Celebrating a New Year of Piano Study: Ideas for Teaching and Learning Abstracts for Volume 13, No. 3

Burning Brightly without Burning Out – By Brenda Wristen, p. 51

Burnout has been implicated as the biggest occupational hazard of the 21st Summary: century, and piano teachers may be especially susceptible. This article discusses the factors contributing to burnout in relation to job demands of both institutional and independent piano teachers, suggesting strategies for preventing or recovering from burnout through positive job engagement.

Play the Octaves with Two Hands – By Michael Clark, p. 18

Some pianists believe that redistributing notes between the hands violates the composer’s intent and should be avoided. But what if composers themselves engaged in this practice? Written markings in students’ scores and recorded comments from lessons reveal that both Chopin and Liszt occasionally advised redistributing notes between the hands in their own compositions to solve technical and music problems including avoiding wide stretches, facilitating leaps, and improving control of sound and articulation. These documented occurrences of Chopin’s and Liszt’s redistributions suggest that such alternatives were uncontroversial in the nineteenth century and argue for the continued acceptance of the practice today.

Positive Recitals for Young Students: Setting the Stage for Success – By Diane Briscoe, p. 38

A piano recital can be magical: an impressive venue with an elegant grand piano; well-dressed children and tasteful decorations; polished, musical performances; a beautiful reception with delicious refreshments; happy, excited children, beaming parents and a proud teacher. This is what many music teachers desire for all their students. In a studio, however, there may be some young pianists and parents who find formal solo recitals distressing and fear that the audience will judge them unfavorably. This article will suggest ways in which the teacher can set up the recital environment to help create a more a positive and successful experience.

Reclaiming an Alternative History: New Piano Music of Florence Price – By Asher Armstrong, p. 8

Florence Price is one of America’s most important and significant composers of the past century. The ongoing renaissance involved in reclaiming and rediscovering her large output for piano solo is only just beginning. With the very recent publication of a large number of these works, students and pianists are beginning to learn what a huge part of “the repertoire” they have been missing out on. This article scratches the surface of some of this newly minted repertoire, looking at such selections as Price’s Preludes, Impromptu, Songs Without Words, lullaby, and many others.

When the Well Is Dry: Reigniting the Spark for Teaching – By Amy Boyes, p. 45

Music teachers may feel exhausted and burned-out by the end of the year, especially after the Covid Pandemic challenged traditional teaching practices. This article outlines practical steps for teachers to reignite the emotional involvement needed for effective, empathic teaching.

Where do we Begin – By Moegi Amano, p. 33

What are the concrete steps to learn a new piece successfully, which emphasizes the importance of musicality and expressive playing? In a piece of music, there are numerous elements, including the title, the images, and the notes that indicate rhythm and pitch. All these elements work together to create the piece, so which one do we prioritize and focus on first? Teaching a new piece may be overwhelming and you may not know where to begin. This article will explore the preparatory steps to take before playing a new piece so that the student can effectively learn the piece.

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