Inside the Studio with Sara Ernst

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Inside the Studio with Diana Dumlavwalla

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Improvisation for Students of All Ages

Reading music is an amazing skill. If you're like me, you love being able to read a new piece of music, and love teaching music this way, but wish to expand your own skills and develop an approach to teaching improvisation. It may feel like a mystery, but with a little daily practice and dedication, this skill can be developed.  As an org...
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Inside the Studio with Elaina Burns

 In this video, I am introducing a new piece to a new student in his second private lesson online. He took early childhood music classes two years ago, but this is his first experience with private piano lessons, and this is my first time starting a private student exclusively online. He was very excited to see the chipmunk appear on the scree...
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Inside the Studio with Clinton Pratt

 This student just started lessons in March. We only had a few lessons before moving to online lessons. In this clip, I'm preparing him for the first piece in the method book that involves dotted half notes and triple meter. The rhythm patterns that we do in the video are in the piece, but he hasn't seen the piece yet. I'm reviewing steady bea...
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Music for the Military - A Small Glance

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Many service members returning home after World War II were diagnosed with "shell shock" and "combat fatigue," which we now refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The military started an experimental music program to help ease the symptoms associated with psychological and moral injuries. Service members listened to recorded music, inte...
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Creativity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

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A 2018 McKinsey report exploring the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the future of work predicts that 50 million jobs in the United States will be eliminated as a result of robots and automation.1 Other reports suggest that, while the workforce will change substantively and irreversibly, AI will help humans work smarter and faster, includ...
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The Score Speaks: Steps to Interpretation for Growing Musicians

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As teachers, we know that there are effective ways in which to analyze a score for musical learning. During my study at the New School for Music Study, Frances Clark taught us systematic ways in which to do this—from the very beginning stages of learning a piece. Among these steps were the following: 1. Look at the piece and think about how it shou...
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More Than Notes: Teaching Musicality Through Movement

What is musicality? Who has it and can it be taught? According to noted music educator and researcher Edwin Gordon, "Everyone has some level of music aptitude, is musical, and can learn to listen to and perform music with some degree of success."1 However, most people do not reach their full musical pote...
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To Play and to Study: The Thrill of Discovery

Learning is thrilling. As we feel our own potential expand, we seek to develop our capabilities even further. We feel excitement when a concept clicks into understanding. Our curiosity is piqued when a new challenge reveals itself. The satisfaction of learning is amplified when we are thoroughly engaged in di...
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Digital Only: How to Teach Creativity in the Music Lesson

I have often heard musicians say that creativity can't be taught – you either have it or you don't. In other instances, I have heard musicians struggle to define or describe what they think creativity is. Some believe it is practically sacrilegious to even try to define creativity. Yet most agree that creativity is the holy grail of any artist – it...
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What are we learning in piano study?

Revealing beneficial intersections In recent years, education in the United States has seen an increased focus on STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. At Clavier Companion, we always look at the "M" in STEM and think that it should stand for music. Here's a quick reminder of just a few of the many things that st...
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Music together: Creativity in preparation for the book

Children are excited by sound, they want to make sound, and they want to explore possibilities and express themselves at the keyboard. Children are brilliant— until someone tells them they aren't. When faced with too many rules and layers of abstract concepts at the beginning stages of study they are often just overwhelmed by information they don't...
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The imaginative piano teacher: Musings on being more creative in the piano studio

As we start a new year of teaching, I believe that many of us wonder how can I improve and become a better, more efficient, and more productive teacher this year? I know I do, even as I start my 44th year of teaching. Of course, I prepare by consulting past lesson plans and pedagogy syllabi. As I meet new students and welcome back returning on...
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Recent Comments
Jinhong Li
I totally agree that creativity matters in teaching, and I like your example of jazz performance. In my limited understanding of j... Read More
Saturday, 19 September 2020 03:12
Abigail Cook
I really love your emphasis on creativity being a necessity in teaching. Music is an artist form, and as such, it requires creativ... Read More
Wednesday, 23 September 2020 19:25
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September/October 2018: Variations

The music of life Serious illness visited my husband last winter. Our lives suddenly became a round of doctor appointments, surgery, tests, treatments, and continual bad news. My husband and I have received thoughts, prayers, food, visits, gifts both serious and funny, cards, and people's heartfelt love. We are gratefu...
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Bringing it Home

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For a pianist without high-level management, organizing a tour can feel like an impossible undertaking. There are many reasons why touring is harder than ever before: venues for classical and jazz music have been shuttering their doors all over the country, audiences are far from guaranteed even at the most reputable venues, most major papers no lo...
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Class piano connections: A Brazil-U.S. group piano project

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Collaboration between two foreign countries can be fraught with deadly secrets, dangers, and mysterious politics. Fortunately, in the case of piano classes in Brazil and the United States, these were not the circumstances. In fact, our collaboration fostered creativity and relationships among the students in both countries.  Beginnings When co...
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Recent Comments
Ebony McKinley
My friend who lives in brazil also take the amazing class of piano by this group. When he calls me he tells me about the essay wri... Read More
Thursday, 18 June 2020 04:11
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Wednesday, 26 August 2020 02:08
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We do your online class as we offer quality Online Class Help and we are best if you’re searching to take my online class for me o... Read More
Thursday, 24 September 2020 01:43
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Roll over, Mozart: Creative improvisation and composition activities

The skill of improvisation is often looked upon as the realm of jazz musicians. Many classical musicians would not dream of "riffing" with Beethoven or Mozart melodies. However, incorporating elements of improvisation and composition in classical pieces can provide students with an active, creative approach for learning repertoire. This "messi...
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Pencil practice 102

As a student pianist at music camp, I once asked an improvisation teacher for tips to help me improve my creative skills. "Learn everything you can about harmony" was his quick answer. Today, I agree that, especially for pianists, chord fluency opens more doors to creativity than any other element of music. Writing chords by root In addition to mas...
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Piano Pentathlon and Piano Hullabaloo: Celebrating the piano

Piano Pentathlon and Piano Hullabaloo: Celebrating the piano
​Many music organizations host annual festivals for student pianists each year where students play in a master class atmosphere, are critiqued, and are given suggestions for improvement. These learning opportunities can be extremely valuable, especially for those preparing auditions and recitals.  Yet, I have often wondered exactly what is "fe...
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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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