Questions and Answers

Q. This year I have put all of my private students into repertoire classes. I am surprised and delighted with the students' response and with the difference the classes seem to be making in the students' enjoyment and motivation. However, I have not yet succeeded in helping my students make worthwhile criticisms or valid suggestions about one anoth...

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Proverbs for Pianists

There is a great deal of wisdom encapsulated in proverbs. While they are meant to apply to life in general, they also have specific applications to piano playing and teaching. I enjoy using these aphorisms while teaching, and they often become a quick way of reminding students of a principle that is eluding them at the moment. "A chain is only as g...

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In Memoriam: Emilio del Rosario, 1934-2010

I begin each day at the piano with a collection of scales, chords, octaves, and arpeggios. Many prefer to simply slide into sections of the music instead; to me, this routine has become akin to brushing my teeth in the morning. During these sessions, a soundtrack in my mind accompanies the double thirds and sixths. An emphatic voice exclaims myster...

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The trapeziectomy diaries: Part two

The trapeziometacarpal joint, also called the "trapezium," is at the base of the thumb. Osteoarthritis, a well-known condition suffered by many adults, affects the trapezium in some people. Sufferers experience pain, stiffness, and weakness in the thumb joint. This is particularly troublesome when the sufferer is a pianist.  Luckily, there are...

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An interview with Christine Barden

An interview with Christine Barden

An internationally recognized authority and leading music educator on early childhood music, Christine H. Barden is a coauthor of Alfred's Music for Little Mozarts preschool piano method, along with Gayle Kowalchyk and E.L. Lancaster. A graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in piano performance, she also spent four years studying...

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Welcoming young children into your studio

Welcoming young children into your studio

Interested in widening your student base to include young children? Recent research points to enhanced brain development, increased musical potential, and even a higher occurrence of absolute pitch in students who begin lessons at an early age. In his essay "The Musical Brain," researcher Donald A. Hodges writes that "musical training changes the b...

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Marko Tajčević's Songs from Mur Island

Piano teachers are always looking for fresh music for their students to make lessons and recitals more interesting. One collection that could be a welcome addition to the teaching repertoire is Songs from Mur Island by Marko Tajčević. This collection, largely unknown in the U.S., is an attractive set of pieces useful for developing musicianship and...

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Celebrating fifty years at the New School for Music Study: A three-generation review

Celebrating fifty years at the New School for Music Study: A three-generation review

The New School for Music Study, a not-for-profit community music school specializing in music study at the keyboard, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary during the 2010-2011 academic year. Located in Kingston, New Jersey, the New School for Music Study has 250 students (children and adults) and serves as the teaching laboratory for the Frances Clar...

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What are the most important rhythmic skills for the early-level student?

I remember the first time I heard Elvina Pearce talk about piano teaching. I was a doctoral candidate in piano performance and pedagogy at Northwestern University in the mid-1980s, and a special class of master's and doctoral students was assembled so that "Mrs. Pearce" could teach both at the same time. From the very start I was riveted by the pre...

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Chord Substitution

One thing that has always drawn me to jazz is the harmony. It is fascinating to hear how a single chord change can define one artist's interpretation of Autumn Leaves or Night and Day from another artist's interpretation. Applied judiciously, these harmonic variations will add touches of color to your own arranging and performing. When one chord is...

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Making music come alive

In my early years of teaching I clearly remember commenting about my students' playing to my husband, "All the notes and rhythms are correct, but they don't sound that good. I'm not sure how to help them make the music 'come alive'." I certainly have many more ideas and solutions than I did as a beginning teacher, and have learned a great deal from...

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Brain trust: Words of wisdom from early childhood experts

Brain trust: Words of wisdom from early childhood experts

There's nothing more invigorating than a room full of young children eager to learn music. And there may not be anything more important to all music educators than giving these young children a good start.  In addition to a love of music and children, early childhood specialists need comprehensive training. Three top thinkers in early childhoo...

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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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