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You consistently have high school students that play extremely difficult repertoire such as Chopin Ballades. How do you prepare them to play this difficult repertoire at such a young age?

I am amazed when I see high school students effortlessly playing advanced repertoire, and I have observed that certain teachers seem to constantly have students at this level. Wondering how this is accomplished, I asked two such teachers, Paul Wirth and Donald Morelock, to share some of their methods. Of course success...
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What is the role of "etudes" in a pianist's development? Which ones do you use and when?

Daily I am reminded of the numerous things that should be taught in lessons to develop knowledgeable and proficient pianists. Certainly in a 30 or even  60-minute lesson, priorities must be established for what will be included and what will be left for another day. In my early years of teaching I emphasized the basic keyboard patterns of scal...
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What are your favorite "pre-impressionistic" pieces to help students develop color and imagery and to prepare for the music of Debussy and Ravel?

One of my favorite composers has always been Claude Debussy. I still remember the day I discovered his  P reludes and recall playing the L a file aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with Flaxen Hair) over and over, being fascinated with the harmonies and the magical effect the piece had on me. I found my fingers playing in a different way as I intuit...
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