A Cultural Awareness Update

Dear Teachers, Friends, and Colleagues,

It has been fruitful to hear from teachers regarding renewed cultural awareness for our piano publications. We thank you for your outreach and would like to share an update on where we are in the process.

Many have asked us whether there will be a new edition. We do not plan a “3rd Edition.” Rather, we are making select changes as we approach reprint deadlines. For instance, you will notice a handful of lyric and title updates along with new, engaging illustrations sprinkled throughout the method. Accordingly, there is no need to re-purchase your studio reference copies. We are offering free downloads of the revised pages in the linked titles below, and updating the digital editions in e-book formats. The Teacher Atlas will include both original and updated pages for easy access.

You and your students may notice the first of these edits in the marketplace this season. Here is a brief overview of the Level 2A Lesson Book which has the most updates:

  • Famous People (p. 11) is now Awesome Creatures. The intrinsic rhythm in the names of some pretty wonderful creatures makes teaching 8th note patterns fun for the teacher and student. Explore other animal names to insert in the melody as a creative, rhythmic foray!
  • I Am the King (p. 26) now bears a chess theme. Many students are being introduced to chess at school clubs, camps, and at home. Chess involves strategy, thinking ahead, and patience—not unlike music! A fun chat about these things may enhance learning.
  • Snake Charmer (p. 60) is now Pyramids at Night. The new title and illustration invite students into the exotic sound of the G-minor 5-finger scale and added C-sharp without possible implication of animal mistreatment.
  • Illustrations (not the music) have been updated for When the Saints Go Marching In (p. 8), Skip to My Lou (p. 12), Leftover Popcorn (p. 13), Ice Cream (p. 16), My Daydream (p. 20), The Puppet Show (p. 28), Pirate of the North Sea (p. 38), and Sword Dance (p. 50).

Level 1 Technique & Artistry Book

Level 5 Performance Book

Level 2B Lesson Book

  • Camptown Races (p. 32) and Boom Boom (p. 33) are being replaced by two beloved spirituals; I’ve Got Peace Like a River and the timeless African-American melody Deep River. We are delighted to have beautiful new orchestrations by Levi Taylor. (For fans of Boom Boom, a rendition can also be found in ShowTime Favorites (p. 19).
  • Various illustrations have been updated for more multi-ethnic representation.

We thank you again for the variety of thoughtful input. And, recognizing that even slight changes may feel disruptive, we appreciate your support and understanding. Most importantly, we greatly appreciate you joining us for a broad, inviting, and culturally aware effort for piano education today.

26 Responses to “A Cultural Awareness Update”

  1. Sandra Bishop December 3, 2020 at 7:48 pm #

    Thank you so much! We appreciate you making these changes available to us.

  2. Austin Biel December 3, 2020 at 8:08 pm #

    Any plans on doing a similar update to the adult books? just curious…

  3. Wendy Scherrer December 4, 2020 at 1:39 am #

    Thanks for adding some more diverse music to the Piano Adventures series. I believe that Hispanic, Native American, African, and Asian genres are also important too. I have students from Mexico and East Africa, specifically Kenya!

  4. Abigail K. December 7, 2020 at 1:56 pm #

    Thank you for taking the time to do this important and difficult work! We should always be examining ourselves and our work with regard to how it affects others and their culture. Piano Adventures is an excellent resource that I will continue to use!

  5. Gretchen Longcore December 7, 2020 at 2:03 pm #

    While these are useful for certain situations, please do not overlook our responsibility to teach American customs and culture to our students. Our rich American heritage is reflected in our music, and what better way to teach it than through piano pieces? Immigrants come here to become American, not to recreate what they’ve left behind. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help our immigrant students to become familiar with our American musical heritage. Let’s not throw that opportunity away.

    • Ms Jean December 31, 2020 at 12:48 am #

      Agree.

  6. Kathy December 7, 2020 at 2:19 pm #

    Thank you!!
    I would LOVE an update for the accelerated series, especially the theory books.
    I use this with at least 30% of my students, new adults and students 10+.

  7. Rebecca S. December 7, 2020 at 2:20 pm #

    Glad to see this! Would also love to see some updates to the supplemental books! I was recently working with a student in the Pre-Time Disney book and had to navigate around the Siamese Cat Song with its outdated stereotypes. And there are so many other Disney songs to choose from!

    Would also really appreciate some winter-themed, non-Christmas music and/or music celebrating other winter holidays around this time of year to offer students an alternative to Christmas music.

  8. Kristi Negri December 7, 2020 at 2:20 pm #

    Thank you so much for a great solution.

