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My instructor is not keen on Alfreds as a learning method but I do like some of the pieces in the books. currently on “ king of the mountain” and “jazz ostinato from book three - I enjoyed and still play several pieces from books one and two

Last edited by Wayne2467; 03/22/21 11:03 AM.
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meghdad, you might want to consider the Faber series? According to that video you linked (and other opinions I’ve read in the past), the Faber series is more “middle-of-the-road” and maybe just a little bit better for developing classical skills. I started with Faber and have since transitioned to RCM. There is a Faber thread in this forum too if you want to get additional thoughts on it.


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Originally Posted by Wayne2467
My instructor is not keen on Alfreds as a learning method

did the instructor give reason as to why?


02JAN2021: Alesis Recital Pro
22FEB2021: Roland LX705
Using flowkey, Alfred's All-in-1 L1, Faber & Sight-Reading Books
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Can’t remember the exact reasons. Il ask him on Wednesday when I have a lesson.
I think he feels they are a bit of a short cut method though.
I like quite a few pieces myself- I’ve earmarked quite a few from book three including Beethoven moonlight sonata

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I’ve asked my teacher about the same thing, whether it’s ok to start with Alfred if I want to eventually focus on classical music. She said it’s fine because Alfred still covers a lot of basic material that will be useful for classical music too. Also she
- lets me skip songs that she thinks do not teach new things
- supplement this process with other exercises and easy classical pieces

But if you’re learning on your own without a teacher, then Alfred might not be a perfect fit.

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On the last song of book 2, Canon in D by Pachelbel, but a watered down version.

Here is one thing I don’t like about the Alfred series — I wish they’d make it explicit when certain classical pieces are rearranged and simplified to suit the level. I got excited at the thought of learning Canon in D, except it sounded not quite like how I remembered it and I almost thought I played it wrong. frown

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I quite like that version of cannon inD- enjoyed learning it.

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Originally Posted by Yao
Here is one thing I don’t like about the Alfred series — I wish they’d make it explicit when certain classical pieces are rearranged and simplified to suit the level. I got excited at the thought of learning Canon in D, except it sounded not quite like how I remembered it and I almost thought I played it wrong. frown
I think that basically all classical pieces in books 1 and 2 are rearranged and simplified.


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Originally Posted by Yao
On the last song of book 2, Canon in D by Pachelbel, but a watered down version.

Here is one thing I don’t like about the Alfred series — I wish they’d make it explicit when certain classical pieces are rearranged and simplified to suit the level. I got excited at the thought of learning Canon in D, except it sounded not quite like how I remembered it and I almost thought I played it wrong. frown

I would expect everything to be simplified somewhat in beginner books. It gives you something that sounds good without the complexity.

Flowkey had a beginner ver. of over the rainbow, which sounded meh, but it sounded like the song at least. I learned it fast and then moved right to the intermediate version which sounds pretty good - it's the same version that's at the end of Alfred's Level 1 book which is a good bit away for me, I'm at pg 50 currently but I'm doing Alfred's, Faber, sight reading books/songs as well as flowkey.

Last edited by KJP_65; 03/24/21 08:01 AM.

02JAN2021: Alesis Recital Pro
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Originally Posted by Animisha
I think that basically all classical pieces in books 1 and 2 are rearranged and simplified.
There are exceptions eg Musette from BWV Anh 126 which is very simple to begin with. The book makes no distinction between something like that and their own arrangements. I understand that beginners aren’t at the level to attempt many pieces in original form, but it would be nice to know the difference.

Last edited by Yao; 03/24/21 09:27 AM.
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In book three I think Beethoven’s moonlight sonata is the real deal

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Thanx for creating this thread. I have enjoyed reading from it. It's great to know others are doing what I am and nice to talk about it a bit as we all take the journey.

I just got my Alfred's Adult A-I-O Book 1. Excited to start once my keyboard arrives on Thursday or so. I purchased the Casio PX-870 as a learning tool for the next 3 or so years. This is strictly due to a budget restraint, unfortunately. But it'll work for a short while.

After that I will have to get a hybrid as an upgrade for better action and to still be able to use headphones.

I took piano lessons way back in the 1970's. I used the same Alfred's book plus book 2 and a few lessons from book 3. I really got turned off by the review in the first 1/3 of book 2. I didn't realize I stopped (early in book 3) right when the songs would have gotten much more fun and challenging. I was just fed up. Wish I would have kept going. But I am excited to start again 40 some years later..."Tylenol...Ointment...I'm cold and tired!"...a bit older now, hee : )

I should be able to move relatively fast through books 1 + 2 up to where I left off, though I don't remember much any more (eek!).

After that it's Alfred's Masterwork Classics Book 3.

