Winds of Change

My last column, a broadside against the sterility of the classical piano recital, engendered a lot of comment (see Letters to the Editor, Jan/Feb 2013 and page six of this issue). I'm grateful to those who agreed with me, and I thank those who didn't as well. The trouble is it's hard to be subtle in an 1,100-word column. I went for the Big Effect a...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Do You Teach Students to Read Patterns Rather Than Note-By-Note?

The idea of reading patterns in music first became important to me when I began teaching young students how to read music. In my formative years I was raised on a note-by-note approach that began at Middle C. It worked for me... at least I thought it did. Today, even though I teach children to read by interval relation...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Charting the future course of music history

​Not long ago, a professor of piano pedagogy at a prestigious collegiate institution asked me to be a guest lecturer for a day. The topic was technology. The class was attended by a fine group of young pianists who were completing work on a graduate degree in piano performance.During the session, I got to know the students a little bit. I was inter...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Lang Lang: A life so far

Lang-Lang-Great-Wall
Anyone who believed that Lang's Lang's fame would only last fifteen minutes would have had to think twice when they saw the audience at New York's Town Hall on October 20, 2008It sometimes seems that everyone in the world knows about Lang Lang. He was the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics. He performed at th...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

When Choosing an Elementary Method, What Do You Look For in the Area of Note Reading?

One of our writers says, "Our country must lead the world in proliferation of elementary method books." Some teachers swear by their favorite method and have been teaching it for years. Others try every new method that comes on the market, always looking for something new and different. Some teachers feel that different children require different a...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Is Good Material to Use With Elementary Transfer Students Who Are Playing Music Far Too Difficult?

There are many reasons why students change teachers. In this mobile society, it is frequently because the student or teacher has moved to another loca tion. But changes can also occur for professional reasons- poor communication between the triangle of teacher/student/parent, lack of interest, a particular need that is not being fulfilled -&nb...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Does Piano Study Help Children in Other Aspects of School Study?

Did someone ever ask you, "How do you know that's true? Did you read it somewhere ... what proof do you have?" And you answered without hesitation, "I don't know how, I just know it!" Piano teachers just know that studying music, especially the piano, is good for kids. We believe that piano lessons will help our students in their school lesson...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Is Your Opinion of Counting Aloud and How Do You Encourage This Activity at Home?

"I don't believe in counting aloud. I just feel the beat." You can imagine my surprise at this response from an adult student who was playing incorrect rhythms in passages of Rhapsody in Blue. I thought, like most of us would, that the fastest way to solve the problem would be to have this student count aloud. My ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Do You Decide What to Say After Your Student Finishes Playing? Part II

Piano teachers have to make dozens, perhaps hundreds, of decisions during each teaching day. But, have you ever really thought about how you make all of those decisions? Do you just say the first thing that comes to mind? Do you have a particular procedure for deciding? In the Autumn 1993 issue of KEYBOARD COMPANION, Alana and Richard Kennell ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Music Games and Activities Do Your Students Like the Most? Part II

Games, Games, and More Games! The response to our first article about using musical games and activities in teaching (Autumn, 1993) created enough mail and reader response that we thought it was time for a sequel! Our authors for this issue are some highly creative teachers who have created their own musical games, some new ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Do You Keep Your Adults From Using The Lesson Times as Therapy Sessions?

If confession is good for the soul, then my soul is about to feel really good. Because I am going to admit to something which may appall most, if not all readers of KEYBOARD COMPANION. Currently, I teach adults only in groups, but when I was teaching several adult students in private lessons, I actually enjoyed it when one or two of them ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Is the New Monster Concert?

We are told that Louis Moreau Gottschalk, America's first matinee idol, was the creator of the "piano orchestra" or Monster Concert, which became a genuine institution in 19th-century America. In his memoirs, Gottschalk mentions a number of spectacular occasions when he employed mammoth musical forces. The ultimate was a concert in Havana in which ...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

What Suggestions Do You Give Students for How to Practice Ornaments?

We have all heard student performances of pieces which might have been quite acceptable except for the stumbles and hesitations surrounding the execution of ornaments. Perhaps these students should not have been assigned pieces containing ornaments. Or, maybe all of the ornaments should have been deleted before the pieces w...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Do You Use New Technology in Teaching Improvisation?

​Everyone reading this magazine- teachers, students, parents- is a product of the 20th-century. That means that we are, in varying degrees, modern, progressive, and up-to-date in our attitudes, teaching, and expectations. Or does it? How many of you enjoy improvising? Do you regularly teach or even encourage your students to enjoy the kind of "spon...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Do You Use the New Technology in Group Teaching?

Although the term group teaching defies a simple definition or universal application, most piano teachers today include some type of group activity in their teaching- from regular weekly or monthly group lessons to an occasional "practice recital." Likewise, every piano teacher uses some form of technology in teac...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Do You Handle the Discouraging Plateaus of Adult Piano Study?

Although this question implies that all plateaus are negative, our writers very effectively dispute that contention and give us very positive reasons for plateaus. It is analogous to the age-old question about the glass being half empty or half full. A plateau from one perspective is viewed as no progress or stagn...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

When Does Rhythmic Training Become Training for Interpretation?

When one first reads the question posed for this month's column, an initial reaction is that the question may be a loaded one. Or perhaps the reaction is: "Obviously, from the very beginning." However, the intent of the question is neither to trick the reader nor to state the obvious. Rhythm does, indeed, become one of the major considerations as w...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

How Should I Plan for Retirement?

When we're in our twenties, fresh out of school and getting a career off the ground, we have all the time in the world. When we reach our thirties, many of us are busy balancing a job with family. We're busier than we've ever been, either reaching for the next career plateau or taking a completely new direction. We think that there will never be an...
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