Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day, a time to honor and reflect upon the remarkable music and contributions of women. 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, Hidden Gems: Four Centuries of Music by Women Composers, there is so much to discover! We hope these resources will provide useful tips and ideas to help you incorporate music by women composers into your recital programs, lesson plans, and more.


Hidden Gems: Four Centuries of Piano Music by Women Composers is an online course designed to shed light on a fraction of the large breadth of works by talented women composers spanning four centuries. Sessions feature selected piano works at varying levels of difficulty (elementary to early advanced), surveyed from a pedagogical and performance perspective.

  • Organized in 9 clearly defined sessions covering works by 22 composers
  • Features teaching demonstration videos, performances, readings, reflection activities, and more
  • Progress at your own pace
  • Easily return to completed sessions for later review
  • Full-course completion time is approximately 10 hours

Course Co-Leaders: Dr. Annie Jeng, Dr. Susan Yang, Evan Hines, Dr. Brendan Jacklin, Dr. Clare Longendyke, and Ashlee Young.
Senior Editor: Craig Sale.

Inspiring Artistry Video Series:

From the Artist Bench Series:

Magazine Article: Women of Exceptional Accomplishment: Eight Women Composers by Teresa Rupp

Recently I participated in a concert featuring works by women composers at the community college where I study piano. I am an amateur pianist but a historian by profession, and I was curious about the backgrounds of these long-neglected figures. So, along with preparing my musical selections, I also investigated the lives of the composers and the social and musical contexts in which they worked. Some of the composers I researched—Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Clara Wieck Schumann, Amy Beach—are practically household names. Others—Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Maria Szymanowska, Cécile Chaminade, Margaret Ruthven Lang—were successful in their own times but less prominent today. Still another—Clara Gottschalk Peterson—was obscure during her lifetime and remains almost completely unknown. All, however, deserve a place in both the performing and teaching repertoire.

Given the general lack of prominence of women composers, it is instructive to realize that while historically women were discouraged from pursuing music as a career, whether as performers or composers, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t make music. Quite the opposite, in fact. Example 1, a French fashion plate from 1835, shows two young ladies playing piano and singing in what looks like a domestic setting. It’s likely to be after dinner, and they’ve been asked to provide the evening’s entertainment. The singer is holding sheet music, not performing from memory, so they are probably sightreading (see Example 1).

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