Discovery Blog

Q&A with Marvin Blickenstaff: Part Two

Discovery homeSign up for email updatessubmit a question We invited our followers to submit questions for Marvin Blickenstaff about all things teaching. In honor of his birthday (May 19), we are posting his answers! You can read Part One here.Join us on social media for...

Discovery Blog

Q&A with Marvin Blickenstaff: Part One

Discovery homeSign up for email updatessubmit a question We invited our followers to submit questions for Marvin Blickenstaff about all things teaching. In honor of his birthday today (May 19), we are posting his answers!Join us on social media for the opportunity to have your...

Discovery Blog

The Benefits of NCKP: The Piano Conference and Why You Should Attend

Discovery homeSign up for email updatessubmit a question There’s still time to catch the Early Bird Registration for NCKP: 2023! Click here to register. Additionally, we encourage you to book your room in the conference hotel now before our discounted block is fully reserved to...

Discovery Blog

Reflections on My Piano Teacher | Honoring Fern Davidson

Discovery homeSign up for email updatessubmit a question We at the Frances Clark Center believe passionately that piano teachers change the world through their dedication to students and communities. Our Power of a Piano Teacher campaign shares personal tributes to document the extraordinary contributions of piano teachers. We welcome you...


A Fond Farewell (Für Elise)

Keyboard Companion Winter 2004; Vol. 15, No. 4

Marvin Blickenstaff, Editor from the series: Putting It All Together: Repertoire  One of the favorite photos I have hanging in my study is a shot of the original staff of Keyboard Companion. Pictured there is founding editor Richard Chronister and his dear wife Marjore, Elvina Pearce, Brenda...


How Do You Practice Rhythm? – A Student Survey

In a recent faculty seminar our resource person was an educator whose research expertise focuses on teaching effectiveness. During the seminar he showed video-tapes of effective classroom procedures and outlined ways in which we could improve our own teaching techniques. He mentioned that, although there is much...


How Do You Teach Downbeats?

To teach or not to teach downbeats is really not the question. We all realize that a sense of meter is dependent on the student’s feeling of emphasis on the first beat of each measure. Just how one teaches downbeats varies from teacher to teacher,...


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 suggestion was met with the “I don‘t believe in counting aloud” statement. For a moment, her comment caught me off-guard. Then I realized that we were dealing with an issue of learning steps...


How Do You Teach Cut Time (Alla Breve)?

Keyboard Companion Summer 1995; Vol. 6, no. 2

In the Winter 1994 issue of KEYBOARD COMPANION, several writers responded to a question on teaching downbeats. As if in unison, those teachers gave suggestions for feeling large groups of beats, the sense of moving from one down beat to the next instead of from...


How Do You Teach Dotted Rhythms?

Keyboard Companion Summer 1991; Vol. 2, No. 2

Although the steady pulse is fundamental to the concept of rhythm, the lilt and forward movement of rhythm is created through the variety of note values. Dotted rhythms are vital to our rhythmic experience. Folk tunes, patriotic songs, hymns, and Christmas carols are replete with...


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...


Do You Use Recordings to Reinforce Your Teaching of Repertoire?

Keyboard Companion Spring 2004; Vol. 15, No. 1

from the series: Putting It All Together: Repertoire Marvin Blickenstaff, Editor “Listen carefully.” How many times did you use that phrase yesterday in your lessons? Listen…for what? How? Why? Most of us readily would agree that the hallmarks of artistic playing involve shaping of sound, balance of...


Teaching artistic phrasing

Keyboard Companion Spring 2008; Vol. 19, No. 1

from the series: Let’s Get Physical: Technique Pete Jutras, Editor My wife and I have spent a lot of time lately teaching our young children how to read. I’ve never taught anyone to read language before, and it has been a fascinating and enlightening experience. One mild...


How Do You Teach Your Students Not to Hesitate at a Bar Line?

Keyboard Companion Spring 1995; Vol. 6, No. 1

In one of the earlier issues of KEYBOARD COMPANION, a subscriber wrote to the Rhythm Post Box offering a suggestion for handling the problem of students who pause before a bar line. Her suggestion was to “white out” the bar lines, removing that visual barrier. The...


How Do You Use Computer-Assisted Instruction to Teach Rhythm in Your Studio?

The greatest innovation in our teaching studios this past decade has been the new technology. This fact is made obvious by the topics of our teachers’ association meetings, presentations at conferences, and the display areas of conventions. Each issue of KEYBOARD COMPANION has one section...

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