ADULT - learning of music theory : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Subject: ADULT- learning of music theory

I found this web site on a hunch because at the suggestion was for "total" beginners to seek out high quality Piano Tutorials that cover all of the BASICS in Music Theory because most all of the marimba books presume the ability to sight read with ear adequate training too! Please critique my choices as shown below.

After spending "hours" on looking over the selection and reading all the reviews here is the list:

1-a. Music Fundamentals Paperback - (January 1994) by Elvo S. D'Amante 210 pages

1-b. Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner by Frances Clark, Louise Goss Paperback (June 1980)

2. Modern Jazz Piano : A Study in Harmony by Brian Waite Paperback - 96 pages (January 1997)

3. All About Chords : A Comprehensive Approach to Understanding Contemporary Chordal Structures and Progressions Through Solid Drills in Suggested Study: questions, keyboard drills, and ear-training exercises by Elvo S. D'Amante Paperback - 120 pages (September 1988)

Since I am going the route of total self-instruction at the age of 50+ there are definite goals which I have in mind ,but public performance is not one of them. I would acquire the first two book immediately and weave them together with Mitchell Peter's "Fundamental Method for Mallets" which I already have. This latter text is 99% etudes & drills of all major and minor scales to develop manual technique and sight reading facility for mallets. The later two books are the reward of getting me to jazz & blues my ultimate goal.

Along the way I am going to "cheat" and get a copy of Rebecca Kite's soon to be published Anthology of Lute and Guitar Music for the Marimba - need that soul food!

Your forum is a real service to the Percussive Arts to which the Piano tops the list with felt hammers on wire. Just so you know that I'm not a total agnostic; my father was a life long piano player and had his own band in high school during the Depression. I also very often listen to my many Teddy Wilson and T. Monk CDs with relish ;but the tone color of Marimbas just speaks to me more strongly!

Supportingly yours, (dn)

Dan Neal (

Note: At a later date when I have mastered the rudiments and have a musical vocabulary it makes sense to seek out a Master Teacher which is probably the only way to get objective critiques and refine!

-- Dan Neal (, July 29, 2001


I'd like to encourage you to find a good teacher. Even though there are many things you can learn from a book and listening to records, at the beginning stages of study any student is especially lacking in the ability to be self-critical, at a stage when it is probably most important to keep on the right course. "First in, last out" is a saying that accurately describes how the bad habits that we learn at the beginning are the last habits that we successfully get rid of.

Music is a language. I suppose there are people who have learned to speak French by reading books and watching television, but I truly doubt that their studies (and accent) wouldn't have been more successful with a good teacher.

And if you do decide to get a teacher, try to find a "master teacher," as you call them, who will work with beginners. Get the best teacher you can find.

-- Alan (, July 31, 2001.

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