This is the first post in the new series: “What I Can’t Teach Without.”  While there are many great gadgets and gizmos that I can’t teach without (my recommendations forthcoming), those gadgets would be nothing without solid pedagogy behind them. Since I am a number of years out of my pedagogy degree and since I can’t always go to the national conferences, I depend on certain things to give me fresh ideas based on solid pedagogy.

When I checked my mail just last week, I opened my latest Clavier Companion and was so excited by how relevant the entire issue was to my teaching, my students, and my business. There are other journals to which I subscribe and in which I usually find a few relevant articles.  But this issue of Clavier Companion was completely different and I’m sensing some things about the future of Clavier Companion that make me even more excited about being a subscriber.

Did you get this month’s issue?  If not, let me tell you why it’s something I can’t teach without:

  • There was a 5 page, fantastic article by Kristin Yost and Kathleen Theisen about thinking like a CEO and how to market our strengths in today’s economy.
  • David Cutler, author of The Savvy Musician, has a very unique looking article containing no sentences, but 250 opportunities for the “savvy” music teacher.  It is very interesting and should give you some ideas about areas in which you can specialize, hone your skills, and make more money.
  • There’s a great interview with pianist Jacques Leiser about the obstacles facing pianists today and how to overcome them.  He talks about the higher standards placed on today’s pianists and how competitions compound these problems.
  • Pete Jutras, editor-in-chief, talks about the perfect balance between adapting to a changing musical world as well as continuing to maintain strong musical convictions and standards as teachers. I heard Pete speak at the last NCKP, and I’m convinced he has a lot of wisdom to share in helping us achieve this balance.
  • Barbara Kreader, a regular contributer, talked about how piano teaching has significantly changed in the last 10 years. I loved her column that discusses what a typical lesson used to be for her and an example of what it is now. I felt like I was in my college pedagogy days in which I observed a learned so much from experienced teachers.
  • I’m only half way through the magazine, but there are also articles about the college job market, burning out, sight reading, a “practice toolbox”, new technology for teaching, reviews, pupil savers, and more!
  • Clavier Companion is also making a concerted effort to ask their readers to give them feedback, ideas, and fill out a survey to help make sure the magazine is meeting the needs of teachers today!

Do you see a trend here?  Clavier Companion is not only relevant now but it’s demonstrating that it wants to stay relevant and wants our help to do it!  What a fantastic opportunity we all have to not only learn from the articles they publish, but to also help them be a leader in the industry.  It seems to me that most of the time, the piano pedagogy world tends to be a bit slow in helping us teachers embrace and incorporate useful parts of our culture into our teaching.  But, I sense especially in this month’s issue, that Clavier Companion is going to become a leader in our piano teaching profession instead of a follower.

Now is the time to subscribe to Clavier Companion!  There are now 3 options for subscription:

  • Regular subscription $24.95 (it used to be $29.95 and that was even worth it!)*
  • Group subscription $20 (find 5 or more teachers to subscribe with you for this price)*
  • Digital subscription – only $12.99
  • *Print subscribers automatically get the digital version as well

If you are already a print subscriber and can’t find your copy to read right now, you can access the digital version here!  If you are not a subscriber yet, read the previous free edition here.