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Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement: Triads and Inversions

  Many teachers are absolute sticklers for proper fingering in triads and inversions. I am one of these teachers. Witnessing an incorrect fingering creates an unreasonable anxiety, quite possibly out of proportion with the fingering infraction. Knowing this about myself, and less selfishly, knowing the importance of establishing "friendly habi...
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Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement

"Successful teaching at the early levels means three stages: Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement " – Marvin Blickenstaff  Below is a list of phrases or activities that might be seen or heard in a lesson. See if you can decide which item belongs in each of these three categories: Preparation, Presentation, and Reinforcement. "Let's sig...
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Independent Study Project

When I taught on the college level, I would frequently assign my freshman and sophomore students a composition to be learned on their own. No help from me. They might listen to recordings and would sometimes play for friends, but the preparation was basically independent study. Junior and senior level students would be assigned one of those indepen...
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Building Better Practicers

One of our greatest responsibilities as teachers is to provide our students with the skills and strategies to practice and improve independently. In working to attain this goal, we carefully plan our students' course of study, meticulously analyze their pieces, and walk our students through detailed workouts of their new repertoire in their lessons...
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What do you do when you can't find a "purple moment?"

  "Plant a purple moment in every lesson." —Marvin Blickenstaff Marvin Blickenstaff is one of my very favorite people! He is a brilliant teacher and just as brilliant at teaching all the rest of us. Best of all, he is kind, generous, humble, and simply one of the best people you will ever meet. One of the things I appreciate most about Marvin ...
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Musical Growth: A Natural Process

My second child turned one in October. I am always amazed at how much a baby grows and changes throughout the first year. I think back to Christmas last year and he was basically a newborn, sleeping most of the day and not very aware of his surroundings. Only one year later he is nearly running, stealing ornaments off the Christmas tree, eating enj...
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Questions & Answers

Q. I think I had a pretty good college pedagogy class, but I am still unsure about what to include in my student's lesson assignments. Could you offer some guidance on this subject? A. Planning the student's lesson assignment is one of the piano teacher's most important responsibilities. A carefully thought-out and well-balanced assignment takes mu...
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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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