The Score Speaks: Steps to Interpretation for Growing Musicians

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As teachers, we know that there are effective ways in which to analyze a score for musical learning. During my study at the New School for Music Study, Frances Clark taught us systematic ways in which to do this—from the very beginning stages of learning a piece. Among these steps were the following: 1. Look at the piece and think about how it shou...
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Unifying techniques in musical compositions

Any musical composition may be analyzed from the perspective of attempting to reveal its various facets of unity and variety. A work may often prove to be satisfying to the listener when these elements are in judicious balance. Notwithstanding that, however, the predominant features of any given musical masterpiece are unquestionably the work'...
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Pencil Practice 101

Recognizing chord symbols is one of the biggest obstacles faced by beginning improvisers learning to play from lead sheets. Just as foreign language students write conjugations to become better speakers, pianists can improve their chord fluency with pencil practice away from the piano. Writing chords by key Follow these steps together with your stu...
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What Have You Learned From Your Own Practice That Has Affected What and How You Teach Your Students About Practice?

Most of what I've learned about practice, I've learned from teaching. However, there are a few things that I learned as a student that I still strongly believe in and pass along to my students. Here's part of my "lecture" on practice that occurs during each new student's initial interview:  Students who practice at the same time each day ...
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How do you find the musical messages in a piece of music?

The task of responding to this question is daunting, especially if one considers that musicians and philosophers have argued about the nature of music, and of musical communication, for centuries. Yet, I do not believe that the task is impossible. Certainly one way to find the musical messages in a piece of music is by careful, theoretical analysis...
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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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