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Beginner course recommendations


J. Dan

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I finally decided to learn theory. Just joking.

 

My daughter is 6-1/2 and while I've taught her a little, I'd like to take a more structured approach. At this point, if I send her to a teacher, it would likely be guitar because she shows more interest, but i'd still like to teach her piano. Given that she has dance classes 2 nights a week, soccer, and I only have custody a few nights a week, a strict regimen is unfortunately going to be difficult to achieve. But I figure a few days a week of exposure can't hurt, I jus want it to be structured.

 

So, what would you guys recommend in terms of books or any particular courses to follow for a kid that age just beginning? So far I've just been getting her familiar with the keyboard and trying to work on her dexterity and finger independence. Position at middle C and play 5 finger C scales up and down with each hand and both, focusing on posture and hand position. But I really don't remember what books I used or exactly how things progressed at that age. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I'm probably hopelessly old school, but I've been teaching my son with the same books with which I was taught: John Thompson, John Schaum, Michael Aaron, and Leila Fletcher.

 

Thompson and Schaum sound very familiar - I think those were the ones I had when I learned...in fact I'm sure of it.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Look into the Faber books - they have songs in them that a youngster that age will like better than the Thompson and other older series. Tested on my grand-daughter (who will soon be 14, but started piano at 8.

 

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I've taught that age and currently have two six-seven year olds coming weekly.

 

There's lots of good stuff to choose from. My current favourite is Pauline Hall's set of books.

 

One that's genuinely different and a bit of a laugh - Joanna MacGregor's Piano World. She came and did a gig for the students at a place I taught in years ago. Was putting the book together then. It's fun, there's a CD and a story - and it ain't like anything else I've used.

 

The first three Pauline Hall books would still be my suggestion.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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A "different variant" of the same question, except geared towards an adult.

 

I got a call yesterday from a friend of mine who's husband is a semi pro musician (accordion player in a variety band that specializes in german ethnic music).

 

She asked me what are some resources for an adult who is a self taught pianist, reads music, chord charts, but has a strong right hand and weak left hand, from being primarily an accordion player first and then learned piano/keyboards by himself along the way. He's got good reading, theory and improvisational skills, but has a really terrible left hand and really has no clue about proper LH voicing, fingering, et al.

 

Aside from my first advice which was to recommend a good piano teacher that has experience with adult students, I really haven't a clue as to what kind of piano course books to recommend to her for this situation.

 

Obviously something geared towards an 8 year old musical neophyte won't be right for him.

 

Anyone know of a piano course for adult musicians, that want learn the piano?

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... She asked me what are some resources for an adult who is a self taught pianist, reads music, chord charts, but has a strong right hand and weak left hand, from being primarily an accordion player first and then learned piano/keyboards by himself along the way. He's got good reading, theory and improvisational skills, but has a really terrible left hand and really has no clue about proper LH voicing, fingering, et al. ...

Interesting problem. His weak left hand and LH voicing issues are probably coupled with weak bass clef reading. However, he probably already has a well-developed idea of the type(s) of music and/or songs that he wants to play and what they should sound like.

 

I'd be tempted to skip method books completely and go to books of songs in the genre of his choosing, arranged for piano, grand staff. They're going to have relatively easy left hand parts (we're not talking Revolutionary Etude here) because they're written for the masses. He improves his left hand and his bass clef reading, while at the same time picking up songs that he may be able to put into the line-up.

 

Larry.

 

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I've taught my daughter since she 5, and she's turning 8 soon. I like the Faber books too. Try to get the CD's or make your own audio recording of the songs she's learning. Hopefully she can listen to them when she's with her mom.

 

Try to dedicate some time to developing aural skills. Most traditional teachers completely neglect this area, but I think having a good ear is important.

 

Most all, try to make your sessions enjoyable. Try to incorporate some games/play. It should be a nurturing/loving experience.

 

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Interesting problem. His weak left hand and LH voicing issues are probably coupled with weak bass clef reading.

 

I don't think his bass clef reading is the root cause as much as him never having had to form chords with his left hand from playing the stradella (oom pah style bass) accordion in the first place.

 

We as keyboardists take for granted the ability to grab a fist full of chords with our left hand and smoothly roll through chord changes, but someone who has only played a bass root and a button to play a major, minor, dominant 7th and diminished chord, simply doesn't know what to do, or how to voice the chord.

 

I've seen him play keyboard and he plays everything in 1st inversion, and never uses a rootless voice or chord fragment.

 

He also has some dexterity issues with the LH, so I also think some basic scale work wouldn't hurt him either.

 

I think your suggestion of easy piano arrangements of some of his favorite songs is a good one, but also think that maybe Faber x2 or Alfred for Adults wouldn't hurt either.

 

I'll pass both of those along!

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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Meisenhower, you're coming up on your 1000th post! Make it count!

 

Too late!! *laughs*

 

I can't think of a better 1000th post, than trying to get information to help another musician friend out! That is the spirit of this forum and I've very pleased to be a part of it.

 

KC and it's esteemed members . . . thanks for being here!

 

 

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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