Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Piano Pedagogy Bibliography: Collection Description
I've been wanting to post on my blog an assignment I completed for my Humanities Reference class at the University of Pittsburgh with James Cassaro -- an annotated bibliography of piano pedagogy resources. It's quite long, so I'm posting it in sections. Here's the first:
This collection is for the use of piano students, primarily undergraduates, in piano pedagogy classes in a college or university music department. This collection can aid students in such classes or act as a foundational resource in the absence of specific classes. While pianists may have other career plans, the odds are great that most of them, at some point, and perhaps for most of their lives, will be teaching piano lessons. Because most of these new teachers' students will be beginning or intermediate-level pianists, this collection is geared toward such students.
While this collection is meant to be housed in an academic library, the emphasis of the collection is on works that the piano teacher would eventually want to purchase for use in his or her own studio. As pedagogy students become familiar with these resources during their academic years, they can choose which ones they would want to have in their own libraries. Because knowledge of piano teaching repertoire and materials is crucial to good teaching, new piano teachers should have resources available to use with and recommend to their students. Therefore, cost and accessibility were considerations in building this collection.
Recordings were chosen for their pedagogical and musical value. Care was taken that the performances not be too fast, or excessively mannered or ornamented. Many pedagogical works have not been recorded by the great pianists or, if they have been, the recordings are incomplete. Therefore, preference was given to recordings that contained a complete work – Schumann's Album for the Young, for example. Here, too, the cost of the recording was taken into account. In the main, recordings of works on the piano were chosen over those on harpsichord or other keyboard instruments. While it is important that students are aware of historically-accurate performances, the instrument they are learning is the piano, and they need to hear it being played in a variety of repertoire.
With very few exceptions, printed piano music itself is outside the scope of this collection. Piano methods vary a great deal and are frequently updated. This collection also does not contain many of the books written by famous pianists, some very worthwhile, because for the most part, they deal with aspects of a highly-developed technique, likely beyond the needs of teachers using this collection. Finally, this collection does not include all the available resources of a scholarly nature about music in general, such as music databases, or detailed studies of major piano works or composers. The focus of this collection is on materials useful to the piano pedagogy student as he or she prepares to begin teaching. The exception to this rule comes in the section of journals and magazines listed here, as teachers can use these publications as time-saving ways to keep up with changes in the field of piano teaching, performing, and scholarship.