Celebrating Black History Month

From February 1-29, we celebrate Black History Month, a time to honor and reflect upon the remarkable music and contributions of Black people. In this Discovery Page post, we have curated a collection of Piano Inspires resources to help everyone discover something new. From our international webinar series, to articles in Piano Magazine and Piano Inspires Kids, to our online course, Unsung Heroes in Piano Pedagogy: 20 Pieces by Black Composers to Use in Your Studio Now, there is so much to discover! In March 2024 we will release a new course: Piano Teaching through the Lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which is currently available for presale purchase. We hope these resources will provide useful tips and ideas to help you incorporate music by Black composers into your recital programs, lesson plans, and more.


Unsung Heroes in Piano Pedagogy: 20 Pieces by Black Composers to Use in Your Studio Now is a fully online course exploring classical piano music by Black composers from elementary to early advanced levels. This course is designed to help remedy the lack of inclusion of piano music by Black composers in the standard teaching repertoire, and the music heard on the public concert stage.

Piano Teaching through the Lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be released in March 2024, but is available for presale today! This course aims to equip teachers with knowledge on how to evaluate their teaching material and how to effectively incorporate diverse literature into the teaching studio. In addition, it provides examples on how various teachers have created more opportunities for diverse populations to gain access to piano instruction. 

Inspiring Artistry Video Series:

From the Artist Bench Series:

Magazine Article: Awadagin Pratt: Pianist, Conductor, Music Education Advocate by Artina McCain

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing concert pianist, conductor, and professor at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, Awadagin Pratt. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Awadagin Pratt has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins, an honorary doctorate from Illinois Wesleyan University, and an Avery Fisher Grant. In November 2009, Pratt was one of four artists selected to perform at a music event at the White House that included student workshops hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. He also performed in concert for guests including President Obama. He has played numerous recitals throughout the United States and internationally, including four tours of Japan. We had a great chat about his historic career, the competition his foundation will sponsor, and—BBQ!

Artina McCain

Tell me about your early exposure to music.

Awadagin Pratt

My father listened to classical music in our home. He was a nuclear physicist, but he loved music and actually played the organ as a child. He would often record from the radio to the old reel-to-reel tape machines. It was the only music in the house, and I liked it. My parents started me with piano lessons when I was six, but when we moved to Brazil for a year, I stopped taking lessons. I restarted piano lessons when I was eight and then began taking violin lessons when I was nine.

Read more of Artina McCain’s interview with Awadagin Pratt by clicking here.

Teacher Education Webinar Series:

Piano Inspires Kids:

In Autumn 2023, the Frances Clark Center launched a new initiative, Piano Inspires Kids, a magazine for young pianists developed by Editors-in-Chief Sara Ernst and Andrea McAlister. Through each quarterly issue, readers explore piano playing, composers, music from around the world, and music theory. The format is engaging and varied with listening guides, interviews, student submissions, music in the news, and games. The magazine includes an array of musical styles and genres, both from the past and present day. In addition, creative skills like improvisation, playing by ear, and composition are explored in step-by-step processes. Young pianists are directed to curated online content to deepen their engagement with the piano community.

The latest issue celebrates Florence Price. The issue includes a biography of Price along with an introduction to some of her piano works including the Piano Sonata in E Minor and her pedagogical piece The Goblin and the Mosquito. It also includes a short interview with pianist Karen Walwyn, a champion of Price’s music, along with new music composed by Artina McCain! To learn more, or to subscribe, go to kids.pianoinspires.com

piano inspires logo, black with colored stripes in the tail of the piano