Purposeful Approaches To Introducing Elementary Repertoire

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Ease and Excitement

"Never send students home with a piece without capturing their interest and excitement in the piece, and giving them a sense that they can master it easily."– Frances Clark One part of this quote particularly permeated Frances Clark's lectures: "A sense that they can master it easily." If the students feel they "can" and they are also are excited a...
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What is your plan for teaching a new piece? How does it vary for different levels of students?

Learning a new piece is like building a house. First there is a conception of the end result. The foundation is then laid - the more solid and stable, the better. Then the frame is erected and the most basic infrastructural elements are added. The skeleton then has more "flesh" progressively added until the process is nearly complete. The fini...
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How much in-lesson assistance do you give students in learning new repertoire?

I think most teachers would agree that independent learning is an important goal of teaching music reading. I believe, however, that we fall short of that goal if, once a student can satisfactorily read music, we begin to simply assign repertoire to be learned independently. When we do this, we cease to be a guide and facilitator during the fi...
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A Fond Farewell (Für Elise)

Marvin Blickenstaff, Editor from the series: Putting It All Together: Repertoire  One of the favorite photos I have hanging in my study is a shot of the original staff of Keyboard Companion. Pictured there is founding editor Richard Chronister and his dear wife Marjore, Elvina Pearce, Brenda Dillon, Cathy Albergo and husband Frank, S...
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How Do Your Students Practice a New Piece When You Don't Give Them Any Help?

Most of our lessons involve two processes-teaching and testing. The teaching aspect of the lesson has to do primarily with preparation and presentation. In the area of concept formation, this means getting the student ready to learn something new and then introducing it. In the area of practice, it means getting the student ready for a week of prac...
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