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#26179 - 11/13/04 03:00 PM Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Eric Offline
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Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 2325
Loc: New York, NY
How many of you have used the Piano Adventure Christmas Books? Do you use them as a break from the regular method book, or as a supplement?

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#26180 - 11/13/04 05:11 PM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Christine/Pelirroja Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 245
Loc: CA, USA
Yes, I use the PA Christmas books. I mostly use it as a supplement--we slow down to 1/2 speed in the method book. I use the stocking stuffers, and we do one new Christmas song a week. The songs seem easier than the method book, and the kids are more motivated so they tend to get them quite fast.

Only if a student is completely burned out on method books do I use this as a time to put it away for a while.

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#26181 - 11/13/04 06:39 PM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Carole Offline
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Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
I use more Pre-Bigtime Christmas books than the PA Christmas. I just think they have more music. (I have also added some Hal Leonard books too). I assign maybe 3 Christmas pieces a week and have them continue to play the ones they passed. Usually we do slow down on other music but may keep going with one or two things. This holiday I am putting together more duets and even a few trios so they have that extra music to work on in addition to solos.

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#26182 - 11/13/04 11:19 PM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Susan Offline
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Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
I rarely use the PA Christmas books. I use the Pretime-Bigtime because there are more pieces as well as a good balance between sacred and secular. The students like them better.

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#26183 - 11/14/04 07:49 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Lisa Kalmar Offline
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Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
For primer and level one, I use the PA books. Kids love the calendar and I like the stocking stuffers. After that I might give them a choice, but I usually use either the PA or the other FJH choices until they hit Catherine Rollin and company age & level.

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#26184 - 11/14/04 09:13 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
PFVTeach Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
I use them for students who either just moved up to a new level OR who are about to. This way they get a huge esteem boost that they have music to play in their new level but also music a bit easier from their lesson books that can let them shine with skills they know all ready.
When they get to be intermediate age I pick and choose a few from the PA books but usually find them a different supplemental book to work out of from their on that matches their abilities better.

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#26185 - 11/14/04 03:47 PM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
DaisyZ Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 04/22/03
Posts: 67
I have a little guy who wants to do Christmas stuff- we're only at Partners at Sea so far and have just barely started with staff reading. I'm not sure if he's ready for the primer Christmas book yet- or should we just jump in?

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#26186 - 11/14/04 08:30 PM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
It's hard to know what to do when a student is at the inbetween stage. My thought is to put him in Faber's Pre-reading Christmas. The first 5 or so pieces are off-staff and the last two or three are on. If he is a child that learns quickly and thrives on new things, I'd go with PA primer Christmas or Pretime Christmas.

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#26187 - 11/15/04 06:24 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
jane 2 Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 53
Loc: Holland, Michigan
I don't really like the pre-reading Christmas book. The children have more trouble following which is right or left hand with those floating notes. I do like the primer book. It has a very nice selection of pieces, some easier than others. If the student isn't reading much yet, I pencil finger numbers in lightly so they can be erased the following year. If they know a few notes I don't number those.

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#26188 - 11/15/04 11:02 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
I agree that the floating notes cause some confusion. When that happens, I first take a colored pencil or highlighter and draw a continuous line through the notes. If that doesn't work, I take a highlighter and draw a line horizontally, explaining that it is really two staves (RH, LH). I sometimes take just the LH notes when there are only a few, and draw a small highlighted box around them, indicating LH. That usually solves the problem. I think the Faber pre-reader is an excellent Christmas book. The young kids love the note-search puzzxles.

I have many other students in the stocking stuffer books, and if they have already done that but aren't ready for a different level, we use the supplemental. For the students who excel, and need fuller pieces, the supplemental are good choices.

My big problem this year - what to do with adults and older kids who are pre-reading? Faber's pre-reader is a bit young for them.

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#26189 - 11/15/04 11:27 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
PFVTeach Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
why would you have older kids or adults in pre reading? I've never heard of such a thing. All my adults start in a primer style book or material from an adult series and work up- same with older beginning kids at a certain point.

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#26190 - 11/15/04 11:27 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Gail Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 369
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I would almost be inclined to teach them a song or 2 by rote--like Silent Night--easy to teach the first line because it moves down in steps and the third line is the same. JMO... \:\)

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#26191 - 11/15/04 11:31 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
PFVTeach Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
Gail, good brain storm here.. I like it. You could do the rote thing for sure on songs like first noel (basically a scale) and others and then extend it to showing them how to write down the notes on a piece of manuscripting paper.
This way they get the great ear training of rote but also good theory experience in connecting the key to the staff by writing it down.

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#26192 - 11/15/04 05:45 PM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Gail Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 369
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Well, I looked back at my post and said, "What was I thinking? Silent Night doesn't move down in steps!!" I was thinking of "Away in a Manger" (DUH!!), although "The First Noel" and "Joy to the World" would also be easy to teach by rote. I really like PFVTeach's idea of tying ear training to theory by having the student write down the notes and rhythm. \:\)

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#26193 - 11/15/04 07:48 PM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
Lilla, for your adult and older students who are just sarting out and don't read music yet, I would give them Playtime Christmas. Adults and teenagers learn to read easy positions [with notes divided between the hands like this book] quite quickly. They can play the rhythm by ear. I would hesitate using prereading more than a week with adults and older teenagers because generally speaking they want more of a challenge.

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#26194 - 11/16/04 11:43 AM Re: Piano Adventure Christmas Books
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
Thanks for suggestions. I should have clarified. These are brand new students working on Amazing Grace from Faber Adult 1 - thus the pre-reading. They love playing that piece and go home impressing their family and friends. I just wanted to continue that success for a week or so while they got the beginning notes under their belt. As for pre-reading for adults - it's not only about the notes. It's also about learning the fingering, using the arm weight, adding the dynamics. It's a lot for a beginner who knows nothing. Even though they learn qickly, there is still that initial period of time when I don't want them overwhelmed or frustrated. I try to make Christmas fun and easy. Thanks again.

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