Inside the Studio with Spencer Myer

In this lesson, we explore ways for Maddox to make his motion more fluid in Chopin's Etude Op. 10, no. 10. He is stressed about the right hand, so we first address body positioning to increase ease of motion, and then we proceed to examine how to rethink groupings in the left hand to make leaps more fluid.Music Featured: Frédéric Chopin - Etude in ...
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Fostering Artistry And Healthy Playing Habits In Beginning Piano Lessons

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Appreciating our Inheritance of Piano Technique Literature

Pianist and pedagogue Joseph Hofmann states: "To transmit one's matured conception to one's auditors requires a considerable degree of mechanical skill, and this skill, in its turn, must be under absolute control of the will."1 After all, how can a pianist be expressive in his or her playing without the necessary preparation? Today we witness piano...
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Illuminations of the Past, Innovations of the Future: Piano Playing and Building in the Twenty-first Century

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The advent and popularization of historical performance practice in recent years has led to some wonderful innovations in piano performance. In many circles, Mozart's original and intimate ideas of phrasing are now readily reinstated and relegitimized over more long-line Romantic approaches; familiarity with Bach's ornamentation and practices of ar...
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The Teaching Legacy of Rosina Lhévinne: An Interview with Daniel Pollack

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"Audiences across five continents—North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa—recognize the pianism of Daniel Pollack for its signature colors in sound, coupled with over-the-edge thrilling virtuosity, giving his performances an electrifying element that catches the imagination of concert audiences. Critics speak about 'his astonishing pi...
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Spring 2019: New Music Reviews

 (S1-3) Imaginations Books 1 and 2, by Kevin Olson. Kevin Olson has a knack for creating fresh and original sounds at every teaching level. While incorporating the reading, rhythmic, and technical skills needed to advance the piano student, Imaginations offers a wide variety of appealing pieces. With titles like "Android Attack," "Penguin...
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Teaching Foundational Technique: Major Key Study

Major Key Study
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Terrence Butler
This is good . As a piano teacher I’m always looking for different ways to teach foundational principles!
Monday, 12 November 2018 13:33
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Teaching Foundational Technique: Five Finger Patterns

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Clinton Pratt
Brilliant! I love Marvin and the way he explains things so simply but well-thought out to provide students a strong foundation.... Read More
Friday, 09 November 2018 08:33
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Teaching Foundational Technique: Warm-ups

Teaching Foundational Technique: Warm-ups
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Daniel Tsukamoto
I think this post is very useful no matter what level the performer or piano student is.
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 17:02
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An interview with Seymour Fink, master technician

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"But that's the way my professor showed it to me!" Her eyes were open wide, her voice a wail. I was talking to a young teacher whose student had just played—poorly—in an international festival. In a subsequent masterclass I tried to show her a more efficient, better sounding way to teach her students to play chords. It hadn...
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Toward integrated teaching

Would you teach your students to play only the first six notes of each major scale? Of course not! Good teachers introduce a complete concept, often from multiple perspectives. They may emphasize the building blocks of scales, key signatures, logical fingering, good practice habits, and healthy technique. Out...
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May/June 2018: Create and Motivate

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Combining scales and chordsHere are three exercises that benefit all musicians regardless of their preferred style or approach to making music:1. Scales2. Chord drills3. Scales and chords togetherThe last two columns offered interesting ways to practice the first two. Now, here's a way to combine scales and chords into one activ...
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March/April 2018: Create and motivate

The previous issue's column included a list of the benefits of scale practice as well as an approach to "squaring" scales to fit the four- and eight-measure phrase lengths so common in piano literature. Now, here's another way to practice scales for advancing pianists. Assign it to students who have a history of being motivated by extra challenges....
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Create and motivate: scales 101

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Practicing scales combines technique, muscle memory, and theory in one exercise. Yet when I asked a transfer student if she understood why her assignment included scales, her reply surprised me: "No, not really, but they must be important because my previous teachers also insisted I practice them." Sometimes, we, as teachers, forget to explain why ...
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Create and Motivate: Developing seventh-chord fluency

The ability to recognize and play chords without hesitation benefits all pianists. For improvisers, chord fluency enables practical skills such as learning tunes by ear, transforming lead sheets to arrangements, jamming with others, and creating one's own part in bands. For those who prefer to play written music, facility with chords improves learn...
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Gourmet care and feeding of the pedals: Pedal uses and their regulation

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In my thirty-five years of touring, my relationship with piano technicians has always been a focal point. They are my partners in creating a memorable musical experience. In looking together at the hundreds of pianos that I've encountered, in large and small venues, from super high-quality brand concert grands to older...
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Having fun with scales

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Yeah, right! Is it really possible to have fun playing scales? For many students, practicing scales is a chore. In fact,it is a big chore and seems to be boring and confusing while taking too much time away from practicing pieces. "If my piece does not have a scalar passage, why should I play the scale of this piece's key? That is a waste of time!"...
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Practicing double-thirds scales

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Why study double-thirds scales? Practicing double-thirds scales facilitates the performance of similar double-thirds passages encountered in the piano literature.1 Routinely practicing the double-thirds major scales readies the pianist for major and minor scale fragments, as well as challenging chromatic double-thirds passages.2 Some complete ...
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Developing triad chord fluency

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Like language students who have memorized vocabulary but are not yet conversant, pianists who have learned to construct chords may not yet be "chord fluent." So how do we help our students move beyond music theory worksheets to being able to interpret chord symbols and identify underlying harmonies in literature more easily? One approach involves a...
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The Alexander Technique as a "means whereby"

In the summer 2015 issue, Clavier Companion published an article that was dedicated to the Feldenkrais method, and in a little box at the end of the article the Alexander Technique was mentioned. Knowing Feldenkrais (1904-1984) was actually a pupil of Alexander (1869-1955), I thought the Alexander Technique also deserved an article. Frederick Matth...
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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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