Perspectives: Why I love teaching learning-challenged children

As a piano teacher, I love working with students who catch on to new concepts quickly, who are respectful and obedient, who are able to give polished performances, and who progress rapidly. Yet, over my two-and-a-half decades of teaching piano lessons, I feel my biggest success stories are students who did not do any of these things. My biggest suc...
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Vocabulary Effectiveness for Students with Special Needs

Teacher Education Webinar Series  On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 11am Eastern Time, the Frances Clark Center will launch the Teacher Education Webinar Series. Dr. Scott Price, President of the Frances Clark Board of Trustees, will lead our first webinar, "Autism and Piano Study – A Basic Teaching Vocabulary." Register for this free we...
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Teaching students with visual impairments: Resources

Welcome back to the Inclusive Piano Teaching blog. After a brief rest, we are back sharing information and resources with all of you. Today's post will include information on where to find resources for teaching students with visual impairments. This group of students includes students who are blind and those with partial vision, but can also be ex...
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Teaching reading, part II: Framing instruction

Students with disabilities will come to your studio with all sorts of labels – autism, high/low functioning, visual impairment, ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome, etc. Although they come with labels, the label does not define the person – it informs the pedagogy. The student is a person capable of learning and doing remarkable things. The label helps us form...
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Teaching reading: Part I

This blog post will be part one of a three-part series focused on teaching reading to students with special needs. As with all of our posts, we invite you to implement what you find useful, disregard what you do not, and email us with any questions you have along the way. Please send all questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Side note and...
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Teaching students with visual impairments: Empathy and facilitation

Welcome back to the Inclusive Piano Teaching blog. Today's entry is part two of a discussion on teaching students with visual impairments. I would like talk briefly about some things to think about when bringing a student into the piano studio. Some of these things may sound redundant, but can have a substantive impact on the educational experience...
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Perspectives: Diversity in the teaching studio

Walk a mile in your neighbor's shoes: Diversity in theteaching studio  by Rachel Kramer and Bennyce Hamilton Music is the universal language.​ This phrase has been in my vocabulary since I was young enough to understand what it meant. As I have become a performing musician, music educator, and community arts participant, I continue to believe ...
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Recital preparation and performance

'Tis the season for recitals. To prepare our studios for the recital, it is common to pick the date and venue, decide on the type of recital (duet, theme, holiday), plan the reception, and pick repertoire for our students. Many of these same things occur when preparing for a recital with our students with special needs; however, there are also othe...
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Studio environment: Some keys to success

Studio environment can play an important role in the success of our students with special needs. We don't tend to think of the studio as being more than a tool in the lesson, but the actual environment and the objects present can sometimes be the deciding factors in the success or failure of a lesson. Maintaining a special-needs-friendly environmen...
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Labels

When our students walk into our studios for lessons, we often ask them how was their week, are they doing anything fun this week, or ask about something they told as at their previous lesson. Regardless of who the student is or what he or she told us, that person is a student or a child. The same type of thinking refers to our students with disabil...
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Person-first language

When our students walk into our studios for lessons, we often ask them how was their week, are they doing anything fun this week, or ask about something they told as at their previous lesson. Regardless of who the student is or what he or she told us, that person is a student or a child. The same type of thinking refers to our students with disabil...
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Meet the authors of the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog, Part III

Dr. Melissa Martiros Melissa Martiros currently holds the position of Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Music at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN where she is also serves as the Director of the CWN Community Arts Academy, a pre-college program she founded in 2015. Prior to her appointment at Martin Methodist College, she served ...
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Meet the authors of the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog, Part II

Dr. Beth A. Bauer received her doctorate of music education from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her dissertation is titled "What is an appropriate approach to piano instruction for students with Down syndrome?" Additional degree work includes a Master of Music from Northern Illinois University where she studied with Bill Koehler, an...
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Meet the authors of the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog, Part I

 The next three postings will introduce you to the three authors who will be sharing their expertise. First up, Dr. Scott Price from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Scott Price is the founder and instructor of the Carolina LifeSong Initiative that is dedicated to providing piano lesson and music experiences (including improvisation and m...
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Welcome to the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog!

Welcome to the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog sponsored by The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. We hope you will join us in the coming months as we share information on teaching learners of all abilities. Check back often for new content! What is the blog? The Inclusive Piano Teaching blog is designed to bring you in-depth and practical i...
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Make parents your partners

​In her book ​The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, ​Jessica Laney writes,"... why do so many teachers cite the challenge of dealing with their students' parents as their main reason for abandoning the classroom?" 1 Throughout the public and private school systems, the relationships between parents...
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Student wants and needs

During the late 1990s, I taught piano privately in New York City to supplement my income while working on my doctorate. From time to time, the phone would ring, and I would find myself talking to prospective students. I soon learned that I did not need to feel very anxious about it, because only one thing mattered to them, and I could deliver....
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More than a lesson: Piano study and students with special needs

Students with special needs face unique challenges every day, and those challenges may become pronounced in the intense interpersonal environment of the piano lesson. Many of these students face challenges in learning and processing social behaviors and expressing themselves in forms of social communication. These students often require a learning ...
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Adaptive Approaches to Piano Study

Adaptive Approaches to Piano Study
Early in my piano education, I realized that sometimes I would need to play with my hands crossed. After I announced to my parents that I wanted to take piano lessons, my grandmother kindly gave me the old upright that she didn't play anymore. My father played for me the only piece he knew—a circus sort of tune with the melody in the left hand and ...
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The Cincinnati Adaptive Music Camp

The Cincinnati Adaptive Music Camp (CAMC) was born out of a dream that violin teacher Jennifer Petry had to expand her teaching experience with her own children to other children with physical disabilities. Both Jennifer and I adopted children with limb differences. Jennifer's daughters have no arms, and my daughters have several physical differenc...
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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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