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How Do You Choose Repertoire for Your Adult Students?

"I'm too old to play pieces I don't like," said Heather at one of our first lessons. Heather is a retired Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, as well as an expert on the composer Schubert. It's no surprise that her repertoire is steeped in Schubert's music. She loves it that way, and so do I. It's not always this easy picking reper...
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The trapeziectomy diaries: Part two

The trapeziometacarpal joint, also called the "trapezium," is at the base of the thumb. Osteoarthritis, a well-known condition suffered by many adults, affects the trapezium in some people. Sufferers experience pain, stiffness, and weakness in the thumb joint. This is particularly troublesome when the sufferer is a pianist.  Luckily, there are...
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Medical issues facing adult students

​"Growing old is not for the weak in spirit." Although I've heard this adage countless times, I finally know what it means. For me, 2010 ushered in a series of medical mishaps, medications, and miracles. I'm now a cancer survivor, yet I feel that surviving the myriad of prescriptions is another story. I always knew I would grow older, but I ne...
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What Do You Do To Promote Learning Outside of The Piano Lessons?

from the series: It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study Brenda Dillon, Editor The challenge for our youth-focused industry is to develop both products and programs designed to attract and serve a vastly underserved older market. Because space was available in the Autumn 2004 issue of Keyboard Companion, I was able to include my farewell commen...
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What motivates adults to continue piano lessons?

from the series: ​It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study Brenda Dillon, Editor A walk down memory lane ... It has been said that inside the body of every seventy-year-old is a thirty-five-year-old saying, "What happened to me?" When one of the writers for this issue backed out near the deadline, I suggested to Elvina that I answer this questio...
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What Are The Questions (and Answers) That Impact Adults' Piano Study?

from the series: ​It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study Brenda Dillon, Editor After reading Barbara Maris' book, Making Music at the Piano: Learning Strategi es For Adult Students (Oxford University Press), I was constantly reminded that we crave a "one-stop-shopping" experience. In a sense this is what I found Barbara's book to be. In additi...
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How is Teaching Adults to Read Music Different Than Teaching Children?

from the series: ​Independence Day: Music Reading Adult beginners seem to challenge everything we think we know about teaching. From the books used to the rate of skill development, adult learners are different from children. One thing we can do to understand our adult learners is to put ourselves in their position by becoming students ourselv...
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It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study

Brenda Dillon is on the faculty of Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas, Project Director for the National Piano Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and is a teacher who loves to help her adult students bridge the gap between wishing and doing.  How Do Yo...
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How Do You Begin an Adult Who Has Had No Previous Music Study?

Increasing numbers of adults taking piano lessons didn't just happen overnight. Teachers have been observing that their percentage of adult students has risen steadily through the past decade. Publishers have responded to this change in the marketplace by publishing a diverse array of materials written specifically for adult beginners.  A rela...
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How Do You Keep Your Adults From Using The Lesson Times as Therapy Sessions?

If confession is good for the soul, then my soul is about to feel really good. Because I am going to admit to something which may appall most, if not all readers of KEYBOARD COMPANION.  Currently, I teach adults only in groups, but when I was teaching several adult students in private lessons, I actually enjoyed it when one or two of them...
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Are Adults Able to Learn to Play the Piano as Readily As Children?

from the series: ​It's Never Too Late: Adult Music Study In addition to giving us specific information about adult learners, Michelle Robison's response to our question addresses the myth that adults quit learning after a certain age. You may have noticed in conversations with many adults that the magic age varies, depending on the age of the ...
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Is it accurate to assume that all adult students study piano only for personal enrichment? If adult students want to improvise, what are some activities that will get them started?

The beauty of a publication like KEYBOARD COMPANION is that we can change our questions in mid-stream if our incoming mail provokes a change. Jane Karwoski wrote me a thought-provoking letter last summer challenging the assumption that all adult students study piano only for personal enrichment. I asked her to expand her thoughts into the article b...
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About The Piano Magazine

The 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 the Piano Magazine in 2019.

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