The gift of music: Teaching piano in a women's correctional institution

The gift of music: Teaching piano in a women's correctional institution
​"Most people take piano lessons as a child, not as a middle-aged woman in prison." These words, spoken by a piano student at the Goodman Correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina are true. This truth is a part of the reason why I began a small program for piano study at the prison two years ago. My research while a student at the Univer...
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A moment that makes a difference

A moment that makes a difference
Teaching music to prison inmates is exactly 30.8 miles from my front door in suburbia to the thick metal door of the Warren Correctional Institution, home to 1,400 male inmates. On my scheduled teaching days, I arrive with my contractor badge and clear plastic bag and wait to see what the day will bring. I never know what is or is not goi...
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Memorization in adulthood

It really gets my dander up when I hear people say that adult amateur pianists aren't "serious" about their piano study. Why underestimate the thousands of adults who are passionate about performing at the piano? You will find amateur pianists seeking out performance opportunities through music clubs and associations. They find any excuse to perfor...
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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 repert...
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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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The trapeziectomy diaries: Recovering from arthritis

​Jill Dew is one of my favorite people. You can't help but love her charisma and her enthusiasm. She is a superb singer and vocal coach who loves her students. She also loves playing the piano, sometimes in tearful wonder of the instrument and her accomplishments. Then she was robbed. Robbed by the effects of arthritis.Jill is not naive—arthritis i...
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The ultimate anti-aging hobby

Professional musicians have always been aware that their chosen profession contributes to a long lifespan, especially if they are pianists. The beloved Arthur Rubinstein continued to perform into his 90s and retired only because of diminishing eyesight caused by shingles. Alfred Brendel performed his final public concert last December in Vienna jus...
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What motivates adults to continue piano lessons?

from the series: ​It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano StudyBrenda Dillon, EditorA 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 question ...
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Why Is Playing the Piano Beneficial for Adults With Arthritis?

We are fortunate to have this question answered by two writers who are extremely knowledgeable about arthritis. Charlotte Frazier is a Registered Music Therapist (RMT) who has experience teaching piano to adults with arthritis. Scott Zashin is an MD who stays informed about the most current treatments of arthritis through his position as editor of ...
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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 StudyIn 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 p...
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How Do You Handle the Discouraging Plateaus of Adult Piano Study?

Although this question implies that all plateaus are negative, our writers very effectively dispute that contention and give us very positive reasons for plateaus. It is analogous to the age-old question about the glass being half empty or half full. A plateau from one perspective is viewed as no progress or stagn...
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It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study

Brenda Dillon is on the faculty of Brookhaven College in Dallas, Project Administrator for the National Piano Foundation, co-author of Acquiring Music Fundamentals, Design for Music Reading, Group Piano Study Guide, and Essential Steps and Piano Patterns, and Past Chairman of the Texas Group Piano Association...
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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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