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Jan/Feb 2018 Mind Matters: Stage fright and symptoms: cause or effect?

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When you think about your stage fright, what are two or three fears or anxieties that come into your mind? When musicians contact me about this painful problem, I typically hear two prominent complaints among many others. These are anxiety about having (1) memory slips and (2) technical failures. As we talk about these anxieties other topics evolve...
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DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: Runner-up essay from the 2017 Clavier Companion Collegiate Writing Contest - Clara Boyett

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In the Spring of 2017, Clavier Companion sponsored its ninth annual Collegiate Writing Contest, inviting college students from around the world to submit 1,500 word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. We extend our sincere thanks to professors Gail Berenson, Pamela Pike, and Suzanne Schons for serving as adjudicators for this y...
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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 ex...
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Pianist as artist: Samuil Feinberg on the role of the performer

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It's not just historically minded pianists who listen to older records. Music lovers of all sorts do. 2015 marked the first year that 'catalogue' albums, defined as any recording made more than eighteen months previous, outsold new music by 4.3 million copies. 1 "Records." That's what Thomas Edison called his reproducing wax cylinders in 1888, asso...
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Playing composers' slurs: From Mozart to the nineteenth century

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In recent decades, scholars and publishers have reproduced composers' original notations in so-called Urtext editions. In these scholarly editions and facsimiles of composers' autographs, pianists will notice two slurring patterns—slurs obviously cutting off a phrase or a melody, or a slur ending before the bar line when the end of the phrase or me...
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What are they thinking? The key to your students’ best performances

The lights are dimmed and a hush comes over the crowd. The atmosphere is charged as your student takes the stage for her recital. She is well prepared and ready for this moment, but there are no guarantees. More than anything else, what happens next hinges on the thinking habits she has acquired during her practice sessions. The key to pianists' be...
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Screens are the new stages: How mobile devices and computers are changing performance

Screens are the new stages: How mobile devices and computers are changing performance
What a great honor it was to be asked to write an article for this series about the future of piano teaching. I feel that so much has already been stated by a number of my colleagues, and of course I concur that we do not have to fear the future and technological change. As others have noted, adapting your teaching to continual changes in technolog...
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Creating cherpumple

You may wonder what baking a cake and giving a performance could possibly have in common, and I have to admit that I never thought about it until the other day. There is something helpful to be learned about yourself in everything you do.  Recently I read an article about a remarkable dessert called the "Cherpumple." You can learn more about t...
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Do perfect performances exist?

Do you remember how old you were when you started playing the piano? How old were you when started lessons; when you played in your first recital? I recall picking out tunes on the piano when I was four years old. My first piano was a little white toy with twenty-four keys. By the time I was five, my mother had bought me a large upright piano, and ...
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The positive pianist: How flow brings passion to practice and performance

We have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like.* ​Mihaly Csiksz...
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Preparing an Audition Program

As the conservatory audition season cycles in once again —as predictable as the ice and snow that always accompanies it in my neck of the woods—it has occurred to me that a simple checklist for teachers might be useful in preparing guileless students for what lies in store. Thus the following brief suggestions for "less pain, more gain": 1) A year ...
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Variations

She always wore a cherry-red coat... ​She always wore a cherry-red coat. At least that is what I remember she wore, whether that fact is true or not. Her gray hair surrounded her head in a fluff that looked like a halo pushed slightly askew, and she walked quickly, her back bent slightly forward in what looked like anticipation, but was probably os...
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Senza piano

In the Spring of 2012, Clavier Companion sponsored its fifth annual Collegiate Writing Contest. College students at any level from any country in the world were invited to submit 1,500 word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. The grand prize was publication of the winning essay in Clavier Companion. The esteemed panel of j...
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An interview with Gary Graffman

An interview with Gary Graffman
​Editor's Note: This article is the first in an intermittent series of articles dedicated to profiling the teaching ideas and methods of various pedagogues. Gary Graffman is a perfect choice for the first entry in this series, as he is not only one of the most effective and influential pedagogues of recent decades, but he was also a student of Horo...
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Lang Lang: A life so far

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Anyone who believed that Lang's Lang's fame would only last fifteen minutes would have had to think twice when they saw the audience at New York's Town Hall on October 20, 2008 It sometimes seems that everyone in the world knows about Lang Lang. He was the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics. He performed at t...
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Recitals -- When can I play?

Richard Chronister loved a good intellectual disagreement. I often think he founded the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy just so he could wander from room to room and listen to teachers fight. He also challenged the column editors of his magazine, Keyboard Companion , to risk poking a few holes in tried and true views. Whenever this column gen...
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It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study

Brenda Dillon is on the faculty of Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas, Project Director for the National Piano Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and is a teacher who loves to help her adult students bridge the gap between wishing and doing.  How Do Yo...
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How Can You Give Your Talent Away?

Every student knows, or at least can imagine, the feeling of pride and joy musicians take from giving a performance that is appreciated by others. It's a feeling that's inspiring as well as gratifying. As one teacher writes in her students' assignment books, "To keep your talent, you must give it away!"  Unfortunately, "giving away talent" may...
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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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