Questions and Answers

Q: The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) happens this summer. How is the program shaping up? Can you share some of the highlights? A: I am delighted to talk about NCKP 2017 and shameless in my wish for every keyboard music educator in the world to join us! NCKP is the official professional meeting of the Frances Clark Center for Keybo...

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I recently had the pleasure of hosting ten high-school girls from Kenya. This was their first trip to the United States, and the girls have been part of an online music teaching program at The University of Georgia, where I teach. These girls were very excited to see the U.S. and to try many new experiences. The visit was a grand success, and I'm s...

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Recent Research: January/February 2017

So happy together. An upcoming study in the Journal of Organizational Behavior finds that employees showed higher degrees of cooperation and lower degrees of self-interest when listening to happy music. Study participants took part in a public goods game that involved choices that were either self- or team-oriented. Different groups listened t...

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Variations: Being comfortable in your teacher skin

I recently met a passionate young teacher who told me this story: "One of my students came up to me the other day and observed: 'Mrs. L., you either love what you do, or you just can't find another job!' The child, only seven years old, had already intuited society's adage: 'Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.'" We laughed together over this...

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Summer Piano Study: Ideas and Inspirations


While routine can be valid and effective for piano students and teachers, sometimes a break from the usual can be refreshing. After nine months of the school-year schedule, the summer months provide an ideal time for the exploration of new approaches. The benefits of summer study include the freedom to try a different format for your teaching—if yo...

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Piano Teaching Programs Reviewed: eNovative Piano

eNovate Screenshot

Overview: Subscription-based; there are a range of price plans for individual students, individual teachers, and institutions  Technology required—Internet- connected computer, phone, tablet, PDF reader, Adobe Flash  Website— Customer support includes online tutorial videos  Pros: Excellent pedagogical approach&...

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Learning & Teaching: Improving coordination

Piano technique: Improving coordination  When we consider what makes a pianist good or even great, we usually think of her mastery of the basic aspects of piano playing: correct attention to the music itself, its dynamics and phrasing, individual expression that hears and can evoke the music and the silence between the notes, and command  ...

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Repertoire: West Coast Youth Ragtime Competition

Preparing for the West Coast Youth Ragtime Competition We were languishing in the summer doldrums when Ryan, my fourteen-year-old piano student, reminded me of the upcoming West Coast Youth Ragtime Piano Competition held in November. My initial response was reserved. "You know, Ryan, I'm not sure how many of my students will travel to the Sacrament...

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New Music Reviews: January/February 2017

(S3) Preludes to Mastery, Books 1 and 2, by Chrissy Ricker. Chrissy Ricker's two books of preludes provide a fresh and varied assortment of pieces in Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary styles. There are twenty preludes in the two volumes; each is in a different key, thus offering students exposure to keys they might not visit often. Boo...

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Repertoire: Bach's Two-Part Inventions

Affect in J.S. Bach's Two-Part Inventions Bach's oldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, was born in 1710 when Bach was twenty-five years old. By the time Wilhelm was ten, his father had instructed him in playing—as well as composing—some rather complex pieces. According to The New Bach Reader, Bach used the Two-Part Inventions and Three-Part Sinfonias as ...

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On the Value of Art Music Today


As a promoter of the arts and arts education, in Alberta, Canada (as founder and director of Alberta Pianofest, a summer festival of concerts and piano master classes), I often have occasion to speak before audiences of music-lovers, arts patrons, and potential supporters. These audiences are sympathetic to the cause, and they understand at th...

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January/February 2017: Keyboard Kids' Companion


To print, use the PDF below. Just click on the black bar at the top and click on the print icon!  Alternatively, you can use the down arrow and save it to your computer for sending to your favorite local office supply store for printing. Download PDF File Here

First Looks: Apps for Teaching

Paper leaves a trail, and usually the trail leads to the trash can. For that reason, I prefer to avoid paper and ink and offer virtual lesson assignment sheets. All my notes for student lessons are written in Pages, a word processor app similar to Word and available for all iOS devices. The notes are emailed as a PDF (portable document file) after ...

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Perspectives: Managing performance anxiety


Mastering the inner game: Three "mind coaches" onmanaging performance anxiety by Ali Snow  Don't be nervous! You'll do fine!" "Take a few deep breaths and it'll all be OK." "Here, eat this banana. It'll help your nerves." "Just picture the audience in their underwear!" "You should put yourself in a lot of pressure-filled situations and soon yo...

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Piano Teaching Programs Reviewed: Simply Piano

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OVERVIEW:  Three subscription options:  1 Month - $14.99  3 Months - $29.99  1 Year - $89.99  Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch  Requires iOS 9.0 or later and internet connection  Optional: USB midi cable and Apple Camera Connection Kit for use with headphones  Website:

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CD and DVD Reviews January/February 2017

Maurice Ravel Carlo Grante, piano Music & Arts CD-1289 [Total Time 58:05] This album offers unique interpretations of several of Ravel's masterworks on a Bösendorfer Model 290 Imperial. Performed with crisp pedaling and attentive respect for articulation and attack, both Pavane pour une infante défunte and Miroirs stand out...

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Repertoire: Pupil saver


A cheerful and dependable flower  by Adrienne E. Wiley I love finding new pieces for my students! One of my pupils is ready for character pieces; she is playing late-intermediate literature, and I wanted to find something besides the rather frequently used— although rightly so—Schumann, Gurlitt, Heller, Streabbog, and Burgmüller pieces. I...

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Musical News and Notes: January/February 2017

Benjamin Grosvenor awarded new Philharmonic prize Benjamin Grosvenor is the first recipient of the Ronnie and Lawrence Ackman Classical Piano Prize, the newest prize awarded by the New York Philharmonic. In October, a confidential panel of musicians selected Grosvenor, 24, as the inaugural recipient. The award includes a ca...

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First Looks: January/February 2017


Closer Look: (S3-4) Béla Bartók: Ten Easy Pieces, edited by Immanuela Gruenberg. Immanuela Gruenberg creates a real gem for teachers and students alike in her study edition of Béla Bartók's Ten Easy Pieces, Sz. 39. As a study edition, Gruenberg's book will fully inform both teachers and students about Bartók, his use of folk music, and the individu...

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Making money, making space: Are your marketing strategies deep enough?


While we frequently discuss the advantages and disadvantages of certain types of piano lesson marketing, we often stop short of asking deeper questions that can make our marketing more effective. Understanding how people in the twenty-first century respond to the constant barrage of marketing, and then tailoring our approach respectively, can actua...

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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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