What Aspects of Teaching Pedaling Do You Think are Most Important?

Most aspects of piano playing and teaching show characteristics of both science and art. Some appear to be more on the "method" side of that spectrum, others on the "intuition" side. Pedaling seems to be significantly more than fifty percent art, due to the enormous variety and complexity of sounds that can emanate from the instrument, and also sin...
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Is Teaching Really That Different in Asia?

"East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" may have held some truth in 1889, when Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem The Ballad of East and West, but the phrase has little relevance in 2012. World-wide communication, increased travel, and global industry have made our planet avery small place. So it's...
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Is slow practice always the best way to develop technique?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor  I had the great good fortune to study, at intervals, with one of the grand ladies of American piano teaching, Adele Marcus. She was quite a character, to say the least, and she put a strong emphasis on slow practice. I'm being tactful. It would be more accura...
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How Do You Teach Weight-Transfer to Early-Level Students?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor Who was it that said, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; those who can't teach, teach gym"? Not a piano teacher, obviously! And probably not a gym teacher, either. It's not necessary to be a world famous concert pianist to be a fine teacher, but it is essential...
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Is there a way to make technical practice fun?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor A child need not be very clever To learn that, 'Later, dear', means 'Never'.  Ogden Nash, Grandpa is Ashamed He makes a good point, don't you think? Is there ever time for "fun" in a piano lesson, especially when it relates to technique? Fun is a charged word for p...
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How do you help students who say, "I know what I want, but my hands just won't do it!"?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique Scott McBride Smith, Editor Our hands are only a final link in a long chain of events that work together to produce the sounds we want. This might have been one of my shortest Keyboard Companion introductions ever. Yep. Three words. "Gimme a break!" You see, I seldom believe students when they assure m...
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FrankTraverst
There are many various types of essay and assignments that can be set during a period of study at college or university. One of th... Read More
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 13:42
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How Do You Teach Good Tone to Early-Level Students?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique I met an old friend while writing my article for this issue of Keyboard Companion. It was great to renew communication after so many years apart - to hear his ideas and be reminded of his wisdom and his warmth. My friend? Robert Schumann. No, I'm not psychic. But I did feel close, again, to the co...
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Let's Get Physical: Technique

Scott McBride Smith is Executive Director of the Young Keyboard Artists Association, in which capacity he directs a Summer Piano Institute involving some of the nation's top artist-teachers and students. He is a well-known private teacher in Southern California. He received his doctorate from the University of Southern California where he was co-wi...
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How Do You Motivate Your Students to Practice Technique?

I am often touched by the sincere desire of music teachers to improve themselves and the lives of their students. It's ironic that so many large international corporations have only recently discovered the virtues of continuous improvement (one of the buzzwords of business in the '90s), for indeed we music teachers have known its benefits all along...
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What Do We Mean by Technique, Anyway?

from the series: Let's Get Physical: Technique There was a time when keyboard technique seemed a comparatively simple affair. There's nothing remarkable about it, a gruff J. S. Bach told his friend J. F. Kohler. Hit the right notes at the right time and the instrument plays itself. For Bach, as for Mozart, a quiet seat, small motions with curv...
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FrankTraverst
There are many various types of essay and assignments that can be set during a period of study at college or university. One of th... Read More
Tuesday, 22 September 2020 13:44
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When and how do you introduce the damper pedal?

All teachers of beginning students have asked this question at one time or another. Students love to use the pedal. Unfortunately, they often love it a little too much. And pedal habits, like all other habits, are difficult to change once they are learned. It is vital, therefore, to introduce correct pedal technique early on. Three highly successfu...
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How Do You Ensure Good Posture at the Piano, Especially in Home Practice?

From the series Let's Get Physical: Technique Steven H. Roberson teaches Piano Pedagogy at Butler University in Indianapolis where he is acting chairman of the Music Education Department. The author of more than twenty-five articles on piano teaching in leading national and international music journals, he has spoken at major music confer...
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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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