A question of focus

"What is the future of piano pedagogy?" An astute teacher asked me this in the last session at the end of a three-day conference. It stopped me in my tracks. What an excellent question-one I have even asked of others. But now, in front of a very intelligent and experienced group of pianists, it was my turn to grapple with an answer. And grapple I d...

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Competitions: Pinnacles and Pitfalls - An interview with Daniel Pollack


A prizewinner in the first Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition (1958), Daniel Pollack was invited, following the competition, for a two-month concert tour throughout the Soviet Union, becoming the first American to record on the Soviet Melodya label. Over the next several decades many recordings followed, all of which sold in the millions a...

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The state of international piano competitions: A "frenzy for attention"

Against considerable odds, serious piano study appears to be thriving worldwide. Talented youngsters from East and West continue to crowd into conservatories and study standard repertoire, despite the temptations of popular culture to pursue alternate paths. Many in the piano world worry, however, that this glut of new artists gathering in the mark...

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Donald Waxman: An American Classic

Are all piano composers dead?" my student asked. The question seemed a bit ironic since we had just finished working on a folk song that was arranged for the piano by me. Last time I checked, I wasn't dead. But I understood what she meant. It does sometimes seem that piano teachers spend an inordinate amount of time working on the music o...

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How do you work on improvisation in your group classes?

Improvisation activities with your group classes can be surprisingly effective. Working with their peers can help encourage and motivate students to try out different ideas and get over any initial hesitation they have about improvising. It is an activity that can engage everyone, and students get to develop their aural skills as they listen to eac...

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The recession-resistant studio, Part II

According to follow-up reports from Music Teachers National Association members, the impact of the economic crisis on piano studios continues to be related to similar criteria reported in January 2009. A survey was prepared and conducted by graduate students Gulimina Mahamuti and Erika Kinser under the guidance of Dr. Robert Weirich and Dr. Di...

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When using an intervallic approach, how do you develop faster note recognition? - Expanding on the "blueprint"

If were asked to name the most frequent mistake made by teachers, I would cite the belief that a method or set of materials is complete in and of itself. This belief inevitably leads to some frustration with the materials, and teachers may even abandon the materials to try something else. In reality, every method needs supplements provided by the t...

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Preparing for competitions

Piano instruction in France I grew up in France, where the system of piano instruction is totally different from that of the United States. It is virtually free to the student, costing about three hundred dollars a year. To continue lessons, however, students must pass rigid examinations in piano performance; these include twelve progressive levels...

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A survey of current methods: Piano Discoveries

This issue continues Clavier Companion's survey of piano methods.1 Each article in the series has several sections. The first section is a synopsis written by the Associate Editor. This synopsis covers the basic content, scope, and approaches of the method. The second section contains articles by two teachers who have used the method extensively in...

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Seeds for the future

Fallow periods. Farmers know every crop field needs them. The earth cannot sustain continuous growth. Why then do we humans think we can? Unflagging effort creates steady progress, or so the story goes. Yet who among us is capable of unceasing work and ever-expanding creativity? The instant communication of this twenty-first century world heightens...

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About Piano Magazine

Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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