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Dorothy Stolzenbach Payne: Remembering a legendary Cincinnati piano teacher

Dorothy Payne
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What are your thoughts on the future of piano teaching?

thoughts-on-the-future
​What's next for our profession? Clavier Companion asked twelve pedagogues from around the country to contribute their thoughts on the future of piano teaching. In the following article, each author provides a short musing on this broad question. This series will continue in future issues, where longer articles by the same authors will provide an i...
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Louise Goss: In Memoriam

Louise Goss: In Memoriam
In April, the world of piano pedagogy lost a legend. In the following pages, friends and colleagues of Louise Goss pay tribute with remembrances and recollections.  In the "old days," all senior piano majors at Oberlin were required to take piano pedagogy. I will never forget the excitement our professor exuded when she presented to us the bra...
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Prelude Sets for Every Occasion

I first encountered the fascinating "prelude set" genre, like a great majority of pianists, through Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28. After thoroughly exploring and enjoying the Chopin Op. 28, I was hooked and simply had to find more! The features of this genre are simple enough, yet capable of incredible diversity: a collection of twenty-four sta...
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Teaching Tips from Louise Goss

Teaching Tips from Louise Goss
Louise Goss was a superb clinician and speaker. She had great clarity in her thinking about musical learning and an extraordinary vocabulary, but the quality that stood out above all else was her immense practicality. Most of these quotes are excerpts from transcripts of her public lectures delivered to groups of piano teachers.  I often wish ...
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The Professional Contributions of Louise Goss

The Professional Contributions of Louise Goss
The professional contributions of eminent American piano pedagogue Louise Goss are countless. Her tireless efforts, along with those of Frances Clark, include the establishment of arguably one of the first piano pedagogy programs in the United States at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, the creation of the New School for Music Study, the development o...
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Lesson Planning: A Teaching Essential?

Road maps and detours by Craig Sale One of my worst nightmares is arriving at the school where I teach to realize I have left that day's lesson plans at home.  On the rare occasions when this has happened, I have managed to conduct a reasonably structured lesson by following the student's last assignment in their notebook. Generally, I remembe...
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Dot spots

Add improvised pizzazz to the easy rhythms found in beginner tunes by asking your students to identify "dot spots." These are places where students can substitute dotted rhythms in place of quarter notes. Instead of this: Students play this: Listen and play It's not necessary for students to know how to read dotted rhythms prior to exploring their ...
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Let's order in!

​Occasionally I have a student who is reluctant to move past the first method book, or is easily discouraged when things get the least bit challenging. Some are unwilling even to explore past a C-major pentascale. Fortunately, I discovered "Pepperoni Pizza," a captivating little piece from Mona Rejino's elementary-level collection, Just for Kids (H...
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Musicnotes.com: Creative arrangements for your students

​ ​The importance of incorporating current music into piano lessons is immeasurable ​—you will be more desirable as a teacher, you will see a spark inside your students that hasn't come out since last Christmas, and you may even have some fun making music come to life with your students. By speaking the language of your students through music that ...
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Questions and Answers

Q:  ​What does the Teaching Artist movement have to do with me as an independent piano teacher? A: In the last column (November/December 2013), I responded to a question about Teaching Artists. We discussed the underlying value of "engagement before information" and briefly examined two types of activities pioneered by Teaching Artists: Intera...
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Minor scales: a hug and a kiss, or just a handshake?

During my first ten years of piano study, starting at age five, the term diatonic scale was never taught to me. Nor had I realized that there existed an entity called a natural minor scale, inasmuch as I had been directed to practice only major, melodic minor, and harmonic minor scales as part of my daily practice regimen at the keyboard. Additiona...
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The "How-Tos" of Practicing

Probably the most important thing we can teach our students is how to practice. And, one of the most challenging things we teach is how to practice well. When we teach practice strategies that instill attention to detail and develop problem-solving skills, we help students understand how to organize life's challenges into daily, weekly, and longer-...
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Twenty-First Century Pedagogy: A Whole New World Again

Do you have an iPad or some other type of tablet? How about a smartphone? Do you use them in your lessons? A large number of responses would probably be in the affirmative, but how are university pedagogy programs training the next generation of piano teachers to use these and other technologies? Are collegiate piano pedagogues grappling with new w...
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What Do We Do When Our Students Forget?

At my house, it takes a ladder to reach Richard Chronister's book, A Piano Teacher's Legacy . It is on the top shelf of the floor-to-ceiling bookcase next to my grand piano. This seems like the perfect resting place for it, because I always did put Richard on a high pedestal. I still do.  This fall I began my forty-fourth year of teaching. My ...
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Playing in "Country Swing" Style

Country songs often use quite simple chords, so let's start with a very straightforward chord progression ​using only chords I, IV, and V (including inversions to create better voice leading). Play with your right hand only: To get a country swing feel, you can split the right-hand chords up, with the bottom note of the chord alternating with the o...
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The Other Pupils

In a perfect world, our only preoccupation as teachers would be with training our piano students. Unfortunately, we live in an environment where there is little available time for music-related activities, and we often find ourselves battling against soccer and baseball games each time we plan our weekend festivals and piano recitals. Yet, despite ...
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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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The Chinese Phenomenon in the Piano World

During the past twenty or so years,most professional pianists and piano teachers have noticed the influx of Asian pianists. They appear at piano recitals and competitions locally and internationally, often comprising the majority of the performers. The names of Yundi Li, Yuja Wang, and certainly Lang Lang are better known today than most past giant...
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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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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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