Jan/Feb 2018 Mind Matters: Stage fright and symptoms: cause or effect?

anxiety-2019928_1280
When you think about your stage fright, what are two or three fears or anxieties that come into your mind? When musicians contact me about this painful problem, I typically hear two prominent complaints among many others. These are anxiety about having (1) memory slips and (2) technical failures. As we talk about these anxieties other topics evolve...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: Runner-up essay from the 2017 Clavier Companion Collegiate Writing Contest - Clara Boyett

collegiate-competition-runner-up
In the Spring of 2017, Clavier Companion sponsored its ninth annual Collegiate Writing Contest, inviting college students from around the world to submit 1,500 word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. We extend our sincere thanks to professors Gail Berenson, Pamela Pike, and Suzanne Schons for serving as adjudicators for this y...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

DIGITAL-ONLY CONTENT: Runner-up essay from the 2017 Clavier Companion Collegiate Writing Contest - Yee Wing Chan

collegiate-competition-runner-up
In the Spring of 2017, Clavier Companion sponsored its ninth annual Collegiate Writing Contest, inviting college students from around the world to submit 1,500 word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. We extend our sincere thanks to professors Gail Berenson, Pamela Pike, and Suzanne Schons for serving as adjudicators for this year's...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Mind Matters: Thinking about thinking

What do you think about when you think about performing? Take a few minutes before reading further and make a short list. Below, I have listed some frequent responses about performance that I have heard from teachers and students:• I am afraid I will make mistakes.• I will feel embarrassed if my performance does not go perfectly.• I freak out about...
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 are they thinking? The key to your students’ best performances

The lights are dimmed and a hush comes over the crowd. The atmosphere is charged as your student takes the stage for her recital. She is well prepared and ready for this moment, but there are no guarantees. More than anything else, what happens next hinges on the thinking habits she has acquired during her practice sessions. The key to pianists' be...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How do you know when a student is ready to perform a piece?

One of my studio recitals just ended. As I write this, I am eating a leftover brownie and may snarf down a couple more. Would wine be better? Probably, but it is only four in the afternoon. The recital went well. For one thing, everyone showed up. This doesn't always happen. For another, no one was wearing a sports uniform. While I am not...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Creating cherpumple

You may wonder what baking a cake and giving a performance could possibly have in common, and I have to admit that I never thought about it until the other day. There is something helpful to be learned about yourself in everything you do.  Recently I read an article about a remarkable dessert called the "Cherpumple." You can learn more about t...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Do perfect performances exist?

Do you remember how old you were when you started playing the piano? How old were you when started lessons; when you played in your first recital? I recall picking out tunes on the piano when I was four years old. My first piano was a little white toy with twenty-four keys. By the time I was five, my mother had bought me a large upright piano, and ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

The positive pianist: How flow brings passion to practice and performance

We have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate. On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like.* Mihaly Csiksze...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Preparing the mind and body for performance: Conquering stage fright through effective practice

The brain is a complex organ. It controls our systemic functions and sparks our moods, thoughts, and actions. Physiologically, the brain registers fear differently, depending upon the threat. People suffering from panic attacks or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a "flight or fight" response, but those grappling with performance anxi...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

EXPERIENCING Music

"Teaching is not what you say or do. Teaching is what you have the STUDENT experience in your presence." –Sam Holland  What do we want the student to EXPERIENCE in the lesson? I don't have to think about it very long to come to the conclusion that what I want my students to experience through their lesson is good music. Regardless of where the...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Senza piano

In the Spring of 2012, Clavier Companion sponsored its fifth annual Collegiate Writing Contest. College students at any level from any country in the world were invited to submit 1,500 word essays on a pedagogical topic of their choice. The grand prize was publication of the winning essay in Clavier Companion. The esteemed panel of j...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

An interview with Gary Graffman

An interview with Gary Graffman
Editor's Note: This article is the first in an intermittent series of articles dedicated to profiling the teaching ideas and methods of various pedagogues. Gary Graffman is a perfect choice for the first entry in this series, as he is not only one of the most effective and influential pedagogues of recent decades, but he was also a student of Horow...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Blizzards, performances, and best-laid plans

So many of you experienced a winter similar to or much worse than the one we had here in Oklahoma, with blizzards, winter storms, and unexpected changes in our plans. It was a horrible winter weather year! Winter seems so far away now, but it certainly impacted our personal situations and teaching during this past year. Where I live, we often desce...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

The state of international piano competitions: A "frenzy for attention"

Against considerable odds, serious piano study appears to be thriving worldwide. Talented youngsters from East and West continue to crowd into conservatories and study standard repertoire, despite the temptations of popular culture to pursue alternate paths. Many in the piano world worry, however, that this glut of new artists gathering in the mark...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How do you counsel a student after a disappointing performance?

Know and understand your student as a person by Phyllis Pieffer  Is there any performer who has not experienced a "disappointing" performance at some point in his or her career? Is there any teacher who has never had students experience a "disappointing" performance? Of course not!  I still remember the sage advice of ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study

Brenda Dillon is on the faculty of Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas, Project Director for the National Piano Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and is a teacher who loves to help her adult students bridge the gap between wishing and doing.  How Do Yo...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Can You Give Your Talent Away?

Every student knows, or at least can imagine, the feeling of pride and joy musicians take from giving a performance that is appreciated by others. It's a feeling that's inspiring as well as gratifying. As one teacher writes in her students' assignment books, "To keep your talent, you must give it away!"  Unfortunately, "giving away talent" may...
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