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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Having studied piano minimally as a child (six months?), I decided at the age of 49, while at my daughter's recital, that I'd like to learn, but perhaps without the cost (at least at first) of lessons. So after looking through several books at the local music store, I bought this one, with CD (very important, but seems not to be the version sold on Amazon). It was just the ticket.
In four months I have completed the book, and now can play moderately complex beginning pieces (for variety, I've supplemented it with a few pieces from getsheetmusic.com, and can play level 3 and occasional level 4 pieces from there). Each page teaches just the a little bit more, and gives you the practice pieces to master it before going on. A very steady, satisfying rate of progress. You also learn notation, musical terms, intervals, and a smattering of music theory, such as keys, although this is not real strong. I found it useful near the end of the book to go back and review just the theory pages in one sitting; they then came together much better for me than when I ran across them one by one through the course.
The musical selections are uneven, but most are fine. They are all public domain, in a wide range of styles from jazz to folk to spiritual, and some are quite beautiful (a haunting arrangement of "Scarborough Fair," the rousing gospel "Standing in the Need of Prayer" -- and I'm Jewish <g>). You end with the first part of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" (somewhat simplified arrangement, although they don't say that, but still quite nice) and "Amazing Grace."
I think it's very important to get the book with CD. The CD contains all the practice pieces, and helps you realize if you have the notes or rhythm wrong (like a teacher stopping you and saying, "no, like this.")
Alfred is a major musical instruction publisher, and they offer many companion books at all levels, from theory to technique ("Finger Aerobics") to music in all styles (and for all instruments).
A few nits:
(1) the CD is midi; it would be nicer if it were a real piano
(2) they teach three methods of chord notation -- full notation on the staff, names (i.e., G, D7), and primary chords (I, IV, and V7), but are uneven in providing the name and primary chords for the pieces throughout, so you can't always practice that
But those are minor nits. My playing continues to steadily improve, and what I'm learning makes me a much more educated listener, too.
It's time to move on to book two.