Mental and Emotional Well-Being in the Time of COVID-19

The recent global pandemic has generated a mental health crisis in our culture. Although experts will not fully comprehend the psychological effects of COVID-19 for many years, millions of people around the world are currently experiencing the repercussions. The complex emotions associated with the coronavirus include feelings of fear, grief, loss,...
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Checking In: Mindful Body Awareness for Pianists

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"You have pneumonia." It shouldn't have been a surprise. A cold reared its ugly head just as the school year started, but I had to push ahead. No daycare the week that classes start? Stay up late to write your syllabi! Feel like you might collapse? Those classes won't teach themselves! Been six weeks since you felt like yourself? It'll clear u...
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Self-Compassion In the Studio: Helping our Students Practice with Kindness

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As musicians striving towards perfection, we engage in destructive self-talk while practicing, undermining our confidence, disconnecting us from our bodies, and cutting us off from authentic artistic expression. With increasing rates of anxiety and depression among adolescents and teens, our young students often feel overwhelmed and ...
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Winter 2020: Book Review

With The Mindful Musician: Mental Skills for Peak Performance, Vanessa Cornett demonstrates how mindfulness has the potential to change musicians' lives, fostering a healthier outlook and improved performance—both in the practice room and on stage. Promoting mindfulness as a way to increase attentional focus, emotional awareness, and creativity, sh...
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Finding Fingerings that Fit

The impact of hand size is attracting much attention in the piano world. Several studies have demonstrated that the conventional piano keyboard is sized for a relatively large hand, presenting challenges for small-handed pianists as well as raising the risk of injury.* Areas of particular concern for small-handed pianists i...
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2019 NCKP Preconference Highlights

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NCKP has eleven subcommittees, comprised of leaders in each of the following subcommittee areas: collaborative performance, collegiate pedagogy teaching, creative music making, inclusive teaching, independent music teachers, music in early childhood, research, students and young professionals, teaching adults, technology, and wellness. Over seventy...
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Dystonia: Thoughts and Attitudes

When a doctor diagnosed me with focal dystonia in 1996, it was as if a line suddenly divided my life between "before dystonia" and "after dystonia." Numerous physicians had already given me other diagnoses, but this one was different—it could mean the end of performing. After struggling with the symptoms for several years, I not only stopped per- f...
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Recovering from Focal Dystonia

2018 marked my twenty-fifth year of living with focal dystonia in my right hand. During this time not only have I learned much about this condition, I've also learned a great deal about human anatomy, musician's wellness, the brain, and perhaps most importantly, how to practice more effectively. Much of this is applicable to all pianists—not j...
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The Road to Kindness: Encouraging Greater Generosity of Spirit in an Overly Competitive World

The habit of comparing ourselves (and being compared) to others is not restricted to the world of music. Starting shortly after birth, our physical attributes, talents, and achievements are constantly compared to those of our peers. The age at which first words are spoken and first steps are taken can be a tremendous source of pride for parent...
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How Sleep Impacts Learning (And Why We Should All Sleep More!)

Healthy Playing, Healthy Teaching, Vanessa Cornett, Editor A common refrain among teachers in the developed world is that twenty-first-century students are over-scheduled, anxious, and unable to focus during their limited practice time.1 Compounding these stress, anxiety, and distraction issues for my students is that they are awake late ...
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Preparing Students for Peak Performance Through Centering Practice

Healthy Playing, Healthy Teaching, Vanessa Cornett, EditorMany teachers are unsure of the best way to respond when a student first utters the words, "I feel nervous!" Young students experiencing anxiety for the first time may mistakenly feel that their symptoms should be eliminated entirely. Yet, in order to perform we...
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Between the Lines: Lasting Lessons from the Studio

During late Spring 2018, Clavier Companion held the eighth annual Collegiate Writing Contest. Collegiate students were invited to submit 1,500-word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. The winning essay is published in the print edition of Clavier Companion. Undergraduate through graduate students, from institutio...
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Breath: Teaching piano students how to utilize a vital tool

Breathing is the only function of the autonomic nervous system that can happen both consciously and unconsciously. Research has shown the many benefits of practicing controlled breathing techniques such as stress relief and improved functioning of the immune system.1 When applied in a pedagogical setting, teaching controlled breathing techniques an...
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Elizabeth Medici
Absolutely love the idea of using a windmill to help students control their breathing. Adding the physical element to this makes i... Read More
Monday, 08 October 2018 13:43
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September/October 2018: Variations

The music of lifeSerious illness visited my husband last winter. Our lives suddenly became a round of doctor appointments, surgery, tests, treatments, and continual bad news. My husband and I have received thoughts, prayers, food, visits, gifts both serious and funny, cards, and people's heartfelt love. We are grateful...
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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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March/April 2018: Mind Matters

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What is your performance fear?I just returned home from doing an interview with Dave Wagner, host par excellence, at the WRCJ-FM in Detroit. It felt wonderful to walk into the studio on a frigid morning here in Michigan and to be warmly welcomed with Dave's greeting, "I look forward to talking with you about combating stage fright."Dave's comment b...
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Jan/Feb 2018 Variations: A nickel for every mistake

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Seven-year-old Serena's mother describes her daughter's first piano practice of every week. "We always have tears! If she makes even one mistake, she is ready to give up. She expects herself to be able to the play the piece perfectly the first time. No matter what I say, she gets upset. Eventually, she turns her frustration on me, which means she e...
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Jan/Feb 2018 Mind Matters: Stage fright and symptoms: cause or effect?

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When you think about your stage fright, what are two or three fears or anxieties that come into your mind?When musicians contact me about this painful problem, I typically hear two prominent complaints among many others. These are anxiety about having (1) memory slips and (2) technical failures. As we talk about these anxieties other topics evolve ...
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DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: Runner-up essay from the 2017 Clavier Companion Collegiate Writing Contest - Clara Boyett

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In the Spring of 2017, Clavier Companion sponsored its ninth annual Collegiate Writing Contest, inviting college students from around the world to submit 1,500 word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. We extend our sincere thanks to professors Gail Berenson, Pamela Pike, and Suzanne Schons for serving as adjudicators for this y...
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DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: Runner-up essay from the 2017 Clavier Companion Collegiate Writing Contest - Yee Wing Chan

collegiate-competition-runner-up
In the Spring of 2017, Clavier Companion sponsored its ninth annual Collegiate Writing Contest, inviting college students from around the world to submit 1,500 word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. We extend our sincere thanks to professors Gail Berenson, Pamela Pike, and Suzanne Schons for serving as adjudicators for this year's...
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About Piano Magazine

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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