Pete Jutras, Ph.D., NCTM, is the Editor-in-Chief of Clavier Companion. He is Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy Specialist at The Hugh Hodgson School of Music in Athens, GA, where he also serves as Associate Director for Research and Graduate Studies. 

A world of music - guide to the seven cover story articles for Jan/Feb 2018

the-world-of-music
In less than forty-eight hours, it is possible to move between almost any two points on the globe. A hundred years ago, many of these journeys might have taken weeks or months. In addition to the incredible ease of physical travel, in the last ten years we have developed the ability to connect with anyone on the planet in a matter of seconds. Video...
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Lessons with (from) Kenya

Kenya
It started with a simple question. On an otherwise normal fall day a few years ago, I was introduced to Bilha Ayieko, a music teacher from Kenya who was visiting the University of Georgia. 1 Bilha came into my office and provided a little background about her music program at an Moi Girls' School, an all-girls' high school. 2 She was a vocalist by ...
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Thank you

This Editor's column will be my last for Clavier Companion . After eleven years at the helm of this magazine and its predecessor, Keyboard Companion , I have decided to step aside. Eleven years is a long time, and I have enjoyed every moment of this wonderful ride. When I accepted the position of Editor-in-Chief in 2005, it was an exciting time fil...
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Yoda eats mushroom pizza

It's the last lesson before the recital. Garrett, age five, is playing "Graduation March," the final piece in Time to Begin from The Music Tree . The B section is made up entirely of half notes and whole notes. The good news? Garrett's rhythm is perfect; a huge improvement over last week, when all of the long notes were being cut short and the acco...
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Letter to the Editor: September/October 2017

Dear Editor, The Editor's Page ("Who will save the guitar?" July/August 2017) commented on the 10,000 hour rule of thumb. This has been rumbling around in my mind for a little while as a confluence of discussions that all reference this "law" have been keeping the idea active in my head. The comment about taking 10,000 hours to reach expert or mast...
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Who will save the guitar?

In recent years, there's been a lot of discussion about the state of the piano teaching industry. We know that piano sales have declined dramatically, but has there been a decline in the number of people studying piano? In the absence of thorough data, we can only look to anecdotal evidence, which seems to be highly variable. I hear from teachers w...
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I failed to plan

I try not to use clichés in this column, but lately I've been reminded of the ubiquitous quote, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." As commonplace as this saying is, it holds great truth. Some say this proverb dates back to Benjamin Franklin, though it is likely a paraphrase of his—Franklin used the word "prepare" in place of "plan." Over the la...
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Keyboard Kids Companion: May/June 2017

Edvard Grieg: Romantic Period Composer Born: Bergen, Norway 1843 Died: Bergen, Norway 1907 Famous works:  Concerto in a minor Peer Gynt Suite Lyric Pieces for Piano Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born into a wealthy family in Norway on June 15, 1843. He had a brother and three sisters. He started piano lessons at the age of six with his mother, and ...
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New Music Reviews: May/June 2017

(S3) Aurora: 5 Original Solos Inspired by the North , by Naoko Ikeda. Japanese composer Naoko Ikeda composed five lyrical character pieces based upon "the Scandanavian landscapes of [her] own imagination." Aurora has the potential to motivate intermediate students, especially those who enjoy music with lyrical phrasing and expressive timing. Ikeda ...
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News and Notes: May/June 2017

Actors at the piano Musicians are occasionally disappointed to see inaccurate portrayals of instrumentalists performing in the movies or on TV. For close-up scenes of a character playing a musical instrument, many actors use hand doubles, or act out a performance which is later overdubbed by a professional musician. Some actors eschew the idea of h...
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In Memoriam: Robert Vandall

Robert Vandall, a beloved composer and teacher, passed away on Feburary 9, 2017. Vandall was born on February 15, 1944, in Ohio, and he earned music degrees from Baldwin-Wallace College and the University of Illinois. He owned and operated the Vandall Piano Studio for thirty-eight years, and he also taught at community colleges in Springfield, IL, ...
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Another world

I recently had the privilege of attending the Winter meeting of the National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM) in Anaheim, California. This is one of the two biggest music industry trade shows in the world, and it was quite a spectacle. The Anaheim Convention Center covers fifty-three acres, and NAMM occupied every inch. Imagine a main exhibit...
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I saw Mozart in Motown

You may think that I'm losing my mind—that my elevator no longer stops at all of the floors (and you may be right), but I just saw Mozart in Motown. I wasn't in Detroit, and there wasn't any time travel involved. Indulge me for a moment, and I'll try to explain. It was late afternoon, another beautiful day in northeast Georgia. The sun was starting...
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Editor's page: In order

For most of our daily activities, there is an order to things. This order is usually logical and almost always functional. Taking an "out of order" approach to a routine task may render it impossible, meaningless, or absurd. Putting our shoes on before our socks, backing the car out before opening the garage door, brushing our teeth right before ea...
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What are your thoughts on the future of piano teaching?

thoughts-on-the-future
​What's next for our profession? Clavier Companion asked twelve pedagogues from around the country to contribute their thoughts on the future of piano teaching. In the following article, each author provides a short musing on this broad question. This series will continue in future issues, where longer articles by the same authors will provide an i...
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The Future of Piano Teaching: Changes and Constants

piano-teaching-jutras
Mixed signals . We live in a time of unprecedented change. This thought is one that is expressed frequently these days—you may even find it to be clichéd. We hear it so often that we may not stop to consider what it really means, or if it is even as true as we might believe it to be. In this issue, Clavier Companion begins a series of articles that...
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An Interview with Dennis Alexander

An Interview with Dennis Alexander
Last summer, my son Andrew learned a Dennis Alexander composition entitled "Full Moon Rising" (from Simply Sensational , Book 1 ).Like many students playing many Dennis Alexander pieces before him, he was completely enthralled by the sound of the piece. As a teacher (and in this case a parent), I reaped the invaluable benefits of having an intrinsi...
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The piano on film: An interview with director Peter Rosen

The piano on film: An interview with director Peter Rosen
​Chances are you've seen a film by Peter Rosen. From his award-winning documentaries of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition to biographical portraits of legends from Claudio Arrau to Van Cliburn and Leonard Bernstein to Yo-Yo Ma, he has produced a legacy of more than one-hundred feature length films. These films have brought a world of ...
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A musical voice: An interview with Yuja Wang

A musical voice: An interview with Yuja Wang
A​t age twenty-five, Yuja Wang has already compiled a list of accomplishments that could define a full career. A Gilmore Artist and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Prize, she has released four recordings on Deutsche Grammophon and performed recitals to critical acclaim across the globe. She has appeared as a soloist with many of the world's pr...
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The career challenge: Problems facing today's pianists

The career challenge: Problems facing today's pianists
The career challenge: Problems facing today's pianists An interview with Jacques Leiser ​The twenty-first century is blessed to be an era with no shortage of talented young pianists, many of whom are armed with impressive technique and a commanding repertoire. For the pianists themselves, this poses a particular challenge. With a seemingly endless ...
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