Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Succeeding at the Piano"

I belong to the FJH Music Company Club and receive quarterly packets of music to preview.  As a part of these packets, I've received copies of the new method books by Helen Marlais - "Succeeding at the Piano". 

I've looked them over and like what I see, but I've been hesitant to actual start a student in this method.  Why?  My method of choice has always been Faber's Piano Adventures.  It's what I'm used to, what I really feel comfortable with, what I like and I'm just not sure I want to make the change.  But...I want to be open to the idea, so I'm wondering if any of you have made such a switch and wonder how you feel about it.
Do you like this method better? I would love some feedback from those of you who are using it or have tried it!  Is it a method that stands well on it's own or should it be used to supplement another method?  Do you recommend it and if so, why?

I welcome your thoughts and ideas!


Heidi said...

I also have the books but have been having the same dilemma, so I haven't switched yet. of the things I like about the new series is the accompaniment CD's. I like how they include directive questions that could help a student remember details about expression and hand position if they practice with the CD throughout the week. My beginning students who have used Hal Leonard books w/ CD's have been really motivated by having an accompaniment CD to liven up some of those beginning "simple" sounding songs and I think it helps them develop a better sense of rhythm when they can practice "duets" all week long. For now I plan to use some of my favorite songs as supplementary material.

Betsy said...

I'm in the process of switching two students over to SatP, one from PA and the other from Alfred Basic. Right now we're doing bits of both methods (their "old" one plus SatP). When they finish their current primers they'll be moving to 1A SatP. I love the technique incorporated right into the lesson book, the spiral approach to teaching new concepts and enjoy the music selections just as much as PA. The CD's are excellent, too.

I'm planning on using SatP for a method and then supplementing with all of the great PA options. I hope it's a successful plan!

LaDona said...

I've used mostly Piano Adventures for the past 10 years, but this year for a number of reasons I've branched out. I have one student in SatP - a bright young girl who would do well in any method - so I can't judge the method by her, but overall I'm not terribly impressed. The music itself is just dull but I do like the technique that is incorporated in the lesson book. I'm not sure I'll use it for anyone else.

Sarah said...

I went through the same dilemma myself a few months back when I received my own free samples of the method. I decided to stick with Piano Adventures, at least for now. But I like the possibility of the books as a second option- perhaps for two siblings who are close enough in age/ability level that they would normally be in the same level of PA. Thanks for posing the question- I enjoyed reading all the responses :)

Sheryl said...

Thank you for all of your ideas and thoughts! It was really helpful to read them!