Pupil Saver: The Song of Twilight

The Song of Twilight," by Japanese composer Yoshinao Nakada (Frederick Harris Celebration Series: Piano Repertoire, Level 3), is an accessible and motivating piece for the late-elementary pianist. When I prepared students for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, many students chose this piece as their finale because of its soaring melo...

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Music enhances our quality of life

I doubt that any musician (and many non-musicians) reading this article would argue that the survival of music and art is critical to our nation's well-being. The final words in the previous sentence are the title of an article I wrote in 2008 and just rediscovered when going through some files in my office.1  In writing an opinion p...

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Beyond the Notes: An interview with Elvina Pearce


Elvina Pearce studied piano with Isabelle Vengerova and pedagogy with Frances Clark. For more than six decades, she has presented recitals, workshops, and master classes in more than forty states as well as in Canada, the Republic of China, and Australia. Highlights of her pianistic career include recitals in Taipei, Taiwan, and Perth, Australia, a...

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Questions and Answers: May/June 2017

Question: I've read that Frances Clark often used classics, literature, and social sciences that don't seem related to piano teaching in her pedagogy classes. Would you comment on this and, if possible, give some examples? Answer: This is true and it's something about which I could write many articles or perhaps even a book someday. Frances was a w...

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Practicing with backing tracks

Most young musicians learn to play their instruments with peers in a student orchestra, concert band, or group class. Student pianists, on the other hand, because they typically practice and perform alone for many years may miss out on learning essential ensemble skills such as: Steady beat—keeping a steady pulse and avoiding pauses to fix notes; L...

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YouTube piano tutorials: The Art of Teaching and Lypur


OVERVIEW Price: Free YouTube channels devoted to music education and beginning piano instruction Systems: Available on the web or through the iOS and Android YouTube apps Equipment: Any internet-connected device Website: youtube.com The Art of Teaching https://goo.gl/yLW5DA Lypur https://goo.gl/yJaubq  PROS: The Art of Teaching: Succinct, expe...

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Letters to the Editor: May/June 2017

Dear Editor, My wife is a retired piano teacher and has been a long-time subscriber to your magazine and its precursors. As a music lover, I like to read it too and appreciate it very much. But I must object to your foray into identity politics ("Walk a mile in your neighbor's shoes," Jan/Feb 2017). From a practical point of view, what is a piano t...

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Perfectly managing imperfection

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. ---Vaclav Havel I am listening to seventeen-year-old Olivia play her college audition pieces: a Chopin Ballade and a Bach Prelude and Fugue. I am not her teacher; Olivia has an outstanding mentor at a renowned ...

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How to dismiss a student with kindness

A studio full of hard-working and well-mannered students is every piano teacher's dream. But few teachers actually have the opportunity to live this dream for their entire careers. The truth is that most teachers have at least one student that they do not enjoy teaching. It might be due to a communication problem, a mismatched energy issue, a behav...

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I failed to plan

I try not to use clichés in this column, but lately I've been reminded of the ubiquitous quote, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." As commonplace as this saying is, it holds great truth. Some say this proverb dates back to Benjamin Franklin, though it is likely a paraphrase of his—Franklin used the word "prepare" in place of "plan." Over the la...

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Pianist as artist: Samuil Feinberg on the role of the performer


It's not just historically minded pianists who listen to older records. Music lovers of all sorts do. 2015 marked the first year that 'catalogue' albums, defined as any recording made more than eighteen months previous, outsold new music by 4.3 million copies.1 "Records." That's what Thomas Edison called his reproducing wax cylinders in 1888, assoc...

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Jascha Spivakovksy: Rediscovered Romantic


Our appreciation of pianists of the past is based primarily on their recordings. How amazing it is that in this age of digital technology we can listen to the actual playing of pianists born and trained in the nineteenth century—including pupils of Liszt and pianists who studied with Chopin's students—hearing with our own ears pianism from an era t...

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Keyboard Kids Companion: May/June 2017

Edvard Grieg: Romantic Period Composer Born: Bergen, Norway 1843Died: Bergen, Norway 1907Famous works: Concerto in a minorPeer Gynt SuiteLyric Pieces for Piano Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born into a wealthy family in Norway on June 15, 1843. He had a brother and three sisters. He started piano lessons at the age of six with his mother, and he be...

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Lock in theory with iReal Pro

Developing technical skills builds strong players. Working through technical challenges can be more beneficial when combined with theory concepts and exponentially more engaging when locked into a groove. Fellow Clavier Companion contributor and improvisation specialist Bradley Sowash recommends developing scale playing with backing tracks tha...

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Poetry Corner: May/June 2017

Finger II There was a pianist who developed a third index finger not to play the piano with though it sometimes did intervene discreetly in tricky passages but to point things out when both hands were busy Once in a while the finger shot from his nose to expose an obstinate cougher in the hall or emerged from beneath his tailcoat beckoning a lady i...

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To judge and be judged

Teachers should always strive to provide positive and successful music experiences for their students. Within the walls of the teaching studio, it is much easier to create these experiences—the environment and people involved are familiar, and the teacher has more control of outcomes. However, this is not the case when students leave the studi...

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Procedures and protocols for hiring an evaluator

In groups as large, active, and diverse as most state and local music teacher organizations, the task of hiring an evaluator is one that circulates among different members. While I'm aware that the terms adjudicator and/or judge are probably used more often than evaluator, they are all one and the same. My personal preference is evaluator, as I bel...

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Writing a great critique

The written critique is the single most important responsibility of an MMTA judge. It provides the student with a tangible record of the audition and it may affect and influence the student's development for years to come.   A great critique is nurturing A great critique is always respectful and kind. Set a positive tone by including positive ...

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CD/DVD Reviews: May/June 2017

Les mains nuesMompou • Boulanger • ChaillouMoisès Fernández Via, pianistUrtext Digital Classics JBCC 231[Total Time 60:04]www.urtextonline.com "My hands and I live alone in a small apartment in the rue du Jardinet…" is an arresting phrase from Via's short story "Bare Hands," written for this CD. The story is published in the liner notes, and, toget...

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Closer Look May/June 2017: New Ways with Bach

(S4) Bach Meets Jazz: 15 Well-Tempered Classics, arranged by Phillip Keveren. Phillip Keveren's latest arrangements will entertain anyone who loves Bach. In Bach Meets Jazz, Keveren cleverly adds a jazzy spin to fifteen popular Bach works. All the original melodies in these two-to-three-page arrangements are recognizable throughout, and the setting...

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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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