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#65728 - 08/29/15 02:56 PM Opinions-how important is classical repertoire?
Amberly Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/26/13
Posts: 6
Loc: South Carolina
I have several students at the end of Level 1, beginning of Level 2 (the ones in Level 2 are using the Accelerated Piano Adventures). In your opinion, how important is classical repertoire? Is it up to the students' interests or should it be part of every piano student's work?

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#65733 - 08/31/15 10:04 AM Re: Opinions-how important is classical repertoire? [Re: Amberly]
EllaCat Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 365
Loc: Atlantic Canada
I think young students should be exposed to a variety of music from all genres, both to build a solid and varied skill-set, and so they can determine for themselves what they like and don't like. I've found that most beginner children don't have strong preferences as to what they like to play - that comes later, both as they play more music and as they get older and their musical taste develops and gets more specific.

I think that the older and the more advanced a student is, the more role they should have in choosing their own repertoire. Beginners just don't have a heck of a lot to pick from - but as they advance, options open up. For teenagers & adults, I try to get them to tell me what they want to learn- and help them find level-appropriate music within that framework.

The parent's preference also applies - some parents have a strong desire that the student receive classical training.

If I had to pick for a student? I'd pick a variety from all types of genres, to give a really balanced education, and ensure the student didn't close any doors without giving something a try first. But my preference isn't the only thing at play in the teacher/student/parent relationship smile

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#65748 - 09/02/15 09:08 PM Re: Opinions-how important is classical repertoire? [Re: EllaCat]
J.Baker Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 02/03/15
Posts: 21
Loc: New York City, NY
I agree with EllaCat that it is not an either/or situation. All of us who teach know too well that there is a gap in the piano repertoire of really decent music for the piano student who is between the late-beginner to early-intermediate stage. The great composers left us very little to work with in that category. And not all students adore Bartok and Kabalevsky.

The Faber book series helps fill this gap with arrangements not only of classical compositions, but some excellent arrangements of American standards from the mid-twentieth century. I regard these as good teaching material because the arrangements are elegantly laid out for the keyboard (unlike most other 'Easy Piano' books that are badly arranged) and provide an opportunity to teach the student how to shape melodic phrases, as in, for example, Misty and other 'pop' songs. This is good preparation for the much longer melodic lines of Chopin, Liszt, Schubert, etc. when they reach that level.

Once the student is well into intermediate stage then compositions like the sonatinas of Diabelli, Clementi, Mozart are accessible, as well as the easier works of Bach (Inventions) Beethoven (Fur Elise) Debussy (Cakewalk) and so forth.
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