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#17687 - 04/02/04 09:35 PM Celebrate Piano
JK Wong Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 10/10/00
Posts: 91
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
Have anybody use the Celebrate Piano (Not the Piano Odessey series)? I examined the book at the convention and was pretty impressed with it. Just need to find out anybody have any experience teaching this series

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#17688 - 04/03/04 08:46 AM Re: Celebrate Piano
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
I LOVE this book/method! I have been using it about a year(just after it came out anyway) and am having great success with it. I had a young student who was just "not getting it" and one day I tried Celebrate Piano with her at her lesson. (I had others already using it) and she perked up and got excited. We worked in the book reviewing some things and the lightbulb came on in her head! She excitedly asked me at the end of her lesson if she could have that book. I said YES and put it in her hand to take home with and assignment for the week. She has been in it and is in 2B now and is really doing well. (She had not been in Faber and may have done well with Piano Ad. as well)

The books are thorough and fun and have a lot of reinforcement and review in them. Ear Training is included and I really enjoy using the books myself. I ran across one question on pg 27 in book 1A. They are explaining that with the notes on the page (pre-notated) that stems down is for LH and stems up for RH. HOWEVER in the picture example with the 3 monkeys, the stem down monkey is raising his RIGHT hand and the stem up monkey is raising his LEFT hand. The first time I saw this page that jumped out at me. I thought that could be confusing for the student UNLESS they were thinking mirror image for the young students. I figured a bright student would see the "wrong" hands were raised but that most might just do a mirror image and not think about it. It still bugged me so I asked Frederick Harris and they told me that No they were not thinking mirror image they really weren't meaning anything by it. They hadn't put any special thought into that picture. It was just 3 monkeys raising their hands, up , down or both. Sooo.....whatever. To me it is a mistake and should be the other way around with the monkeys hands but I just teach it and don't point out the monkeys hands much unless I am asked.
What do you think? Do you have the book there to look at that page? I DO VERY MUCH like this method and plan to keep using it. I use Faber too but I must say I AM impressed with Celebrate Piano. I have written about it here at The Piano Club before. Harris says it IS a pre-runner to the Celebrstion Series, which I use some too. So far I have students only as far as the 2A and B books. The 3rd one just came out and I got it at a discount through their website. A notice was sent to my e-mail not long ago that that 3rd book was out. The 4th one is not out yet I do not believe. Do you know?

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#17689 - 04/03/04 04:06 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
Nancy, I too am interested in CP but currently do not have any young beginners. This method seems to cover all the bases with everything built right into it (drawing from the best of the best methods around). However, it does seem geared to much younger beginners with the pictures and all. Also, I don't see an easy way to put a transfer student into the method mid-stream say with the 2nd book without having gone thru the first one. I don't know about the 3rd one since I haven't yet seen it.

I may be relocating next year and building a new studio from the ground up with a whole new set of beginners. I usually don't take students under 8. What age did you start students in CP? Also, because there is a lot in each unit, I don't think a 30 min. lesson would allow enough time to cover much, esp. with the ear training and all. How long are your CP lessons? and do you find that to be sufficient time? How much do you cover on average in one lesson with the average student?

Thanks for your input.

