Artistry at the Piano
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Core Curriculum

Workbook 3
Workbook 3
Musicianship 3
Musicianship 3
Repertoire 3
Repertoire 3
Ensemble 3
Ensemble 3
(click each image for more details)
Teaching Aids

Transfer students playing music at Level 3 often need remedial work to be able to learn and interpret music for the rest of their lives. Review is therefore an essential part of their study program, using the materials included at earlier levels.

Level 3 adds many new rhythmic figures. Sixteenth notes in all possible combinations are presented and developed in Workbook 3 and Musicianship 3, and then used effectively in the Repertoire and Ensemble 3 literature. Teaching only literature at this level and letting the pieces take the place of a comprehensive study program is often the reason that students do not continue their interest and independent study skills once they graduate from high school. Students in Level 3 can study and enjoy a great deal of supplementary music, but they also need to complete their basic musicianship training to be able to learn independently for life.

Resources for Teaching Pedagogy Classes

Pedagogy training can and should begin for high school students at the upper intermediate level, before they are tempted to begin teaching on their own. The following Pedagogy Guide and DVDs serve well as a point of departure in pedagogy classes, including those at the collegiate level. We all know that the best way to learn and comprehend music is to teach it responsibly under the guidance of a Master Teacher.

The following Pedagogy Guide and DVDs demonstrate and clarify the essentials of Positive Pedagogy at the elementary level:

  • AP37 Introduction to Music, Parts 1 & 2, reviewed on the basis of its pedagogy.
  • AP37B Teaching MUSIC…not Notes! (Introduction to Music, Part 3, Pedagogy Guide) for reference and application to simulated teaching situations.
  • AP101 DVD Teaching MUSIC…not Notes! (a 4-hour 2 DVD set) for teaching demonstrations to be discussed and simulated with class members.
  • AP102 Double DVD set + Booklet: Teaching the Elementary Pianist, for exploring the differences between teaching the elementary pianist and the elementary student. This level is an exciting process of becoming involved in the principles of learning and performing music.
  • AP106 DVD + 2 Booklets Master Lessons on Musical Interpretation at the Elementary Level. These 10 master lessons on elementary pieces plant the seeds of artistry in study and performance for students of all ages. They are grounds for fruitful discussions in your pedagogy classes.
  • A 106 D Master Lessons Study Guides; Vol. 1 & 2 Master Lessons on Musical Interpretation at the Elementary Level. Each pedagogy student needs a copy of these Study Guides to further their own study as well as ensure their readiness to involve even young students in these explorations. Each piece that Mary Gae performs in the Master Lessons DVD is reprinted in full in these books with an entire page of study guides in addition.

When pedagogy students show a capacity to help guide the home study of elementary students (whether in Level 3 or 4) they can serve as practice coaches for your students in the elementary level. This is their first teaching experience, but it is guided directly by you. The pedagogy student must attend several private lessons of your elementary student to become acquainted with the child and their study skills as well as their study needs. When both parents are working and/or the family is large, having a well trained teen working with the family’s young students is a delightful benefit to all concerned.

These coaching sessions can be once or twice a week; they offer great benefit to both the practice coach and the younger student. The parents pay their practice coach an agreed upon sum. The coach is working with materials already studied while carrying out your instructions on the elementary student’s assignment sheet. It is hard to imagine a better way to begin teaching. Furthermore, the teens set a positive example for the younger students they are coaching. As a rule, the teens can earn more coaching the younger students than they do when baby sitting or other available odd jobs. This helps them save for college while developing valuable skills they can take with them after graduating from high school.

The following DVDs provide live, varied learning experiences in pedagogy classes, including those at the collegiate level. We all know that the best way to learn music is to teach it responsibly. Studying these DVDs can fill the role of live teaching demonstrations. Included in some DVDs are complete lessons, while others demonstrate a shorter focus on given issues and concepts. Watching and discussing a few of these clips during each pedagogy class provides learning experiences with a long “after-life.”

In preparation for the Early Intermediate level of teaching, now is the time to use:

DVDs and Bundles for Pedagogy Classes

Teaching Music…Not Notes!

Mary Gae George invites you into her home and studio to observe the interaction between the subject of music, her students, and her teaching. You will discover that her teaching, based on the Power of Positive Pedagogy and the principle of spiral learning, is supported by thinking-centered activities that show students the power of their own minds and acquaint them with the exciting syntax of the musical language.

Teaching the Elementary Pianist

An important revitalizing change occurs when we think of teaching resourceful elementary pianists rather than passive elementary students. Developing resourceful student-pianists is a primary goal of the Introduction to Music, the first book in the Artistry at the Piano curriculum. This book is featured in our first pedagogy DVD: Teaching MUSIC…not Notes!. This second DVD film follows five students, ages nine to adult, as they address and cross over the threshold to learning deeply, interpreting creatively, and performing confidently.

The Most Important Lesson

Level: 1, 2, 3, 4; use with all ages and levels of study to demonstrate how to begin any piece, skill or concept. Guarantee: No More Mistakes!

Focus on:

  • Rhythmic security & sensitivity
  • Achieving artistic performance
  • Building secure memory
  • Saving time in subsequent lessons by not having any mistakes to correct
  • Making the first lesson on any undertaking complete and compelling, thus boosting students’ motivation and confidence.