I intend to focus mostly on Classical. But I also like Baroque, Romantic era, Impressionist, Rock, Ragtime, Jazz, World, etc...

Looking forward to weighing in each week and also seeing how it's going for all of you as well. Super happy!

Stormbringer (the name of an intelligent magic sword from the Elric 6 book series)


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Working on Alfred's Adult AIO Book 2
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Finally got my Casio PX-870. I'm impressed with the sound and action for a $1k digital console.

I've read through the first 8 pages of Alfred's Adult AIO and still reading. I see some warm up exercises on page 12 and Ode To Joy on page 13, so getting close to playing notes from the book. Enjoying the process.

What is everyone else doing today in the book?

Stormbringer


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Congrats stormbringer (cool name!)! Today I’m still working on Canon in D, got my lesson tomorrow so hopefully I’ll be able to pass!

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Yao - Thanx. The Elric book series is excellent. If you like Lord Of The Rings, you'd love it.

Looks like you are in Book 2, page 140? How did the lesson go?

I'm now on page 54. I remember much of the theory. But my hands are old, stiff, and sore. I used to have a lot of dexterity and a nice, gentle touch. But now it's a big struggle physically. Not easy or graceful any more. Maybe it will come with time, I hope.

What is everyone else playing and how is it going? Any specific difficulties?

Stormbringer


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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1970's: Took piano lessons. 2021: This old man is giving it a 2nd go.
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Had my lesson but we worked on other things so we actually didn’t get to do Canon.

For dexterity and finger strength I’m supplementing the songs with some Czerny and Schmitt exercises. Ring finger in particular is very slow and stiff, but it’s getting better, slowly.

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Yao - Let me know how Canon goes when your teacher gets around to it. Great piece.

Yeah, my 4th and 5th fingers are alarmingly weak and stiff. I'm shocked. I really didn't expect that, but use it or lose it. I haven't played any instrument for over 10 years and it's been since the 1970's since I took piano. Like you, I've been looking at Czerny, Schmitt and other sources to help with that as well as to help the other fingers. I've also been looking at technique things on YouTube like Rolling Wrist playing.

So, I am moving through book 1 relatively fast, but with issues. Parts of the bass clef still freak me out. Weak, stiff fingers and wrists make good dynamics difficult. The song Blow The Man Down stopped me dead in my tracks. That one will take me a few days.

But I'm enjoying the process tremendously. I actually like doing the Alfred series the second time through to my surprise. I am enjoying relearning the theory, technique, and repertoire once again.

4/1/21 is when I started. It is 4/5/21 and I am on Book 1, P. 89. That's about 18 pages per day, but I imagine the rest of this book and the next 2 books will go much slower. I'm fine with that. Just a matter of when.

Keep up the good work.

Stormbringer


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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1970's: Took piano lessons. 2021: This old man is giving it a 2nd go.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Feel The Power>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Didn’t pass Canon. A problem/excuse is the song spans 4 pages, and no time to turn page really. So I was playing the first 2 pages from memory and then the next 2 from sheet, but I got nervous playing before my teacher so I messed up even when I had the song well memorized in my practice. frown

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Yao - Sorry it went that way. Does he only give you one chance and it's either pass or fail? No second chance in the same lesson? Would you be able to memorize the last two pages by next lesson? When you make a mistake in the future, maybe you can ask if you can start over again. Otherwise you'll feel unnecessary pressure. Best of luck next week. I understand feeling bad for a little while, but don't feel bad for long : ).

Isn't Canon the last song in Book 2? Will you continue on with Book 3 after Canon or do you have other plans?

I finally got past Blow The Man Down. I don't have it completely mastered, but every few tries I can play it through without a mistake. That's good enough for me. I already spent a few days on it and don't really care about it any more. I enjoyed learning the lessons for that song. Now I moved past it to Book 1 Page 90 - Lone Star Waltz, which is an enjoyable study in moving up and down in 6ths for the most part. I like the song.

Let me know how it goes,

Stormbringer


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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1970's: Took piano lessons. 2021: This old man is giving it a 2nd go.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Feel The Power>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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I only need to memorize two pages since it’s ok to play the next two from the book, so that was not why I didn’t pass. I got nervous so I stumbled a bit on the parts I played from memory. Usually if I make a mistake in the beginning I will start over, but this time because I was nervous the entire first two pages didn’t go well, so I didn’t ask for a second chance.

I will continue with book 3, probably just a selection instead of everything since there’ll be repetitive material. Also supplementing it with other pieces probably. So far I’ve done Prelude in C from Bach’s WTC, and a variation of Love Story theme song (the 1972 movie). Hope to expand my repertoire soon!

Stormbringer - are you playing anything outside the Alfred books?

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