Do perfect performances exist?

Do you remember how old you were when you started playing the piano? How old were you when started lessons; when you played in your first recital? I recall picking out tunes on the piano when I was four years old. My first piano was a little white toy with twenty-four keys. By the time I was five, my mother had bought me a large upright piano, and ...

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The miracle of music: An interview with Stephen Hough

Stephen Hough has been called a Renaissance Man. In 2009 he was named one of the top twenty living polymaths by The Economist and Intelligent Life magazines. In addition to a full international concert schedule, the award-winning pianist and recording artist—who in 2014 was made a Commander of the British Empire—has been prolifically blogging on Th...

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The Future of Piano Teaching: Evaluating new teaching tools

Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. This article is part of that series, which will continue in future issues. The tools for education have changed greatly in recent decades, and they are still evolving. The internet and technologies such a...

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The positive pianist: How flow brings passion to practice and performance

We have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like.* Mihaly Csiksze...

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Advancing intermediate students

In today's world where younger and younger students are effortlessly performing advanced repertoire, I want to gain insight from their teachers on how this has been accomplished with multiple students. Donald Morelock is one of these brilliant teachers. It is no accident that his students achieve a high level of playing. It is obvious that he think...

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Dorothy Stolzenbach Payne: Remembering a legendary Cincinnati piano teacher

Dorothy Payne

Last year I stumbled upon a short book called Is There a Piano in the House? This book is about the life of Dorothy Payne, well-known teacher and pianist in the Cincinnati area. I was astonished to read about a teacher who specialized in group teaching and adult learning in the 1950s. This extraordinary woman was chosen Woman of the Year by the Cin...

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Comping 102 -- Going further with "boom-chicks"

Last time, we explored playing a basic (boom-chick) stride pattern to accompany students when no duet part is provided. Now, we'll consider two ways to enhance and adapt this useful "stock" accompaniment. 1. Passing note bass Add variety and momentum to the steady boom-chick of a basic stride by connecting the roots of chords with passing bass note...

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Effective,enforceable studio policies

Why do I need policies? Constructing effective and enforceable policies is ultimately about preserving relationships with our piano families. By communicating our expectations formally, we are making space to concentrate on what is most important—teaching. It may feel a bit stiff to require that parents read and sign a contract, but clarifying expe...

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Variations: Take the leap

Do you remember your first piano student? I certainly do. His name was Steve Glickman, and I was his fifth piano teacher in four years. It was 1974. I had just completed my Master's degree in Piano Performance at Northwestern. True, I had studied Piano Pedagogy with the legendary Fran Larimer, and had already taught several students as part of her ...

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Brahms and the women in his life

Johannes Brahms was born into poverty on May 7, 1833, in Hamburg, Germany. His mother, whom Brahms adored, was seventeen years older than his father, a double bass player. Recognizing Johannes's musical talents and thinking he might be another Beethoven, the father began giving Brahms lessons. By age ten Johannes's talent spurred his father to seek...

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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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