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#26256 - 08/15/06 09:38 AM Randall Faber Workshop
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
I just returned from the Randall Faber Workshop here in Boise and can I just say....Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous. I had so much fun!!!! That is what piano teaching is supposed to be all about!!!

He introduced the Gold Star Performance Books levels Primer, Level 1, Level 2A and Level 2B. You must check them out and USE them!!

He discussed Technique and Artistry Book 3A compairing techiniques from the advanced student, to the beginner and in between.

He introduced "My First Piano Adventure" books - lesson Book A and the Writing Book A - both for pre-reading. They were unbelievably fun!!!! Using them with the cd's during a lesson will be too much fun and your students will love lessons! I was thinking these were for the pre-schoolers, but they are for the 5-6 year old. The pre-school books are still coming.

The ideas both Nancy and Randall have are quite impressive. They definitely have a way of teaching to a young child and making things that could be complicated very easy to understand and grasp. We sang along with Randall, tapped out rhythms and thoroughly enjoyed listening to him play.

We got a very nice workshop packet for only $40 bucks! What a bargain with everything it contained.

I'm so happy that they take the time to travel all over the place in order to share their talents and yes, personalities with us! If you ever have the opportunity to enjoy a Faber workshop.....DO IT!!!! Learn from the Master himself.

BTW....I thanked Randall for the great site here and he said he does peruse the forum now and then but hesitates to comment too often since some are intimidated and will often quit posting after him. Hmmmm, I suggested he create a "new" name and come in incognito. I was "shocked" when he even knew the term "Sock-Puppet". He is all-knowing......hahahaha. It was just the best time!!!

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#26257 - 08/15/06 03:56 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
luvslive Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 124
Loc: North Dakota
sounds exciting! i am going to see him in fargo on thursday. this "workshop packet", is it the books? do you have to buy the packet? $40 does sound like a bargain, but i was under the impression that the packet was free of charge. i am really looking forward to hearing randall for the first time and getting acquainted with the new books.

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#26258 - 08/15/06 04:20 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Workshop packets are not free. But it was all 30% off. With everything inside, I felt it's worth it. My brochure said nothing about cost so I was expecting it to be free too. The workshop was so wonderful I didn't care about the cost. There were some neat door prizes too but unfortunately I didn't win one \:\(

I'm not actually sure who provides the packets. Does the store, based on what Randall wants? Or does Randall bring them? Hmmmm don't know. I'm guessing he brings them since he goes through everything in them.

Can't wait to hear your response to the workshop. I'm sure you'll love it!

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#26259 - 08/15/06 04:46 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Wow, the store mine was held at (Helen Marlais, not Randy, daggone it) gave only a respectable 20% discount. 30% is incredible, especially for the books that were covered!

Sigh, I am soooooo jealous of you, even though I was one of the door prize winners in Wichita, wink. \:D

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#26260 - 08/15/06 05:57 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Well.......you may have won the door prize but I had a couple of very nice conversations with Randall. He is really great and soo friendly. I want to work for him \:D

It did leave me feeling that I want to do more with teaching.....it was all so fresh. Maybe tomorrow I'll be back to normal. Either I really had a good time or my life is just so boring that I can't get over it!

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#26261 - 08/16/06 02:28 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
I was so lucky to hear a piano recital by Randall this summer. It was wonderful. It made all the PA Technique books come to life, because I can see what he is going for in the long term.
He and Nancy presented a workshop the next day and answered a lot of questions. They are the nicest people!
I had my picture taken with them and my students get a big kick out of that!!

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#26262 - 08/17/06 11:36 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
luvslive Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 124
Loc: North Dakota
Just returned from attending the workshop, and I truly enjoyed it as well. It was great to hear him talk in person and even share some of his personal story (family stuff). I bought the packet as well and look forward to using everything.
We met in a meeting room at a hotel, and one funny thing was that a man who appeared to be hotel staff walked in, right down the middle of the room to put in a thermostat and Randall asked if he'd like to do "rainbows" with us. \:\)

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#26263 - 08/18/06 04:33 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Rhondo Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 275
Loc: GA
I saw Randall Faber at a WPPC a few years ago. He was truly inspiring. His analysis of what motivates different age levels was very helpful as well as the presentation of Tech & Artistry. Lots of freebies and discounts given at that conference too!

