At what point do you discontinue using method books with more advanced students? What does their curriculum consist of (i.e. what do you do for repertoire, technique, etc)?
Wow! Like my Introducing Baroque Music post, I’m afraid this will reveal my lack of structured lesson planning when it comes to the higher levels! Just don’t report me to the pedagogy police, ok?
If a particular student really thrives on sequence and structure, then I’ll keep them in the method books (Lesson and Technique and Artistry) through all the levels, but otherwise, usually after the second or third level of the Faber series, we transition into early classics and other supplemental music. I’ve used a whole variety of early level Classical repertoire books over the years. Usually when a student gets to that point, I spend some time at the music store pouring over the new releases and looking back through the previous series’ I’ve used, trying to pick the books that I think will be just right for that student.
I look for books that have representative repertoire from each of the time periods so that I can incorporate stylistic techniques and tidbits of music history along with the learning of the pieces. The Exploring Piano Classics series is my newest favorite! I’m not very good at remembering book titles, but here are a few others I really like that come to mind:
Essential Keyboard Repertoire edited by Lynn Freeman Olson
Masterwork Classics by Jane Magrath
Beautiful Etudes by Victoria McArthur
Expressive Etudes by Suzanne Guy
Succeeding with the Masters Festival Collection by Helen Marlais
I’m sure there are other great ones as well, so hopefully some others will chime in! What are your favorite repertoire and technique books for advancing students who are moving out of method books? Also, at what point do your students move out of the method books?
Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!