.

That's also not true. I am attached to Alfred Premier series because it's by far the best method around and if I were to use anything else (maybe except for Piano Adventures or Hal Leonard), my students would not advance as quickly.
Posted By: ebonykawai Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 07:48 PM
Who's talking about fun? I think it's more about wanting to avoid folk music, which is not to everyone's taste. I myself don't play because it's 'fun', I play because of the music I love and want to express. If there was only folk music to choose from in this world, lol, I'd have never played an instrument. 😂😂😂

Luckily we have choices.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 08:04 PM
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
If there was only folk music to choose from in this world, lol, I'd have never played an instrument. 😂😂😂

I wonder how many piano students have had to suffer through London Bridge, Oh Susanna, and Camptown Races? Not me though, I had a few of those in Piano Marvel, but then my teacher used a method book which was remarkably free of those named folk tunes. There were a bunch included but mostly in parts of each unit which were for learning chord accompaniments to melodies.

BTW, this is the book. I didn't really like it, but others might feel differently. My sense is that this book can only be used with a teacher. I think it would be tough to self teach with this.
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/23/19 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I wonder how many piano students have had to suffer through London Bridge, Oh Susanna, and Camptown Races?

Actually, those are the pieces I enjoy teaching the most, because they don't teach that in schools anymore. Part of my job as a piano teacher is to complete the incomplete education of students.

Another problem with the Schaum books is that the pedagogy is completely random. Non-sequential. Haphazard. If they bother to introduce a new skill, it is not repeated enough times for mastery.
Posted By: ebonykawai Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 12:21 AM
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I wonder how many piano students have had to suffer through London Bridge, Oh Susanna, and Camptown Races?

Actually, those are the pieces I enjoy teaching the most, because they don't teach that in schools anymore. Part of my job as a piano teacher is to complete the incomplete education of students.

Another problem with the Schaum books is that the pedagogy is completely random. Non-sequential. Haphazard. If they bother to introduce a new skill, it is not repeated enough times for mastery.


I'm glad you mentioned Alfred Premier, I'd forgotten about that and I've heard a LOT of good reviews!
Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 12:54 AM
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I'm glad you mentioned Alfred Premier, I'd forgotten about that and I've heard a LOT of good reviews!

Yes, the entire series (up to book 6!!!!) is fantastic. However, I have gotten transfer students who used those books with the previous teacher and STILL cannot read notes.

Just because a "teacher" is using Alfred Premier does NOT guarantee teaching is going on. One of these students is damaged beyond fixing, so we have to start over from scratch.
Posted By: TwoSnowflakes Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 11:36 AM
My son just started lessons at a very well-respected Russian music school and I had to buy the Schaum book. She jumps around and mostly focuses on building technique with her own eye but she definitely uses the books for the early pieces and note reading.

Like anything else, it’s how a teacher uses a book or method.

I grew up on Thompson which I know now has fallen out of favor but I suppose it worked fine. After grade 5, or whatever it was, I was on to regular scores of Chopin waltzes, Beethoven sonatas, Mozart Sonatas etc. It was only the first few years anyway.
Posted By: LarryK Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 12:37 PM
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
My son just started lessons at a very well-respected Russian music school and I had to buy the Schaum book. She jumps around and mostly focuses on building technique with her own eye but she definitely uses the books for the early pieces and note reading.

Like anything else, it’s how a teacher uses a book or method.

I grew up on Thompson which I know now has fallen out of favor but I suppose it worked fine. After grade 5, or whatever it was, I was on to regular scores of Chopin waltzes, Beethoven sonatas, Mozart Sonatas etc. It was only the first few years anyway.


I just started lessons with a Russian teacher and she has me working on finger exercises from this Schaum book:

Fingerpower  - Level 2: Effective Technic for All Piano Methods (Schaum Publications Fingerpower(R)) by Amazon.com

Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936098172/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_wQzSDb1CB44RP

She describes it as Baby Hanon.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 01:48 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK
I just started lessons with a Russian teacher and she has me working on finger exercises from this Schaum book:

Fingerpower  - Level 2: Effective Technic for All Piano Methods (Schaum Publications Fingerpower(R)) by Amazon.com

Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936098172/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_wQzSDb1CB44RP

She describes it as Baby Hanon.

There's a Junior Hanon too which is Hanon stripped down. Maybe that will be next for you smile
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 01:58 PM
My girlfriend recently started lessons with Faber Adult and I've had the luxury of listening to Camptown Races the past week smile
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 02:08 PM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
My girlfriend recently started lessons with Faber Adult and I've had the luxury of listening to Camptown Races the past week smile

Now that's love for you... wink
Posted By: LarryK Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
I just started lessons with a Russian teacher and she has me working on finger exercises from this Schaum book:

Fingerpower  - Level 2: Effective Technic for All Piano Methods (Schaum Publications Fingerpower(R)) by Amazon.com

Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936098172/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_wQzSDb1CB44RP

She describes it as Baby Hanon.

There's a Junior Hanon too which is Hanon stripped down. Maybe that will be next for you smile


Onward and upward. I trust that my teacher will be able to chart my path.
Posted By: Jytte Re: Has anybody used Schaum series? - 10/24/19 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by LarryK

I just started lessons with a Russian teacher and she has me working on finger exercises from this Schaum book:

Fingerpower  - Level 2: Effective Technic for All Piano Methods (Schaum Publications Fingerpower(R)) by Amazon.com

Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936098172/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_wQzSDb1CB44RP

She describes it as Baby Hanon.


I just checked, and they have those (in English thankfully) on Amazon here in Germany too. You also have the option of a 'peek inside', which is great. So had a look at the first pages, and they seem like they might also be good for 'read and play' practicing. Two birds with one stone smile Something to consider.
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