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Having studied piano minimally as a child (six months?), I decided at the age of 49, while at my daughter's recital, that I'd like to learn, but perhaps without the cost (at least at first) of lessons. So after looking through several books at the local music store, I bought this one, with CD (very important, but seems not to be the version sold on Amazon). It was just the ticket. In four months I have completed the book, and now can play moderately complex beginning pieces (for variety, I've supplemented it with a few pieces from getsheetmusic.com, and can play level 3 and occasional level 4 pieces from there). Each page teaches just the a little bit more, and gives you the practice pieces to master it before going on. A very steady, satisfying rate of progress. You also learn notation, musical terms, intervals, and a smattering of music theory, such as keys, although this is not real strong. I found it useful near the end of the book to go back and review just the theory pages in one sitting; they then came together much better for me than when I ran across them one by one through the course. The musical selections are uneven, but most are fine. They are all public domain, in a wide range of styles from jazz to folk to spiritual, and some are quite beautiful (a haunting arrangement of "Scarborough Fair," the rousing gospel "Standing in the Need of Prayer" -- and I'm Jewish <g>). You end with the first part of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" (somewhat simplified arrangement, although they don't say that, but still quite nice) and "Amazing Grace." I think it's very important to get the book with CD.Read more ›
After taking piano lessons for three years, spending a considerable sum for the teachers time/expertise while utilizing the "lastest teaching method" which I did not care for I almost gave up playing the piano completely. However one day I was looking through a homeschooling catalog when I noticed the "Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course". I liked the review I read of the product and decided to order it. What did I have to loose? I sat down at the piano the very next week with my lesson book, after playing through several of the lessons I was hooked! Alfred's course takes you back to the fundamental basics of music and piano. After all if you don't learn the basics you are lost. The lesson book I ordered came with a CD which has been very helpful in doing the lessons. Alfred produces other books to round out the series: finger aerobics, theory, sacred, christmas and greatest hits music. This program is great for those who love independant study or are limited in the amount of time/money they can spend on piano lessons. Alfred also produces a series for children in a kid friendly format,Music for Little Mozart's, Alfred's Prep Course, and Alfred's Basic Piano Course. Alfred makes music fun for everyone!
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Like so many other reviewers of piano books on Amazon, I have purchased enough books to replenish the rain forest, but unfortunately, very few were helpful -- except for the Alfred series -- My goal was to read sheet music/musical scores; not necessarily just play "Raindrops keep..". The "popular" books teach you chords and shortcuts, but if you want the foundation, these are the books. They are well-written; the exercises are very well designed (I hate 'Jingle Bells', but its the first song using both the left and right hands, and I feel good!). I'm also taking one lesson a month to review what I'm doing in the book(s) and get some pointers from a pro. For me, this is the best way to learn, and I think the Alfred series for adults are the best books to help me along my pianistic journey.
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I have used Alfred's Basic (non-adult) Piano Course for years with my students with great success. When I began to teach an older beginner, I thought I'd try the adult course. I am not as pleased with it. The adult course focuses mostly on chords in the left hand, so one does not learn to read the independent notes as readily in the left hand. The left hand does not get the strength and independence that the right hand does because of this emphasis on chords. Therefor I will be switching back to the regular Alfred Basic (non-Adult) course.
The last time I played piano was when I was 9 years old... I recently got a keyboard, and needed some help starting all over from level zero. Being that I knew nothing about music theory what-so-ever, this book really helped me get started. The book is a nice big size and there is a page or two devoted to each lesson, with room throughout each page that makes you feel uncrunched and at ease as you learn. The explanations are wonderfully simple and after a few lessons, I actually started reading and playing new music pieces that I saw for the first time! I think this is an excellent self-teaching tool for the first-time piano student. The only minus about this book is that it does not have spiral binding, so you have to devise a way to keep the pages open while you play (I paperclipped the edges of mine). I was also slightly dissapointed that the version did not come with a CD, which I can do without, but which would have been helpful to hear the melodies and know if you're on the right track. Also, as I figued out a little ways into the book, it constantly refers to another book with sheet music, saying "you are now ready for Christmas Classics", and I was dissapointed that it was one extra thing to buy and there was no way to know that before I bought the book. The additional sheet music book is not absolutely necessary, but it would have been nice to be able to learn some new melodies appropriate for the level you're on, rather than just go through the one-or-two examples for the lesson in the book over and over.
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