Fred Kern: A Pedagogical Giant

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Fred Kern could light up any room. Those who knew him—and even those who didn't—couldn't help but smile anytime he was near. Dr. Kern, widely known as a clinician, author, teacher, composer, and arranger, published numerous texts on piano pedagogy and wrote more than 500 arrangements and original pieces for piano solo. Although Fred Kern passed awa...
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Pianist, Patron, and Philanthropist: An Interview with Paloma O'Shea

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Paloma O'Shea is a pianist, patron of the arts, and philanthropist. In her presence, one senses a formidable intellect, great passion, and a personal distinction that belongs to the age of aristocracy. She is intense, but affable and her eyes twinkle as she talks about her life and great loves. At eighty-three, she&nbs...
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Autumn 2019: Questions and Answers

Note from Sam Holland The great psychologist, Abraham Maslow once observed, "In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety." C.S. Lewis noted, "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." Changes are coming in the "Questions and Answers" column. As you know, over the past ye...
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Creativity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

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A 2018 McKinsey report exploring the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the future of work predicts that 50 million jobs in the United States will be eliminated as a result of robots and automation.1 Other reports suggest that, while the workforce will change substantively and irreversibly, AI will help humans work smarter and faster, includ...
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Summer 2019: Questions and Answers

Q: What can you tell us about the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy coming up this summer? A: The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy will meet for the tenth time this July, marking the 40th anniversary of the original National Conference on Piano Pedagogy. These are important milestones, but I submit that the program itself delivers mo...
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Spring 2019: Questions and Answers

​Q: I've read that robots and artificial intelligence will eliminate 50 million jobs in the US within the next few years. Are the robots coming for OUR jobs—even in the arts? Even in music and teaching? A: The source of the statistic you cite is a 2018 McKinsey report that explores the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and related technol...
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January/February 2019: Questions and Answers

Q: What professional development opportunities are available online? Are any of these offered by the Frances Clark Center? A: Your biggest challenge is not finding opportunities for professional development but selecting the opportunities that are relevant and meaningful to you. All resources are not created equal and you should be as selectiv...
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November/December 2018: Questions & Answers

Q: If travel costs prohibit me from attending valuable conferences such as NCKP, what are other ways I can pursue professional development? A: It is true that by the time you factor in airfare, lodging, meals, registration fees, and lost income, the cost of attending a major conference in person is substantial. Ir...
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Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers
This is Part 2 of a response that began in the Nov/Dec 2017 issue of Clavier Companion.  Q. This is the time of year when high school students are considering college and preparing for auditions. As a music administrator, do you have any suggestions for me and/or my students that would help us make good decisions? Make music alone and with oth...
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Questions & Answers: November/December 2017

Q: This is the time of year when high school students are considering college and preparing for auditions. As a music administrator, do you have any suggestions for me and/or my students that would help us make good decisions? A (Part I): There are many ways to study music in college and many ways to prepare for a career in music. Learn about and c...
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Questions and Answers: September/October 2017

QUESTION: I've read that Frances Clark often used classics, literature, and social sciences that don't seem related to piano teaching in her pedagogy classes. Would you comment on this and, if possible, give some examples? ANSWER (Part III): In the last issue, we explored an essay entitled "The Aims of Education" by English mathematician and p...
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Questions and Answers: July/August 2017

QUESTION: I've read that Frances Clark often used classics, literature, and social sciences that don't seem related to piano teaching in her pedagogy classes. Would you comment on this and, if possible, give some examples?   ANSWER: This is the second response of what could be dozens of answers to this wonderful question. In the last issue, we...
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Questions and Answers: May/June 2017

Question: I've read that Frances Clark often used classics, literature, and social sciences that don't seem related to piano teaching in her pedagogy classes. Would you comment on this and, if possible, give some examples? Answer: This is true and it's something about which I could write many articles or perhaps even a book someday. Frances was a w...
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Questions and Answers: March/April 2017

Q: I've heard that you use films as source material for pedagogy classes. Would you share an example and discuss how and why you do this? A: Great films capture human experience in a myriad of ways and can be very effective as teaching tools because they draw us into complex situations and provide an opportunity to grapple with problems, concepts, ...
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Questions and Answers

Q: The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) happens this summer. How is the program shaping up? Can you share some of the highlights? A: I am delighted to talk about NCKP 2017 and shameless in my wish for every keyboard music educator in the world to join us! NCKP is the official professional meeting of the Frances Clark Center for Keybo...
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Questions and Answers

Q: If a family with an active child is trying to decide among competing, high-quality extracurricular activities such as martial arts, dance lessons, guitar lessons, art classes, horseback riding, or piano lessons, what would be your arguments in favor of piano lessons? A: Let's face it. Today's young people (at least in middle-class America) ...
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Questions and Answers

Q: Is piano study for everyone? Why or why not?  A: There's an answer to this question that I WISH were true. And there's another answer that probably IS true. WISH piano study was for everyone because I believe that everyone—at any age, with any level of ability, from any socio-economic or ethnic background—can benefit from piano study in mea...
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Questions and Answers

Q: Would you please discuss the role of technology in piano teaching? How big a role do you think technology should play in weekly lessons? A: We should revisit this question often, since technology changes so fast. And, for one who has built much of his career on efficacious application of technology in music teaching, what I'm about to ...
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A conversation with Jane Chu: NCKP 2015

Sam Holland: It's my pleasure to introduce the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Jane Chu. Prior to her current position, Dr. Chu was president and CEO of the Kauffmann Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, where she oversaw a $413-million campaign to build the center. Born in Oklahoma but raised by Chinese immigrant par...
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Questions and Answers

Q: Piano teachers have more resources available to them than ever before. With all of the blogs, list-serves, and social media available free of charge, and low-cost online conferences proliferating, why should I expend the time, energy, and money to attend a live conference such as the MTNA National Conference or the National Conference on Keyboar...
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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.

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