  9. Andrea Cochrane December 7, 2020 at 2:21 pm #

    This is great! The new illustrations are beautiful, too. I’m looking forward to an update to the Accelerated and Adult books – Accelerated Book 1 in particular contains many pieces I don’t feel comfortable teaching as they’re presented now, even though I think the method is great pedagogically. Thank you for the update!

  10. Nancy Blockcolsky December 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

    I truly appreciate that the Teacher Atlas will contain both the original and updated materials, since the original material will probably be in circulation for a while. (I still have a student using the first edition because the book was handed down from an older sibling!)

    Also, thank you so much for notifying us of these changes. It certainly helps to know what’s going on and will alleviate any confusion I would have had opening the Teacher Atlas and finding changes I would not have otherwise expected!

  11. Madeleine Rosemond December 7, 2020 at 2:32 pm #

    Agreeing with Sandra Bishop! Thank you for making these updates available to us! Looking forward to your continuing this kindness!

  12. Cynthia Cathcart December 7, 2020 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks for doing this, especially in “Famous People.” I applaud your switch to creatures instead. Along those lines, “The Crawling Spider” could use a pronoun update, especially since most of the spiders we see are female. I have had more than one student comment on this!

  13. Kyle Hohn December 7, 2020 at 2:45 pm #

    Amazing! You guys are so ahead of the curve with Atlas and this update! I know it sounds over the top but it actually made me tear up a bit seeing all these changes. Thank you Faber team

  14. A. D. December 7, 2020 at 3:52 pm #

    Thank you for highlighting these pieces and taking steps to update the curriculum. It speaks volumes about your priorities and the cultural awareness you are trying to bring.

  15. Mary Lorvick December 7, 2020 at 4:04 pm #

    I’m liking the new art work for your updates. I do have a suggestion about a song title-the piece about the Cossacks is very disturbing to me since I have Jewish friends whose relatives were slaughtered by these people in Russia years ago. I always cover the title with black marker and students and I come up with a new title that fits the mood of the music.

  16. Megan Gilles December 7, 2020 at 4:29 pm #

    Excellent! So glad to see these changes being made. Across all books in the Faber series, pieces and the illustrations need to be looked at from cultural perspectives. I have a student from India right now, very interesting to try and think how the student might perceive things. Music from all of the world should be included in the series. Thank you!

  17. Karen Emmond December 7, 2020 at 4:48 pm #

    Thank you for these timely updates and for making them available to teachers!! We appreciate your thoughtfulness and sensitivity.

    Wishing everyone at Faber and Faber all the very best for 2021!

  18. Janice Cook December 7, 2020 at 5:03 pm #

    This is wonderful. Much appreciated.

  19. Sharon Bertram December 7, 2020 at 9:03 pm #

    I’m happy to see the changes and updates, and am especially eager to purchase the snake-free version of Lesson 2A! I too would like to see this carry over to the Adult Adventures and also the Accelerated Adventures. (Maybe not a cultural issue, but I’ve found that my pre-teen/ teen students are more enthusiastic about “Chant of the Monks” when I call it simply “Alleluia”.)

  20. Kim McClain December 7, 2020 at 10:00 pm #

    Thank you! Let’s keep this work going and always be reassessing as a pedagogical practice. Another opportunity for revision could be Level 1 Lesson Book p. 47 Girl On a Bicycle and Boy On a Bicycle. Recently when I was working with a student on those pieces, first we learned them as printed, then we talked about the gender spectrum and then worked up several more variations of the tune. It was a great moment to see how music can sound all different ways, just like gender can look all different ways. Thank you for remaining curious and flexible about your approach to publishing!

    • Meg Freebern December 17, 2020 at 2:19 pm #

      I love that, Kim! Thanks for the great idea. I’ll definitely use your approach the next time I teach that song.

  21. Anna Bonham-White December 8, 2020 at 12:32 pm #

    I really like these changes. Thank you for being sensitive and updating the series.

  22. Libby Castillo December 8, 2020 at 12:38 pm #

    Thank you, not only for making these revisions, but also providing free copies to teachers so that purchasing new studio copies is not a requirement during this trying time.

  23. Suzanne Camino December 9, 2020 at 8:43 am #

    This is a very welcome start to tackling a big and pervasive problem in piano method books. Thank you for showing leadership on the issues of inclusion and anti-racism/anti-sexism. It will be a relief not to to have to skip over so many pieces. I am looking forward to the next stage of this process, as there is much more work to be done.

  24. Lisa Rogers January 7, 2021 at 10:48 pm #

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. And providing these updates to teachers for free is a huge help.

    I do have one request: For some reason, I’m only able to download the first page of “Reverie in C.” Could I possibly get the second page?

    Thank you!

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