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#17690 - 04/03/04 04:52 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Hi GeeTee,
I have only used CP with very beginners. The student I was mentioning just turned 9 years old. She was 8 when I put her into this book. She had not been in lessons very long (a few months) and had started as a very beginner with me. The book works great for her and I have no problem, personally, using it with an 8, 9 or even a 10 year old in many cases. I currently do not have any students under 7 but have taught as young as 4. I really prefer to have older students, or if younger, at least 6-7 years old who are in 1st grade. I would use Faber probably for real young students. If I received a transfer student who had not studied very long I might put them in Celebrate Piano....past book one. It would just depend on the student and where they were at and how they were doing.
As far as time. I am really trying to convert all my students to 45 min. or 1 hour lessons, but currently I have many younger ones at 30 minutes and I am using Celebrate Piano with many of them. We do what we can and I don't rush through it. Some parents (especially those paying for more than one child) are reluctant to move to the longer time and higher fee. However, I am slowly getting it "my way" by converting some and starting new students right away at 45 minutes. I did it at 30 min. for so many years that it is hard to get long time comers to understand why the change. I could just say all have to do it BUT I most definitely would lose some strictly due to the $$. So....I am biding my time and making the switch as I can. I have been convinced through this site and some of my own experiences that 30 minutes is too short for most. I also am tired of having so many students and would prefer a lesser number coming for a longer time...to benefit them and to keep my income the same. There are those few students that 30 minutes seems like an eternity!!!! UGH! But a good student who is practicing and involved can use up 45 quickly and it is enjoyable and we get more done. I'd love to hear others' experiences with CP if they have used it. Please share. Or if you haven't tried it...give it a try.
P.S. As far as how much I cover in a lesson...it totally depends on that student and what was accomplished, or not, the week before. What they are understanding or not. I will tell you the students seem to like the music in this method. Overall it seems to move faster than many methods out there today. By book 3 the music is quite a bit more difficult than many other methods. The idea, from what I understand, is that a student leaving book 4 is ready to play the Intro (or Book 1 maybe) of the Celebration Series. I may have that not quite right, but I think so. And those 1st books are more difficult than other book 1's. All listed for use in our C.M. program...but a wide range of difficulty within Level 1.

[ 04-03-2004: Message edited by: NancyK ]

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#17691 - 04/03/04 05:50 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
Thanks, Nancy. Are the same style of illustrations also used in Book 3??

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#17692 - 04/03/04 07:34 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
Yes..basically the same. I happen to like th illustrations (maybe being a real animal person) but they might not appeal to all or to older students. I don't know.

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#17693 - 04/03/04 10:39 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
JK Wong Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 10/10/00
Posts: 91
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
Thank you so much for all the information!

As a group piano teacher I am constantly looking for a method that is group oriented - many activities with songs that are appealing. I have used Faber and I always have to switch books (from lesson to performance to technique to theory). Celebrate piano omitted this problem. Plus I don't have to make up too many games when I teach the class. I am going to pilot a group class using this method. I talked to the representative at Kansas City Convention and he said that the program itself takes two years and by the end of the programs students are ready to go to Celebration Series Grade 1. There are many musicianship activities that I absolutely love. I think it is going to work for my group class.

Do you know that America has adapt a RCM version of exame call Royal American Conservatory Examination (RACE). They have prep-A and prep-B which are for kids in method books. They use Celebrate PIano, Faber, Hal Leonard, Alfred, Bastien, Suzuki and Music Tree so students can participate in the exam even if they are not using Celebrate Piano Series. I am pretty impressed with the program itself and am considering using this for the studio. I have used Faber for almost five years now and it is so hard to switch to another method. I will still use Faber for my other class but will definately have a mix of Celebrate Piano class and Piano Adventures.

Just a quick note about the 2004 Convention. It was announced that MTNA and Canadian Federation of Music Teacher are going to do a joint convention in 2007 at Toronto. I am so excited about this. Just can't wait for 2007 to come \:\)

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#17694 - 04/04/04 06:10 AM Re: Celebrate Piano
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
JK Wong, can you explain further the American verison of the exams you menetioned?

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#17695 - 04/04/04 06:36 AM Re: Celebrate Piano
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
JK Wong, I just found and printed the information. Instead of my other question, can you tell me what you personally think of the program

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#17696 - 04/04/04 05:57 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Emilymae:
JK Wong, I just found and printed the information. Instead of my other question, can you tell me what you personally think of the program



Where did you find the information? Please share with us......
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#17697 - 04/04/04 05:58 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by GeeTee:
Thanks, Nancy. Are the same style of illustrations also used in Book 3??


Book 4 was given to us at the conference, still has the same illustrations.
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#17698 - 04/05/04 04:57 AM Re: Celebrate Piano
Emilymae Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 191
http://www.royalamericanconservatory.org/

I think we have two conversations going on is this thread and I don't want to take away from Celebrated Piano! Here's the infomation JK Wong mentioned. Im going to start another thread for this topic.

