Questions and Answers

Q: How can I learn to use social media to improve and expand my studio business? A: In the last column, I mentioned that if you're not contemplating retirement in the near future, you need an online presence that includes a website, a professional Facebook page, a LinkedIn account, and a Twitter account (at least).  At the Frances Clark Center...

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Bricks or clicks?

Ten years ago, one of my friends asked me if I knew of a cello teacher who would come to the house to teach her children. I looked down my nose at her and said, "Oh, you don't want a teacher who comes to the house. They are not true professionals." The January/February 2013 issue of Clavier Companion featured the magnificent studios of several teac...

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A case for history and theory in the practice room

Music instructors the world over face a common challenge: to convince performance students that music scholarship— whether it be theory, history, or both— is relevant to their more practical endeavors. It is far too easy to dismiss music theory as an end unto itself; as a mechanical act of labeling chords and formal sections, which, at best, has so...

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A day at the beach

The Grade 2 Lessons Book of the Michael Aaron Piano Course (Alfred) is home to a tried-and-true pupil saver, "The Breakers." The piece is excellent for recitals, and especially appeals to older beginners who yearn for a more musical and difficult sound.  "The Breakers" is easy to learn and easy to teach. It is a good introduction to 6/8 meter,...

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Endings

by Bradley Sowash Add pizzazz by repeating the last chord concerto-style in a couple of ranges. Flying hands Play the last chord hand-over-hand Liberace-style for a flashy sound that's also exciting to watch. Then "button it" with a final low tonic note. Scaling away… Try improvising a little scale after the last chord as you fade away. dd one last...

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Teaching students not to rush

by Michelle Conda  Brianna, one of my graduate students, had a student who wouldn't slow down—even with the threat of the "Practice Police." I had my own student who was fast and furious, but sloppy. This concerned me because he wanted to audition for music schools, and that would not be acceptable. I decided to ask my friends from the Faceboo...

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Making practice records work

There was a sign in my college piano professor's studio which said "Practice smarter, not harder." For a determined undergraduate who had no background in good practice habits, these were wise and important words. In fact, my work as a teacher is devoted to showing students how to make the most of their practice. I want them to be accurate and care...

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Loving an old piano

Loving an old piano

You can certainly buy a fine piano brand-new nowadays—that is, if your bank account can stand the shock. After you've looked at the sticker price, the choice will immediately come down to either the new piano or a new Mercedes or BMW, though the piano will have the indisputable miles-per-gallon advantage.  But you can spend much less money and...

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Caring for your piano

Caring for your piano

A well-prepped piano, the foundation of pianism The piano can be a very mysterious instrument. Pianists, whether they are amateurs or professionals, learn a great deal about how to manipulate the keys and pedals in various ways to make music. But very few have more than a vague idea of what is inside the piano, how the mechanism works, how it ...

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A unique collection of historical keyboards

A unique collection of historical keyboards

by Gwendolyn Mok In the fall of 2003, I arrived on the campus of San José State University with my 1868 Erard French grand piano. How I acquired this piano reads like a fairy tale. I was traveling in Amsterdam in the fall of 1995 and walked into a shop on the Keizersgracht owned by Frits Janmaat, who specializes in the restoration of Erard pia...

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Drifting toward interpretation

by Bruce Berr Among musicians, the word "interpretation" appears to be undergoing what linguists call semantic drift—a past meaning changing to something slightly different in the present and immediate future. For example, the word "silly" originally meant happy, then morphed several times into blessed, harmless, then worthy of pity; it has maintai...

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Discovering Dana: A hidden American treasure

This past March, I had a delightful experience that I thought I'd share with you, and, as a result, introduce a fascinating musician, whose music you may wish to explore further. As part of the tenth annual Eastman School of Music Women in Music Festival, I—along with the Greater Rochester Women's Philharmonic— performed a marvelous concerto called...

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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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