Our teaching method is a combination of the leading musical pedagogy programs which includes a broad repertoire, sight-reading, ear-training, theory, artistry, composition, history, and solfeggio. www.ElenaKeil.com/methodswww.ElenaKeil.com/methods
The core of our music curriculum is Piano Adventures® from Faber and Faber which set a new standard for quality educational publications. This innovative and exciting method series continues to enjoy an unprecedented response from teachers and students around the world.
Piano Adventures® offers 8 levels:
My First Piano Adventure® for Young Beginners ages 5-6
Piano Adventures® for beginning students ages 6 to 11
Accelerated Piano Adventures® for the Older Beginner
Adult Piano Adventures®
My First Piano Adventure is a phenomenally successful series for young beginners ages 5 to 6. This series can be used with students as young as 4 years old. Fun-filled songs, rhythm games, and technique activities develop beginning keyboard skills. My First three levels, A, B, and C, each have a Lesson Book with CD and a Writing Book. For more info, please visit www.ElenaKeil.com/my-first-piano-adventure
Piano Adventures for beginning students ages 6 to 11
All students need the Lesson Book and Theory Book.
Accelerated Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner ages 10 and up.
This course begins with Book One, eliminating the use of a primer. The pieces and illustrations are appropriate for older ages. The repertoire is sufficiently different from the basic course to allow two siblings to both use Piano Adventures. The Lesson Book is essential, supported by the Theory Book.
Adult Piano Adventures for adult beginners.
"All-In-One" books. Book 1 introduces the concepts of music notation, chord playing, rhythm, harmony, and musical form—all through engaging music. Book 2 applies the basics of music theory using "lead sheets" with chord accompaniment patterns. Each unit includes a "3-Minute Technique" page to develop finger dexterity and a "Music Theory" page to develop an understanding of rhythm and harmony.
1. Approach to Reading
Piano Adventures has established a new model for piano methods with its composite approach to note reading. The ability to read music is developed by effectively integrating three skills: 1) discreet note recognition, 2) intervallic reading, and 3) a multi-key understanding. These are carefully sequenced and reinforced to ensure success.
Students begin by learning a limited set of notes—the notes of Middle C Position—yet they play these notes with varied fingerings. For example, the student plays Middle C with finger 1, finger 2, and then with finger 3. As the student learns Treble G (the next in a series of important “Guide Notes”— Middle C, Treble G, Bass F), the piece requires the student to play finger 3 on G, and then 5 on G. Similarly, varied fingering is used for Bass F and other notes presented. This pedagogy has several important benefits:
2. Pianistic Music
A hallmark of the Fabers is pianistic arrangement. The music of Piano Adventures¨ is specifically written (or arranged) for the piano.
3. Artistic Music
The music of Piano Adventures is eminently musical. A method can only be as good as its music, and the music of Piano Adventures shines. The course dovetails technique and artistry so the teacher may bring out maximum expression in the student’s playing. Parents notice the musicality; students thrive on the musicality, and you the teacher will appreciate the musicality. The Technique & Artistry books in Piano Adventures¨ are groundbreaking and unparalleled in teaching technical gestures for artistic playing. The “Technique Secrets” and exercises deliver pianistic tools to play with ease and expression. The “Artistry Hint” and “Artistry Piece” conclude that each unit brings student awareness of sound and musicality to new heights.
4. Student Appeal
Students are attracted to the pieces and sounds of Piano Adventures. Ten years of painstaking pilot testing has ensured that the method has student appeal. Literally, a hundred pieces that did not pass the test of student enthusiasm were discarded and replaced until the method met the standard and musical taste of the piano student and teacher. The tremendous appeal of the music as published has been confirmed by the hundreds of letters and comments from teachers and students across the United States.
5. A Supplementary Library that Motivates Practice
The PreTime to BigTime Piano Supplementary Library correlates with Piano Adventures to provide a broad selection of music to meet each individual student’s interest—at the precise level of difficulty. With styles that include Popular, Rock ‘n Roll, Classics, Jazz & Blues, Ragtime & Marches, Children’s Songs, Favorites, Hymns, and More Popular, the teacher can choose the style that motivates the student and be assured that it is arranged to meet the pedagogical demands of the level. PreTime to BigTime offers the right fit between student interest and student repertoire.
It is rewarding to watch our students’ musical skills develop. We observe routine improvements in note reading, technical dexterity, and increasingly difficult repertoire, but also witness profound development that is subtle and not readily measured. Consider the evolving aspects of artistry: creativity, expression, and sensitivity. Or, what about discipline, focus, tenacity, deep analysis, and flexible learning strategies?
That is quite an impressive list. And, importantly, these abilities can develop with excellent piano teaching. We elevate our teaching objectives by cultivating an artistic mindset. Insightful analysis, creative daring, and expressive sensitivity are potent qualities that are valued throughout a student’s life. These attributes of artistry are captured in the acronym A-C-E—Analysis, Creativity, and Expression—and take center stage in Piano Adventures.
The Discovery question with each piece invites analysis, each unit includes a creative activity, and the Technique Secrets along with Artistry Magic pages develop expression.
Analysis and creativity imply the left and right hemispheres of the brain, respectively. Modern neuroscience additionally finds that the “analytical” left-brain manages expertise, and the “creative” right-brain processes the new and novel. Artistry requires the integration of both hemispheres. Indeed, for a trained musician, music activates the whole brain.
What about the third attribute of artistry? How does expression fit our model? Perhaps we simply acknowledge that expression comes from the heart. The metaphor could not be more fitting. Whole-brain education is compelling, but perhaps incomplete. As piano teachers, we can have transcendent influence. We develop musical minds… and hearts. ©2020 Faber Piano Adventures
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