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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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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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How do you know when a student is ready to perform a piece?

​​​One of my studio recitals just ended. As I write this, I am  eating a leftover brownie and may snarf down a couple  more. Would wine be better? Probably, but it is only four in the afternoon. The recital went well. For one thing, everyone showed up. This doesn't always happen. For another, no one was wearing a sports uniform. While I a...
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Praise for nothing means nothing

My six-year-old granddaughter plays soccer in a league where the coaches and parents refuse to keep score, because they want the children to "feel good about them- selves and their performance." One afternoon my husband made the mistake of cheering on Corinne's team as it made a goal. Within earshot of our granddaughter, the coach took him aside an...
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Recitals -- When can I play?

Richard Chronister loved a good intellectual disagreement. I often think he founded the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy just so he could wander from room to room and listen to teachers fight. He also challenged the column editors of his magazine, Keyboard Companion , to risk poking a few holes in tried and true views. Whenever this column gen...
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What Do You Like About Group Lessons?

​The Magic Triangle: Teacher/Student/Parent ​G roup teaching takes special skills. I rediscovered this fact last Fall when I began teaching Music  Together, a program for infants, toddlers, and their caregivers. True, I had taught regular third and first grade sometime during the Dark Ages of my 20s, but time passes and memories fade. I distin...
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Putting It All Together: Repertoire

​ Martha Appleby is an author, cli nician, and independent piano teacher whose studio is in Charleston, Illinois.  As a clinician and teacher, she is known for her effective blend of expertise, good humor, and common sense. She has recently returned from Brazil where she was Visiting Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the Federal University in Por...
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About The Piano Magazine

The 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 the Piano Magazine in 2019.

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