Don't Miss this Clavier Companion Giveaway

Graduating with a masters in piano performance and pedagogy would seem to equip one with all the skills necessaryThe Piano Magazine NovDec cover to embark on an exciting career as an independent piano teacher. I felt anything but. With all the attention on academic hoops, a recital, a thesis, it seemed I was missing someone, something to walk alongside me when I set up shop. (Note: this was BB, BF, BI = Before Blogs, Before Facebook, Before Internet.) Thankfully two magazines Clavier and Keyboard Companion appeared in my mailbox on a regular basis and I read them from cover to cover, absorbing each article and synthesizing what I learned into my daily teaching. Yes, I've dated myself. I did have a computer back then decked with floppy disks, a black and white monitor and little access to the outside world. Today, information is yours for the taking with a few keystrokes and a decent bandwidth and yes, even an iPad. One may wonder why a print magazine would be an essential studio asset with the abundance of information shared by countless top bloggers, teachers and performers just a finger tip away? In my opinion, there needs to be an authority, a resource packed with the experience, the background, the reputation AND the respect of top professionals in the field. Nothing comes close to holding this honor more than Clavier Companion.

The magazine's history is much too long to highlight here but in 2009, two top magazines, Clavier and Keyboard Companion, merged into one. The mission of this journal, written and edited entirely by pianists and piano teachers, focuses on

  • Practical solutions to everyday problems of practicing and teaching
  • Coverage of the newest trends and ideas in performance and pedagogy
  • Profiles of leading pianists and pedagogues
  • Thought-provoking ideas from a variety of contributors
  • Reviews of the latest music recordings, books and products.

With this assortment of topics, it has served as a true companion to me for decades and can and will for you as well. Kudos for the magazine for realizing that even if they are the "dinosaur" in the industry, it doesn't mean they need to look like one. The past issue has undergone a major face lift with hip formatting, a cleaner design and new, forward thinking content. Here are a scales-worth of features you will find within this recent renovation.

Kissin feature1) A continuation of perceptive editorials by Pete Jutras and Robert Weirich. Both provide insightful perspectives that prove relevant to those within all areas of the profession.

2) A table of contents with revised titles and organization outlining the magazine's standard and fresh content. Although you will find many of the same timely and helpful topics, they've been packaged under slightly different headings which will allow the magazine to remain open to the latest trends and stories. A favorite is the Prelude section featuring interesting tidbits.  I've always counted on this magazine for pedagogical advice which is now found under the title Learning and Teaching. I can't pass up a plug for my colleague Bradley Sowash as his well-crafted tips for encouraging improvisation at the keys are regularly featured within this section.

3) With a sensitivity to reader surveys, more attention will be given to repertoire--always a timely topic that requires opinions and advice from experienced teachers.

4) In his opening editorial, Pete Jutras points out the continuance of the magic triangle at the end of each article symbolizing the importance of the student, parent and teacher collaborating to develop lifetime music makers. Some traditions will never grow old and this is one of them.

5) Carrying on the torch of his mentor Frances Clark, answers to readers questions are now provided by the patriarch of piano pedagogy, Sam Holland. He takes on the questions forged by 21st century circumstances with his vast experience and wisdom.

6) A digital edition is an option and comes with your hard copy. Yes, this is not a new feature but a plus for tree-huggers. The digital edition offers the same informationSamaroff feature with no paper trail.  My favorite feature: tapping or clicking on websites and advertisements will take you directly to the site or even a video. I used to sit next to my desktop computer with my print magazine and look up all the recommended sites.

7) Clavier Companion possesses undeniably astounding access to world-class artists. This journal is where you will read exclusive in-depth interviews with today's hottest pianists. Count on the magazine to provide a unique glimpse into the lives of outstanding geniuses at the keys.

8) Finally, one new addition to the magazine, Teaching with Apps, a column written by me, a long-time learner and benefactor of Clavier Companion. Apparently, it's my turn to walk alongside those embarking on their exciting career in teaching piano or looking to upgrade instruction using the latest technology. I'm honored and thankful for the opportunity. FYI: whatever is written for this column will appear nowhere else so you'll want to subscribe to get even more tips for integrating apps into your teaching.

Borrowing their words: "Clavier Companion is a magazine for people who are passionate about the piano."  If you value your continuing education as a pianist, teacher, or keyboard enthusiast, want practical tips, wish to be challenged, and stay informed of the piano industry at large from the perspective of the top experts in the field, this is a small but invaluable investment for your studio.

Good news! Now that I've convinced you this is a must-have magazine, you can enter to win a one year, 6-issue digital edition subscription. Clavier Companion has generously offered 5 digital subscriptions to readers. To enter the drawing, please leave your answer to the following question in the comment section below. Winners will be announced Monday, the 18th of November.

As Clavier Companion touts their practicality,

what practical tip do you have to share to enlighten the world of piano pedagogy?

Remember to visit the and order your copy of my book to ignite your studio with the power of apps.

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