Michael aaron "grade 2" - Anyone familiar with this?

Discuss the pros and cons of various "methods" with other teachers

Postby celia » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:10 am

Following previous posts I have particular concerns about a student who is currently on Alfred's Complete Book 1 for older beginners. This girl is 11 and seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders!! Not at all keen on children's piano books, and her skills and concepts are somehow not up to the standard she thinks she is... She is coming to the end of her Alfred book and I really don't think it's the best thing for her... she doesn't like it anyway but then I've yet to see her excited about anything... But I was in a music shop yesterday and found Michael Aaron's series. I was quite excited as I think she would like "grade 2" but is this too big a leap from the book she is on?? It is hard for me because i had to travel 30 mins to get to the store (I live in a small country!) and have no plans to purchase from there anyway as it is half the price to order from US to New Zealand(even with postage) Just makes it hard to access different books etc. Any advice would be welcomed.
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Postby Tranquillo » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:56 am

What are your goals with your students and what skills or process do you see is fundamental? I was raised on John Thompson books but I know many teachers that don't like that series. How long do you intend to spend on primer books before getting to graded repertoire?

In my personal opinion I think that working through a method 'works' as it has concepts introduced one at a time but in saying that I think that all method books have their limitations. One teacher I knew used to have me work through little pieces simultaneously from different method books.

Are all your students on primer books Celia?
Music is organised sound
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Postby celia » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:11 pm

I went ahead and bought the Michael Aaron book anyway because no-one on PEP had any comments... Luckily the student in quiestion seems to be getting on well with it! She is only 11 but I got the feeling she found the Alfred book too childish.
The most challenging thing I have found about teaching is having the resposibility of choosing what books to buy for the students.
In response to your question:
All the beginners I am teaching (age 4-7) are working through Music Tree Time to Begin.
Children that had studied one book or just done a little piano, I have started them on Music Tree Book 1.
Two others that had finished their current books I have started on Music Tree 2b and music tree 3.
This was possible because I bought all the music tree books initially because I liked the look of them. So I worked out which level would suit each child.
I also have one older girl (13), I bought her a mixed book of classical music called "Favourite piano pieces for children" She wanted to do classical music but isn't interested in exams. She would be ready to study towards grade 1 or even grade 2 if she wanted to but I'm not sure I'm ready for this yet anyway!
One boy I had was presenting lots of challenges (I mentinoed him before) but now he has discovered a passion for Beethoven and refuses to play anything else so I bought him a Beethoven book which he loves.
I also download free sheet music from a website to provide everyone a bit of variety. None of my students has been learning for more than a couple of years so I feel very competent to teach them, I think a more experienced student may be too challenging for me at this stage.
I think all my students are enjoying it now so I am very pleased about this!!
Thanks for your interest Becibu, I know you are not a teacher but I always appreciate your comments... I have another question about music therapy which I will put in a separate post...
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