2 items tagged "musicality"

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Gladys and Marguerite

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Friday, 26 April 2013 13:42

My wife and I went to a concert tonight. I wasn’t that excited about the concert, but some friends of ours wanted to go. The format was an often-used one for pops concerts: a first half comprised of orchestra features, followed by a guest performer in the second half. The first half was enjoyable (there was a wonderful arrangement of some video game music!), but I was mesmerized by the second half. For forty-five minutes Gladys Knight held the entire concert hall in the palm of her soulful hand. I don’t think I have seen and heard a more consummate performer in a long time.

Teaching Expressivity

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Friday, 04 January 2013 12:43

Richard Chronister was a wise man and a most insightful piano teacher. Among his legacies to our profession were the co-founding of the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy with James Lyke and the piano teachers’ journal Keyboard Companion. In his second editorial in Keyboard Companion, Richard wrote (I paraphrase) “Students enroll in piano lessons for one reason: to make exciting sound at the keyboard.” He went on to point out that when we teachers do not capitalize on the student’s musical goal, we are cultivating a potential piano drop-out.

When Chronister writes “exciting sound,” he includes the entire gamut of expressivity. Sound can be expressive and emotionally moving, or it can be boring and monotonous. It is our job as piano teachers to help students turn correct notes and rhythm into gems of expressivity. The encouraging news, and something all piano teachers realize, is that expressivity can begin in the first year, in the first term, even in the first lesson!