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Appreciating our Inheritance of Piano Technique Literature

Pianist and pedagogue Joseph Hofmann states: "To transmit one's matured conception to one's auditors requires a considerable degree of mechanical skill, and this skill, in its turn, must be under absolute control of the will." 1 After all, how can a pianist be expressive in his or her playing without the necessary preparation? Today we witness pian...
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Diversifying Concert Programming: Introducing Works for Solo Piano by Asian Female Composers

As a performing musician, I am always looking for ways to expand my concert repertoire, not only to promote diversity in music programming but also to spark interest in both students and audiences by introducing fresh voices into traditional classical repertoire. In my search for solo piano works, I came across three Asian female composers who have...
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Undiscovered Gems of Canadian Pedagogical Piano Literature: The Works of Violet Archer, Jean Coulthard, and Barbara Pentland

​Canadian composers Violet Archer, Jeanne Coulthard, and Barbara Pentland were three amazing women composers representing different parts of Canada: Archer from Quebec, Coulthard from British Columbia, and Pentland from Manitoba. Even though they came from and represent the broad, expansive country of Canada, they did have some commonalities: all t...
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Brazilian Dance Music For Intermediate and Early Advanced Students

Francisca (Chiquinha) Gonzaga is one of the most important Brazilian composers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Born in 1847 in Rio de Janeiro, her personal life was considered scandalous for her time. Her father never forgave her for leaving her husband, and she was disowned by her family. She was the first professional woman composer ...
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Elementary and Early-Intermediate Piano Music by Women

Every piece students play creates an opportunity to make an emotional impression on themselves and others. Experiencing a variety of well-chosen literature helps students to further their studies more artistically and joyfully. Teachers often wisely select literature based on students' technical and musical needs. By also considering a possible per...
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Kabalevsky: Running Along, Op. 39, No. 6

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Kabalevsky, A Little Porcupine, op. 89, No. 8 Köhler, Melody, op. 190, no. 27 Diabelli, Scherzo in C, Op. 149, No. 6 Get Ready: Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for dee...
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Susan Baugh
This was great! Thanks for all your ideas!
Thursday, 22 August 2019 20:42
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“Hidden Figures” in Piano Pedagogy: Leveling Piano Music by Black Composers

A Call for Representation   In 2016, the movie, Hidden Figures , based on the novel by Margot Lee Shetterly, put a spotlight on African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s. This biographical film exposed the significant contributions that Black females made to NASA ...
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Narrativity of Histoires by Jacques Ibert

Jacques François Antoine Marie Ibert was born with the fire of Spanish blood in his veins and claimed Manuel de Falla, the famed Spanish composer, as his cousin. The love of music and art that permeated the Ibert household laid the foundation for his acceptance into the Paris Conservatory in 1910, where he studied harmony under the tutelage of Emil...
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Summer 2019: Pupil Saver - Dramatic Chords and Incomparable Views

Rebecca is in her senior year of high school. She is a lovely person who is a talented artist and is also a good pianist. Rebecca leans probably more toward art than music, thus her playing level has stayed around late intermediate to early advanced. Finding music for her that sounds difficult and appealing is often a challenge. At her most recent ...
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Burgmüller: Ballade, Op.100, No.15

Burgmüller: Ballade, Op.100, No.15
Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one ​ Burgmüller - Arabesque Rossi - Atacama Desert Atwood - Sonatina Kabalevsky – Clowns Get Ready: Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for deeper engagement and more im...
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Schumann: A Little Piece, Op.68, No.5

SchumannPike
Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Berens: Op. 70, No. 8 & No. 23 Christopher Norton: Duet for One (from The Microjazz Collection 1) Czerny: Op. 777, No. 3 Konrad Kuhner: School of Etudes, No. 1 (right before or after) Schumann: Op. 68, No. 3 Get Ready: creativ...
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Clementi: Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1, I. Allegro

Clementi: Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1, I. Allegro
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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Chee-Hwa Tan
I loved how you articulate the tricky technical segments and accompany them with simple technical warm-ups in preparation. Very cl... Read More
Friday, 03 May 2019 17:19
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Pachulski: Prelude Op.8, No.1

Pachulski
Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Nakada, The Song of Twilight Tchaikovsky, Old French Song, op. 39, no. 16 Grechaninov, Waltz, from Glass Beads, op. 123 Tchaikovsky,Sweet Dreams, op. 39, no. 21 Get Ready: Creative activities to explore before the first encounter ...
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Bach (attr.): Musette in D major, BWV Anh. 126

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one ​ David Kraehenbuehl, March of the Trolls (detailed articulation, quick leaps over the keyboard) Favorite Jazzy pieces with ties and syncopations (e.g. Jon George, Chattanooga Cha-Cha from Students' Choice; Christopher Norton, Dri...
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Recent Comments
Maryjane Peluso
Help, please! The video of Cathy Smetana's demo of the Bach Musette only plays for 48 seconds.
Monday, 01 April 2019 10:02
Ryan Greene
This is now fixed. Thanks for your patience!
Monday, 01 April 2019 14:29
hpkp
Hello, Please help, the same issue here, full teaching video unavailable? I am logged in, and the message still tells me I need to... Read More
Monday, 01 April 2019 12:24
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Schumann: Knecht Ruprecht, Op. 68, No. 12 ("Knight Rupert")

knectrupert
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

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one Rebikov: The Bear Bach: Musette in D Major, BWV Anh. 126 Gurlitt: Etude in D minor ( Night Journey ), op. 82, no. 65 Get Ready: Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for dee...
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Recent Comments
Amy Glennon
Thank you for this informative video, full of so many useful teaching tips!
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 05:57
Chee-Hwa Tan
Loved the Star Wars touch! Now I will have the "R2D2 - BB8" refrain going in my head... ... Read More
Friday, 03 May 2019 17:13
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