The Most Important Lesson is a pedagogical goldmine for it explores how students need to begin the study of each assignment in order to reap the benefits of the music and their own artistic approach to each assignment. Here is the proof of the pudding that allows students to bring accurate and musical performances (at an appropriate tempo for each of the three weeks in the learning process), thus allowing each lesson to move forward in positive territory while enjoying a sense of keen accomplishment.

Master Lessons on Teaching Interpretation at the Elementary Level

These master lessons apply to all levels; this DVD shows why and how interpretation must be included at the elementary level. In Artistry at the Piano, interpretation begins at the beginning of the primer level—at the very first lesson.

In this live lecture recital, Mary Gae covers in depth 9 of the 24 Repertoire 1 solos. The two related books for this DVD contain information and guidance for pedagogy students to purchase separately and use in their close study of this DVD and these informative materials. A wealth of discussion and performance demonstrates the need for the miniatures masterworks Artistry at the Piano presents for teachers and elementary students. After studying these Master Lessons, a productive assignment is to have each pedagogy student in the class prepare a similar presentation from the 15 pieces not included in the DVD or its support materials.

Supplementary Music

(a partial list)

Jon George: Patterns for Piano, Artistry Press International; Section 3 (pgs 32-47). Use the concepts and pieces in this book as a built-in composition curriculum.

Jon George: Six Sonatinas, Artistry Press International; these Sonatinas, each 3 movement long, provide valuable analysis and quick study materials so essential for transfer students. The page of analysis that precedes each Sonatina makes them outstanding preparation for standard Sonatinas and Sonatas.

The Kaleidoscope solos & duets are a long-term selling favorite worldwide!
Jon George: Kaleidoscope Solos, Books 3 - 5,; 14 solos.
Jon George: Kaleidoscope Duets, Books 3 - 5,; 7 duets.

Jon George: Two at One Piano, Book Three, Alfred Publishing Company; These three books of Duets have been described as the "most perfect duets for students."

Bela Bartok: Mikrokosmos, Vol. 2-3 and onward; Boosey & Hawkes; excellent reading & interpretation studies by a master composer.
Konrad Max Kunz: Two Hundred Short Two-Part Canons, Op. 14; (ELM02009), Vol. 1 &Vol. 2; this venerable collection of brief canons (in all major and minor pentachord positions, using key signatures) develops independence of hands and a keen mind for pattern recognition and manipulation. Essential reading materials for piano students. More advanced students can sight play them with both hands playing octaves!

Frances Clark Library: Contemporary Piano Literature, Book 3-4; Alfred Publications

Haydn: Six Sonatinas for the Piano (edited by Willard Palmer); Alfred Publications; Haydn's Sonatinas hold the same delights and beautiful melodic inventions as his piano sonatas. We recommend pairing this collection with the next Mozart recommendation.

Mozart: 15 Easy Piano Pieces (edited and performed by Elena Abend);
G. Schirmer, Inc (distributed by Hal Leonard); this excellent selection of piano pieces gives students a good introduction to Mozart's works. By combining with the above mentioned Haydn "Six Sonatinas" students gain a most gracious introduction to piano music of the Classical period. When assigning works from a given period, it is important to assign at least two different composers from each period to begin with. Student's listening assignments should include additional composers from each period.

Schirmer Performance Editions: This wide-range of composer and historic periods editions include informative front matter, good editing, and recorded performances by the editor, all attractively packaged and reasonably priced; distributed by Hal Leonard. (See the above recommended Mozart: 15 Easy Piano Pieces)

At this level, there are also countless editions of collected works by various composers. Though students will not study all of the pieces in a given book, they should be encouraged to read through all of them to gain insight into different periods of music and a wide introduction to composers. Piano students are fortunate to have such a vast assortment of music to read, study and perform. Don't be responsible for limiting their insights! Books of collected composers are an essential requirement. A sterling example is the Wiener Urtext Album (UT  50251) which holds 38 pieces (including several 4-hand duets) from Baroque to 20th Century composers for $11.95.

Upon completing Level 4 of Artistry at the Piano, students are fully prepared to perform the Bach Inventions, classical through contemporary sonatinas and sonatas, and the easier masterworks from the romantic through to the contemporary era. They are also well prepared for music in other idioms. This is the goal of Artistry, and it is met by the comprehensive preparation and follow through of each concept and skill required by this vast body of literature.

Online Resources

An internationally recognized online resource for skills development, from elementary to intermediate level, effectively and imaginatively presented by Chris Hermanson.

Though many of the early level activities are designed for young students, college students use them as preparation and review for college level theory and listening skills.

If your transfer students at any level can pass the early level tests, they have the needed skills to move on. If not, they need to review until they can. All of your remedial work with them will be enhanced thereby.

Take advantage of these online learning games to ensure that students follow through on skills development during home practice. (This is too often a missing link in students’ study methods. The computer is the perfect tutor, for it identifies success and the need for more work. Students must listen & read quickly & accurately. There are over 400 learning games on this site!)
You guide your students’ listening & reading activities at lessons, but they need guidance at home as well. The MLC is available online 24 hours a day around the world. It is thoroughly organized, including curricula for various courses and state organizations. See for yourself by clicking here.

The Great Courses

Discover an unlimited source of insights into the world of music with The Great Courses. You and your more advanced students will treasure courses such as “Understanding the Fundamentals of Music” by Professor Robert Greenberg. Take advantage of their frequent sales by joining their Mailing List.

MEET THE MUSICIANS is an excellent series of DVDs starring Dennis Kobray, an accomplished pianist and actor. He brings alive the music and the composers in most effective and enjoyable ways. Highly recommended for students and their families.