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#64266 - 10/28/13 08:56 PM Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different?
ewoodward Offline
New Member

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Nova Scotia
I am looking for suggestions, opinions, experiences, etc. from anyone regarding teaching siblings (ages 7 and 9).

In my particular instance, both students are total beginners and will be starting at the same time - so no chance of staggering using the same curriculum.

Would you recommend using the same curriculum for both students (I know that I can supplement to differentiate, but in reality I am new to this and the lessons and material would probably still end up being similar) or rather, choosing something completely different for each?

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#64270 - 10/29/13 10:12 AM Re: Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different? [Re: ewoodward]
EllaCat Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 365
Loc: Atlantic Canada
I'd choose different material, myself. I'd rather avoid any risk of competitiveness developing. The kids will still be able to tell who's further ahead without them being on the exact same pieces - should help mitigate that kind of thing. If they do end up progressing at similar rates though it could open the door to lots of duet possibilities - could be fun!

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#64271 - 10/29/13 12:01 PM Re: Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different? [Re: EllaCat]
SharonAdelle Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Central Valley, CA
I have siblings that are in the same level. I like the Faber method so much--and maybe I'm just so used to it, that I use the lesson and technique book for both of them. They each have their own Theory book and one has the Performance and the other has a different supplemental. When they started the younger sibling was young enough to start in MFPA--but he quickly caught up to the sister around level 2A somewhere. I have always made sure to have him do many different supplemental books because he has a wonderful ear and could easily play things his sister already played. I also have him doing a composition book. Sister works more on repertoire now. I use the lesson book to introduce concepts.
I would talk to the parent and find out the personalities of the kids. Are they already competitive in other things in life? Even if they are in different methods, they would be likely to try each others music (which is not really a bad thing) but the parent would know to be aware for any problems.

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#64272 - 10/29/13 12:04 PM Re: Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different? [Re: EllaCat]
ewoodward Offline
New Member

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Nova Scotia
Thanks so much for your input, EllaCat!

I think you make a great point about the potential of competitiveness developing - something that I am 'fearful' of as well.

Currently I am using Celebrate Piano curriculum for this age range - do you (or anyone else) have any recommendations for new curriculum and/or who (girl, 9 - quite mature or boy, 7) should get which? I am leaning towards Piano Adventures, I think.

Feeling a little lost - any advice is much appreciated!

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#64273 - 10/29/13 01:42 PM Re: Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different? [Re: ewoodward]
EllaCat Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 365
Loc: Atlantic Canada
I'd definitely recommend Piano Adventures - it's my "go to" method and has worked really well for my students. I'm not familiar enough with Celebrate Piano to be able to recommend which might be better for each student.

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#64279 - 10/30/13 01:27 PM Re: Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different? [Re: SharonAdelle]
ewoodward Offline
New Member

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 13
Loc: Nova Scotia
Thanks so much for sharing your experience, SharonAdelle!

I have taken your advice and am waiting for a response regarding sibling dynamics and the parent's thoughts.

Your reason for sticking with one curriculum is the flip-side of the coin for me, as I am also really enjoying the curriculum that I am currently using.

Your input is so appreciated!

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#65165 - 07/02/14 09:18 PM Re: Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different? [Re: ewoodward]
Bridget Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/17/14
Posts: 63
Loc: Ohio
I have had this in the past and I recommend using different materials for siblings almost every time. Especially being so close in age. I actually have 2 sisters who are the same age, and I'm SO thankful that I separated them when they started with me. It also helps the younger one to think, read and practice for herself. I have a sneaking suspicion that before they started with me (they were in group lessons before) she simply learned by rote what the older sister played.
I use the PA books most of the time, but have good success with the Alfred series as well. They are set up very similarly which helps consistency in lessons, but are not the exact same. From my personal experience I recommend putting the younger or "less advanced" student in the Alfred series.

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#65180 - 07/05/14 03:54 PM Re: Sibling Beginners - Same Curriculum or Different? [Re: Bridget]
JazzKeys88 Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/22/14
Posts: 6
When I've had the sibling dilemma, I've used the traditional Faber method for the younger, and the "Accelerated" piano adventures for the older beginner. It's great because I can use curriculum I'm comfortable and knowledgable in, and the books are set up quite differently, so there's little opportunity for siblings' comparison regarding their progress.

I had a family that was very concerned about having two sisters take the same instrument from the same teacher. Using those two different Faber books helped a lot. I also found that the older girl really enjoyed classical melodies, while the younger girl likes movie themes and singing along to folk songs. Once I developed a relationship with each girl and found their individual strengths and areas of interest, the family's concern about competition definitely fell to the side. And they are two of my favorite lessons to teach each week!

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