Creative music mentors know innately that NO Primer Package with its sequence of red, blue, and purple levels, A, B, C etc. will meet the needs of most piano students. That’s because each pupil is an individual with unique talents, abilities, strengths and weaknesses which demand a flexible, singularized plan of study.
By example, my student, Liz, age 8, having had about 4 or so months of study, is at the crossroads: from her Primer Method book, (Clark’s Time to Begin) to early repertoire study, and unfortunately, I’ve not found any one collection amidst the vastly published pedagogical materials, that embodies music with ear-catching
melodic/harmonic/structural and synthesized technical value.
This is why I’ll continue to OUT-source this post-Primer journey drawing on pieces from various collections that have been carefully evaluated.
Flashback REFERENCE: Liz’s music-learning journey in its earliest stages
In the following two videos (Part 1 and 2), I begin by summarizing my pupil’s journey to the present, describing the creative excursions we’ve made, since I refuse to be regimented by any piano METHOD, but instead I use the basic material as a SPRINGBOARD to self-realizing CREATIVE activities.
Composing, transposing, etc. have been well-integrated into lessons, along with theory and harmonic analysis on a very fundamental level. Since this student has unusual cognitive and affective abilities that are combined with her natural musical instincts, her path might be carved differently from those of other students with an altered set of gifts and capacities.
Finally, in my TWO Part tutorial or overview, I’ve drawn on the works of Kabalevksy, Gillock, Tansman, Paciorkiewicz, Lubarsky, Poole, Beyer, but also recommend a host of composers for this early bridge to repertoire study. The list includes Turk, Gurlitt, Reinagle, Peskanov, Randall and Nancy Faber, Rebikov, Bartok, et al.
Gillock is a particular favorite!
Here are further Gillock samples played by various Beginner level piano students, including infusions of my instruction: (I think Level 2 is misapplied to ACCENT on Gillock–Blue, as many of the pieces in this collection can be taught to students not rigidly categorized)
My Gillock inspired concert for Aiden cat:
Many teachers will add to the mix, a big serving of modern, jazz style works by contemporary LIVING composers that add a spicy dimension to an enriched musical adventure.
In this example, Fritz plays a well-known Boogie, and then plays his own composition!
The teacher/student duet playing experience is also invaluable in this post Primer transition as evidenced by some of these older videos with relevant samples. (This particular student, Fritz, age 8, had a potpourri of repertoire experiences)
A Primer flashback sample duet from Faber Piano Adventures:
The Repertoire-based journey should be fun, enlightening and packed with enticing musical adventures if selected pieces are the right fit for the student.