CPTP176: A Fireside Chat with Marvin Blickenstaff

What approach do you use in teaching your students, especially beginners?

My guest on this podcast episode, Marvin Blickenstaff, is one of the most well-known and well-loved teachers in the US. He is a teacher, lecturer, performer and publisher with numerous honours and awards under his belt. His extensive background in piano as well as his positive approach to teaching his students make him stand out amongst the crowd. 

Marvin shared his wide-ranging experience in the world of piano teaching and gave us some brilliant and insightful tips on how to teach students, especially beginners. So if you are teaching beginners in your studio (which I am pretty sure you are!) then you wouldn’t want to miss this episode because you’ll definitely learn a whole lot from this influential piano teacher.


If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

In this episode, you’ll learn

  • [06:26] Marvin Blickenstaff’s Bio
  • [07:50] Marvin’s current teaching schedule, his students, and the kind of teaching he does.
  • [09:47] His association with the The New School for Music Study in Princeton. 
  • [11:38] A glimpse into a week in the life of Marvin.
  • [13:16] His background learning piano, when he started and how his lessons were like.
  • [18:54] His approach of teaching students. 
  • [20:49] Marvin’s wide range of experience in studying piano.
  • [24:07] Marvin’s current performances and his go-to composers and works.
  • [27:06] His catalyst for teaching piano to students and teachers.
  • [32:13] Marvin shares mistakes he sees teachers make with teaching, especially with beginners and gives some wonderful examples and tips on how he teaches his own students.
  • [39:33] How he starts teaching reading to students.
  • [41:14] Most important things he imparts to students on techniques.
  • [45:13] Teaching legato for beginning students.

Links Mentioned

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Thank you for Tuning In!

There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine. Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run. Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons! If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of the page. Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes or on my Facebook page. Reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to show’s ranking and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally. Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

What approach do you use in teaching beginner students?

Are you teaching reading and good technique right from the start? How has it improved the way they play?

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