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#26264 - 08/18/06 06:11 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
I get to see him on August 29th. He's always been a special pianist to me, since his recital at U of MI (while he was a student) was my very FIRST classical piano recital EVER! I still remember Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse.

Rhondo, if you were at WPPC in 2002 (Vegas) or 2003 (Nashville), we may have been sitting next to each other!

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#26265 - 08/18/06 02:47 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Rhondo Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 275
Loc: GA
John, I was at the WPPC in Nashville. Did you attend Randall's workshop on student motivation? The entire weekend was FABULOUS!! Is anyone planning on going to the WPPC this year in Atlanta?

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#26266 - 08/18/06 03:08 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
MRM Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Washington
Oh hey, I'm seeing him on the 29th, too....In Lynnwood! That must be where you are going, John.

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#26267 - 08/18/06 04:39 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Memory is foggy, but I remember being at a workshop where Randall played, along with Melody Bober. I made a faux paux when I sat next to Melody in the front row and mentioned a piece my students enjoyed...and then she corrected me and said Wynne-Anne Rossi wrote it. \:o \:o

Yep, going to Lynnwood.

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#26268 - 08/20/06 04:32 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Syndi Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Louisville, Ky
Would love the chance to go to a Randall Faber workshop. I went to a FJH workshop on Friday and had the opportunity to see Dr. David Karp. He was also sharing about the new "My First Piano Adventures". I can't wait to get the chance to use them. Not only did I get the chance to meet him but I also had the opportunity to play a duet with him at the beginning of the workshop! It was such a treat and he such a delightful man. If you ever get the chance to meet him, do so!

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#26269 - 08/22/06 06:55 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
panoplr Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 151
Loc: CA
Rhondo - I'm going to WPCC in October. Hope to "see" you there!

I also attended one of Randy's workshops in Walnut Creek, CA a couple of weeks ago. Seeing & hearing him demonstrate some of the songs from My First P.A. was very helpful. A couple of notes I took:
Don't let the student be intimidated by the piano.
Students feel motivated if they feel they're in control.
With the younger students, let them place their hands on top of your's as you're playing.
Repetition is key!!!!
Students imitate sound and motion if you show them how.

If you get the opportunity to hear Randy speak, it's worth the time/drive/gas. I've heard him several times and each time, I come away with something I haven't realized before.

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#26270 - 08/23/06 02:53 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Susan Offline
Star Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 2168
Loc: Texas
If the Fabers put on a week long workshop at their studio, how many of us would jump at the chance to go up there!! At these shorter presentations, you feel he has just started when it's over.
Randy, Nancy, ever thought of doing that?

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#26271 - 08/23/06 03:18 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
keynote88 Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 06/30/03
Posts: 328
I'd definetely go!!!! I'd love to hear Randy and Nancy. I've never had the privilege.

-keynote88

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#26272 - 08/23/06 09:14 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Musical Mom Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 70
Loc: Dakotas
I had the privilege of hearing Randall speak last week in Fargo also. It was the first time I've seen him and I'll echo what all of you have said. He was fantastic! Even though most of the workshop was focused on teaching from the new book for 5-6 year olds, there were alot of great hints and techniques to use with any student so they grasp basic concepts. I wish there were more workshops like that!

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#26273 - 08/23/06 12:14 PM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Would y'all care to share some DETAILS with us unlucky ones? What were some of the specific tips you picked up that you plan to use immediatley if not sooner? \:\)

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#26274 - 08/25/06 08:08 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
eaHarris Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 198
Loc: Hicksville, OH
I'd go to a week-long workshop at the Faber Piano Institute!

I was fortunate to attend a Piano Pedagogy Workshop in at Bowling Green State University in June. Randall Faber was the featured speaker the first day.

I thought the talk he gave about student motivation was particularly interesting. With the help of video clips (much like the ones posted on the website every week) and his own research, he showed how young students (age 4-6) are motivated by FUN, elementary students (age 7-11) are motivated by SUCCESS (reinforced by praise from teachers, parents, and peers), and older students (teenage) are motivated by the IDENTITY that they find for themselves as pianists (reinfored by success and love of music).

