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Program Notes

March 3, 2015



As pianists, we often program recitals. We decide upon the order of selections, make a program, make program notes.  This process can be exciting! Why not give our students the same opportunity?

Recently, I glanced at my young student’s long list of review pieces on her assignment sheet. When pieces are polished, I typically place them on a repertoire list (currently I am using the 40 piece challenge list). The key word here is “polished.” To my ear, the pieces were not quite ready for the repertoire list. Even if they were, some times I think there is not enough celebration involved in building a repertoire of favorite pieces, musically and confidently performed.


I found myself letting the student know I’d like a “recital” of her review pieces the next week. Furthermore, I’d like her to make her own recital program, taking care to order her pieces in a way that was satisfying to her. I was so pleased to see her beautiful recital program (shown above) and genuinely enjoyed her recital.  Her mother listened to her performances as well, and we applauded after each selection. This activity provided incentive for my student to practice more diligently, and just as important, provided an opportunity to celebrate accomplishment.

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This site is created by the faculty of the New School for Music Study, a division of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.

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