Autumn 2019: Questions and Answers

Note from Sam HollandThe great psychologist, Abraham Maslow once observed, "In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety." C.S. Lewis noted, "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." Changes are coming in the "Questions and Answers" column. As you know, over the past yea...
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How do you teach the dotted-quarter eighth note rhythm?

In this issue, we address the teaching of a basic, but often challenging, skill—the dotted-quarter eighth note rhythm. We wanted to take a different approach and survey several teachers to assemble a wider collection of ideas for you, the reader, to consider. Nine teachers of pre-college students submitted their thoughts on teaching this rhyth...
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Music Reading

​Experience and research tells us that the more one reads a language the more fluency is gained. This is, of course, true of sight-reading as well. Making this happen with our students in an organized and motivating manner eludes many of us, myself included. This is why I was so intrigued when told of the exciting new sight-reading program implemen...
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Boiling it down: Recipes for effective teaching

When I think back on the great teachers I have encountered in my life, I find that they all had one thing in common—the ability to boil things down to their essence. These teachers' abilities to reveal the essence of the subject matter made my understanding possible. Perhaps it was an applied teacher communicating the essentials of tone production,...
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Introducing students to the music of Schumann

Because of the textural, technical, and interpretive demands of music from the Romantic era, students usually do not encounter it until their early intermediate years. Most likely some of the first Romantic compositions a student will study will be by Robert Schumann, whose bicentennial is being celebrated this year. In this issue Sharon Stosur, El...
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When using an intervallic approach, how do you develop faster note recognition? - Expanding on the "blueprint"

If were asked to name the most frequent mistake made by teachers, I would cite the belief that a method or set of materials is complete in and of itself. This belief inevitably leads to some frustration with the materials, and teachers may even abandon the materials to try something else. In reality, every method needs supplements provided by the t...
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How do you integrate composition into your teaching of music reading?

Imagine an elementary school classroom in which students are taught how to read a written language both out loud and to their selves. They have vocabulary drills, spelling tests, reading comprehension tests, etc. Yet these same children are never asked to converse or to write down an original thought. Would they be considered literate? If these stu...
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What common pitfalls occur in the teaching of music reading?

from the series: ​Independence Day: Music Reading Craig Sale, EditorFor this issue my colleague Bruce Berr and I wanted to share our thoughts on common pitfalls that occur in teaching music reading and in teaching rhythmic subdivisions. Having dealt with these issues in our own departments over the years, we decided to "switch departmental hat...
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What common pitfalls occur in the teaching of rhythmic subdivisions?

from the series: ​The Heart of the Matter: RhythmBruce Berr, EditorMy colleague Craig Sale and I have swapped departments this issue by each contributing an article in the other's subject area. Both essays deal with avoiding common teaching pitfalls. It has been stimulating for us to focus on different areas, and we hope that you will fin...
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What Do You Do With Transfer Students Whose Reading Level is Far Below Their Performance Level?

from the series: Independence Day: Music Reading Craig Sale, EditorBefore enrolling any student, I always conduct a pre-enrollment interview. I think that this first meeting is especially important if the student is a transfer student. When this is the case, over the years I have learned to require that:the student must play one or two previou...
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How do you teach reading in group lessons?

from the series: ​Independence Day: Music ReadingCraig Sale, Editor Group lessons are able to facilitate the learning of music reading concepts in an efficient, effective manner. A recent Keyboard Companion readership survey showed that roughly half of those responding utilize group instruction in some way - occasional group lessons, week...
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How is Teaching Adults to Read Music Different Than Teaching Children?

from the series: Independence Day: Music ReadingAdult beginners seem to challenge everything we think we know about teaching. From the books used to the rate of skill development, adult learners are different from children. One thing we can do to understand our adult learners is to put ourselves in their position by becoming students ourselves...
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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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