Barbara Kreader (Skalinder) has taught in her independent studio in Evanston, IL, since 1974. One of the coauthors of The Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, she has given workshops in more than 200 cities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia. Formerly the editor of Clavier magazine, she received her M.M. degree from Northwestern University.

How do we honor a child’s musical voice?

​My eleven-year old student Corey arrived at the year-end recital dusty and sweaty from playing two tournament soccer games. With fifteen minutes to start time and no audience yet present (graduation parties, other soccer and baseball games), Corey sat down at the piano to try out his pieces. He ran through the ABRSM Jazz Piano arrangement of Duke ...
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I-Hsiang Chao
This is a very instructive and well-written article, and your readers can only be grateful of its illumination of the teacher’s fu... Read More
Sunday, 29 September 2019 17:37
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C.P.E. Bach meets Death Cab for Cutie

​I think I have finally reached an age where I can say: "Teaching today just isn't like it used to be." In the "good old days," my way of working with a high-school sophomore went like this: I would peruse the MTNA Syllabus and choose several appropriate pieces listed at my student's current performance level. At the next lesson, I would demon...
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Tackling a twelve-year old's slump

Katherine, one of my more talented students, recently gave me this honest description of a typical practice session. She is twelve. "It takes me forever to get myself to stop what I am doing and go to the piano. When and if I do get there, I usually begin my practice by playing a chromatic scale the entire length of the keyboard— first with my...
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Liszt at High Altitude

You have probably seen the cartoon: Bugs Bunny cracks the knuckles of his three fingers and proceeds to play Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. As a child I longed to perform this music the way Bugs did—with joy, élan, and, yes, like a showoff. Many descriptions of Liszt's piano playing depict him as a wildhaired showman, a precursor of the lik...
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"I have a student who..."

​The next time you are sitting with a group of teachers, count the number of times someone says, "I have a student who..." When I am on the road giving workshops and teachers approach me at the break, these words begin the phrase I hear most often. The speaker usually goes on to describe some problem with a student that he or she has so far been un...
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Clara Schumann: Ambivalence and resilience

The lives of Clara and Robert Schumann make great movies.Two exist: Hollywood's "Song of Love" (1947), starring Katherine Hepburn as Clara Schumann and Paul Henreid as Robert, and the German film "Frühlingssinfonie (1983), starring Nastassja Kinski and Herbert Gronemeyer. Both films present what have become typical versions of Clara'...
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Seeds for the future

Fallow periods. Farmers know every crop field needs them. The earth cannot sustain continuous growth. Why then do we humans think we can?Unflagging effort creates steady progress, or so the story goes. Yet who among us is capable of unceasing work and ever-expanding creativity? The instant communication of this twenty-first century world heightens ...
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Praise for nothing means nothing

My six-year-old granddaughter plays soccer in a league where the coaches and parents refuse to keep score, because they want the children to "feel good about them- selves and their performance." One afternoon my husband made the mistake of cheering on Corinne's team as it made a goal. Within earshot of our granddaughter, the coach took him aside an...
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The piano magazine lives on

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Let's take this moment to celebrate the marriage of Clavier and Keyboard Companion. As these two magazines begin life as one, it is important to remember that Clavier Companion's debut issue continues a long lineage of grand old piano magazines.Pianoforte, the first piano magazine, appeared in London in 1797. In that year John Adams became the seco...
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Recitals -- When can I play?

This issue's contributor: Dr. Martha Baker-Jordan has been a Professor of Piano, Piano Pedagogy and Class Piano at California State University, Fullerton, for 27 years where she has received numerous awards for teaching excellence. She developed a comprehensive piano pedagogy program whose high quality has received national and international recogn...
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What Special Qualities Do Parents of Children Who Succeed at the Piano Share? Part 2

Barbara Kreader, EditorThe Magic Triangle: Teacher/Student/Parent Barbara Kreader, EditorFor this issue, teacher and composer, Bruce Berr continues this column's three part overview of the qualities parents of successful piano students share.  The Interview by Bruce BerrIsabella recently turned six, and she has been studying piano for one...
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What qualities do families that support their children's piano study share?

from the series: ​The Magic Triangle: Teacher/Student/Parent Barbara Kreader, EditorGather together a group of piano teachers and the topic often turns to their students and practicing or, more often, the lack of it. Everyone recognizes the Cliffhanger Family. Whether or not they show up each week matches the odds of winning the lottery. We al...
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What are your all-time favorite pieces?

from the series: ​​The Magic Triangle: Teacher/Student/Parent Barbara Kreader, Editor No matter what the music's style, familiarity breedsinterest.... Yet all music doesn't need to be familiarto hook a student's excitement. How many times did you teach "Für EIise" this year? Do you know every known arrangement of ...
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What Do You Like About Group Lessons?

​The Magic Triangle: Teacher/Student/Parent​Group teaching takes special skills. I rediscovered this fact last Fall when I began teaching Music Together, a program for infants, toddlers, and their caregivers. True, I had taught regular third and first grade sometime during the Dark Ages of my 20s, but time passes and memories fade. I distinctl...
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How does piano study in Japan compare with the American approach?

I first met Toshie Okada and her two daughters, Emi, and Tamami on the rocky mountain path between Ptarmigan and Owl cabins at Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado. Toshie and I had exchanged excited e-mails about the prospect of her two daughters coming to the United States from Japan to attend the first Junior Seminar Session at the C...
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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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