"meet the fun books" - Has anyone ever heard of this series?

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

Postby Stretto » Fri May 26, 2006 9:36 am

Has anyone ever played from or taught from a series called, "Fun Books"? The covers are red with white lettering. On the back cover there's a picture of a clown with a bunch of balloons and it says, "Meet the Fun Books", compiled and edited by David Hirschberg, Musicord Publications a division of Belwin Mills PublishingCorp. There's different books in the series: Technique is Fun, Piano Lessons are Fun, Theory is Fun, Duets are Fun, etc., etc. They books have kind of an old-fashioned appearance with old-fashioned pictures. The copyright says 1941 and renewed in 1969.

I found the "Technique is Fun" book in the series in the 50% off bargain section of the music store and it looked vaguely familiar. I got really excited like finding a long lost friend and said to myself in the store, "hey, I had one of these books when I was a kid!" I totally forgot about it! But I remember the title and cover , " . . . is Fun" and I remember it WAS fun! The only one the store had was, "Technique is Fun". The pieces are written in the style of nice tuneful little songs. I was going to try the book out on my students. But I'm also going to play them myself because they ARE really fun!

Has anyone else heard of these books or used any of the others in the series?
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Sat May 27, 2006 5:41 pm

I have some books edited by Hirschberg, and like them, but have not heard of that series. Sounds ....fun! I will watch the sales and old music on the computer sites. Let me know how it goes with your students.

Joan
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Postby mirjam » Sun May 28, 2006 2:59 am

I just bought the whole series of Technic is fun, up to level five. I like lots of the pieces, but there are some really old-fashioned pieces in it too, especially in the first levels.

What I like about the series is that there are so many repertoire pieces in it, in which lots of technical skills can be learned. The higher the level, the more repertoire pieces they have. My students didn't think it was that much fun, by the way. They like their melodic studies much better.
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Postby presto » Wed May 31, 2006 1:00 pm

Yes, actually, my teacher had me use one of her old Technic is Fun books, and I liked it. The pieces, as I remember, were interesting while they taught a new technic--not merely boring exercises. But I only did one of the books, not the whole series, so I can't really comment on it in general. I liked the old 1940's-style pictures, by the way! :;):
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Postby Stretto » Wed May 31, 2006 1:21 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'm pleased to hear other's have hear of it. I think it's nice too because the exercises are written almost like tuneful little pieces rather than mundane exercises. I really like the old-fashioned pictures too!

What other exercise-type pieces/books have any of you out there found enjoyable to play?
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed May 31, 2006 9:02 pm

Does anyone still use the old Dozen a Day exercises?

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Postby 108-1121887355 » Wed May 31, 2006 9:06 pm

Yes, I have used them - have mini and preparatory and grades 1 through grade 3. Some students really like them and others do not. If they do not, they don't practice them but I do use some at the lesson.
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Postby drewnchick » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:02 am

I do use the Dozen a Day exercizes. I enjoy them, and some of my students do too!
Soli Deo Gloria
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Postby Stretto » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:04 am

I think the Dozen a Day series may be pretty popular with teachers right now but just a speculation. I wasn't using them and kept hearing from students, "my friends take from so and so and they are using Dozen a Day".

I like the nice little names that depict the exercise, "skipping, hopping, running, jumping, etc. and I like the little stick figures depicting the movement.

I also like the fact that they are short and sweet so it's not too much to pile on really young students as one could assign as little as one little line a week. I have one beginner right who is a pretty good practicer doing about a page a week plus some scales.

What other books do any of you use to teach technique or have learned from yourself? Has anyone used the technique books that correspond with the lesson book in a method? Do those work well?




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Postby 108-1121887355 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:37 am

I like Junior Hanon for the older students. Again, some enjoy and some do not. I try not to just pick exercies, but relate them to a piece they are playing at the time.

Dozen is good in that it is short and good for (sight) reading too.

Not much on exercises, the music played should give enough. For serious students, Hanon is good. I used Czerny and not sure I could 'inflict ' it on my students - just because of my old feelings about it!

:laugh:
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Postby Stretto » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:02 pm

I've just started a month ago taking piano lessons myself after several years of not taking lessons. I am doing so mainly to improve my technique. I brought the "Technique is Fun" book 1 to my lesson along with my other music. I've brought it to lessons about 3 times now meaning to ask my teacher what she thought of using it and I keep forgetting or we run out of time by the time I remember to ask. I thought of using it because the pieces are pretty simple and then I could concentrate more on technique without having to concentrate so much on reading. Plus, I can't say it enough, the pieces do seem fun to me - maybe I'm the only one :D !

My teacher just happened to notice the book in my stack before I had a chance to ask about it and she said, "This is great, great, great !!!!!

loveapiano, Just for you there are some Czerny pieces in the book! I'll think of you if I play one!




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Postby 108-1121887355 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:03 pm

Thanks. Stretto, for thinking of me!

:p
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