Steps to Parnassus: Preparing Students to Play Advanced Masterworks

All learning of complex knowledge and sophisticated skills must be approached by first learning more limited and simplified versions of what students are eventually needing to master. The nature of the simplifications—the substance and magnitude of each task, the sequence in which the tasks are presented, the speed of ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

The Repertoire-Rich Challenge: three stories to inspire you

Stacks of books
The more you learn, the more you know: Adopting a repertoire-rich attitude in your studio For a couple of hundred years now, piano teachers (and their piano students along with them), have bought into the fashion maxim that "less is more" when it comes to learning repertoire. by Elissa Milne The more you learn, the mor...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

The challenges and joys of intermediate teaching

Intermediate Students are Different from Elementary and Advanced Students Intermediate-level piano students present unique and greater challenges than do students at other levels and ages. Elementary-level students are constantly learning new concepts and skills. Their curiosity and imaginations are aroused. They are amazed by their abilities ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Advancing intermediate students

In today's world where younger and younger students are effortlessly performing advanced repertoire, I want to gain insight from their teachers on how this has been accomplished with multiple students. Donald Morelock is one of these brilliant teachers. It is no accident that his students achieve a high level of playing. It is obvious that he think...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Preparing an Audition Program

As the conservatory audition season cycles in once again —as predictable as the ice and snow that always accompanies it in my neck of the woods—it has occurred to me that a simple checklist for teachers might be useful in preparing guileless students for what lies in store. Thus the following brief suggestions for "less pain, more gain": 1) A year ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How do you assign repertoire to the "overstretched" student who has little time to practice?

In recent conversations with piano teachers, several have expressed some discouragement in their teaching because students frequently come to lessons too exhausted to play, or even think, and have had little time to practice. After reflecting on this, I believe as piano teachers, we are music educators first. Being professional musicians,...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

A survival manual for college teachers

Every year it's the same - a group of my students prepare to leave the hallowed halls of academia and search for the elusive "job." For these students, this is BIG - and not just a little scary. As the "professor," part of my job is to prepare these changelings for what will be one of the most exciting times in their lives. For me, mentoring my stu...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What do you consider when planning and choosing repertoire for students?

Marvin Blickenstaff has stated that the " hook" for students to continue their piano studies is to assign challenging and motivating repertoire they want to play. That is always in my mind when I select literature. My students play music from all four style periods, as well as a concerto each year. During the Christmas season, most of them pla...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Is Good Material to Use With Elementary Transfer Students Who Are Playing Music Far Too Difficult?

There are many reasons why students change teachers. In this mobile society, it is frequently because the student or teacher has moved to another loca tion. But changes can also occur for professional reasons- poor communication between the triangle of teacher/student/parent, lack of interest, a particular need that is not being fulfilled -&nb...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Do You Do When Adults Are Determined to Play Repertoire They Can't Possibly Play Well? Part 1: Shift to Alternative Choices

The question for this issue should have a familiar ring to it. It's certainly asked often enough when teachers get together. Are there any adults upwards of thirty alive today who don't want to play Für Elise and the Moonlight Sonata before they are technically ready? I'm convinced that there was something in the water consumed by pregnant women se...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What is Appropriate at the Early Level for the Gifted Child? Do You Use a Method Book?

I can hear that sigh when some of you read this question. One long-suffering teacher said, "Gifted child? In my studio a student is 'gifted' if the weekly assignment has been practiced!!" Or, as another teacher proudly told me, "I have a gifted student- he can play ALL of the scales." After determining that the student was fourteen years old a...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Do You Do When Adults Are Determined to Play Repertoire They Can't Possibly Play Well? Part II: Shift to Transcriptions

In the Spring, 1994 issue of Keyboard Companion, Paul Sheftel and Robert Vandall answered the question, What do you do when adults are determined to play repertoire they can't possibly play?, by suggesting alternative choices for your students. In this issue, Fred Kern and Phillip Kevern answer the same question by discussing and suggesting transcr...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Is Your Favorite Recital Repertoire for 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-Year Students?

from the series: Putting It All Together: Repertoire Recital--the very word sends a tremor of anxiety through any piano teacher. Some teachers cleverly disguise this event by giving it another name: Piano Party, Spring Keyboard Festival, or Music for a Sunday Afternoon. Whatever the title, repertoire must be chosen and students must be prepare...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

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.

Follow us on

Terms of use

Have Questions?

We are happy to help.

Editorial questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Advertising questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subscription questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Technical questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cron Job Starts