Questions and Answers: September/October 2017

QUESTION: I've read that Frances Clark often used classics, literature, and social sciences that don't seem related to piano teaching in her pedagogy classes. Would you comment on this and, if possible, give some examples? ANSWER (Part III): In the last issue, we explored an essay entitled "The Aims of Education" by English mathematician and p...
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Questions and Answers: July/August 2017

QUESTION: I've read that Frances Clark often used classics, literature, and social sciences that don't seem related to piano teaching in her pedagogy classes. Would you comment on this and, if possible, give some examples?   ANSWER: This is the second response of what could be dozens of answers to this wonderful question. In the last issue, we...
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Questions and Answers: May/June 2017

Question: I've read that Frances Clark often used classics, literature, and social sciences that don't seem related to piano teaching in her pedagogy classes. Would you comment on this and, if possible, give some examples? Answer: This is true and it's something about which I could write many articles or perhaps even a book someday. Frances was a w...
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The many faces of music: Pre-conference keynote address, NCKP 2015

As past president of the Board of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, let me offer each of you a warm welcome to this 2015 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. It is our hope that you will find each session on the program inspirational, challenging, and packed with practical information for use in your teaching.  And now, let ...
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How Do We Get to the Center?

"Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything."– Plato  In the new issue of Clavier Companion, Pete Jutras wrote a thought-provoking article titled, "Finding the Center." In the article he challenges us to keep the "person" the focus of what we...
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A New Venture

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In my last blog, I highlighted the achievements of Frances Clark and Louise Goss by giving a timeline. Today, I will fast-forward to 1981. This information was obtained through interviews and school literature. As you may recall, Frances Clark and Louise Goss organized an undergraduate piano pedagogy program at Westminster Choir College in 1955. Fi...
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New School Timeline

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I decided it might be a good idea to summarize what I have written for those who have not visited our website until now. In addition to this overview, I have added a few new statements about Frances Clark's workshops and her vocation as a columnist for keyboard journals. In 1945, Frances Clark organized the country's first four-year piano pedagogy ...
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Grow!

"Teaching is a growth, a natural process. It's the way children grow. No one tells them to be an inch higher, they BECOME an inch higher."– Frances Clark When I was the Admissions Director at the New School for Music Study, I would always let parents know that Frances Clark incorporated principles of educational philosophy into the art of teaching ...
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It Takes Training

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Well, Christmas is just a few days away, and here I sit in sunny California waiting for snow. My relatives assure me that it has snowed in the past. Maybe it has, but I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I am writing this blog about The New School for Music Study. When I conducted research for my thesis, I cited several sources for the following inf...
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Only the Best

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Happy holidays. I can't believe Thanksgiving has come and gone with Christmas right around the corner. Although it's a busy time of year, I'm assuming you have a moment to browse our website. If not, perhaps you are reading this and other postings after the holidays. Just in case, let me say, "Happy New Year!" In my first blog, I explained that wri...
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First Steps on the Path toward Self-Reliant Learning

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 "My primary goal as a piano teacher is to create a climate in which my students can experience continual musical, intellectual, and emotional growth, and to become increasingly dispensable to them in the process. Everything I do as a teacher, and every other teaching goal I have, relates directly to the first, most basic objective – to help m...
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A New Approach Leads the Way

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Having read my other blogs, you should be somewhat familiar with The Frances Clark Library for Piano Students. To recap, I have explained how the Clark Library is designed as a comprehensive piano course based on a thorough analysis of the learning process. I have also stated that the advantages of Frances Clark's teaching approach have been recogn...
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The Art of Teaching

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Welcome back. This week, I want to take a closer look at the elementary books of The Frances Clark Library for Piano Students. Along with my own analysis, I found information from several sources, including Robert Kern's dissertation and the video: Conversations with Frances Clark, vol. 1: Her Life and Teachings. In addition, I conducted interviews...
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Nothing More than to Learn: Creating the Environment

"The art of teaching: Creating an environment in which a student wants nothing more than to learn, and having the right materials for the situation." – Frances Clark What comes to mind when you read this quote? Do you begin to form a list of ways that you, as a teacher, can create this environment? Do you feel uncertain as to whether or not you are...
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A Change for the Better

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 Last week, I promised to continue a summary of how Frances Clark's method books were incomparable. Believe it or not, there is still more to be said about the Clark piano course. For example, did you know that the concept of a comprehensive piano library in itself was a novel idea? Contrary to many other methods, the Clark course integrated a...
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Breakthrough!

Before I begin where I left off, I have to admit that writing a blog on Frances Clark is not an easy task. Miss Clark accomplished so much that it is difficult to summarize what needs to be said. Nevertheless, I will try to describe what made her piano method unprecedented. Developing an expansive library of teaching materials was certainly a chall...
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Nothing to undo

"We must rid ourselves of the notion that in each day of practice, we make fewer mistakes than the day before." – Frances Clark I believe that this idea is directly related to Frances' knowledge of the importance of habit. From William James: "We are copiers of our past selves." Frances often spoke of the first performance of any new piece. If the ...
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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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