February 2013 MTNA e-Journal

Non-Traditional Notation And Techniques In Student Piano Repertoire
By Kevin Richmond
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere performance of George Crumb’s Five Pieces for Piano, his first piece incorporating direct string manipulation and a milestone in the genre of extended techniques. In 1912, 50 years before Five Pieces for Piano, Henry Cowell was exploring unconventional sounds and techniques, and devising symbols to notate them. These American innovations have since developed into an entirely new language with its own vocabulary. Pianists today, from the very beginner to the artist level performer, can enjoy a vast repertoire of non-traditional notation and techniques from composers worldwide. This article encompasses non-traditional notation and playing techniques in student piano repertoire and includes the areas of auxiliary sounds, indeterminacy, inside-the-piano techniques, tone clusters, sympathetic vibrations and unmeasured notation. Each of these subject areas is introduced by illustrating notational tendencies in artist-level literature, then continue by comparing these to all levels of student repertoire—beginning, intermediate and advanced. [Read More]

Strong Connections: Building Positive Teacher-Student Relationships Based On Personality Types, Learning Styles, Methods Of Communication And Contrasting Perspectives
By Amy Boyes
Although multiple factors contribute to the success of a student’s musical education, a healthy relationship between a student and teacher greatly contributes to a positive learning experience. Although the teacher leads the relationship by transferring knowledge, sharing wisdom and providing direction, an astute teacher will also consider the emotional and psychological needs of the student. This article analyzes four sample personality types (Artisan, Guardian, Rationalist and Idealist), three learning styles (aural, visual and kinesthetic), two methods of communication (behavioral and cognitive) and two perspectives (macro and micro). This theoretical background will lay the basis for a practical model: The instruction of a C Major scale to four piano students with contrasting personality types. If teachers understand their students’ personality types and learning styles, they can modify their approach and perspectives within the piano lesson. In the Theoretical section, the four sample personality types are graphically represented and described. In the Practical section, the four sample personalities are combined with the other theoretical ideas to formulate in four sample lesson plans. The process of teaching a C Major scale is described and graphically represented specifically for each learning style. [Read More]