November 2013 MTNA e-Journal

It’s Not My Fault!: Piano Teachers’ Perceptions Regarding The Factors That Contribute To The Inclusion Of Children With Disabilities In The Piano Studio
By Melissa Martiros and Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell

This qualitative study was designed to explore piano teachers’ perceptions regarding the inclusion of children with disabilities in the piano studio. Eight piano teachers who currently teach in a small geographical area in a Midwestern state were observed and interviewed. Their experiences including children with disabilities fell on a spectrum that ranged from many to none. It was revealed that all of the piano teachers believe children with disabilities should be included in piano studios, but not all teachers were open to including all students. They discussed eight factors that contribute to their willingness to include children with disabilities in their piano studios: (a) education and supports, (b) business, (c) modifications and perceived benefits, (d) experiences with disability, (e) disability type, (f) parents, (g) empathy and intrinsic rewards, and (h) religion and spirituality. [Read More]

Ornamenting With Confidence
By Sandra Soderlund

Many pianists today find the ornaments in 18th-century music daunting. Teachers may avoid assigning pieces with ornaments or will tell students to omit them, perhaps postponing a discussion of them until the student is more advanced. The idea of adding any ornamentation to a piece of music is often intimidating to both teacher and student. During the 18th century and before, however, every keyboard player was expected to add ornaments and to practice ornaments as a part of basic study. This article will present a short history of keyboard ornamentation and then explain common ornaments and their performance. The works of J. S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and W. A. Mozart will be used as examples for the discussion. Pieces wherein the ornaments were indicated or written by the composer will be demonstrated in sound files. Then ideas for adding ornamentation, particularly when a section is repeated, will be suggested and performed. [Read More]