Accompaniment


Scale journey / Value of TFMM

QuestionQuestion
Maureen K., California

I’m working through Touch of Jazz. Neil mentions using the scale journey to process the notes. Can someone remind me where the scale journey is introduced? Time for More Music? Accompaniment 2?

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Nancy L., Ohio

Scale journey is first introduced in TFMM, then expanded on in Accompaniment 2.

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Stephen R., California

TFMM before Wind.

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Maureen K., California

This is my most advanced class, adults who already know how to read, so I took them through Reading Rhythm and Reading Notes but skipped TFMM since the songs were so simple. I need to go back and study TFMM.

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Stephen R., California

Neil describes it as a training ground for learning any advanced piece. Some of the pieces aren’t that easy, though, like August and Wind. I think Watching Things Run is the first more challenging one in the set, in my opinion.

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Laurie Richards, Nebraska

I agree, don’t skip TFMM – lots of GREAT stuff in there. The first three songs are quite simple, but I think that’s a good thing for students. Also there are two duets, a song with six flats, another with six sharps, and a playing-based approach to introducing scale, which is what you’re talking about.

TFMM is where we teach a strategy for approaching each new piece learned from the page, where students come to know “I can figure this out”. So, there is lots more in this program than the songs on the pages. As per usual with Neil, more than meets the eye.

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Maureen K., California

For my own training, Foundation 8 and TFMM and Touch of Jazz and Accompaniment 2 all faced me at once, and I tried to triage to stay ahead of my most advanced classes. It’s worth my time to step back and carefully go through each set of training materials. Some time ago Gordon Harvey posted that he thoroughly “mines” TFMM, and I remember thinking, uh oh, I shouldn’t have assumed that it is more of the same after the first couple of songs.

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Rebecca G., Colorado

This happened to me too, but since I’m a very new reader still, I pulled way back from Jazz and Acc 2 to focus heavily on TFMM. I daresay your students will not be successful with Jazz, Acc 2, and (later) the Development levels if you skip TFMM for reasons Laurie mentioned.

It’s incredibly helpful to me much of the time that SM was my entry into playing piano. I really have no motivation or ability to skip steps for the most part, though I can certainly understand how I might if I’d learned traditionally previously.

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Laurie Richards, Nebraska

It’s all part of the teacher learning curve! It’s a lot of information to digest.

For the first go-round I would recommend focusing on TFMM first, then start on Jazz when you have tackled most of TFMM. Take Jazz at a very slow pace and really let the clues sink in. There’s no rush. When you get into a bit of a rhythm with Jazz, then bring in just the rhythm tracks from Acc 2, which isn’t too big of a leap from Acc Variations.

Remember these are all streams that you will stay with through Development levels. Give them plenty of time, both for yourself and your students.

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Stephen R., California

So far I have had the best results when I don’t skip anything and don’t overlap programs like the Reading programs and Accompaniment. I may once I begin Jazz, but every stream is its own thought process, and after a while it’s a lot to digest.

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Brenda D., Colorado

TFMM is very helpful. Even though the first songs are simple, they become very complex. Also the tools introduced for learning the songs can be transferred to all other reading-based pieces.