John Schaum : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

On all the music boards that I've read through, you always hear about Faber & Faber, Alfred, Batstien, etc. You never seem to hear about the John W. Schaum series. I've used Schaum with quite a few beginners, probably because I was also raised on the first few books of the series. I'm finding that more and more I tend to supplement the books with other materials through Level 2, then break-away from the series altogether. Recently I've been toying with the idea of moving to something else altogether. Alfred perhaps.

I would be very interested in hearing some strong opinions for/against Schaum.


-- Wendy (, July 11, 2001


What I've discovered with Schaum is that too much information is given to the student too quickly in the beginning. The students found it easy to play simply by the finger numbers when no notes were present, but as soon as all the notes were on the staff, they seemed to shut down, and it took several weeks to get past the first song. It was very discouraging for the student, who really did seem to be trying her hardest to please me, and for me as well. That student was one of my first students, so I'm sure my technique wasn't as good as it is now, but after that I started to use Alfred's All-In-One course and had tremendous success with it. I still use Alfred, but I also use the Music Tree series.

Schaum is probably still a viable method for older students, and it certainly is one of the most comprehensive Middle C methods on the market. For intermediate students, the later grades can be quite useful for a teacher who needs help selecting repertoire.

I learned with the Leila Fletcher series. My teacher broke from it around book 3 and used repertoire almost exclusively after that.

-- James King (, July 11, 2001.

I'd recommend getting familiar with Hal Leonard and Faber and consider one of those (or both) as a core method, simply because the music itself is so enjoyable. Every method has gaps and different areas of focus, but that's where WE come in with our own sense of pedagogy and sequence. I mainly use these two methods with a matching CD for at least one of them, and have students eventually play through about every method available. When students complete a primer or level 1 book, have them sightplay through ALL of the first books by Alfred, Bastien, Clark, Eckstein, Fletcher, Gillock, Glover, Schaum, Noona, Thompson, etc. (too many out there!) I constantly add to my lending library and find it one of the best investments for any studio. I agree that Schaum does move pretty fast, and doesn't correlate too well with the majority of supplemental music out there. Hal Leonard is now selling their book AND CD for $7.95 total (a bargain!!!), and is currently offering a 50% discount on all books until the end of August. It's a good time to add to your lending library!

-- John Bisceglia (, July 12, 2001.

I just want to clarify some information presented about Hal Leonard and 50% off until the end of August. This half off savings is available to those teachers who receive HL Intouch Newsletter. This newsletter is free and then members also receive special mailings about specials available to members only.

Hal Leonard is also launching a sheet music club that will come out 3 times a year.

To receive any of the above mailings, my newsletter directed teachers to email:

or 1.800.322.1127 ext. 302

I use HL piano series quite frequently in my studio before the newsletter and other perks of belonging - these make it even better.

Regards, Patti Kolk Wood and Ivory Music Studio

-- Patti Kolk (, July 12, 2001.

Thanks Patti! I started using HL since it first appeared and forgot I had to "sign up"! Even if teachers do not want to switch method books, the PIANO SOLOS series with or without CD's is a great supplement.

-- John Bisceglia (, July 12, 2001.

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