Don't Make Me Use My Teacher Voice: How to Get Results Without Getting Frustrated

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I recently assigned a Bossa Nova to my sixteen-year-old intermediate piano student. Even though the style was new to him, he enjoyed the sound of the piece and was excited to learn it. In preparation, we watched performances on YouTube so he could hear a range of tempi and characterizations. We wrote out the beats in the score so he could understan...
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A legacy of excellence: An interview with John and Nancy Weems

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Through their teaching, John and Nancy Weems have instilled in their students a love for music and a commitment to artistic pianism. In addition to a long-standing record of top awards in local, district, and state Texas Music Teachers Association competitions, John has taught winners of the National MTNA Baldwin Junior Achievement Award, the Natio...
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Coping with cross-rhythms

One of the most frequent problems I have encountered with students in my teaching, examining, and adjudicating is their approach to cross-rhythms. Yet, a lack of confidence—even fear—can easily be overcome by informed analysis and practical application.I therefore encourage students to accompany me through the following stages. My examples come exc...
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Yoda eats mushroom pizza

It's the last lesson before the recital. Garrett, age five, is playing "Graduation March," the final piece in Time to Begin from The Music Tree. The B section is made up entirely of half notes and whole notes. The good news? Garrett's rhythm is perfect; a huge improvement over last week, when all of the long notes were being cut short and the accom...
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The teaching of Enrique Granados

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In addition to being a great composer, Enrique Granados was also a dedicated and innovative teacher whose pedagogical approach has been explored only recently. Many of his ideas were not published during his lifetime, but rather entered into his diaries, passed on to his pupils verbally, and annotated on scores. Many of his pedagogical works were, ...
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William Gillock: A centennial retrospective

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"To provide a musically thrilling experience." --Willam Gillock, on the purpose of student piano literature​I often ask my piano pedagogy students to take a few moments to reflect on their motivations for being a music major. After all, studying music is challenging and time consuming, and there's no clear-cut promise of financial riches at the end...
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Beyond the Notes: An interview with Elvina Pearce

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Elvina Pearce studied piano with Isabelle Vengerova and pedagogy with Frances Clark. For more than six decades, she has presented recitals, workshops, and master classes in more than forty states as well as in Canada, the Republic of China, and Australia. Highlights of her pianistic career include recitals in Taipei, Taiwan, and Perth, Australia, a...
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Studio environment: Some keys to success

Studio environment can play an important role in the success of our students with special needs. We don't tend to think of the studio as being more than a tool in the lesson, but the actual environment and the objects present can sometimes be the deciding factors in the success or failure of a lesson. Maintaining a special-needs-friendly environmen...
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The challenges and joys of intermediate teaching

Intermediate Students are Different from Elementary and Advanced StudentsIntermediate-level piano students present unique and greater challenges than do students at other levels and ages. Elementary-level students are constantly learning new concepts and skills. Their curiosity and imaginations are aroused. They are amazed by their abilities t...
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Teach like TED

Since its beginnings in 1984, TED Talks have spread to every corner of the world. The acronym TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. This workshop is modeled on the popular book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo. Gallo divides his book into three main parts: Emotional, Novel, and Memorable, each with three sub-headings. I use his headin...
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Beyond the keyboard: Keynote address, NCKP 2015

Good morning to all. I am delighted to be invited to participate in your conference. Although I am not an accomplished pianist, I have been interested in piano pedagogy for many years. As a result, I am lead to believe piano is taught to many persons by teachers who typically teach the way they were taught rather than according to an objective lear...
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Questions and Answers

Q: Piano teachers have more resources available to them than ever before. With all of the blogs, list-serves, and social media available free of charge, and low-cost online conferences proliferating, why should I expend the time, energy, and money to attend a live conference such as the MTNA National Conference or the National Conference on Keyboar...
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The Future of Piano Teaching: Evaluating new teaching tools

Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. This article is part of that series, which will continue in future issues.The tools for education have changed greatly in recent decades, and they are still evolving.The internet and technologies such as ...
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What are your thoughts on the future of piano teaching?

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​What's next for our profession?Clavier Companion asked twelve pedagogues from around the country to contribute their thoughts on the future of piano teaching. In the following article, each author provides a short musing on this broad question. This series will continue in future issues, where longer articles by the same authors will provide an in...
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Kay Townsend
Piano teaching is considered a very unique and high role in the united states of America. Regularly in the college students give c... Read More
Saturday, 16 May 2020 00:42
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Louise Goss: In Memoriam

Louise Goss: In Memoriam
In April, the world of piano pedagogy lost a legend. In the following pages, friends and colleagues of Louise Goss pay tribute with remembrances and recollections. In the "old days," all senior piano majors at Oberlin were required to take piano pedagogy.I will never forget the excitement our professor exuded when she presented to us the brand...
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Prelude Sets for Every Occasion

I first encountered the fascinating "prelude set" genre, like a great majority of pianists, through Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28. After thoroughly exploring and enjoying the Chopin Op. 28, I was hooked and simply had to find more! The features of this genre are simple enough, yet capable of incredible diversity: a collection of twenty-four sta...
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Teaching Tips from Louise Goss

Teaching Tips from Louise Goss
Louise Goss was a superb clinician and speaker. She had great clarity in her thinking about musical learning and an extraordinary vocabulary, but the quality that stood out above all else was her immense practicality. Most of these quotes are excerpts from transcripts of her public lectures delivered to groups of piano teachers. I often wish I...
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The Professional Contributions of Louise Goss

The Professional Contributions of Louise Goss
The professional contributions of eminent American piano pedagogue Louise Goss are countless.Her tireless efforts, along with those of Frances Clark, include the establishment of arguably one of the first piano pedagogy programs in the United States at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, the creation of the New School for Music Study, the development of...
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Dot spots

Add improvised pizzazz to the easy rhythms found in beginner tunes by asking your students to identify "dot spots."These are places where students can substitute dotted rhythms in place of quarter notes.Instead of this: Students play this: Listen and playIt's not necessary for students to know how to read dotted rhythms prior to exploring their use...
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Musicnotes.com: Creative arrangements for your students

​​The importance of incorporating current music into piano lessons is immeasurable​—you will be more desirable as a teacher, you will see a spark inside your students that hasn't come out since last Christmas, and you may even have some fun making music come to life with your students. By speaking the language of your students through music that is...
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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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