The Score Speaks: Steps to Interpretation for Growing Musicians

Screen-Shot-2019-02-28-at-12.48.13-AM
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...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Bumping into Brahms: A conversation about the Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2

JM: Oh! Sorry sir, you startled me! I almost bumped into you. But wait, I know you! Are you not Herr Doktor Brahms? Brahms: Guten Tag? Bitte, kein Doktor. I am amazed that we have somehow encountered one another here. Might it be because I have played so many of your wonderful song accompaniments and piano pieces recently? Would you possibly be wil...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Playing composers' slurs: From Mozart to the nineteenth century

Slurs-Excerpt-3-MJ-1_20170619-234056_1
In recent decades, scholars and publishers have reproduced composers' original notations in so-called Urtext editions. In these scholarly editions and facsimiles of composers' autographs, pianists will notice two slurring patterns—slurs obviously cutting off a phrase or a melody, or a slur ending before the bar line when the end of the phrase or me...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What about that bass?

As piano teachers, we commonly show our students how composers divide pieces into three parts, such as in Sonata or Minuet and Trio forms. What is often missed is that most music is composed with a vertical division of three as well. We are adept at teaching students to focus on—and voice—the melodic content. However, often overlooke...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Understanding the score: An interview with Alfred Mouledous

Alfred Mouldous
During the fall of 2012, I was working on my master's thesis, which involved interviewing several pianists to discover their approach to practice, performance, and teaching. I was privileged to get in touch with Alfred Mouledous, Professor of Piano at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. He immediately invited me over to his office...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Making music come alive

In my early years of teaching I clearly remember commenting about my students' playing to my husband, "All the notes and rhythms are correct, but they don't sound that good. I'm not sure how to help them make the music 'come alive'." I certainly have many more ideas and solutions than I did as a beginning teacher, and have learned a great deal from...
Continue reading
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Sharon Reich Walton
While sorting through years of Clavier and Clavier Companion Magazines, I found Marvin Blickenstaff's article from July 2012 calle... Read More
Monday, 01 April 2019 20:54
1 Comment

How Do You Teach Intuitive Students to Make Decisions About Interpretation?

Like many questions about teaching, the answer to this issue's question is a process; there simply cannot be an answer that stands as fact, or even static opinion. Every time we face this question, usually in the middle of a lesson, the answer is both a culmination of all that we have learned in the past and a beginning-without doubt, the circumsta...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Do You Balance Your Emphasis on Accuracy and Interpretation?

In the last issue, students and parents responded to the question, What makes piano study a positive experience for you or your child?, and I invited readers to read the comments and to form their own conceptualization of recurrent theme(s). As I searched for common themes, it seemed to me that the major one was that the teachers of these children ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

When Does Rhythmic Training Become Training for Interpretation?

When one first reads the question posed for this month's column, an initial reaction is that the question may be a loaded one. Or perhaps the reaction is: "Obviously, from the very beginning." However, the intent of the question is neither to trick the reader nor to state the obvious. Rhythm does, indeed, become one of the major considerations as w...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

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...
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