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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...
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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, ...
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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...
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Questions and Answers: March/April 2017

Q: I've heard that you use films as source material for pedagogy classes. Would you share an example and discuss how and why you do this? A: Great films capture human experience in a myriad of ways and can be very effective as teaching tools because they draw us into complex situations and provide an opportunity to grapple with problems, concepts, ...
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Questions and Answers

Q: If a family with an active child is trying to decide among competing, high-quality extracurricular activities such as martial arts, dance lessons, guitar lessons, art classes, horseback riding, or piano lessons, what would be your arguments in favor of piano lessons? A: ​ Let's face it. Today's young people (at least in middle-class America...
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Questions and Answers

Q: Is piano study for everyone? Why or why not?  A: There's an answer to this question that I WISH were true. And there's another answer that probably IS true. WISH piano study was for everyone because I believe that everyone—at any age, with any level of ability, from any socio-economic or ethnic background—can benefit from piano study in mea...
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Questions and Answers

Q: Would you please discuss the role of technology in piano teaching? How big a role do you think technology should play in weekly lessons? A:  ​We should revisit this question often, since technology changes so fast. And, for one who has built much of his career on efficacious application of technology in music teaching, what I'm about t...
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Questions and Answers

​Q:  Recently I've noticed that creativity as a theme for conferences and workshops seems to be coming up more and more. What are your thoughts on creativity in piano lessons for the average student? A: I'm glad you asked because I'm on a mis-sion. First, I believe (no, I know ) that all children are naturally creative—until we teach it out of...
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Questions and Answers

In lieu of questions in this issue, the author will share recollections of Louise Goss, visionary teacher, author, composer, editor, and friend who passed away this Spring. If you're lucky in life, you may encounter a teacher who changes everything. Louise was one of those teachers for me. The most powerful teaching doesn't go on in the classr...
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Questions and Answers

Q:  ​What does the Teaching Artist movement have to do with me as an independent piano teacher? A: In the last column (November/December 2013), I responded to a question about Teaching Artists. We discussed the underlying value of "engagement before information" and briefly examined two types of activities pioneered by Teaching Artists: Intera...
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Questions and Answers

Q. This year I have put all of my private students into repertoire classes. I am surprised and delighted with the students' response and with the difference the classes seem to be making in the students' enjoyment and motivation. However, I have not yet succeeded in helping my students make worthwhile criticisms or valid suggestions about one anoth...
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What do college piano majors have to say about their piano study and practice?

Since many of our articles focus on what we, as teachers, think about the needs of the pre-college level student, I thought it would be interesting to survey several college students to find out what they have to say, most particularly about their own piano study and practice habits. Via a questionnaire, I interviewed four students: Jessica De...
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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 and learning.

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