Winter 2022: Questions & Answers by Jane Magrath

Q. I want to include some diverse literature for my intermediate students as we prepare for recitals, festivals, and competitions this spring. What are some collections or pieces that I might look into for their piano study?  A. Yours is a timely question since so much fresh solo piano literature at the intermediate level i...

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A Tribute to Marvin Blickenstaff and his Pedagogical Legacy


Marvin Blickenstaff has been a pillar of the North American piano community for more than five decades. His dedication to outstanding teaching, learning, and performing has been honed through his work with innumerable students and their teachers. Anyone who has witnessed Marvin working with young pianists understands why his work is so powerful. He...

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An Interview with Jane Magrath and E. L. Lancaster


At the 2019 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Jane Magrath and E. L. Lancaster will receive the NCKP Lifetime Achievement Award. Magrath grew up in South Carolina and earned degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wesleyan College, and a D.M. from Northwestern University. She joined the faculty of the University of Okl...

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First Debussy piano pieces with pedagogical advice


Claude Debussy was a person of great restraint and even considered elusive by some. He was not concerned with the technical issues of a pianist, and yet was highly attentive to the quality of a pianissimo and its relationship to softer or louder levels of sound. We know his playing generally did not reach a forceful fortissimo. He cared less about ...

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From good to great

Jim Collins's book Good to Great 1 has spent years on business bestseller lists and has been translated into thirty-five languages. In the book, the author and his team of researchers investigate how some companies have transformed themselves from good into great, increasing and sustaining growth in sales and services. Despite its popularity o...

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Creative being and the disciplined life

Imagine living our lives sans creativity.We would never vary our diets or the kinds of books we read.We would dress in similar styles every day, no variety, ever. Inevitably we would slow down our personal growth.We would minimize the "highs" in life, and reduce possibilities for personal discovery. And, we would probably practice piano by mindless...

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What matters more: talent or effort?

Recently I saw a cartoon that showed two smiling parents watching their child as he brushed his teeth. A banner was posted over the top of the bathroom mirror that said, "Congratulations on brushing your teeth!" One parent was looking adoringly at the child, hands clasped, while the other stated, "I just feel like we're setting him up to be disappo...

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Blizzards, performances, and best-laid plans

So many of you experienced a winter similar to or much worse than the one we had here in Oklahoma, with blizzards, winter storms, and unexpected changes in our plans. It was a horrible winter weather year! Winter seems so far away now, but it certainly impacted our personal situations and teaching during this past year. Where I live, we often desce...

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Chopin's teaching

We all know Chopin's piano literature-almost every serious piano student plays (or aspires to play) his works. But what do we know about Chopin's teaching? After all, teaching was an important part of his life and provided his main source of income.1 What can we take from Chopin's teaching in the 1800s and apply to our own professional models ...

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A question of focus

"What is the future of piano pedagogy?" An astute teacher asked me this in the last session at the end of a three-day conference. It stopped me in my tracks. What an excellent question-one I have even asked of others. But now, in front of a very intelligent and experienced group of pianists, it was my turn to grapple with an answer. And grapple I d...

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Piano Pedagogy Forum Keynote Address

Warm greetings as we bring you this, the initial posting from a new and exciting web journal! In my capacity of writing this inaugural keynote column I feel compelled somehow to recall and share something of the reasons why we are excited to be professional or amateur musicians - we are, in six words, totally and hopelessly committed music lovers. ...

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What are the most important aspects of technique to cover in the first years of piano study?

Every week, it seems, we hear of another case of pianists' hand and arm problems. Well-known concert performers, up-and- coming young artists, promising students ... the list appears endless, and each pianist's affliction sounds more debilitating than the last. Are these injuries more frequent in today's musical world? Firm statistics are not ...

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Describe Your Own Home Practice. Why Do You Do It?

From the series, The Other Teacher: Home Practice By Elvina Pearce In all previous issues, this department has dealt with student practice. In this issue, we focus on teacher practice. Probably, regular practice on the part of teachers is something all of us find commendable.However, implementing such a good intention is not always as easy as ...

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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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