The American Popular Piano series is the revolutionary educational piano course by Christopher Norton, composer of the worldwide smash hit Microjazz, and Scott McBride Smith, visionary leader in pedagogy and author of The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher;
The series has 11 difficulty Levels, and each Level contains: Repertoire album with CD; Etudes album (including Improvisation); Skills book; Technic (technique) book.
•Melodies involve a broader range of leaps and turns. Frequent position changes.
•Harmonies make full use of jazz harmonies, with frequent repeated notes, and double-note figures.
•Rhythm articulation becomes more complex, with a variety of off-beat accents and syncopation.
•Technical Requirements require a full range of speed and movement at the intermediate level.
•Improvisation continues to advance step-by-step building blocks for melodic and vamp construction; level-appropriate terminology and labels for scales, modes, and chords; fluent improvised rhythmic interplay between the hands.
Comparable Pieces from the Classical Repertoire
Bach - Menuets from French Suites
Haydn - easier Sonatas
Heller - easier Studies
Muczynski - Fables, Op. 21
a wide selection of pieces in three distinct categories:
• Lyrical: develops beautiful tone; reinforces careful listening;
nurtures musical expression; improves finger control;
• Rhythmic: instills a steady beat; improves counting; refines
articulation; ensures secure syncopations; internalizes the pulse;
• Ensemble: hones listening skills; encourages regular ensemble
playing; offers rich musical textures even in early studies;
reinforces musical continuity.
The CD, which comes only with the Repertoire Album, contains accompanying instrumental backings both for the Repertoire Album's ensemble pieces, and the Etudes Album's Improvisation modules: • provides convenient practice and performance tempos for realistic
support of the learning process; • stimulates daily ensemble playing; • creates a full band improvisation experience; • makes reaching a polished performance just plain fun!
About the American Popular Piano series:
"Why can't I play more music like this?" asked a fourteen-year-old piano student. "My friends like to hear me play cool music!"
Why not, indeed. J.S. Bach taught his sons using the music of his time: popular dances, preludes and exercises by living composers. It would never have occurred to him to seek out pieces in styles and rhythms one hundred years old. He expected his boys to thrive in the musical world of their time.
American Popular Piano has been developed on the same principles. Students working in this series will:
• develop traditional pianistic and musical skills through music in
contemporary, popular styles;
• be motivated to practice by working on music that is familiar, fun,
and that they can't wait to play; • nurture their creativity and spontaneity through a user-friendly
modular approach to improvisation; • enjoy regular ensemble playing; and find pleasure in a lifelong relationship with music!
Written entirely by Christopher Norton and Scott McBride Smith, American Popular Piano is an educational piano course which comprises 44 books, clearly divided into 11 difficulty levels. With 4 resources in each level from which people can pick and choose, the series provides a fuller curriculum, including important skills such as improvisation.
The integrated, comprehensive course of study provided by American Popular Piano ensures the development of well-rounded piano fundamentals using a combination of classical and popular styles. Each of the eleven levels from (Preparatory for the first year of study, then through the progressive levels 1-10) includes a Repertoire Album with an Instrumental Backings CD, a supporting Etudes Album, a Skills Book, and a Technic (technique) book.
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