\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Looking for the best piano method (Well...) (Read 8847 times)

Offline jgendron

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 13
Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
« on: October 23, 2012, 01:04:24 AM »
Hi everyone,
There's plenty of piano methods, but I am still not really satisfied with what I read and see. I'm planning on giving my first private courses to begginers (kids) or higher, and I've been looking for a great method for weeks now. I know, there's no "best method", but I want something that is easy and fun for children, but also easy for a teacher who has no real experience with teaching. I've seen "Step by step piano course" by Edna Mae Burnam and it looks pretty fun and easy to teach, but is there another method that might be better?

Also, how do you build your course with a new student ? What do you do at first, what do you teach ? Do you see something else besides the lessons of the book ? If yes, what ? Any book for exercise ? Is it a good idea to mix different methods ? I heard of "The ABC of piano" by Boris Berlin, I think. What about this one ?

Perhaps I should create my own exercises ?

I know that I got a lot of questions :) Thank you for your help, and I appologize in advance for my potential mistakes of english, I am French.

J.

Offline 49410enrique

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3542
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 10:32:28 AM »
how about the hummel piano method. he wrote a pretty extensive and imho awesome full book of instruction.

german:
http://imslp.org/wiki/Ausf%C3%BChrliche_theoretisch-practische_Anweisung_zum_Piano-Forte-Spiel_(Hummel,_Johann_Nepomuk)

if you are really interested and need help translating it, let me know via pm, i'll see if i can help (i don't know german but i might be able to find a way to translate it or point you in the right direction or some other work around)

mmmm 475 pages or so of piano goodness. i think this supplemented with bach is tough to beat. better than any 'modern' method i've come across.

maybe with something like first lessons in bach or the anna magdalena notebook and other small/simpler pieces

http://imslp.org/wiki/Ausf%C3%BChrliche_theoretisch-practische_Anweisung_zum_Piano-Forte-Spiel_(Hummel,_Johann_Nepomuk)

Offline 49410enrique

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3542
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 10:37:35 AM »
how about the hummel piano method. he wrote a pretty extensive and imho awesome full book of instruction.

german:
http://imslp.org/wiki/Ausf%C3%BChrliche_theoretisch-practische_Anweisung_zum_Piano-Forte-Spiel_(Hummel,_Johann_Nepomuk)

if you are really interested and need help translating it, let me know via pm, i'll see if i can help (i don't know german but i might be able to find a way to translate it or point you in the right direction or some other work around)

mmmm 475 pages or so of piano goodness. i think this supplemented with bach is tough to beat. better than any 'modern' method i've come across.

maybe with something like first lessons in bach or the anna magdalena notebook and other small/simpler pieces

http://imslp.org/wiki/Ausf%C3%BChrliche_theoretisch-practische_Anweisung_zum_Piano-Forte-Spiel_(Hummel,_Johann_Nepomuk)
ps clementi did some great stuff too!
http://imslp.org/wiki/Introduction_to_the_Art_of_Playing_the_Pianoforte,_Op.42_(Clementi,_Muzio)

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8212
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 05:41:51 PM »
how about the hummel piano method. he wrote a pretty extensive and imho awesome full book of instruction.

german:
http://imslp.org/wiki/Ausf%C3%BChrliche_theoretisch-practische_Anweisung_zum_Piano-Forte-Spiel_(Hummel,_Johann_Nepomuk)


mmmm 475 pages or so of piano goodness. i think this supplemented with bach is tough to beat. better than any 'modern' method i've come across.


