How does teaching in small groups help students' rhythmic development?

from the series: The Heart of the Matter: Rhythm Bruce Berr, Editor It is an often-discussed perception that as we get older, time seems to pass faster and faster. This phenomenon has been observed and written about throughout the ages in many different cultures. I remember my own personal suspicions about this being confirmed when I was ...
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How is Rhythm Enhanced by Solid Technique Skills?

from the series: The Heart of the Matter: Rhythm Bruce Berr, editor The question this issue straddles two departments in the magazine, Rhythm and Technique. It was therefore a natural for the editors of these two departments - Scott McBride Smith and myself- to answer the question. The interplay between these two elements is a practical a...
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Italian language rhythm as facilitator in the piano/vocal collaboration

The problems in ensemble facilitation that occur between pianists and singers in the collaborative setting have engendered a number of humorous, and more often vitriolic, exchanges between the two instrumental disciplines. Is there a single pianist or singer who has not, at one time, heard (or hurled) such comments as "That singer can't count!" "Th...
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The Heart of the Matter: Rhythm

 Marvin Blickenstaff, Professor of Music at Goshen College (Indiana) where he teaches applied piano and courses in piano pedagogy and music literature, was named 1990 Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Music Teachers Association. With Louise Bianchi and Lynn Freeman Olson, he co-authored the series Music Pathways (Carl Fischer Publis...
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How Do You Teach Your Students Not to Hesitate at a Bar Line?

Keep_moving
In one of the earlier issues of KEYBOARD COMPANION, a subscriber wrote to the Rhythm Post Box offering a suggestion for handling the problem of students who pause before a bar line. Her suggestion was to "white out" the bar lines, removing that visual barrier. The possible need for such an extreme solution illustrates that the issue of rhythmi...
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How Do You Use Computer-Assisted Instruction to Teach Rhythm in Your Studio?

The greatest innovation in our teaching studios this past decade has been the new technology. This fact is made obvious by the topics of our teachers' association meetings, presentations at conferences, and the display areas of conventions. Each issue of KEYBOARD COMPANION has one section devoted to the new technology. The teaching of rhythm has re...
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How Do You Practice Rhythm? - A Student Survey

In a recent faculty seminar our resource person was an educator whose research expertise focuses on teaching effectiveness. During the seminar he showed video-tapes of effective classroom procedures and outlined ways in which we could improve our own teaching techniques. He mentioned that, although there is much research on the components...
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How Do You Teach Fluent Rhythm Reading?

When piano teachers talk about music reading, we tend to think only of note reading. In fact, the questions we have posed for this department of KEYBOARD COMPANION have concentrated on just that one aspect of reading. Likewise, students seem to give note reading first priority when they sightplay new music. If they can't find the next note quickly ...
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How Do You Teach a Piece Containing Both Duplet and Triplet Eighths?

from the series: The Heart of the Matter: Rhythm Subdividing a beat is not such a formidable task to experience and understand. Many of the words we use are made of polysyllables (that one has five!). Our names and the names of towns and states are excellent examples of the way language subdivides a pulse. Anyone can say Mississippi Cowboy or ...
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When Does Rhythmic Training Become Training for Interpretation?

When one first reads the question posed for this month's column, an initial reaction is that the question may be a loaded one. Or perhaps the reaction is: "Obviously, from the very beginning." However, the intent of the question is neither to trick the reader nor to state the obvious. Rhythm does, indeed, become one of the major considerations as w...
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When and how do you introduce the first rubato

Onw of the finest musicians I know, a world-famous teacher/ performer, says, "Flexibility and nuance make music human. Without them, music becomes mechanical." This idea is also expressed when Nelita True speaks of making like things different. I find that most of my young students are wonderful imitators. They delight in following my example,...
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How do you teach dotted rhythms?

Although the steady pulse is fundamental to the concept of rhythm, the lilt and forward movement of rhythm is created through the variety of note values. Dotted rhythms are vital to our rhythmic experience. Folk tunes, patriotic songs, hymns, and Christmas carols are replete with dotted rhythms because of the life they give to the rhythmic flow. Th...
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How Do You Encourage a Student's Involvement in the Movement of Music?

Movement in music occurs on many levels. It can be felt in one's body as a conscious - or unconscious - physical response to a vibrant march, a soothing lullaby, or some other sort of music. It can be studied through a consideration of issues related to pulse, rhythm, phrase structure, phrase shape, and musical form. And, in teaching, physical move...
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The Heart of the Matter: Rhythm

​Marvin Blickenstaff is Professor of Music at Goshen College (Indiana) where he teaches applied piano and courses in piano pedagogy and music literature. With Louise Bianchi and Lynn Freeman Olson, he co-authored the series Music Pathways (Carl Fischer Publishing Co.). What Kind of Counting Do You Use With Beginners… and Why? by Marvin Blickenstaff...
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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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