Very first piano piece - What was the first piece you learned?

Technique, methods and advice for learners

Postby Stretto » Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:12 pm

What was the very first piano piece you ever learned? Or some of the very first ones you remember learning?


The first piece I learned was "The First Noel". I guess I started lessons at Christmas time. :)
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:59 pm

I do not remember the first piece. It was probably something from an early John Thompson book...like"Birthday Party" but one I recall fondly is "Hoe Cake Shuffle" It was a single sheet with two pages. A student of mine played it last year!
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:16 pm

When I was about five or six my Grandmother taught me by rote to play several hymns (the very first was "Am I a Soldier of the Cross"). I still remember that, and later boring my brother, mother and uncle by making them listen--then insisting they listen again while I played them in another key! I must have been a real pain.

Bill L.
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:40 pm

Bill, You were very lucky - I did not even know the word "rote" and did not play a piece in other keys. I don't recall playing, on my own, just what was assigned. I consider myself musical and creative, but had a strict Mom so probably just played what I was supposed to! I had many teachers, as we moved alot, but it wasn't until college when I had theory and a chance to improvise. Chords saved me when teaching in nursery school as I could watch the children and play more easily.
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Postby Christine » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:43 pm

Hi everyone,

Does anyone else remember "The Boatman" in Leila Fletcher book 1 (the orange one)? I was so proud when I learned that song!
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Postby Stretto » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:41 pm

Along the same lines of first piano pieces one has learned, what is the very first piano book you used in learning to play the piano?

My first book was a level 1 book of Christmas tunes (I had taken a year of clarinet prior so didn't start with a primer book). My next book was a book of simplified hymns my piano teacher loaned to me. It was probably Schaum but I can't remember for sure. My dad had 3 levels of the Red Thompson books and I went through them on my own. The level 1 Thompson book had some fun songs. Does anyone remember learning "Swans on the Lake"? What a wonderful melody!

Perhaps we could start a new slant on the topic: What are some of the most memorable beginner pieces you've ever learned? :)




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Postby Beckywy » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:44 pm

I had the Music Tree series as my beginner books. They are hard to find now.



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"The real purpose of studying music-to unite ourselves with our special gifts in such a way that one would add strength to the other" Seymour Bernstein
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:24 am

"Musical Journeys" was one of my first books. It has my name and date written in it. I have passed it on to my granddaughter and I believe it is stilll in publication. I found one several years ago. It has pieces from ten composers and a short story and pictures about each one. Good book for beginners.

I had a Christmas book, (also written in) but don't recall the name - will have to call my granddaughter as she has it now.

I notice fingering and sharps and flats circled often.
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:43 am

My first teacher was a sweet old gentleman organist who started me on a beginning book by Kohler. The first half was all treble clef in both hands, then bass for the left came later. Most of the little, short, one-line pieces had no names, but I remember two from the bass clef section: "Were I a Little Bird" and "Song of the Hussars."

Bill L.
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Postby Stretto » Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:04 pm

Dr. Bill Leland wrote:My first teacher was a sweet old gentleman organist who started me on a beginning book by Kohler. The first half was all treble clef in both hands, then bass for the left came later.
Bill L.

That's interesting that you learned both hands in treble clef to start. Was that confusing? Or do you think it simplified things some? Or was it confusing when making the transfer to playing L.H. in bass clef? I'm sure many a teacher like me in trying to get students to learn bass clef and/or add the L.H. can be like pulling teeth at times.




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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:06 pm

No, it didn't confuse me, but I think I might have been a special case because I'd been reading both clefs out of the Episcopal hymnal for at least three years before that. I've seen students get confused by it, though, and I think it would be a mistake to teach reading that way. It's like the one's who get confused when they find out the right thumb doesn't always go on Middle C anymore.

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