Now wouldn't that be interesting? Someone giving this to the student instead of the method books with nice drawings and "cute" pieces...I read some of the instructions of the first chapters, pretty sound advice, but the language could be more modern and the exercises soon got a bit intimidating...On the other hand if I would go through this I could probably start one of those sonatas :)

Since this is out of copyright, why don't you start making a new revised version in English?  ;)

Offline 49410enrique

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3542
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 07:54:08 PM »
Now wouldn't that be interesting? Someone giving this to the student instead of the method books with nice drawings and "cute" pieces...I read some of the instructions of the first chapters, pretty sound advice, but the language could be more modern and the exercises soon got a bit intimidating...On the other hand if I would go through this I could probably start one of those sonatas :)

Since this is out of copyright, why don't you start making a new revised version in English?  ;)
i have the english translation but i do not know if it is protected by copyright (my first hunch is that it is not? but might be protected and out of print at the same time)  and to my knowledge it is not really 'out there' on the interwebs (it might be? but prolly stays a bit hidden). i did not post/upload to a host as the scan is not my own work so I would need to get permission from the pianist/archiver and one who put in what was definately a considerable amount of work to preserve an increasingly rare and hard to find important work to upload it and share myself.

from what i read (music and text wise) in the english version. it all seems very sound and logical, and though the rate of advancement might seem steep by today's standard, i think it's that very expectation and push of the 'beginner' (assuming ther is some natural talent there coupeld with strong motivation) that can really set them up for success in the the 'non primary' i.e. less simplified purely pedagogy works.


Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8212
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 04:03:11 AM »


from what i read (music and text wise) in the english version. it all seems very sound and logical, and though the rate of advancement might seem steep by today's standard, i think it's that very expectation and push of the 'beginner' (assuming ther is some natural talent there coupeld with strong motivation) that can really set them up for success in the the 'non primary' i.e. less simplified purely pedagogy works.

I think working through it with a teacher in a suitable pace something like this could actually work well to those who can benefit from using a method book (learning things in a logical order). And there are also quite a few nice study pieces included. The exercises themselves are probably not so bad, they just feel that way because of the amount of notes printed on the page.

Offline 49410enrique

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3542
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 11:43:32 AM »
I think working through it with a teacher in a suitable pace something like this could actually work well to those who can benefit from using a method book (learning things in a logical order). And there are also quite a few nice study pieces included. The exercises themselves are probably not so bad, they just feel that way because of the amount of notes printed on the page.
my thoughts too. i would simply add bach to the mix as early and often as possible and supplement with standard technique patterns (ala the macfarren manual). i would push for lots of appropriate sight reading (hymns, and polyphonic style writing) and basic improvistion coupled to the 'theory'.

i think that and some selective suggestion of appropriate later pieces to the classical and baroque mix in romantic, impressionist, post romantic and modern for things like recitals and and studio performances would form a pretty solid foundation. actually if/when i start teaching or have my own students/studio i would strongly lean thin this direction or approach. i firmly believe i would be much stronger in my playing in many ways had my first years gone this route vs the use of a 'modern' method which i think left some very big gaps in my foundations that to this day i am still working to 'back fill'. ::)

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8212
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 12:52:34 PM »
my thoughts too. i would simply add bach to the mix as early and often as possible and supplement with standard technique patterns (ala the macfarren manual). i would push for lots of appropriate sight reading (hymns, and polyphonic style writing) and basic improvistion coupled to the 'theory'.

i think that and some selective suggestion of appropriate later pieces to the classical and baroque mix in romantic, impressionist, post romantic and modern for things like recitals and and studio performances woudl form a pretty solid foundation. actually if/when i start teaching or have my own students/studio i would strongly lean thin this direction or approach. i firmly believe i would be much stronger in my playing in many ways had my first years gone this route vs the use of a 'modern' method which i think left some very big gaps in my foundations that to this day i am still working to 'back fill'. ::)

I was just going to ask you if you have considered teaching, because you seem to have the right personality :)

Then again, if you happen to stumble on adult students as difficult and stubborn as me, you might just have to settle for less variety... No matter how much I decide and want to learn the classical era pieces as well, I simply don't seem to be able to concentrate on playing/practicing pieces that I don't like. And I am afraid it's the same for Bach :(

Offline 49410enrique

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3542
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 01:04:52 PM »
I was just going to ask you if you have considered teaching, because you seem to have the right personality :)

