Hello. My name is Tracy Grandy, a faculty member at The New School for Music Study. I would like to offer a brief history of The New School for those who do not know the full story. I also want to include information about the Clark piano method and describe teaching techniques that are used at the school.
When I joined the faculty in 1999, I assumed I was well-prepared to begin as I had taught the Clark method and completed a thesis on the school. I soon discovered there would always be more to learn. I believe Frances Clark would be pleased to know that the school continues to evaluate the effectiveness of piano teaching techniques. Miss Clark and her associate, Louise Goss, envisioned a school that would serve as a research center, hence the name of the school remains apropos.
Frances Clark is well-known and respected in the teaching community. For many, her death on April 17, 1998 at the age of ninety-three was the end of an era. Her influence was far-reaching. Through public workshops and as a columnist for keyboard journals, she motivated teachers with her insightful observations. In addition, Frances Clark and Louise Goss created a unique piano course that has been recognized for having determined current trends in the design of piano instruction books. According to several sources, Dr. Clark also designed and implemented the country’s first four-year teacher-training program at Kalamazoo College in 1945 (Kalamazoo, Michigan).
The founding of The New School for Music Study in 1960 was the result of a decision to expand and organize an advanced training program. The school opened as the only post-graduate training center devoted to piano pedagogy and music research.
The accomplishments of Frances Clark and Louise Goss are too many to mention in this first blog. Stay tuned for more to come. I guarantee you will find their achievements to be interesting and inspiring. At the same time, you will learn how they managed to change the way instructors teach.