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Clara Schumann: Role Model for the 21st Century

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Clara Josephine Wieck was born two hundred years ago on September 13, 1819, in the German city of Leipzig. Her father Friedrich chose the name Clara, which meant bright, shining, or famous, and from her birth was determined to turn her into a piano virtuoso. By age eleven, she was touring Europe as a concert pianist, often playing her own compositi...
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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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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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