Scott McBride Smith is Executive Director of the Young Keyboard Artists Association, in which capacity he directs a Sunnier Piano Institute involving some of the nation's tap artist-teachers and students. He is a well-known private teacher in Southern California. He received his doctorate from the University ot Southern California where he was...

Scott McBride Smith is Executive Director of the Young Keyboard Artists Association, in which capacity he directs a Sunnier Piano Institute involving some of the nation's tap artist-teachers and students. He is a well-known private teacher in Southern California. He received his doctorate from the University ot Southern California where he was co-winner of the Outstanding Graduate in Piano award.

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The Teaching Legacy of Rosina Lhévinne - Part II

The year 2016 marks the seventieth anniversary of Rosina Lhévinne's first masterclass. Although Mme. Lhévinne may have started her masterclasses in Los Angeles feeling uncertain and inexperienced, she quickly became one of the top masterclass teachers in the world. She was able to impart the fundamentals of 'Russian School' technique—beautiful tone...
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Alan Fraser discusses piano technique

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It must have been something in the air, in the early years of the last century. From Australia to Israel, independent thinkers were looking for solutions to make living physically in the modern world easier. What does it take to live comfortably and pain-free? How can we function more efficiently— and effectively?  The theories of one of ...
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Piano As Art: An Interview with Shauna Holiman

Piano As Art: An Interview with Shauna Holiman
Fascinating for anyone interested in the piano, music or art..." wrote John Rockwell, former Arts Critic of the New York Times. Brian Levine, Executive Director of the Glenn Gould Foundation, called Piano as Art "a wonderful re-imagining of the piano as sculpture, architecture, and the stuff of mythic creatures." What are they talking about? It's a...
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Adele Marcus: Master teacher

"They  don't make them like they used to," my grandmother often said, shaking her head. She was referring, of course, to some deed—or misdeed—of mine, compared to her own generation, who were much too busy and exhausted from getting up at dawn to plow the fields and walk barefoot to school to ever get into any kind of trouble. I listened silen...
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Donald Waxman: An American Classic

Are all piano composers dead?" my student asked. The question seemed a bit ironic since we had just finished working on a folk song that was arranged for the piano by me. Last time I checked,  I wasn't dead. But I understood what  she meant. It does sometimes seem that piano teachers spend an inordinate amount of time working on the music...
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Lang Lang: A life so far

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Anyone who believed that Lang's Lang's fame would only last fifteen minutes would have had to think twice when they saw the audience at New York's Town Hall on October 20, 2008 It sometimes seems that everyone in the world knows about Lang Lang. He was the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics. He performed at t...
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What do Beethoven's piano sonatas reveal about his pianism?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique  ​ Scott McBride Smith, Editor  Hans von Bülow, the nineteenth-century pianist, conductor, and master class teacher won fame for his   meticulous musicianship and formidable technique. His sarcastic bon mots to students were legendary. "You have but one qualification for playin...
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Is slow practice always the best way to develop technique?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor  I had the great good fortune to study, at intervals, with one of the grand ladies of American piano teaching, Adele Mar cus. She was quite a character, to say the least, and she put a strong emphasis on slow practice. I'm being tactful. It would be more accur...
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How does good technique relate to ear training?

Recognize this student? I confess. I'm not sure what to do about my student Roger. He's a nice boy. Tall (about 3 inches bigger than last year, he's in middle school now), friendly, talkative, he sometimes reminds me of a large and only partially housebroken dog. With him, as with a puppy, there's always some kind of mess that needs cleaning u...
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How do you teach choreography to young students?

Subscribers to Keyboard Companion  know the importance of a good beginning. And this month's Technique column  offers some wonderful tools to help students get started with good technical habits. Marilyn Taggart has made an important contribution to the understanding of teaching piano technique. Her thorough study of physiology has given ...
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Is fingering an important part of technique?

I  was recently sharing thoughts with a respected colleague after a long day at a piano conference. Yes, if you must know, we were in the cocktail lounge. "I've given up on checking students' fingering," he said. "I've decided that if it sounds beautiful, it doesn't matter what fingering they use." He paused and looked furtively around the roo...
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Shouldn't technical study be fun? Liszt, etude practice, and attention to detail...

It  rests in a corner of a neo-classical style building from the 1920s - a beautiful temple, faced with Indiana limestone. The central court in which it slumbers is full of beautiful things: several pieces of Chihuly art glass, mounted high on the wall; a seventeenth century Claude Lorrain portrait of a young boy; and a Fairfield Porter painti...
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How Do You Teach Weight-Transfer to Early-Level Students?

​from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor Who was it that said, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; those who can't teach, teach gym"? Not a piano teacher, obviously! And probably not a gym teacher, either. It's not necessary to be a world famous concert pianist to be a fine teacher, but it is essentia...
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Is there a way to make technical practice fun?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor A child need not be very clever To learn that, 'Later, dear', means 'Never'.  Ogden Nash, Grandpa is Ashamed He makes a good point, don't you think? Is there ever time for "fun" in a piano lesson, especially when it relates to technique? Fun is a charged word for p...
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How do you help students who say, "I know what I want, but my hands just won't do it!"?

​from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor Our hands are only a final link in a long chain of events that work together to produce the sounds we want. This might have been one of my shortest Keyboard Companion introductions ever. Yep. Three words. "Gimme a break!" You see, I seldom believe students when they assure ...
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How Do You Teach Good Tone to Early-Level Students?

from the series: ​Let's Get Physical: Technique I met an old friend while writing my article for this issue of K eyboa rd Com panion. It was great to renew communication after so many years apart - to hear his ideas and be reminded of his wisdom and his warmth. My friend? Robert Schumann. No, I'm not psychic. But I did feel close, again, to th...
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Let's Get Physical: Technique

Scott McBride Smith is Executive Director of the Young Keyboard Artists Association, in which capacity he directs a Summer Piano Institute involving some of the nation's top artist-teachers and students. He is a well-known private teacher in Southern California. He received his doctorate from the University of Southern California where he was co-wi...
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How Do You Teach Pedal to Young Students?

by Scott McBride Smith I often begin thinking about topics for  Keyboard Companion by doing my own informal survey of currently available literature on subjects I am considering for the Technique Department. After all, what is the point of duplicating information that is already readily available? When I began working on this issue, I was plea...
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How Do You Teach Your Students to Play Loud in One Hand and Soft in the Other?

One of my earliest experiences as a judge was at a festival held in the Midwest at which the one piece required of all elementary contestants was Kabelevsky's popular Toccatina . To be frank, the performances were not that great. By lunch time on the first day, I felt that it would have been wise to have made up a rubber stamp ahead of time wi...
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What About Piano Study in Australia and the People's Republic of China?

​I remember well standing backstage in Kansas City in the 1970s after a recital of the French soprano Régine Crespin and hearing her admonish an over-eager admirer who gushed that her Carmen was the best since the immortal Calve. "Comparisons are odious ," Crespin said with grandeur." I wish to be considered unique in all things." But to educa...
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