Jon George: The composer and his contributions to piano pedagogy

Date of Award




Degree Name

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


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Kenon Renfrow - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study is to document the life and musical contributions of Jon George. As a composer of many pieces for the elementary and intermediate piano student, he has achieved prominence in a field where few practitioners have achieved lasting success. This essay will focus on his life and works with special emphasis on the body of compositions written as part of the course of study, Artistry at the Piano, created in collaboration with his wife, Mary Gae George.After an introductory chapter outlining the background of the study, Chapter 2 reviews related literature in two pertinent areas: (a) a general survey of the music used in method books to place the pieces in a historical context and (b) an investigation of current learning theories to place them in an educational context.Chapter 3 provides information about the life and work of Jon George. Biographical information emphasizes his professional accomplishments and formulation of a teaching philosophy as it is expressed in Artistry at the Piano .Chapter 4 examines the objectives of the Artistry at the Piano course of study and shows how the repertoire included represents a sound sequencing of musical material and provides a solution to the problem of finding appropriate musical examples to prepare a student for the study of art music. Ways in which accepted ideas in piano pedagogy have been expanded or clarified, as well as innovations, are explored.Chapter 5 investigates the compositional process, describes important compositions other than Artistry at the Piano, and looks at the prose writings of Jon George. The final chapter includes suggestions for additional studies related to this inquiry, and concludes with an evaluation of Jon George's importance in the field of pedagogy, both as a composer in a specialized area and an explorer into ways of facilitating the learning experience.


Biography; Music; Education, Music

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