The Sound of the future

The Sound of the future
Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. The following article is part of that series.In the mid 1900s, electronically produced sounds were only available to an elite group of composers, artists, and recording studios. Today, our students have easy a...
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Tone production: Doing the right things for the right reasons

Tone production: Doing the right things for the right reasons
As a sophomore in college, I performed in a master class given by a former Van Cliburn Competition medalist. At one point, I was asked to play certain chords so that my fingers moved toward the fallboard as they depressed the keys, and this was supposed to change the timbre of these loud chords without actually changing their volume (providing a "r...
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Pedagogical treasures from Paul Pollei

Paul Pollei, popularly known as the "ambassador of the piano," passed away in July 2013 in Provo, Utah, leaving behind friends and colleagues on many continents, who loved him and his enthusiasm for life. He was a champion of piano pedagogy and all facets of the wide world of piano performance. He loved the art and science of teaching teachers. He ...
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What jazz contributes to the classical pianist

There is a long tradition of teaching quality classical piano in Canada. There are also a myriad of support systems to teach theory and written scores in a variety of contemporary styles. Then there's jazz. Some teachers like it and some don't. Others don't feel knowledgeable enough to include it in their studios. For many teachers it is a big unkn...
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I saw Mozart in Motown

You may think that I'm losing my mind—that my elevator no longer stops at all of the floors (and you may be right), but I just saw Mozart in Motown. I wasn't in Detroit, and there wasn't any time travel involved. Indulge me for a moment, and I'll try to explain. It was late afternoon, another beautiful day in northeast Georgia. The sun was starting...
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A Life among Legends

Jacques Leiser. © Jacques Leiser
Richter, Michelangeli, Berman, Arrau, Cziffra, Callas. These are just a few of the legendary artists that Jacques Leiser has worked with in his remarkable career. As an agent, impresario, and photographer, he played no small part in the successful careers of many of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century. As a confidant, advisor,...
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Beyond the Keyboard

Dr. Edwin Gordon was one of the most distinguished and influential music educators of the twentieth century. His work on the measurement of music performance, audiation, and Music Learning Theory had far-reaching implications for a wide variety of musical settings. In November of 2015, Dr. Gordon was named a Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Asso...
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The teaching legacy of Rosina Lhévinne

The teaching legacy of Rosina Lhévinne
Rosina Lhévinne found herself in an awkward position in the late 1940s. Later famous as the teacher of Van Cliburn and John Browning, among others, and as an outstanding pianist who made her debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1963 at the age of eighty-two, in 1946 she was "at a loose end."Her lifework until then had been to serve as the helpme...
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Piano Talk

​For quite some time, I've found myself noting the vocabulary we use to describe our peculiar life-enterprise as pianists. We steal from everywhere, and each theft seems to convey some facet of our identity. Some of those identities might best be discarded; others serve to remind us vividly of music's broad affinities. I was first struck,...
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Wael Farouk and the Rachmaninoff piano oeuvre

​Wael Farouk was born with extremely short hand ligaments. He can't make a fist, open a jar, or button his shirt, but he can play the complete solo piano works of Sergei Rachmaninoff, who is known for complex and demanding music.At thirty-two years of age, the youngest piano faculty member in Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Art...
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To use, or not to use?

​Peter Serkin uses it. So do Emmanuel Ax and Richard Goode. Sviatoslav Richter started using it. As a faculty member in 1980, Gilbert Kalish promoted a policy about it at Stony Brook University; it was ok to use it during degree recitals. Many top competitions prohibit its use.Its use has been discussed and debated at great length in recent ye...
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The role of rote teaching in the development of reading, technique, and artistry

Rote teaching is the systematic introduction of musical and artistic concepts that are best introduced by modeling rather than from the notated score. Music is an aural art and thus transcends notation. Rote teaching is not (a) training students to copy the teacher without any thought or understanding, or (b) the creation of students who will forev...
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The great compensator

pedals
A full range of expressivegestures evocative of other instruments is always at our disposal. We pianists are constantly grappling with the fact that our instrument cannot truly sustain tones. A few fractions of a second past its production—marked by a meteoric rise in loudness—every new sound plummets in volume as surely as if it were bei...
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The legacy of Guy Duckworth

Guy Duckworth works with a group class at the University of Colorado
Dr. Guy Duckworth, a pioneer of group piano pedagogy, died on January 27, 2015, at the age of 91. He was my professor in the unique graduate programs that he created and directed at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Piano Performance Literature and Pedagogy: Process of Group Environments. His legacy will live on through the students he taugh...
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The value of music

Piano teachers have great jobs, and I think most of us are thankful that we get to spend our days sharing something we love with our students. It is immensely gratifying to see our students grow as musicians and watch music become an important part of their lives. At times, however, it seems like the rest of the world doesn't see music study in the...
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The 2015 GRAMMY® Awards

The 57th GRAMMY® awards were held on February 8th, 2015, 2015, and I had the distinct pleasure of attending. Behind the glitz and glamour of the broadcast you see on television is an incredibly well-run organization staffed and served by industry professionals who care deeply about music and its impact o...
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Dorothy Stolzenbach Payne: Remembering a legendary Cincinnati piano teacher

Dorothy Payne
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Ruminations on Musicality

Ruminations on Musicality
The conversion of a series of black dots into a piece of music is a magical process, but one all too easily derailed. The alchemy occurs in two steps: the first step—relatively simple—converts dots into audible pitches, while the second—far more complex— converts pitches into intelligible language. As teachers, we're responsible for teaching both, ...
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A trip down memory lane: An unmarked, homemade tape recording leads to a reassessment of salon music and what constitutes musicality

​It started out as a "name that tune" exercise.In January 2010, my husband and I flew to New York to attend the annual Chamber Music America conference. During our visit, we had brunch with my brother Marc, a rock guitarist. In the course of our conversation, he asked a favor. His friend Dan Francazio, another rock musician, had a sister who died b...
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With this gigue, I thee wed

​For better or for worse, in sickness and in health..." As I think back to my marriage vows, I wonder how they might have changed if I knew then what I know now: "In forte and piano, in Scriabin and Prokofiev, until you are parted by death or insanity...?"My husband, Salam, is a Renaissance man, a modern-day Jekyll and Hyde. By day, he works as an ...
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About Piano Magazine

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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