5 finger positions...(eg. bastien) - How to break the "habit"

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

Postby celia » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:37 pm

I posted a while ago about moving transition students onto the "Music Tree" method which is the one method I truly believe in. (No-one replied, but keep on reading as I am open to advice which doesn't involve Music Tree)
I have already moved several of my "Alfred method" students onto the music tree books at levels 1 and 3. This is going very successfully.
But now I have 2 students who are heading to the end of their Bastien books and I am unsure what to do with them. The standard of the pieces they are playing is very misleading. All of the pieces for the past few months seem to be LH 5th finger bass G and RH 1st finger treble G. At first I was impressed that they could easily find the starting position on the piano. I was pleased that they knew the starting notes were G. That was until I realised that all their pieces started and were played in entirety in this position.
Now this is the dilemma. They are nowhere near ready to grasp Music Tree 3. They would be the standard of Music Tree 2 in many concepts but will be disappointed as the pieces sound much less complex and "easier" than what they have been playing. I expect the parents would complain too!
Any suggestion for a book suitable for this level of student? (in particular those who are Bastien trained) I am completely unsure what to do and the only solution I can see is moving them over to Alfred and then Music Tree at a later stage...
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Postby mirjam » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:42 am

Hi Celia

which Bastien book are they in now? I think Alfred has the same problem of 'being in some position' for a long time.

I would suggest a transition to Piano Adventures first -because it combines note reading and intervallic reading, and the the students really enjoy the pieces- and supplement with an Elvina Pearce book like First impressions: the pieces sound harder than they are, and use all octaves, changing cleffs, crossing hands etc.

But: why not give them Music tree and explain to them this is their 'reading book', and supplement with appealing music?

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Postby celia » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:42 am

Hey Mirjam, thanks for the advice. I will definitely check out those series you recommended (and let you know how I get on)... On closer inspection, one of the students I thought was on Bastien actually was doing Alfred... so yeah, probably best to avoid that... Maybe it is just a coincidence that my Alfred transfer students are better at reading music (they have been better taught) As you ask, the books that the kids are coming to the end of are "Bastien Piano Basics Level 1" and "Alfred's Basic Piano Complete Level 1 for the later beginner" My other student is on "Alfred's Basic Piano Course 1A" and she will transfer straight into Music Tree 1 easily because she has only learnt the notes surrounding Middle C from G-F so far....
Please let me know if you have any further advice, I really appreciate it and sorry for the delayed response!
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