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Level 1 - Lesson Book: Piano Adventures Paperback – Illustrated, January 1, 1996
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- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Paperback : 64 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1616770783
- ISBN-13 : 978-1616770785
- Product Dimensions : 9 x 0.17 x 12 inches
- Publisher : Faber Piano Adventures; 2nd Edition (January 1, 1996)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The Faber & Faber books are hands-down the best I have seen for that crucial mix of pedagogy, fun, and variety in songs. The Bastien books, which I used growing up, take awhile to add real variety. The newer kid-targeted Alfred books are a good alternative to these, but the older adult Alfred books are a miserable mix of musical monotony. There needs to be harmonic and melodic variety or else students will not be inspired (and teachers will be musically murdered if all the songs are based on the C 5-finger position).
While I admire some of the pedagogy in the Thompson and Schaum series, I find that the books feel "outdated" in their ability to communicate with young beginners in the 2000's. It's a bit like looking at older editions from the 19th century: great for serious study, but harder to read and a bit out-of-touch. I find that Thompson/Schaum throw an awful lot of technical information early on, and this can be overwhelming to the beginner. Kids also like lively, colorful illustrations. I only bring up these details because I think the F&F books are enjoyed by my students more than others.
The pacing of the F&F books is suitably slow for the young student these days. They are designed for someone who doesn't practice every day, or isn't fully invested in music, which is a realistic approach given the current student who is overscheduled and isn't committed to regular music practice. I'm just sayin'! For the more motivated students, or ones slightly older, the F&F "for the older beginner" series is much faster in its pacing, and the illustrations and song selections are appropriate for older students.
On that note, if you are using the basic Piano Adventures series, keep in mind that these are really geared for YOUNG students, especially the first few books. If you are starting off a 3rd grader or 4th grader, they will often be unimpressed by the lack of "cool" in the books.
The biggest challenge of method books is that, if you start the students when they are older, by the time they want to learn a Taylor Swift song, if they haven't made some real progress musically and technically, it becomes a long, hard slog. Get them into these books, get them practicing early, and by the time they are in middle school they will be able to learn the songs they want. If you're lucky, the list might include Bach and Ellington.
I had planned on teaching a young student using these books and only realized too late that "Level 1" is not actually level 1. There's a whole lot of foundation that must be in some kind of Primer? I am perplexed because the same authors wrote "Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner" which i've used - which actually starts at the VERY beginning with level 1 (no primer needed). I'll be photocopying pages from the accelerated/older book and ordering those books for this young student... because this level 1 starts in a VERY strange place. I'm beyond confused. Don't get these books for a true beginner. I don't understand how these books are MORE advanced at level 1 than the accelerated/older beginner books.
Accelerated/Older Beginner book starts with which number means which finger; hand position; note letter names.
This book starts with a "Primer Review" where the student is supposed to already know how many beats are in each type of note, and the letter names for G above middle C on down to C below middle C.
The first song in this book for the student to play, the "review piece," is akin to something at level 6-7 in the Accelerated/Older book 1.
I cannot express in words how disappointing and confusing this is.
I should have done more research. I am beyond disappointed at my waste of money and the waste of time my first lesson will be with this student :(
Use the Primer if your child has no previous piano or musical training. The Primer teaches all of the basic concepts including notes on the grand staff and common musical concepts and terms.
Start with the Level 1 only if your child has already completed the Primer book or already has experience playing using the grand staff. Level 1 jumps right in to playing with both hands, and assumes the student already has basic experience with dynamics, tempo, and other musical terms and concepts.
If you are unsure, start with the Primer and work through it quickly as a review rather than risk missing important foundations steps by beginning with Level 1.
I am a violinist and pianist and was looking for a modern piano method for my 4 kids, and I am happy Faber was recommended to me. I love the original content and progression. It's a plus that you can download the app also!