Focus on the Piano Pedagogy Instructor: Observation Guide 4

Frances Clark and Louise Goss developed a series of observation forms in the 1980’s, and these forms are as relevant today as they were then. This final observation form is a variant of observation form #1.

Questions asked, mostly “YES/NO”

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A Week of Reflections: Pedagogy in Practice

In an effort to get back into posting on, I challenged myself to write “a thought a day” about basic pedagogy principles that inform teaching decisions I made this week. Each day, I added a new thought.  This week-long journey took me in unexpected directions, including a bit of research on learning temperaments.

Day 1: “DOING”


An adult student was playing “Celebration” by Roger Grove, from Music Tree 2B (Clark, Goss, distributed by Alfred Publishing). I was so pleased with her preparation. She mastered the left hand moves in one week and played at a completely steady tempo. There was just one thing to improve: she was lifting the pedal prematurely, therefore, there was a gap in her sound.


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Dead Space

Looking up the definition of “dead space”  on the internet, I find a video game. When I think of dead space, however, I think of times in the private lesson when the student has nothing to do. We teachers sometimes expect that the student will wait patiently during these times. Often, though, dead space becomes a time for students to disconnect from us and from the experience of the piano lesson. We later wonder why the student cannot sit still, why the student is unfocused.

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