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Romatic-ish era pieces for an adult beginner (Read 1794 times)

Offline seb1982

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Romatic-ish era pieces for an adult beginner
« on: September 19, 2013, 07:24:14 PM »
Hi everyone!

I'm quite new here, so hello first of all *waves*  ;D 

I'm currently changing my career to be a piano teacher.  I'm doing a teaching diploma, and I have a few pupils at the moment.

Something I'm finding rather challenging is finding interesting pieces for adult students to learn.  I have one student in particular who is 30, and about Grade 2-3 ABRSM standard.  As well as scales and exercises, I'm currently doing the first movement of the Moonlight with her, as she loves it, and a simple Mozart sonata.  To be honest, she's struggling a bit with both - I think I may be over-stretching her, but I refuse to believe the first movement of the Moonlight is beyond her - I suspect it's a "finding time to practise" issue...  :-\

The problem is, I don't really have an enormous knowledge yet of very simple pieces that adults rather than children might enjoy playing, particularly adults like this lady whose main love is Romantic era music. 

If anyone could suggest any suitable simple pieces, I would be forever in your debt!

Many thanks  :)

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Romatic-ish era pieces for an adult beginner
«Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 11:06:32 PM »
This is really hard...

Basically, she needs to learn how to play boring, easy, silly little pieces with great care and beauty.


there is no such thing as a simple Mozart sonata, and the first movement of Moonlight really isn't easy, either.

Are you any good at improvisation?

Offline seb1982

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Re: Romatic-ish era pieces for an adult beginner
«Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 11:57:32 PM »
Oh, gosh - I agree completely that there's no such thing as an "easy" Mozart sonata - I hope I didn't imply otherwise - I'm still not entirely happy with how I play any of them myself, to be honest!  I should probably clarify that I'm not doing a whole Mozart sonata with the poor lady - just the second movement of the K545 - I thought the simple Alberti bass with a beautiful melody might make a relatively easy piece she would enjoy in and of itself.

I think I need to impress on her that unless she's willing to put the work in, the kind of pieces she wants to play aren't going to magically come within her reach!

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Romatic-ish era pieces for an adult beginner
«Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 12:04:05 AM »
Yeah you have to figure out a way to do that in a friendly enough way that she'll stay interested and you won't lose a student.

It's really tough  ???
I don't have very much experience teaching adult beginners, I'm afraid.

Would she be open to improvisation?

Offline outin

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Re: Romatic-ish era pieces for an adult beginner
«Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 03:54:14 AM »
This is a problem for many adults. I've been bored with the repertoire that I should study to get to the level of playing something that really interests me. My teacher just let me have at least one piece (often a Scarlatti sonata) all the time that is a bit too difficult but that I really want to learn. For me it worked, I was able to stay motivated and the frustration of trying to play pieces that are too hard has gradually brought more sense to my head and I am occasionally more able to concentrate on simpler stuff and improving the quality of my playing them. It's a bit risky approach though, since it means there will be frustration and some will not last long, but quit instead...

I would encourage the adult students to look for suitable pieces themselves, explore and listen to early grade pieces played by good pianists, so they can hear the beauty in those simpler pieces as well. They might be surprised to see that great pianists have recorded pieces that are "only" grade 2-4 in ABRSM.

Offline classicalnhiphop

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Re: Romatic-ish era pieces for an adult beginner
«Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 01:44:40 PM »
la campanella