November 2010 MTNA e-Journal

Asperger’s Syndrome And The Piano: A Challenging Match
By Derek Kealii Polischuk
Asperger’s Syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders are challenges that some music students face. Aspects of this condition can prove to be difficult for music teachers, and some characteristics can be potential strengths, based on the propensity for people with Asperger’s Syndrome and autism spectrum disorders to exhibit a singular focus for an activity such as music study. By employing particular tactics when working with students with Asperger’s Syndrome, teachers can provide students with an important educational experience and find for themselves a new skill set for teaching students both on and off the autism spectrum. Derek Kealii Polischuk shares his experiences teaching a student with special needs. Read More


PianoFortePiano: Exploring The Use Of Historical Keyboards As A Heuristic Guide To Performance On The Modern Piano
By Daniel K.S. Walden
This article presents observations from a yearlong research project at Oberlin Conservatory with David Breitman, director of historical performance and performer and instructor on both historical keyboards and modern piano, exploring how experimentation with performance on historical instruments can shape interpretation and understanding of the keyboard literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. The goal for the project was to devise a model for a course in which piano students would be introduced to historical keyboards, practice using the instruments on repertoire originally composed specifically for early keyboards, observe any differences, and present their discoveries. The heuristic value of this approach extended beyond the performance of18th- and 19th-century music to provide insights as well into performance of contemporary music. Read More