Jan/Feb 2018: First Looks - Apps for teaching

Adult beginner piano students enroll in lessons because playing the piano has been on their bucket list for years. Coupled with their excitement comes a realization, though. They may be "masters" at their current profession, but, when sitting at the keyboard, adults become well aware of what they don't know. It's our job as teachers to help them de...
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Jan/Feb 2018: First Looks Book Review - When the World Stopped to Listen: Van Cliburn’s Cold War Triumph, and Its Aftermath

New Music Reviews Closer LookAs someone who was fortunate enough to study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and to participate in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, this book was truly a delight. It not only brought back wonderful memories from Moscow and Fort Worth, but, more importantly, it gave me a much better historical a...
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CD & DVD Reviews: November/December 2017

CurrentsMichael Mizrahi, pianoNew Amsterdam Records NWAM075[Total Time 60:01]www.discogs.com Whether you are an avid fan of contemporary music, a casual listener looking for something off the beaten path, or a pianist looking for new music to program, there is much to admire here. Simply put, this terrific album features solo piano music by a handf...
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New music reviews: November/December 2017

(S3) From Sight to Sound: 6 Original PIano Solos, by Randall Hartsell.  Randall Hartsell composed From Sight to Sound to express the "interconnectedness of nature and our lives," and this collection contains six reflective pieces characterized by melodic simplicity and harmonic richness. The collection capitalizes on the piano's capacity for c...
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Piano Method Review: Tales of a Musical Journey

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Tales of a Musical Journey, by Irina Gorin with assistance from Olga Lukantsov, is presented in the form of two chapter books for young children ages four to seven. Author Irina Gorin writes, "Books 1 and 2 cover the span of the first year of study and will sufficiently prepare the students for classical repertoire."1 The characters in this fa...
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CD Reviews: September/October 2017

Outhere Music Ravel, Scriabin: Miroirs Andrew Tyson, piano Alpha-Classica ALPHA 277 [Total Time 58:39] www.outhere-music.com/en/albums/miroirs-alpha-277 Twenty-year-old Andrew Tyson is a native of Durham, North Carolina, and the rising star's second CD features piano works of Ravel and Scriabin. This highly-recommended release was recorded on a Bec...
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New music reviews: September/October 2017

Happy Holidays! (S1-4) We Three Kings, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Deck the Hall Hoedown, arranged by Wendy Stevens. For teachers wanting some fun and creative options to spice up their holiday recitals, three new arrangements by Wendy Stevens are fantastic choices. "We Three Kings" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" even invite the audienc...
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Piano teaching programs reviewed: ArtistWorks and Meludia

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ArtistWorks OVERVIEW: Equipment needed: Computer, phone, or tablet with video recording capability; internet connection. Mac and Windows are supported. Pricing: Packages are $105 for 3 months, $179 for 6 months, and $279 for 12 months. Video lectures/ lessons, backing tracks, video exchanges and submissions, and theory cour...
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CD Reviews: July/August 2017

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David Rakowski Etudes, Vol 4 Amy Briggs, piano, toy piano and celestaBridge 9477Total Time [87:20]www.bridgerecrords.com This is the fourth volume of Briggs's survey of the staggering 100 piano études of David Rakowski, composed between 1998 and 2010. The studies are characteristically short, stylistically eclectic, and often cleverly titled. Accor...
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Book review: Piano Duet Repertoire

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First published in 1981, Cameron McGraw's useful Piano Duet Repertoire is an invaluable resource for teachers and ensemble pianists. In this second edition, duo-pianists Christopher and Katherine Fisher have updated and enlarged McGraw's volume to a book almost twice its original size. As in the first edition, the volume contains two appendices—"Co...
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New music reviews: July/August 2017

Bastien New Traditions All-in-one Piano Course by Lisa, Lori, and Jane Bastien  James Bastien's series Bastien Piano Basics has been a beloved staple in many piano studios for decades, and now, for a new generation of students, Bastien family members Lisa, Lori, and Jane have written Bastien New Traditions All In One Piano Course. Levels Prime...
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Closer look: Grade by Grade Piano

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A bonanza for creative teachers and students A teacher places a spanking-new repertoire book in front of a student. "We're going to learn a contemporary piece," the teacher says. The student notices, however, that the piece was composed in 1945. "How," the student asks herself, "can this music be contemporary?" Living human beings write new pieces ...
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Method reviews return! A review of Piano Safari

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Method reviews return! In 2009, Clavier Companion began a series of reviews exploring all of the major piano methods published at that time. Two years later, the series concluded and we had covered twelve major methods! (You can access these articles collected into a special digital issue on the claviercompanion.com website.) Since then there have ...
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Our woman at the Cliburn: He was robbed

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Author's Note: Like so many of you, I watched the June 10 Cliburn finals online. (My daughter was graduating from high school on June 10. I can't imagine why the school district didn't plan around the Cliburn.) God save the child whose piano lesson followed little Georgy Tchaidze's. Georgy has his own. And he was robbed. Certainly, all six finalist...
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Judgment is nigh

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"Dies Irae." Judgment Day. In Fort Worth, that day is tomorrow, June 10, when, at the end of the three-week Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, final judgment will be passed on the six finalists. How apt, then, that, in Friday's night concerto round, American Kenneth Broberg performed Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43....
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Our woman at the Cliburn: Brahms triumphant

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There's good, and there's Brahms. The Franck F-Minor Quintet and the Dvořák Op. 81 in A Major allow pianists to display their chops, but, baby, when Brahms enters the room, other composers might as well step aside. It takes intellect as well as musicality to play the Brahms Op. 34 Quintet in F-Minor, and Cliburn finalist Rachel Cheung possesses bot...
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Our Woman at the Cliburn: Dvořák. And More Dvořák.

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How much Dvořák is an innocent listener expected to endure? Quite a bit, apparently, at least if the listener is attending this year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The competition has moved into the final rounds, and each of the six remaining contestants joins the Brentano Quartet in the Cliburn's chamber portion. The finalists coul...
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YouTube piano tutorials: The Art of Teaching and Lypur

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OVERVIEW Price: Free YouTube channels devoted to music education and beginning piano instruction Systems: Available on the web or through the iOS and Android YouTube apps Equipment: Any internet-connected device Website: youtube.com The Art of Teaching https://goo.gl/yLW5DA Lypur https://goo.gl/yJaubq  PROS: The Art of Teaching: Succinct, expe...
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CD/DVD Reviews: May/June 2017

Les mains nuesMompou • Boulanger • ChaillouMoisès Fernández Via, pianistUrtext Digital Classics JBCC 231[Total Time 60:04]www.urtextonline.com "My hands and I live alone in a small apartment in the rue du Jardinet…" is an arresting phrase from Via's short story "Bare Hands," written for this CD. The story is published in the liner notes, and, toget...
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New Music Reviews: May/June 2017

(S3) Aurora: 5 Original Solos Inspired by the North, by Naoko Ikeda. Japanese composer Naoko Ikeda composed five lyrical character pieces based upon "the Scandanavian landscapes of [her] own imagination." Aurora has the potential to motivate intermediate students, especially those who enjoy music with lyrical phrasing and expressive timing. Ikeda i...
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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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