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#26275 - 08/25/06 09:26 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
Musical Mom Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 70
Loc: Dakotas
There were many things I liked. One that can be easily used is his "Stone on the Mountain" rhyme to get and keep the correct, rounded hand position. You can find this in their new book for 5-6 year olds.

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#26276 - 08/30/06 06:26 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
John Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 2454
Loc: Bellingham, WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Kalmar:
Would y'all care to share some DETAILS with us unlucky ones?
Regarding Lisa's plea: \:D

Here are some of my notes from the Faber Workshop, with my own commentary sprinkled throughout.

Randall opened by discussing characteristics of 5 year olds, and used 3 words that help to remind us how to motivate this age group:

Foray --> Feedback --> Fun --> Foray --> Feedback --> Fun

In other words, when children are allowed to explore and discover, then get positive feedback on it (descriptive feedback, not just “good job!” ad nauseum), it becomes an enjoyable activity which motivates them to explore some more.

The rest refers to MY FIRST PIANO ADVENTURES.

p.4 ~ Use this page as a way to build a rapport with the child. Find aspects of each friend that the child may identify with, such as Carlos’ baseball interest or Katie’s painting interest. Remember that “play” is never about one person being in control. Empower children by allowing them to play teacher sometimes, and take the time to become familiar with these friends, as they are important companions throughout the series.

p.5 ~ Use this at MANY consecutive lessons; avoid the compulsive “we did it once so now let’s move on” syndrome. Aside from the need to get familiar with all of the friend’s names, we need to use repetition effectively as educators. I truly think this is an art form in teaching, finding ways to expand on a concept during subsequent repetitions, monitoring the child’s responses and offering JUST ENOUGH challenge to make the repetitions exciting and never dull. An example here is to tap on lap the first week (lap-lap-lap-lap), tap on lap every 2 beats the next week (lap-clap-lap-clap), tap every 4 the next (lap-clap-clap-clap), etc.

p.15 ~ Playdoh is fun to use in building firm tips.

p.17 ~ Think if the white keys as the MILK you dip the donuts in (neat, huh?).

p.18-19 ~ Developing visual tracking is very important for this age group, and needs to be nurtured consistently. Note that tip #1 is the child’s first experience tracking left to right in the series.

Randall reminded us that we need to sing from day one. If the child is only chanting, that is fine; chanting will pave the way to singing in tune as the child gets comfortable in his or her voice. Making ANY vocal response is better than silence at this age!

p.23 ~ He demonstrated the “cat back” by moving the wrist forward with fingertips lightly resting on a surface the entire time. The “leap” is then executed by “springing up” from the surface, hinting at a more advanced technique for brilliant chord playing later on.

p.24-25 ~ In the PRIMER, we can refer to these rainbows also in Two Blackbirds (the birds fly on a rainbow from one set of 2 black keys to the next).

p.46-47 ~ We can encourage singing by having the child sing the “so-me-la-so-me” pattern (na na-na na na) along with CD; I think they may enjoy that!

p.72 ~ Be AWARE of child’s needs. Play “live” as a duet the first time, offering a gentle ritard to help the child find and play the first 2 C’s. Rubato can be very musically-satisfying in this piece. Don’t forget to play AND sing softer, louder, and vary this piece each time. The teacher’s melody is enough for starters, but I’d add various accompaniments at subsequent lessons (we teachers get to harmonize a melody!).

NOTE ~ BOOK B is tentatively scheduled for an October 9th release!

Other general notes are how we are instilling BASIC motions at this age; refinement comes GRADUALLY and slowly, and needs to be age-appropriate. I laughed at Randall’s response when one teacher asked about students bouncing their wrists in time….he remarked something like “bounce away!”. A loose wrist and a truly physical sense of beat should NOT be discouraged. We can narrow that range of motion as the child develops, but a non-legato touch with bouncing wrists is perfectly fine for this age group.

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#26277 - 08/30/06 11:04 AM Re: Randall Faber Workshop
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Yep that says it all John. You took copious notes!!! Way to go.

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