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#17699 - 04/05/04 08:22 AM Re: Celebrate Piano
Lyndall Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 99
Loc: Idaho Falls
I was very excited to try out this series because it combines theory & ear training in the lesson book, and both me & my students get tired of switching between 3 different books in PA (even though I really like the series).

I tried Bk 1 out a while back & was very impressed until I got to where notes on the staff are introduced & then I thought it got confusing. Sometimes notes are presented on 2 or 3 lines only, just to illustrate the stepping up/down motion - students read directionally which is OK, but, ...

... the strange thing is that clefs aren't in bk 1 - you're just given a stating note & expected to read up/down from this. If I remember correctly, the notes on the pretend 'staff' do not correspond exactly with notes on the actual treble or bass staff i.e. what looks like a treble C to those of us who can read is presented as something different (maybe we read it as a B because of the starting note we were given). Does this make sense? What if students start remembering that what they're playing as B is later on known as C once they start reading on the actual staves ...

Hopefully I got the wrong impression, because I had such high hopes for this series. Has anyone else found this to be the case? Please clear this up if I'm on the wrong track!

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#17700 - 04/05/04 08:47 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
At first I thought the same thing you did but then I saw it did makes sense BECAUSE no clef is given. If the note C is shown on the 3rd space or the 2nd space it doesn't matter because no clef is given. Therefore the student is not always stuck with his RH above Middle C and LH below. Sometimes they are split that way, sometimes they are both above or both below. The keyboard pictures above help you see hand placement(sometimes in relation to Middle C) and with no clef sign this is fully accurate. Look at it closer. I did...having the same initial questions as you are. Also in book 1A the very first time the staff is shown they show all 5 lines and spaces. I just looked through 1A quickly again and I do not see partial staves. So far I have not had any students being confused by this method.

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#17701 - 04/06/04 07:11 AM Re: Celebrate Piano
Lyndall Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 99
Loc: Idaho Falls
Good to know that I wasn't the only one confused at first, Nancy. And I must have been thinking of another method book that uses partial staves cause I checked several out at one time to compare them. I really do like the idea of not having to have 3 books, not including supplementals to worry about all the time. Do you think there is enough theory in there to not need a separate book?

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#17702 - 04/06/04 05:42 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
I have often been using another theory book along with CP, but mostly because of CM testing. I've been using JUST THE FACTS 2 books, since they are not so cumbersome..and students often use these on top of CP. Not everyone is or at least not right away. I teach theory with each piece. For any student that plans to do the C.M. evaluations, I use the other books to make sure they get everything covered for their level.

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#17703 - 04/12/04 05:16 PM Re: Celebrate Piano
DaisyZ Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 04/22/03
Posts: 67
I have 4 students who started in this method in the fall, one transfer that I dropped right into 2A, and one that started 1A in January. I like the series as a whole-my big problem right now is with 3 of the 4 that started in the fall. They've made it to the beginning of book 1B (just before rests are introduced) and just aren't understanding and putting together the concepts fast enough to deal with the level of music. Some of the pieces seem really hard, and yet the odd one is really simple for them. I've resorted to supplementing with stuff from primer level Bastien and the end of the primer PA. The Bastien seems to be a welcome change especially for the 6 year olds, and I think using the same groups of notes over and over has actually given them some much-needed reinforcement. There haven't been any problems with kids equating finger #s with notes. I have one bright 8 year old that is doing really well without supplementing- he'll be in 2A next week- but other than that the kids are getting bogged down. Ironically, I've had more luck with older kids (8 year olds) than with the smaller ones, and yet the method seems to be designed for the 6-7 set.
The girl I put into 2A is almost through it, but she doesn't really like the music. Says its boring. She's happier playing out of the Faber pop supplementary books... so we do a bit of both.

Its a good method, but it will NOT teach itself, and the way they present some concepts is kind of confusing. Not quite enough reinforcement either. However, I think I'll keep using it.

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