Spring 2022: Questions & Answers

QUESTION: "I've recently begun teaching adult leisure classes. I realize that I must plan and teach differently than for private lessons and I want to work on more than technique and repertoire. Do you have suggestions for activities that would engage everyone in the group?" ANSWER: This is such a great question. My adult classe...

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Winter 2022: Questions & Answers by Jane Magrath

Q. I want to include some diverse literature for my intermediate students as we prepare for recitals, festivals, and competitions this spring. What are some collections or pieces that I might look into for their piano study?  A. Yours is a timely question since so much fresh solo piano literature at the intermediate level i...

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Autumn 2021: Questions & Answers

Q: I want to begin the new school year "on the right foot!" What are the most important things that I should prepare before my students return to lessons this fall? Happy New Year! While we're used to hearing this greeting in late December/early January, the start of a new teaching year is often filled with hope, new beginnings, and excitement. The...

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Summer 2021: Questions & Answers by Sara Ernst

Q. My elementary students want to explore the piano pedals, but they are too small to reach without straining or dangling off the bench. What do you recommend?A. The piano pedals are certainly wonderful for the resonance and color they provide, and this does spark interest from young learners. There is an excellent variety of educational ...

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Questions and Answers: Tips for Lesson Planning

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Questions and Answers: What is American Music

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Questions and Answers: How to Access Diverse Repertoire

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Question and Answers: How to Interest Advanced Students in Diverse Repertoire

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Questions and Answers: How Can We Empower Others

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Questions and Answers: How to Play Melody Louder than Accompaniment

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Spring 2021: Questions and Answers

By Craig Sale Q: I've enjoyed your Frances Clark Center webinars on preparation activities. I am unsure of what activities I should do with and without the keyboard and would appreciate some specific ideas and guidance. A: The key element in preparation activities is experience! Before encountering a new musical concept in a piece, the st...

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Questions and Answers: How Do I Keep Students' Attention When Online

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Winter 2021: Questions and Answers

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 As educators, we hold so much power in the music we choose to teach our students. When we decide which curriculum to use, we are deciding which music is most important in the canon to help our students progress. We also hold power in the music we choose not to use with our students. Pedagogues must use that innate power to decide what is cult...

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Questions and Answers: Ignoring Dynamics

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Questions and Answers: Buying a Piano

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Autumn 2020: Questions and Answers

Question: When I was teaching online this spring, I noticed that my students benefited from short video tutorials, performance video feedback, and non-playing activities. I'd like to continue providing these resources for my students, even when we return to in- person teaching but this takes extra time and I don't know if my parents appre...

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Questions and Answers: I Don't Get It

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Summer 2020: Questions & Answers

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What is the difference between a fake book and a real book? Both fake books and real books are collections of lead sheets, that is, pieces presented simply as melodies and chord symbols. Some jazz musicians use these collections at gigs to have a wide array of tunes at their disposal. The term "fake book" is used as a broad category for these colle...

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Questions and Answers

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I model practice with my students. Although the student sees the progress she makes in the lesson with our practice plan, she doesn't follow through at home. How can I help her use our practice plan at home so that she improves during the week? The word I most appreciate in your inquiry is "model." We should all model practice with our students dur...

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Questions and Answers: Dotted Quarter Eighth Note Rhythm

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