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Schumann: Knecht Ruprecht, Op. 68, No. 12 ("Knight Rupert")

Knecht-Ruprecht
Preparation and Presentation   Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Burgmüller Ballade (Magrath Level 4): Provides work on keeping sixteenth notes even in the LH (with RH eighth note chords accompanying them) and also provides work with keeping hands together when playing sixteenth notes. S...
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Subverting the Pianistic Psyche: Learning Approaches to Webern’s Concerto for Nine Instruments, Op. 24

A well-trained pianist is a musician fundamentally chained to notational accuracy—one of the prime pianistic  obsessions. In traditional pianistic modes of learning, embracing tonally centered repertoire, accuracy of notational acquisition has absolute primacy. Pianists at all levels of accomplishment are guided by an inherent, perhaps inherit...
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Béla Bartók: Two Romanian Dances, Op. 8a, and the Romanian Folk Influence

It is no secret that the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók was greatly influenced by traditional folk and dance music of Eastern Europe and surround- ing regions. To explore the direct effects of a  specific ethnic demographic of folk music on specific works, however, still holds the potential to yield fresh insight. Though Bartók is perhaps m...
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Spring 2019: New Music Reviews

  (S1-3) Imaginations Books 1 and 2, by Kevin Olson.   Kevin Olson has a knack for creating fresh and original sounds at every teaching level. While incorporating the reading, rhythmic, and technical skills needed to advance the piano student, Imaginations offers a wide variety of appealing pieces. With titles like "Android Attack," "Peng...
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Spring 2019: Recordings

​ The two leading piano manufacturers in Paris during Chopin's lifetime were Érard and Pleyel. Chopin preferred Pleyel's instruments, praising what he heard as a more compelling cantabile , and subtler tonal palette. The 1847 Pleyel here possesses remarkable clarity, due in part to its quick decay time. Rutkowski's prowess with convincing agogic e...
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Ellmenreich: Spinning Song

Ellmenreich Spinning Song
Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Kohler: Etude in F Major, op. 190, no. 27 Diabelli: Vivace in C Major, op. 125, no. 7 any pieces that involve playing a LH broken-chord accompaniment against a lyrical RH melody, in either 3/4 or 3/8 Get Ready: Creative activities...
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Handel: Gavotte in G Major, HWV 491 ("Rigaudon")

Handel-Gavotte
Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one ​ ​ Kabalevsky - Clowns, op. 39, no. 20 J. S. Bach (attrib.) - Musette in D, BWV Anh. 26 Turk – The Dancing Master Get Ready:  Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for...
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Gurlitt: Aus dem Norden, Op. 130, No. 21

Gurlitt: Aus dem Norden, Op. 130, No. 21
Preparation and Presentation  Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one. ​ Kohler: Etude in F Major, op. 190, no. 27 Diabelli: Vivace in C Major, op. 125, no. 7 any pieces that involve playing a LH broken-chord accompaniment against a lyrical RH melody, in either 3/4 or 3/8 Creative activities to explore...
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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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January/February 2019 Pupil Saver: The thrill of the risk

My student Katie, 17, enjoys playing the piano as much as she loves playing soccer. From what I hear, she is an aggressive, risk-taking soccer player. The same could be said for her piano playing: she is adventurous with tempo and sometimes  aggressive with sound. I needed a piece that would both capitalize on Katie's strengths while  enc...
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The Neglected Consolations of Franz Liszt

F ranz Liszt's beloved Consolation No. 3 in D-flat Major from the Six Consolations S.172, is a character piece frequently performed by  the advancing pianist in recital and festival adjudications. Reminiscent of a nostalgic nocturne, Consolation No. 3 features a stunning melodic line and unpredictable harmonic nuances that have surely contribu...
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Celebrating Leonard Bernstein at 100: An exploration of his solo piano works

Bernstein
Bernstein's Musical Legacy As the Leonard Bernstein centennial draws to a close, it is an ideal time to consider the extraordinary career of one of the most significant musical figures of the last century. A prodigious multi-talent, Bernstein became a renowned composer, conductor, pianist, author, teacher, and humanitarian. Although some counseled ...
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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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Revisiting Long-lost Gems: American Folktunes in Nineteenth-century Piano Music

 I n the nineteenth century, classical  music was in its infancy in the United  States and uniquely American musical  voices were few and far between. Although  there were some notable exceptions—such as  pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk—most American  musicians flocked to Europe "only to return with  pale imi...
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Gurlitt: Aus dem Norden, Op. 130, No. 21

Gurlitt
Preparation and Presentation  Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one. ​ Kohler: Etude in F Major, op. 190, no. 27 Diabelli: Vivace in C Major, op. 125, no. 7 any pieces that involve playing a LH broken-chord accompaniment against a lyrical RH melody, in either 3/4 or 3/8 Creative activities to explore...
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Clementi: Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1, I. Allegro

ClementiSonatinaimage2
Preparation and Presentation  Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one: ​ Lynn Freeman Olson – Beginning Sonatinas Nancy Faber - Classic Sonatina in C Major Dennis Alexander - Simply Sonatinas Theodore Latour - Sonatina No. 1 in C Major Thomas Attwood - Sonatina in G Major Creative activities to explore...
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Burgmüller: Ballade, Op. 100 No. 15

ballade1
Preparation and Presentation Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one: ​ Burgmüller - Arabesque Rossi - Atacama Desert Atwood - Sonatina Kabalevsky – Clowns Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for deeper engagement and more immediate success: ​ What ...
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Kabalevsky: Clowns, Op. 39

clowns
Preparation and Presentation Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one: ​ Beethoven - Ecossaise in G Major, WoO 23 Niamath - Playful Puppy Niamath - Penguins Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for deeper engagement and more immediate success: ​ 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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Deciphering Chopin’s shorthand in the posthumous Mazurka in F minor

​If someone had told me a decade ago that I was going to produce the first (and, so far, only) published reconstruction of Chopin's posthumous Mazurka in F Minor that includes every uncanceled measure of the composer's sketch, I would have laughed. But apparently when a performance opportunity inspires a research obsession, unexpected things can ha...
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