The Piano Magazine

Clavier Companion is the premiere magazine for piano teaching and learning.

Celebrating Leonard Bernstein at 100: An exploration of his solo piano works

Bernstein
Bernstein's Musical Legacy As the Leonard Bernstein centennial draws to a close, it is an ideal time to consider the extraordinary career of one of the most significant musical figures of the last century. A prodigious multi-talent, Bernstein became a renowned composer, conductor, pianist, author, teacher, and humanitarian. Although some counseled ...
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Deciphering Chopin’s shorthand in the posthumous Mazurka in F minor

​If someone had told me a decade ago that I was going to produce the first (and, so far, only) published reconstruction of Chopin's posthumous Mazurka in F Minor that includes every uncanceled measure of the composer's sketch, I would have laughed. But apparently when a performance opportunity inspires a research obsession, unexpected things can ha...
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Inclusion: Part 1, Bringing music-making to everyone

inclusion
If there is one thing that music can do, it can bridge all divides. It does not recognize age or gender, race or social class. Music does not recognize disability. Music does not discriminate. It finds and nourishes the good in everyone, and every person has the ability to experience and make some kind of music. If we cannot find a way together, or...
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May/June 2018: Create and Motivate

Scaling-the-Chords_20180425-001800_1
Combining scales and chords Here are three exercises that benefit all  musicians regardless of their preferred style  or approach to making music: 1. Scales 2. Chord drills 3. Scales and chords t ogether The last two columns offered interesting  ways to practice the first two. Now, here's  a way to combine scales and chords into...
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May/June 2018 First Looks: Apps for Teaching

SuperScore-Logo
A closer look at SuperScore A unique liquid display? Embedded performances? Interactive features for learning and performing? An amazing library of scores? Is it possible that all of these features are found in one free app? Yes, in an app called SuperScore. To say that George Litterst, developer of SuperScore, is a pioneer in the world of music te...
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May/June 2018: Research: Unlocking the Keys to a Musical Mystery

Reproduction-of-George-Washingtons-1793-Longman--Broderip-2-Manual-Harpsichord
It has taken more than a year of painstakingly detailed work for Conservator John Watson to get closer to his goal of re-creating a piece of history.The Associate Curator of Musical Instruments for Colonial Williamsburg is fashioning a replica of a harpsichord George Washington purchased in 1793 for his teenage step-granddaughter Eleanor "Nelly" Pa...
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Piano Adventures® Receives 2018 MTNA Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award

piano-adventures
Piano Adventures by Nancy and Randall Faber, has been selected as the recipient of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award for 2018. The method was selected by members of the Frances Clark Center Board of Directors and ratified by the MTNA Board of Directors at its winter meeting. This annual award was e...
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March/April 2018: The Winds of Change

winds
You may have heard that  I am retiring from my  teaching position. If all  goes according to plan, 2017–2018  will be my final year of piano "professordom." It  was not an easy decision, but after forty years  in the studio, it's time to make room for others.  I will still teach, but independently. I recently look...
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From Schumann to Schoenberg

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Cover: Blaues Selbstportrait, 1910 by Schoenberg Breakfast was not a good idea before tackling measures seven and eight that featured sixty-fourth notes and tremolos, as well as a meter shift from 6/8 and 3/8 to 2/4, among other mind-bending directions. Is playing music meant to induce nausea?  At age ten, I took one year of piano lessons. Ado...
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March/April 2018: First Looks: New Music Reviews

First-Looks
(SE3-4) Fantasia del Tango: 6  Original Piano Solos and 1 Duet,  by Eugénie Rocherolle. Fantasia del Tango augments  The Eugénie Rocherolle Series  with a volume of tangos by a  perennial favorite pedagogical  composer. Dedicated to  Kathleen Theisen, the seven  pieces in this collection (six solos and one du...
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March/April 2018: First Looks: Apps for teaching

Looking for fresh ways to prepare students for an upcoming theory test? Need a new method to reinforce and build student confidence in any music-related topic? Consider using Heads Up or Kahoot.  Heads up  Ellen DeGeneres introduced Heads Up for her show years ago, as it makes a terrific family game for holiday fun. The app comes with a v...
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March/April 2018: Mind Matters

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What is your performance fear? I just returned home from doing an interview with Dave Wagner, host par excellence, at the WRCJ-FM in Detroit. It felt wonderful to walk into the studio on a frigid morning here in Michigan and to be warmly welcomed with Dave's greeting, "I look forward to talking with you about combating stage fright." Dave's comment...
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March/April 2018: Create and motivate

The previous issue's column included a list of the benefits of scale practice as well as an approach to "squaring" scales to fit the four- and eight-measure phrase lengths so common in piano literature. Now, here's another way to practice scales for advancing pianists. Assign it to students who have a history of being motivated by extra challenges....
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Thank you, interns!

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Nearly two years ago, the concept for this website was launched, plans made, web designer hired. It has been, and continues to be, a massive project! We could not be as far along as we are with archiving materials if it weren't for the interns who worked long hours to upload content. We are now at over 1,000 articles that are searchable for your te...
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Jan/Feb 2018: First Looks: Recordings

First-Looks
  Nyman: Complete Piano Music Jeroen van Veen, piano Brilliant Classics 95112 [Total Time 1:50:45] brilliantclassics.com Prolific Dutch pianist-composer Jeroen van Veen presents all of Michael Nyman's existing solo piano music. Many will recognize Nyman (b. 1944) as composer of the soundtrack for the 1993 award-winning film The Piano , and—of ...
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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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An American family’s musical journey through Cuba

Cuba
As the iron door into Cuba slowly creaks open, Americans have been eager to learn more about life in this decades-long isolated country. Once a tropical vacation destination for a quarter of a million tourists each year, the country became plagued by political, social, and technological barbed wire for more than five decades. After a 2014 initiativ...
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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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Class piano connections: A Brazil-U.S. group piano project

Brazil
Collaboration between two foreign countries can be fraught with deadly secrets, dangers, and mysterious politics. Fortunately, in the case of piano classes in Brazil and the United States, these were not the circumstances. In fact, our collaboration fostered creativity and relationships among the students in both countries.   Beginnings When c...
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DIGITAL ONLY CONTENT: We are related: a few extra stories from China

Temple of Heaven
Rambo meets Rocky "We are related!" said the young communist translator assigned to us in Guangzhou. We had been warned that the official translators were there to watch us closely, so I was caught off guard. "How is that?" I asked. "Because you are Rambo, and my American name is Rocky." As unexpected as it was to find Sylvester Stal...
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