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Author Topic: Easy coordination pieces for older beginners  (Read 617 times)
shine11
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« on: May 16, 2017, 12:57:30 PM »

Hello

I have a lot of older beginners starting up recently. By "older" I mean 50+.

As all us teachers know, the coordination side of playing is much more difficult at this age when beginning piano. I'm looking for pieces with this in mind. A perfect example is the first part of Fur Elise where both hands are only playing two notes together at the same time yet the piece sounds full and pretty, ie not too "simple".

If anyone can throw me any ideas it would be much appreciated. Doesn't matter whether it's classical, jazz etc.


Many thanks
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 06:20:21 PM »

Try playing jazz standards while walking a bass line.
I can't give an in depth explanation of how to do that right now, but there are plenty of internet resources
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shine11
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 08:02:36 PM »

Thanks. Is a good idea which I'll look more into. I don't have any songs/pieces with a walking bass which are on the easy side but I'll have a good look through the internet and see what I find. I've occasionally got them improvising a little by playing a bluesy left hand for 3 beats then on the fourth beat the right hand comes in completely on its own. Then the left etc. I find this is the only way to get them playing anything with any rhythm.
Do you have many older beginners around this age? I don't see many posts on here about it.
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brogers70
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 04:39:58 PM »

I've been using the Music for Millions series as a source of simple pieces to use for sight reading. Many of them consist of just a bass line and a melody with a chord here or there at the cadences. In that series there are two volumes of "Easy Classics to Moderns," and one volume of "Intermediate Classics to Moderns." I'm sure there are many individual pieces that would be appropriate for your students. Used copies are inexpensive on Amazon.
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keypeg
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 05:21:01 AM »

I'm sort of curious.  If a 7 year old starts piano, and he has been playing for 3 weeks, and a 57 year old starts piano, have they been given the same things to do?  Is the 7 year old doing 2-handed playing at 3 weeks - and is the 57 year old?
The reason I'm asking is because when I talk to other adults, very often they seem to be given actual music very early, and also have a kind of "accelerated" learning because it's known adults can think abstractly and are already familiar with (sophisticated) music.  If this is indeed happening, could this be part of the "coordination problem"?
I have often thought about an incident when I had my first ever lessons on a different instrument I had not played before.  I did my gr. 1 exam after only 6 months.  The 7 year old ahead of me was doing the same grade.  I was told to remember that he had taken 2 years to reach what I was doing in 1/4 of the time.  Hearing that child through the door I heard a certain kind of solidity, when then and now made me think that since he took 4X as long, he could also become more solid in a basic manner.
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shine11
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 07:25:24 PM »

Keypeg- no. Children learn a lot faster than an adult. To do with certain parts of the brain too which I won't waffle on about. I've been teaching for many years and I'd never dream of giving the same music to an adult. Obviously there are exceptions. I've had beginning adults who have had fantastic coodination but generally I find the majority of people beginning piano around the ages of fifty-sixty struggle far more than a child would.

Brogers70  Thank you. I've always used the classics to moderns but wasn't aware of these music for millions versions. I'm guessing they're updated? Will look into it.
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keypeg
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 01:59:34 AM »

Keypeg- no. Children learn a lot faster than an adult. To do with certain parts of the brain too which I won't waffle on about. I've been teaching for many years and I'd never dream of giving the same music to an adult.
I have a feeling that you did not quite understand my question.  Wink  I had a reason to be specific: child at 3 weeks, adult at 3 weeks ..... This would be extremely basic music - maybe not even with hands together.  There's not much to be coordinated about yet.  Please understand where I'm going.  My impression is that adults are given abstract things earlier, in a sense more advanced things, which in turn prevents them from the very direct, simple, hands-on kind of work a young child is given to do.  I see a cause-effect.
I am quite familiar with the "brain" argument, and I suspect that it is not true, and that other things are going on. Above all, how things are approached (which goes full circle to my first paragraph).

The part I'm looking at is whether you are as concrete and simple with an adult beginner as you are with a child.  Or more abstract for reasons such as "this is how adults think / this is what adults want" or other variations.

Supposing a child gets to plonk out a few notes and explore them, but an adult is given recognizable music, and also wants to turn it into good music right away.  You have a different activity going on at all levels.  If I started a new instrument tomorrow I WOULD WANT TO be taught the way a child is taught.  I've seen the results of both.
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keypeg
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2017, 08:15:27 PM »

No response.  And this concerns me since I am an adult learner, and was a beginner on a new instrument some years ago.
If I started a new instrument tomorrow I would want to be taught the same things as children, in the same order, and as simply.  If I learned that there would be special repertoire geared to adults, that would be a red flag to me and I would be very cautious.  Above all, however, I'd want the teacher to be aiming toward SKILLS, and to proceed in a non-abstract, non-intellectual manner, taking enough time for physical skills to gel, just like for children.  I suspect that often for adults the beginning is rushed, that they are brought forward faster in the beginning and that this is a large part of later "coordination problems".
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keypeg
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 04:05:54 PM »

nm
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klavieronin
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2017, 02:29:01 AM »

Here are some relatively easy pieces I use for teaching. If you want a PDF of the score just let me know.



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