The Physiology of Piano Teaching and Performing (03/16/2022)

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The Seven Types of Rest: Steps for Recovery

by Paola Savvidou The return to in-person learning has required intense mental and emotional effort. Our students have had to navigate new challenges such as the return to awkward social situations, intermittent disruptions to learning, and the stress of contracting the virus. (1) When they come to lessons with a trusted ad...

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Winter 2022: Music Teaching & Performing Beyond the Studio and Concert Hall

Many people enjoy music—listening to it, teaching it—even coping with stage fright to perform it. Why is music (with emphasis here on classical music) valuable in our mental and social lives? Despite its value, musical performers were among the most adversely affected victims of losing both real dollars and psychic (emotional) income during the COV...

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Winter 2022: Book Reviews: Teaching the Whole Musician: A Guide to Wellness in the Applied Studio by Paula Savvidou

review by Meg Gray Wellness for musicians is a topic that came to the forefront in the 1980s and 90s, as musicians and pedagogues teamed up with medical professionals and other wellness experts to explore how musicians can play and sing in the healthiest way possible.Since that time, many articles, studies, and conference presentations have ed...

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Luxuriant Piano Playing: A Wellness Principle

 Carrying the proactive view into piano study, I would say that the physical enjoyment of playing is the key to a lifetime of pianistic wellness. Not just asking ourselves "was that correct?" or "was that what the teacher wanted?" but, far more importantly, "did that feel natural to me, did it feel great?" As beneficial as such awareness is fo...

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Burning Brightly Without Burning Out

Burnout, a long-lasting state of emotional exhaustion in which we become cynical about the value of our occupation and feel doubtful that we will be able to continue to perform our job, has been identified as the biggest occupational hazard of the twenty-first century.1 Burnout is a serious professional and quality of life issue for individual...

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Tips for Healthy Remote Teaching

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While preparing for the 2021 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, members of the Committee on Wellness for the Pianist collaborated to establish wellness tips specifically for teachers. At the beginning of the pandemic, most students and instructors were obliged to cope with the challenge of becoming completely dependent upon technology, adapt...

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Summer 2021: NCKP 2021 Conference and Preconference Previews

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In our spring 2021 issue we previewed some of the daylong preconference sessions in which attendees of the virtual conference can participate in July. Below, we follow-up on two more exciting preconference days and highlight a new conference track featuring presentations in Spanish and Portuguese, with English subtitles. See the NCKP 2021 webs...

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Professional Associations: Your Indispensable Resource for Musicians’ Health Information

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As an eager college student majoring in piano, I felt it was a badge of honor to practice eight hours a day on the weekends. I thought I was doing what every dedicated music major was supposed to be doing. In those days there was little in my curriculum that offered information about efficient and healthy practicing strategies, or any musicians' he...

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Winter 2021: Wellness in Applied Piano Teaching: A Two-Way Street

Many years ago, at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media in Germany, my piano teacher Professor Einar Steen-Nøkleberg used to greet us students with a handshake when entering his studio. He took our hand, pulled us into the room, and closed the door. "Now you forget all your woes and worries. ...

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Coping Psychologically with COVID-19: Effects of Trauma on the Musician's Sense of Self

 Coping Psychologically with COVID-19: Effects of Trauma on the Musician's Sense of Self with Julie Nagel & A. Chris Heath Did you enjoy this webinar? Please complete our brief survey to help us improve our webinar series and continue to bring you the highest quality resources in piano teaching. 

Teach, Breathe, Move, Repeat: Tips for Physical Wellness during a Pandemic

Teach, Breathe, Move, Repeat: Tips for Physical Wellness during a Pandemic with Laura Amoriello, Lesley McAllister, and Paola Savvidou   Did you enjoy this webinar? Please complete our brief survey to help us improve our webinar series and continue to bring you the highest quality resources in piano teaching. 

The Teacher's Role in Hearing Health

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When I was a young music student, I remember one of my teachers telling me, "I am not teaching you how to be a musician, I'm teaching you how to practice. I'm giving you the tools you'll need to be independent of me." So much of health-centered education is the same. Educators often ask, "Am I responsible for the hearing health of my students?" The...

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Physical Health and Wellness Considerations For Online Teaching

The need to shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way music instructors interact with their students. Most teachers now rely on various technologies to facilitate remote instruction for lessons and group classes. While this shift is essential to slow the spread of infectious disease, the sudden move to online instru...

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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 ...

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Don't Make Me Use My Teacher Voice: How to Get Results Without Getting Frustrated

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I recently assigned a Bossa Nova to my sixteen-year-old intermediate piano student. Even though the style was new to him, he enjoyed the sound of the piece and was excited to learn it. In preparation, we watched performances on YouTube so he could hear a range of tempi and characterizations. We wrote out the beats in the score so he could understan...

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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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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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