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Why Use Piano Adventures®?

 
Piano Adventures® has set a new standard for a new century of piano teaching. It is fast becoming the method of choice at leading university pedagogy programs and major teaching studios around the world. But more importantly, Piano Adventures® is bringing smiles to the faces of thousands of piano students. It can do the same for your students. Here's why: Approach to Reading
Every teacher has experienced the frustration of students who have difficulty reading music. Have you heard students perpetually ask, "What hand position am I in?" Perhaps you've heard a concerned parent remark, "But she still doesn't know her notes!" Piano Adventures® has established the new model for piano methods with its composite approach to note reading. The ability to read music is developed by effectively integrating three skills: 1) individual note recognition; 2) intervalic reading; and 3) a multi-key understanding. These are carefully sequenced and reinforced to ensure success.

Students begin by learning a limited set of notes – the notes of Middle C Position... yet they play these notes with varied fingerings. For example, the student plays Middle C with finger 1, finger 2, and then with finger 3. As the student learns Treble G (the next in a series of important guide notes – Middle C, Treble G, Bass F), the pieces require the student to play finger 3 on G, and then 5 on G. Similarly, varied fingering is used for Bass F and other notes presented. This pedagogy has several important benefits:

  • It prevents the student from equating a particular note to a particular finger.

  • It teaches the precise relationship between a note and the keyboard.
  • It allows for a free and balanced drop of the arm and hand into the finger.
  • It avoids the overuse of two thumbs on C.
  • It reduces the student's dependence on preset hand positions.
  • The notes of Middle C position include all seven tones of the major scale, allowing the student to play numerous familiar melodies (included in the PreTime® Piano and PlayTime® Piano supplementary series).

     

The fingering for the first note in either hand of each piece is set up for the student to identify the note name, write it on a blank, then place the hand according to the note and finger number given. The student learns the fundamental procedure of music reading and becomes self-sufficient in this process. No longer will the teacher be plagued by the student asking, "What hand position?"

Concurrent with individual note reading, the student is required to read by the contour of the musical line - step or skip, up or down. This intervalic reading approach promotes fluency, recognition of melodic pattern, and understanding of the musical line.

At level 2A, with the student firmly grounded in note reading, a multi-key approach is taken. Here the student learns the major and minor 5-finger patterns in C, G, D, and A... not so many as to overwhelm the student's reading or to become tedious, but enough to grasp transposition and basic chord recognition. (The student is encouraged to learn all 12 major and minor 5-finger positions in exercise format.) Minor is included early to tantalize the ear and to offer additional appealing sounds. At Level 2B, the complete major scale is introduced along with key signatures and primary chords in the keys of C, G, and F.

Pianistic Music
Pianistic arranging is one of the hallmarks of the Fabers' material. All of the music in Piano Adventures is specifically written or arranged for the piano.

  • The pieces feel right and sound right at the piano.

  • Easy and effective use of the damper pedal opens up the rich sonority of the instrument.
  • The pieces incorporate essential pianistic gestures - the motions and phrases that are integral to piano playing.
  • Pianistic pieces develop fluent piano technique. The pieces are written to encourage freedom at the keyboard, promote a relaxed wrist, and to introduce gestures that carry the hands across the full range of the instrument.

     

Artistic Music
The pieces included in Piano Adventures® are eminently musical. A method can only be as good as its music, and the music of Piano Adventures® shines. The course combines technique and artistry so that the teacher may bring out the maximum expression in the student's playing. Parents notice the musicality... students thrive on it... and you the teacher will appreciate the artistic results. The Technique & Artistry books in Piano Adventures® are ground-breaking and unparalleled in teaching technical gesture for artistic playing. The "Technique Secrets" and exercises deliver the pianistic tools to play with ease and expression. The "Artistry Hint" and "Artistry Piece" that conclude each unit bring student awareness of sound and musicality to new heights.

Student Appeal
Students are attracted to the pieces and sounds of Piano Adventures®. Ten years of painstaking pilot testing has ensured that the method has wide student appeal. Literally, over one hundred pieces that did not pass the test of student enthusiasm were discarded and replaced, until the method met the standard and musical taste of both piano student and teacher. The tremendous appeal of the music as published has been confirmed by the thousands of letters and comments from teachers and students across North America.

How to Use Piano Adventures®
A Supplementary Library that Motivates
The PreTime® to BigTime® Piano Supplementary Library correlates with Piano Adventures® to provide a broad selection of music to meet each individual student's interest - at the precise level of difficulty. With styles that include Popular, Rock 'n Roll, Classics, Jazz & Blues, Ragtime & Marches, Children's Songs, Favorites, Hymns, and More Popular, the teacher can choose the style that motivates the student, and can be assured that it is arranged to meet the pedagogical demands of the level. PreTime® to BigTime® offers the right fit between student interest and student repertoire.

For beginning students ages 5 to 9, use the basic edition of Piano Adventures®, starting at the Primer Level. All students should receive the Lesson Book and Theory Book, and most should also be given the Performance Book and Technique & Artistry Book. (However, if you only teach a 30-minute lesson, you may need to choose between the latter two books.)

As the student finishes the pre-reading units, add a PreTime® book of the student's choice (PreTime® = Primer Level). Young students enjoy PreTime® Children's Songs; PreTime® Favorites is a staple in many studios. Older students appreciate PreTime® Popular or PreTime® Classics. For fun and work on rhythm, use PreTime® Rock 'n Roll or PreTime® Jazz & Blues.

For older beginners ages 10 and up, use Accelerated Piano Adventures® for the Older Beginner. This course begins with Book 1, eliminating the use of a primer. The pieces and illustrations are appropriate for an older age, and the repertoire is sufficiently different from the basic course (which allows two siblings to both use Piano Adventures®.) The Lesson Book is essential. It is ideally supported by the Theory Book, Performance Book, and Technique & Artistry Book. A proficient student in the accelerated edition may go directly into a PlayTime® Piano Book midway through the lesson book (PlayTime® = Level 1). The older beginner progresses from Book 1 to Book 2 of the accelerated course.

Adult students may use the Accelerated edition or Adult Piano Adventures®

Every student should be given an assignment book. Piano Adventures® PracticeTime is fun, effective, and provides correlated listings for the PreTime® to BigTime® Piano Supplementary Library.


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