Choosing Repertoire

I’m preoccupied this week with thoughts revolving around how we choose repertoire for our students.  I’d like to be able to say with rather than for our students, but most of the time the student gets at best a veto (not quite the same thing as being actively part of the process). This topic was one I spoke on at the 2009 Australian Piano Pedagogy Conference held in Sydney in July, and at that time I titled my presentation Repertoire Roulette, attempting to draw attention to the hit and miss nature of a piano student’s repertoire selection, the element of risking something valuable (the attention and long-term interest of the student) if we should happen to stake our lesson time on a piece of repertoire that doesn’t come up a winner. If only the pieces of piano music we use in our teaching came with guarantees. Or at least a warranty. So here’s the thing that comes first, something which

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