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In my years as a piano teacher, I've encountered students of all ages and backgrounds. Not surprisingly, I usually have at least one student who hates any of the music they are "supposed" to play. Many students can't connect to the standard teaching literature written by dead European guys; they want to learn music they know. However, standard teaching literature does serve a purpose in teaching specific techniques and composition tools, so what's a piano teacher to do, today?

Music History Monday: April 17 Happy Birthday, Artur Schnabel! Born April 17 in 1882, Artur Schnabel (1882-1952) is an Austrian classical pianist, composer and educator. Growing up in Vienna, Schnabel started taking piano lesson at age four, after becoming interested in his sister’s lessons. His talent and passion for learning led him to taking lessons...

On this day in 1997, John Denver died when the handmade experimental airplane he was pilotying ran out of gas and crashed off the coast of Monterey Bay, CA. The 53 year old performer had 15 song on Billboards top 40 pop chart at the time of his death. Of these 15, 10 reached the number one position on either the Adult Contemporary or Country charts.

Why do we have recitals? You can thank one man: Franz Liszt. Before Liszt, it was believed that a piece written for solo piano would not be able to hold an audience's attention. In 1839, Liszt set out on a European tour to change that idea.

UPCOMING MOZART FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT Looking to inspire the young musicians in your life? Make sure you check out Adventures of Young Amadeus concert this weekend at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Come learn about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who wrote his first composition at 5, played for royalty and was knighted! You can also learn some...

Mozart Listening Guide: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Easily recognized within the first three measures, this German title that translates to, “A Little Night Music”, was written in 1787 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Most likely completed as a commissioned work, this piece was originally scored for a chamber string ensemble; utilizing voilin, viola, cello and a double...

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