Then again, if you happen to stumble on adult students as difficult and stubborn as me, you might just have to settle for less variety... No matter how much I decide and want to learn the classical era pieces as well, I simply don't seem to be able to concentrate on playing/practicing pieces that I don't like. And I am afraid it's the same for Bach :(

who knows, maby some time in the not so near future..i really don't think about it much, will see if the true desire and perhaps even 'need' to arises, will entertain more. still my focus is just on being a 'student' for as long as possible, for the 'rest of my life' i figure the more i improve, the more i learn, the more i perform, the better i would be able to offer guidance and feddback should anyone be unfortunate enough to have me as their 'teacher' someday lol ;D

Offline ajspiano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3392
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 12:39:47 AM »
Hi everyone,
There's plenty of piano methods, but I am still not really satisfied with what I read and see. I'm planning on giving my first private courses to begginers (kids) or higher, and I've been looking for a great method for weeks now. I know, there's no "best method", but I want something that is easy and fun for children, but also easy for a teacher who has no real experience with teaching.

My best suggestion is to try them, and do some personal analysis. The book/method doesn't define the students success - how you personally teach will.

And, some books will be appropriate for some students but not others. Piano lessons are done one on one because an individualized approach works best. Deal with the students specific needs, rather than hoping that the presentation of a method book will match their needs.

If you find the books unsatisfying, make your own one. Of course, that is a fairly steep learning curve and not something I'd suggest as a begining teacher..   I'm also going to go ahead and recommend the "artistry for the piano" series.. because they seem to be prettttty good.

http://www.artistryalliance.net/international_source.html

Offline danhuyle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #10 on: October 25, 2012, 04:59:33 AM »
The end goal for playing piano is to play like the great pianists like Horowtiz, Richter etc.

How you teach matters more than how you play? In the case of teaching people a method.

Your piano method is to get a student from where they are to where they want to be. It has nothing to do with your qualifications. As long as you know what you're talking about, and the student(s) got what they came for, you've done your part.

It's got nothing to do with how YOU play? It's all about the student and helping them achieve the outcome they came to you for.

Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8212
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #11 on: October 25, 2012, 05:04:23 AM »
The end goal for playing piano is to play like the great pianists like Horowtiz, Richter etc.



Is it really? How sad... I would hope the end goal is to play the piano with perfect tehcnique in your own individual way and with your own individual interpretation...

Offline ajspiano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3392
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #12 on: October 25, 2012, 05:11:21 AM »
The end goal for playing piano is to play like the great pianists like Horowtiz, Richter etc.

No its not.

Treating students in such a way would probably result in 95% of them quitting. Most people begin with either zero, or very little comprehension of what is possible.. and they are often far too young  and inexperienced to even begin to appreciate what such a statement even means. Lots of times they can not answer the question "what do you want to learn", or their musical aspirations are far more in the pop/modern arena than the classical one.

Horowitz was awesome, but there is WAY more to music than that aim.

...

I think that OP means "method" as in a beginner book, such as bastien, faber etc. EARLY elementary lessons and repertoire that teach basics like how to read, and what the names of the keys are. Its a completely separate concept to "method" as in how exactly to teach it lesson to lesson.

Offline mgladde

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 4
Re: Looking for the best piano method (Well...)
«Reply #13 on: July 19, 2013, 11:37:00 PM »
Obviously not every student is looking to play like Horowitz.  Some will progress fast, and others at a moderate pace.  In my opinion a good approach is to use a method as a base, and then add supplemental pieces for the ones that need more of a challenge.  Then you can introduce the Hummel, Clementi, Bach menuets, etc. 

Of course there are the Bastien, Alfred, and Faber Books.  But one method that gets a lot of praise from piano pedagogues is The Music Tree, by Frances Clark.  Found here:

http://www.methodbooks.com/store/FrancesClark/index.htm

Then when a student needs supplemental material, piano literature books works well:

http://www.methodbooks.com/store/classical/studentclassical.htm

This approach is basically what I do with my students.  Each student will move at their own pace, and no, not all of them should someday play like Horowitz.  But for those who excel fast, by all means throw challenging pieces at them.