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Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!! (Read 1587 times)

Offline sarahord

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Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
« on: March 08, 2016, 01:33:52 AM »
Hello!

I've been teaching for a few months and I have a very bored, very unmotivated student. He has finished Book 3B and started Book 4 in Faber and Faber's Piano Adventure's but he seems very disinterested in the pieces. I'm starting to transition him out of the books and into other pieces, such as Martha Muir and Dennis Alexander pieces.

I'm looking for suggestions that would be at his level and help push him, but not too much. He really enjoys fast pieces, especially pieces where the right hand plays a lot of runs while the left hand plays chords. If a piece is just a little too difficult for him, he won't practice it. I'm pretty stuck on what to do!

Please help!

Thanks! (I totally posted this on the wrong forum, so sorry for the repost!)

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 03:12:56 AM »
I'd start him with some actual repertoire if it were me. There are numerous things you can use, such as Bach's Anna Magdalena Notebook and Burgmuller's 100 studies.
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Offline musiclessonsanywhere

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 12:20:06 PM »
Just a quick idea, try some improvisation based around the 12 bar blues or composing, slogging away at course books isn't for every student, nice to throw in an other activity once in a while to get the creative juices flowing  :)

Offline musiclessonsanywhere

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 12:23:07 PM »
Another idea, it sounds like he would like to play a few Tarantellas which would keep his right hand busy  ;) he could try and compose his own.

Offline sarahord

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 09:36:57 PM »
Another idea, it sounds like he would like to play a few Tarantellas which would keep his right hand busy  ;) he could try and compose his own.

Do you have any Tarantella suggestions that would be around his level? He's around Level 3 as per Jane MaGrath's Pianist Guide. I thought about Burgmuller, but that might be a little too difficult.

Offline sarahord

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 09:38:19 PM »
I'd start him with some actual repertoire if it were me. There are numerous things you can use, such as Bach's Anna Magdalena Notebook and Burgmuller's 100 studies.

Thanks! I think I'll probably start him working up to Burgmuller's studies with Kabalevsky's Album!

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 02:12:27 AM »

if he is a gamer get arrangements of gamer music man they go after that stuff like gangbusters--there are simplified versions.


 This on below is immensely popular with students, too.  It may be tough at first but if he's motivated he will work it out.



you can also have him surf around and find something he wants to learn... teach him to improvise or read a leadsheet.

it's tough when you are a new teacher...  you are not bound by faber and faber...or Alfred, or Bastien... the idea is to keep them coming to their lessons... that takes precedence over what he plays.  If you are working in a studio they will track your drop rate... if it's too high... you are done.  Play music games, teach him theory, find out what he wants to play...

you are not forming concert pianists.. take it one day at a time.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #7 on: March 09, 2016, 02:32:55 PM »
If you want video game music, look no further than ninsheetmusic.org. It's the largest online archive of VGM music on the internet worldwide, with several thousand sheets on there.
I happen to be an arranger there, I would know ;D
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Offline dcstudio

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #8 on: March 09, 2016, 02:53:40 PM »
.
I happen to be an arranger there, I would know ;D


cool :) 

Offline sarahord

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #9 on: March 09, 2016, 06:51:56 PM »
If you want video game music, look no further than ninsheetmusic.org. It's the largest online archive of VGM music on the internet worldwide, with several thousand sheets on there.
I happen to be an arranger there, I would know ;D

THANK YOU!

Offline sarahord

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 06:53:55 PM »
if he is a gamer get arrangements of gamer music man they go after that stuff like gangbusters--there are simplified versions.


 This on below is immensely popular with students, too.  It may be tough at first but if he's motivated he will work it out.



you can also have him surf around and find something he wants to learn... teach him to improvise or read a leadsheet.

it's tough when you are a new teacher...  you are not bound by faber and faber...or Alfred, or Bastien... the idea is to keep them coming to their lessons... that takes precedence over what he plays.  If you are working in a studio they will track your drop rate... if it's too high... you are done.  Play music games, teach him theory, find out what he wants to play...

you are not forming concert pianists.. take it one day at a time.

Thanks for the suggestions! Luckily, I'm not at a studio, I'm just teaching out of my home. But his mom is... A little high maintenance and she's practically forcing this poor kid to take lessons (even though he obviously hates it) so I'm trying to find a way to make it more enjoyable. Do you have any suggestions for music games? I've never really done any!

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 08:13:28 PM »
his mom is... A little high maintenance

if you are new at this you are probably a little shy in standing up for yourself... she does not own your time and do not let her steal it from you.  Geez I used to let them walk all over me.   They have far more respect for you if you lay down the law and make them follow it.

as for games... there are too many to list--if you can use your computer or tablet during lessons there are billions of websites with interactive theory games, note reading, music history,  ear training --everything--and there are tons that are free to use.  You can also play ear training games at the piano--teach him to recognize intervals, major from minor, that kind of thing.

usually it's not that they hate the piano so much it's that they are just sick of their overbearing mother...lol.  They rebel at lessons because they can... his goal is to waste your time and get back to playing Halo ASAP.    These kids are hard to reach but not impossible... usually if you let them know you are on their side somehow and they see you are sincerely making an effort they will come around.   Maybe you don't tell his mother  one week when he doesn't practice... or maybe you talk him up to her a little bit so she stops riding his arse.  lol  if he thinks it's the two of you and she's on the outside... he will be far more interested in the piano.  Don't know if he will play it well... but at least he will stop fighting you every step of the way.  if she sits in the room during his lesson--get her the hell out of there!! lol

oh my friend, how I know your pain...lol.

Offline jgallag

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #12 on: March 27, 2016, 11:22:55 PM »
What Martha Mier and Dennis Alexander books are you using?

For getting into the classics, I would go to:
Classics for the Developing Pianist eds. Clarfield/Lehrer
Keys to Artistic Performance eds. Clarfield/Alexander
Keys to Stylistic Mastery eds. Clarfield/Alexander

Classics for the Developing Pianist has a new study guide to accompany books one and two. Books three through five are on the way.

I have a student who's enjoying Robert Vandall's Virtuosic Piano Solos. There's also Supplementary Solos (Book 2 at your student's level) from the Frances Clark library.

For future reference, you want to shoot for being out of the method books by the end of 2B, if not before. Also, spend some time finding ways to relate the music to his life, or bring it alive for him. Video game music is good, but also, for example, coming up with a story to accompany a sonatina, defining the dominant emotion of a piece and coming up with an appropriate memory from his life. Why should he care about this music? Do you play for him? It can be very motivating to hear what the finished product will be.

Offline jstudio

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Re: Bridging from Method Books - Please Help!!
«Reply #13 on: March 31, 2016, 08:22:10 PM »
Do you have any Tarantella suggestions that would be around his level? He's around Level 3 as per Jane MaGrath's Pianist Guide. I thought about Burgmuller, but that might be a little too difficult.


Timothy Brown may have some good options at his level. They will definitely push him.