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Doniell Cushman loves to use her teaching experiences to inspire ways to improve music, teaching, and learning.
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Faber's Piano Adventures
Written by Doniell Cushman
Piano teachers have to stay up to date on the latest literature and methods for their students and their studio. Piano Adventures by Faber is one of the leading methods in the United States. With 3 separate focus approaches, they are a leader in methods available for beginning students. Piano Adventures presents several great and contemporary methodology series. Below is a list of those series, the levels incorporated, the age groups they are intended for, and the type of material they incorporate:
My First Piano Adventure
Pre-Reading - Early Beginner
Primer - 5
Beginner - Intermediate
Accelerated Piano Adventures
Elementary - Early Intermediate
Adult Piano Adventures
Elementary - Intermediate
In addition to the method studies, Faber has a vast catalog of supplemental material that will make any student's heart skip a beat. Each level of the standard piano adventures has a corresponding set of books (i.e. PreTime, PlayTime, etc.) with the following:
I Can Read Music, Scale and Chord Books, Once Upon A Rainbow, Piano Literature, and the Discover Improvisation books are additional supplements.
What are the benefits of using the Faber Piano Adventures Methods and supplements? Good question. Faber approaches music with a strong emphasis on the following:
Strong focus on developing music reading in logical sequence, illustrations are simple and do not detract from the material presented, printing size is large and appropriate, balanced musical styles presented from classics and traditionals to originals, students explore the entire keyboard by using a variety of hand positions early on, beginning off the staff allows for strong rhythmic development, reinforcement of each concept, pianistic pieces and/or arrangements, technique focused on using the body correctly and comfortably, logical introduction of patterns, development of both hands is equal and well structured, emphasis on the music itself as art, appealing music and lyrics, duets and improvisation, countless supplementary materials.
These are just the broad highlights of the Faber Piano Adventures method. As a teacher, I enjoy the Piano Adventures for the most part. Music is introduced in a highly approachable way. The likelihood of successful development as an artistic musician with using the Faber method is high, making it a competitive choice among piano teachers today. My only drawback is that this is a slower method, and as such, students will usually complete their books a lot sooner than expected. Personally, I wish there was a stronger emphasis on Theory with this series, and this is seriously lacking. The Theory books seem a waste of space as they often don't add much value to what is being learned. Drawing what you read is an integral part to understanding it - just as we all learned in pre-school or kindergarten with the alphabet. However, I have many requests to play favorite songs at recitals and these books really do justice to the performance aspect of music. I have never had a difficult time with this series, but I have had to move students to other methods due to the slow pace these take.
My preference for most students is the Alfred method. I do like this method though, and tend to use it with the very young beginner, and slower paced students. The books are inexpensive, easy to find at all music dealers and definitely worth an investment in the supplemental methods.
You can find a complete listing here: pianoadventures.com/
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