Michael aaron

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

Postby Serda » Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:03 pm

I'm new to the forum and I'm from Quebec. I don't speak English very well so don't be offended if I say something wrong.

I wonder why nobody talk about Michael Aaron's method. Many teachers use this method around me and I was taught with it. Why don't you use this method?

Danielle
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Postby Mins Music » Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:14 pm

Welcome to the board Serda.

I don't have many beginning students at the moment, so I'm not using methods at all. I use my own outline and make my own resources, and students play music of their own choice or from what I've assigned.

I hope you get responses from other who do use methods.

Just wanted to say hi!
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby Stretto » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:09 am

I've looked at Michael Aaron method books a few times at the music store and thought the books looked good. I know of one teacher who says she likes them so well that she is using almost just that method.

For teachers, I think it is just a matter of what you like in a method. For myself, I have started basing my decisions primarly on 1. Does the method lend itself to teaching good technique? 2. Does the repertoire sound good? 3. What is the choice of repertoire?

I can always use additional exercises and supplemental pieces to make up for some of the problems a method may have such as being based on hand positions or not teaching intervals or not emphasizing chords. I can't make up for bad sounding arrangements or arrangements that don't lend to good technique.

I believe the Michael Aaron books looked good from looking at them. There's a couple methods that I like just because I personally like the pieces in them (classical and folk tunes) so it's just a matter of my own personal taste as these books I like I don't hear anyone else talk about either.

I have been thinking that the "old" methods like Michael Aaron, John Thompson, Music Tree, Glover do have better sounding repertoire in them than the "modern", "new" method's repertoire. I know a teacher who also started using the old John Thompson red books and her students really like the pieces. She's had transfer students who were considering quitting continue because she gave them these Thompson books and they like the sound of the pieces better. She says it has "revolutionized" her teaching.




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Postby Serda » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:39 pm

Thank you. I was really thinking there was something wrong with the method but I didn't know what.

Danielle
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Postby Stretto » Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:11 pm

Serda wrote:Thank you. I was really thinking there was something wrong with the method but I didn't know what.

Danielle

Perhaps you don't hear much about it because isn't it an "older" method? In other words one that's been around for years. It seems some if not perhaps many teachers may tend to lean toward the "latest thing" in methods. When I first started teaching Aflred's took up the majority of the section at the music store as far as methods. Now Faber and Faber has taken a "front row seat" and takes an entire row. When I browse at the music store I often hear others coming in asking where a certain book is their teacher sent them to get. It tends to be Faber and Faber the majority of the time.

I haven't tried Faber and Faber enough except some of their supplemental music books to say on that particular method. In general to me the "older" methods that have been around for years have better sounding arrangements. I'm not sure as to why that is. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and so I like the "old" stuff. I think it has more to do with the way the pieces are arranged though :) .
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Postby Serda » Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:08 pm

One thing I like from Aaron is there are few books to buy. I needed 5 books for eight years piano. New methods I know need many books, more than one per year. As parent of many children, it is something important for me.

Of course older method is less "funny" than newer!

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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:56 am

Danielle, what you're running into is modern marketing methods, not necessarily better teaching tools. I remember back when Pace was the big thing, and Bastien, and it suddenly began to seem that buying a teaching method was like buying a Barbie doll: you could never get a complete set of clothes or accessories--there was always something more to buy, and your child just HAD to have it. The marketers have gotten hold of method books as well, and they know how to keep us on the hook.

I'm not implying by this that any method is bad, but I will say two things straight out: much of the extra material is unnecessary or redundant; and a great deal of the material has to do with entertainment as well as teaching.

Many of the older methods are just as good. My wife always swore by Frances Clark's "The Music Tree", and had excellent results with it.

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