Book Review: Master Classes with Menahem Pressler by William Brown

William Brown has once again made a valuable contribution to the piano world, thanks to his thorough research on the life and teachings of his mentor. Brown's efforts produced so much material when he wrote Menahem Pressler: Artistry in Piano Teaching, that he had enough remaining to compile a second book, Master Classes with Menahem Pressler....
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Spring 2020: New Music & Materials

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Dennis Alexander's Concertino for the Young is an attractive and engaging solo with piano accompaniment that closely mimics classical concerto style. This work, accessible for a later-elementary piano student, is written in typical concerto form with fast first and third movements and a slow second movement. Traditional concerto elements also inclu...
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Book Review: Teaching Piano Pedagogy: A Guidebook for Training Effective Teachers

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In the introduction to his revolutionary Teaching Piano Pedagogy: A Guidebook for Training Effective Teachers, Courtney Crappell states that the "book is not about teaching piano; it is a book about how pedagogy students become teachers."1 Why revolutionary? Despite the current availability of many other pedagogy textbooks, none of them really addr...
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Winter 2020: Book Review

With The Mindful Musician: Mental Skills for Peak Performance, Vanessa Cornett demonstrates how mindfulness has the potential to change musicians' lives, fostering a healthier outlook and improved performance—both in the practice room and on stage. Promoting mindfulness as a way to increase attentional focus, emotional awareness, and creativity, sh...
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Autumn 2019: Book Review

In Transformational Piano Teaching: Mentoring Students from All Walks of Life, Derek Kealii Polischuk provides an overview of various student populations we might encounter as piano teachers, and offers snapshots of how to work with and engage these seemingly disparate groups. "The book examines the role of mentor, a r...
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Summer 2019: Book Reviews

Review by Ann DuHamelDebussy's Paris: Piano Portraits of the Belle Époque, by Catherine Kautsky.  The first time I heard Professor Catherine Kautsky speak at a conference, I was utterly entranced: she gave a captivating, lively, and energetic session that I still remember years later. Her enthusiasm for French music was palpable, and she provi...
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Spring 2019: Book Review

 The Contemporary Piano: A Performer and Composer's Guide to Techniques and Resources, by Alan Shockley.  The introduction to Alan Shockley's The Contemporary Piano: A Performer and Com- poser's Guide to Techniques and Resources indicates that the "book is designed as a resource for composers writing for the piano and for pianists in...
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Book Review: A Dictionary for the Modern Pianist

By Stephen Siek: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017, $89.98  After the excellent reception for his biography of Tobias Matthay (England's Piano Sage, Scarecrow Press, 2011), Stephen Siek took on a different challenge: writing a piano dictionary. The word "Modern" in Siek's title does not refer to pianists who play contemporary music, but...
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January/February 2019: Book Reviews

Managing Stage Fright: A Guide for Musicians and Music Teachers, by Julie Jaffee Nagel.  Julie Nagel possesses a rare combination of skills. She has two music degrees from The Juilliard School, three psychology degrees from the University of Michigan, and further training at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. I often joke with st...
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November/December 2018: Book Review

The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Concertos: An Invaluable Resource of Keyboard Concertos from Baroque through Contemporary Periods for Teachers, Students, and Performers, by Karen Beres and Christopher Hahn. Review by Kate Boyd. Susan Geffen, Editor The Pianist's Guide to Standard ...
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July/August 2018: Closer Look, Book Review

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by Ann DuHamel Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists is a revolutionary, pioneering work that addresses small-handedness in an extraordinarily comprehensive manner. The book, by Lora Deahl and Brenda Wristen, examines the many facets of pianism affected by small-handedness, and it provides numerous excellent suggestions on playing with what...
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Jan/Feb 2018: First Looks Book Review - When the World Stopped to Listen: Van Cliburn’s Cold War Triumph, and Its Aftermath

New Music Reviews Closer LookAs someone who was fortunate enough to study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and to participate in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, this book was truly a delight. It not only brought back wonderful memories from Moscow and Fort Worth, but, more importantly, it gave me a much better historical a...
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Book review: Piano Duet Repertoire

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First published in 1981, Cameron McGraw's useful Piano Duet Repertoire is an invaluable resource for teachers and ensemble pianists. In this second edition, duo-pianists Christopher and Katherine Fisher have updated and enlarged McGraw's volume to a book almost twice its original size. As in the first edition, the volume contains two appendices—"Co...
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Book Review May/June 2017: The Steinway that wouldn't budge

The Steinway That Wouldn't Budge: Confessions of a Piano Tuner, by Peter Tryon. My piano—as far as I know—only contains the standard hammers and such, plus perhaps the occasional penny or pencil. Other people's pianos…well, let's allow author and piano technician Peter Tryon do the honors: In pianos over the years, I've discovered pens, rulers, umb...
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Closer Look: The Music of Teaching

The Music of Teaching: Learning to Trust Students' Natural Development by Barbara Kreader Skalinder By inverting two words—teaching and music—Barbara Kreader Skalinder changes what could have been a fairly mundane title to one that intrigues and gives us pause. But it is her subtitle, Learning to Trust Students' Natural Development, that grabs you ...
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Recitals -- When can I play?

Richard Chronister loved a good intellectual disagreement. I often think he founded the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy just so he could wander from room to room and listen to teachers fight. He also challenged the column editors of his magazine, Keyboard Companion, to risk poking a few holes in tried and true views. Whenever this column gene...
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Where do you go for answers to questions about the piano?

Sometimes the most remarkable things are those which we tend to take for granted. When was the 'last time you picked up the telephone and thought, ''I'm actually going to speak with someone thousands of miles away."  Now, ask your friends if they can name a common household item that is still in use after almost 300 years. Give them a clue - i...
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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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