Xaver Scharwenka’s Album for the Young

As summer vacation begins to wind down, I find myself once again on the hunt for interesting repertoire to add to my teaching library. This search is a bit more intense this summer as I am also preparing to teach a course on Elementary Piano Pedagogy and Literature in the coming months. I am alwaysContinue reading “Xaver Scharwenka’s Album for the Young”

Teach Music Students Want to Play

It happens much more often than any of us like. Some well-meaning parent, administrator, or friend delivers the piece of advice that they are certain will fix everything wrong with music education. “Simply teach the music that students actually like.” We smile and graciously accept their input. Inside, we are fuming! Would anyone tell anContinue reading “Teach Music Students Want to Play”

Product Review: Composer’s Choice – Glenda Austin

I first became familiar with the work of composer Glenda Austin through her hymn arrangements. I enjoyed her style and approach to familiar melodies. When I discovered the volume that I am reviewing today, I knew I wanted to check it out because I thought some of my intermediate students would enjoy her work asContinue reading “Product Review: Composer’s Choice – Glenda Austin”

Sibelius’ Bagatelles, Op. 34

A couple of weeks ago, I explored the bagatelles of Beethoven and enjoyed the music that I found there very much. That’s when I decided to take a look at some of the other bagatelles by composers whose music I enjoyed playing and teaching. That’s when I discovered the two sets of bagatelles (Opp. 34Continue reading “Sibelius’ Bagatelles, Op. 34”

More Than Just “Für Elise”: Exploring Beethoven’s Bagatelles

Let me begin with a controversial statement. I would be perfectly happy if I never heard Für Elise in my studio again. I understand the attraction. It’s a familiar melody that is known around the world. Students love it. Parents know that their young pianist has accomplished something when they can “play” it. That’s theContinue reading “More Than Just “Für Elise”: Exploring Beethoven’s Bagatelles”

Getting to Know the Early Haydn Sonatas (Hob. 1-14)

In my continuing search for appropriate repertoire for late intermediate piano students, I realized that I am not terribly familiar with the early piano sonatas of Joseph Haydn. This seemed like an easy situation to correct, but I decided to take my experience a step further and use the sonatas as daily sight reading exercisesContinue reading “Getting to Know the Early Haydn Sonatas (Hob. 1-14)”