Today's Pianist: A piano series designed to develop technical and musicianship skills in intermediate piano students with limited time

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Rosalina Sackstein - Committee Chair


At the intermediate level, teaching the piano student of today presents increasing pedagogical challenges to maintain a balance between process and product and to keep the student motivated. For the young student, academic pressures, sports, extracurricular activities and other competing choices are accumulating at a higher rate from even a decade ago. Realistically, most intermediate piano students cannot afford to give the amount of time to consistent practice that any teacher would wish.Given this reality, this essay addresses ways for teachers to adapt to the difficulties of teaching today's intermediate piano students. A piano series entitled Today's Pianist was developed with carefully selected repertoire based on the instrumental needs of the student, rather than on periods of music, individual composers or a specific genre. The purpose of the series is to accommodate artistic progress with the increasing demands on students of today.Today's Pianist is divided into three levels: Early Intermediate, Intermediate and Late Intermediate. Each level contains three integrated books entitled, The Virtuoso, The Poet and The Jester/Gesture. The Virtuoso focuses on increasing speed and coordination, The Poet assists in developing lyricism and The Jester/Gesture emphasizes character playing with color, touches and personality. In total, thirty-six pieces from all musical time periods represent the series. This essay lists each of the thirty-six pieces and gives the pedagogical significance of each work.Along with repertoire suggestions for time-challenged intermediate piano students, this essay reviews current intermediate piano courses and collections and offers practice and lesson strategies to address time constraints.


Music; Education, Music

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text