Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 40

gets to those pages of the lesson book which focus on a particular key/scale, they should have already built scales on many different starting tones using the major scale pattern. This is learning which will serve their future learning of keys. Likewise, the presentation of major and minor five-finger patterns boils down to two patterns—WWHW for major; WHWW for minor. When exploring these patterns the student should come to know the unique sound of each and discover the consistent patterns being used. When boiled down even further, we see that the basic building blocks for theory study are the whole step and the half step. Just as reading depends upon the understanding of interval; theory depends on these core concepts. The teacher must see the importance of the concept of whole and half steps and the simplicity of the common patterns which utilize them. Then, if the student is shown the way these basic patterns can be built on any key on the piano, a solid foundation will have been laid. All succeeding presentations of theory concepts will then be natural and easy. We cannot focus only on sound or depend upon the technical study of these patterns to develop a practical and secure understanding of music theory in our students. We cannot wait until the method book gets to each scale or individual pattern. If we do this, our students are more likely to miss the point and struggle to understand keys and scales.

down to sound. If the student does not know how to listen to others and/or themselves, communication between teacher and student about artistry will be severely limited. This is why all presentations of early-level concepts must be rooted in preparation activities which involve hearing and recreating sounds. As mentioned earlier concerning dynamics, the most basic concept to be taught at the beginning of study is that a world of different sounds—high/low, loud/soft, detached/smooth, etc.—exists and can be represented in notation. Only if we have enabled the student to hear, will we be able to communicate our thoughts on how to be expressive in sound.

Implications for diagnostic skills
Most of this discussion has related to prevention of problems through the understanding of concepts and through careful, consistent preparation. Ideally, all of teaching should be about prevention. However, the truth is that much of our work involves fixing problems. I believe that in order to successfully fix a problem, one must first be able to identify what the problem is. Again, the teacher is called to boil things down, this time to find the essence of the problem. When a student is playing a phrase without musical shape, we can try to demonstrate the phrase and have the student reproduce it. We can also tell them when to begin a crescendo and where to take some time, etc. However, this is similar to turning the page in a method book and “teaching” the concept that appears on that page. It only addresses the example at hand and does little to help the student with future encounters. Instead, the teacher needs to boil it down to what lies at the heart of the problem. Is there a technical issue preventing the musical shape of the phrase? Perhaps the student is struggling with

Musical performance
The teaching of artistry at the piano has been the subject of numerous articles in Clavier Companion. Each of us can probably boil down our thoughts to what we consider to be the key elements of expressive playing. I would like us to take it even further. What lies at the core of musical performance? I find it all comes

40

CLAVIER COMPANION

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012



Clavier Companion - January/February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clavier Companion - January/February 2012

Clavier Companion - January/February 2012
Contents
Editor's Page: New discoveries
Variations: Tackling a twelve-year old's slump
Musings: Creative being and the disciplined life
An interview with Jean-Yves Thibaudet
The story of music on board the RMS Titanic
The enchanted world of piano fairy tales
Jazz & Pop: The rhythms of jazz: Syncopation
Music Reading: Recipes for effective teaching
Perspectives: Coping with burnout
Technology: Virtual reality in the piano studio
Tech Tips
First Looks: What Music Means To Me
New music reviews
CD & DVD reviews
News & Notes
Pupil Saver
Keyboard Kids' Companion
Advertiser Index
Questions & Answers
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Clavier Companion - January/February 2012
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Cover2
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Contents
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 2
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 3
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Editor's Page: New discoveries
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 5
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Variations: Tackling a twelve-year old's slump
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 7
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Musings: Creative being and the disciplined life
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 9
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - An interview with Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 11
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 12
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 13
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 14
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 15
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 16
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 17
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - The story of music on board the RMS Titanic
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 19
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 20
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 21
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 22
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 23
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 24
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 25
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 26
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 27
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 28
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 29
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - The enchanted world of piano fairy tales
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 31
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 32
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 33
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 34
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 35
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Jazz & Pop: The rhythms of jazz: Syncopation
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 37
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Music Reading: Recipes for effective teaching
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 39
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 40
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 41
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Perspectives: Coping with burnout
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 43
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 44
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 45
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Technology: Virtual reality in the piano studio
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Tech Tips
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 48
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 49
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - New music reviews
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 51
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 52
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 53
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - CD & DVD reviews
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 55
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - News & Notes
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Pupil Saver
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 58
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 59
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Keyboard Kids' Companion
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 61
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Advertiser Index
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 63
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Questions & Answers
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Cover3
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Cover4
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