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The Whole Piano is Mine! Keeping Today’s Beginners Engaged Through Attractive and Motivational Repertoire

When I began teaching in the United States as a fresh artist-teacher graduate  of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, I soon recognized that to make my teaching style appropriate to the experiences and circumstances of my students it was crucial to familiarize myself with the American teaching environment and practices. Ever since, I...
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November/December 2018: Pupil Saver

Rev It Up! D avid Karp's Toccatina  in D Minor (FJH) is  a high-energy intermediate  piece that  will rev up any student. Written  almost entirely in the treble clef, the  rapid sixteenth notes, syncopated cadences,  and interesting mix of major  and minor sounds add up to an exciting  and riveting conte...
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From the Inside Out: Motivation

​ Joyce Cameron is nationally certified in piano and piano pedagogy by the Music Teachers National Association. She is best known for her work with KEYBOARD COMPANION, for her published descriptions of the demonstration teaching at the 1988 and 1990 meetings of the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, and for coordinating the NCPP Learn...
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September/October 2018: Pupil Saver

From the "Motivating Bookshelf Logan is sitting on the piano bench, his mother behind us. Logan and I are discussing repertoire for both short- and long-term goals. Logan is in soccer, tennis, robotics, piano, violin, and a plethora of church activities. Following a polished performance of "The Little White Donkey" from Jacques Ibert's Histoir...
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September/October 2018: Variations

The music of life Serious illness visited my husband last winter. Our lives suddenly became a round of doctor appointments, surgery, tests, treatments, and continual bad news. My husband and I have received thoughts, prayers, food, visits, gifts both serious and funny, cards, and people's heartfelt love. We are gratefu...
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Purple Days

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Yesterday, Andrew came into his lesson scowling. He stomped her to the piano bench, sat down, and crossed his arms in front of his chest, still scowling. I  first met five-year-old Andrew when he was a baby, sitting on his dad's lap during his older brother's piano lessons. During all of his eight months of piano lessons, I have never seen him...
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July/August 2018: Pupil Saver

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A grand setting for C minor by Carmen  Doubrova Some students diligently practice their repertoire pieces, but are less enthused about scales and exercises. Fortunately, long ago, I discovered Ballade from Betty Colley's early-intermediate collection Styles for Piano (Kjos). This piece is a brilliant study of the natural minor scale. The C-min...
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Linda Mannering
Hello Carmen, Thank you for this article. I cannot find Betty Colley's early-intermediate collection Styles for Piano (Kjos) or ... Read More
Saturday, 21 July 2018 09:33
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May/June 2018: Variations

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Rediscovering the joy of music  1950.  Rediscovering the Joy of Music Lincoln, Nebraska. I am four years old, living with my parents in a new GI-Bill financed tract house, dancing around my bedroom to Side B of my Golden Record of The Five Little Firemen . It is a 5-inch 78 RPM made of yellow plastic, and I am quickly wearing down its gro...
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March/April 2018: Create and motivate

The previous issue's column included a list of the benefits of scale practice as well as an approach to "squaring" scales to fit the four- and eight-measure phrase lengths so common in piano literature. Now, here's another way to practice scales for advancing pianists. Assign it to students who have a history of being motivated by extra challenges....
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My meeting with the man in the ebony and ivory tower

Man in the Ivory Tower
The following account may be fiction. It may be true. It may be both. I had been a piano teacher and performer for nearly a decade. At the age of twenty-eight, I was plagued by a persistent "hollow" feeling, especially after giving yet another mediocre lesson or anxiety-driven performance. Performing was always an ordeal, and a perpetual affront to...
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Who will save the guitar?

In recent years, there's been a lot of discussion about the state of the piano teaching industry. We know that piano sales have declined dramatically, but has there been a decline in the number of people studying piano? In the absence of thorough data, we can only look to anecdotal evidence, which seems to be highly variable. I hear from teachers w...
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Putting it all together: Creating a great lesson

I've recently been inspired to think about the essential elements of a successful lesson, prompted in part by Pete Jutras's column "Quality Ingredients" ( Clavier Companion , July/August 2015) and a superb 2012 workshop that Marvin Blickenstaff presented at Nazareth College, just outside of Rochester, NY. Jutras's points—that every lesson should ha...
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Summer Piano Study: Ideas and Inspirations

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While routine can be valid and effective for piano students and teachers, sometimes a break from the usual can be refreshing. After nine months of the school-year schedule, the summer months provide an ideal time for the exploration of new approaches. The benefits of summer study include the freedom to try a different format for your teaching—if yo...
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Learning & Teaching: Create & Motivate

Rhythm boxes, Part II by Bradley Sowash  The last column introduced placing Xs in "rhythm boxes" to represent well-known tunes. Here are more ideas to enhance rhythmic understanding by teaching with this versatile tool.   Rhythm box activities Start by making and printing blank tables like those below. Then, try these activities with...
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Why do you play the piano?

For years, I have written about and counseled many people regarding their performance anxiety.  ​I have lectured on the topics of symptoms and symptom reduction, as well as deeper psychological issues that fuel stage fright. I have heard numerous comments about "wanting to play perfectly," "wanting the audience to like me," and "not letti...
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When students quit

I quit piano twice. During my last year of high school, I left my long-time teacher a handwritten note in an envelope on her desk. In it I detailed the reasons I was "quitting piano." I no longer remember what those reasons were, but I suspect they were related to feeling I had let her down by losing a then-recent contest. I don't remember that she...
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Pupil Saver: Unique; reflective music

Finding interesting late-intermediate literature can be a challenge. In addition to teaching the repertoire standards, I always look for something a bit more out-of- the box, quite often a contemporary composition. I find that the  contemporary music of Dianne Goolkasian Rah bee fits my needs perfectly, and her two sets of preludes provide a w...
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Pencil practice 102

As a student pianist at music camp, I once asked an improvisation teacher for tips to help me improve my creative skills. "Learn everything you can about harmony" was his quick answer. Today, I agree that, especially for pianists, chord fluency opens more doors to creativity than any other element of music. Writing chords by root In addition to mas...
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I hope Tiffany still likes to jump in the mud

T​his issue's column features the writing of Tiffany Pon, piano student of my longtime friend and colleague, Mona Rejino. Mona teaches at the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, and Tiffany has been her student from the time she was six years old until she graduated this year. Mona is a well-known composer, arranger, and author of countless method bo...
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The value of music

Piano teachers have great jobs, and I think most of us are thankful that we get to spend our days sharing something we love with our students. It is immensely gratifying to see our students grow as musicians and watch music become an important part of their lives. At times, however, it seems like the rest of the world doesn't see music study in the...
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About The Piano Magazine

The 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 the Piano Magazine in 2019.

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