Thanks to an Amazon wish list for Christmas and a generous Amazon gift card from a student, I have several new books that I’m really excited about adding to my library.  I thought I’d share them with you, maybe you’ll find a few things to add to your wish list!

1.  Teaching Piano in Groups by Christopher Fisher

Dr. Fisher gave several presentations at NCKP this past summer and he is really an expert in group piano teaching.  The NCKP photographer even caught me participating in a demonstration in one of his sessions 🙂




More to come about this book later on the blog, but I think it’s a great resource for anyone teaching group piano.  I think that if it had been around sooner (it was just published in 2010) it would have been a required textbook for some of the pedagogy courses I took in college and grad school.

2.  The Pianists Dictionary by Maurice Hinson

This is a great little reference book that I just discovered on Amazon.  Maurice Hinson is best known for his Guide to the Pianists Repertoire.  The Pianists Dictionary includes almost any term you could find in a piece of piano music.  It’s especially useful for those pesky french terms in the music of Debussy, Poulenc, and others that don’t seem to show up in standard music dictionaries.  At less than $20, this is a great book to add to your reference shelf!

3.  A Practical Guide to Solo Piano Music by Trevor Barnard with Elizabeth Gutierrez

This is another reference book that I’ve seen in booths at several conferences lately.  It also comes in under $20, so it is a good value compared to other similar reference books. This book includes titles of pieces, organized in alphabetical order by composer, country of origin, publisher, and level.  The pieces are leveled 1-4, with one being intermediate, but “for those who are fairly proficient,” and 4 being for virtuoso performers (think Islamey by Balakirev). It is compact and lightweight so it can easily travel with you whenever you may need it.

4.  Practiceopedia by Philip Johnstonpracticeopedia

I know Philip Johnston best from his book The Practice Revolution which I discussed here.  Practiceopedia expands on his ideas from Practice Revolution by providing thousands of practice tips and ideas for any situation in which a practice-er could find themselves.   It is a reference book that you can quickly jump around and find what you need at the moment. Categories include “Practice Traps,” “Dress Rehearsal,” and “Clearing Obstacles” to name a few.  A useful book to have around in your studio, maybe leave it sitting in the waiting room for parents and students to peruse while they wait.

5.  The Dynamic Studio by Philip Johnston

By the same author as Practiceopedia and The Practice Revolution, this is a book that I’ve heard a lot of buzz about lately.  I haven’t had much time to look at it yet, but I’m expecting to get a lot of ideas about how to keep my studio fresh and energized.  Check out Leila Viss’ online book club for some more information about this book.

6.  Creative Pedagogy for Piano Teachers by Jeffrey Agrell and Aura Strohschein

I just came across this book on Amazon but I don’t really have any background information on it.  This is another one that I need to spend some more time looking through, but it seems to be a good reference book for group class or private lesson games and activities.  If you find yourself looking for new and fun ways to reinforce concepts in lessons and classes this may be a good book for you.

7.  Beatrice Rana: Live Recording CD  Beatrice

Okay, so this isn’t a book, but I’m pretty excited about adding this to my music library.  Beatrice was my favorite competitor at the 2013 Cliburn Competition and I was so glad that she got the silver medal.  Part of her prize package includes a CD on the Harmonia Mundi label.  This CD is live recordings from the competition including Ravel’s Gaspard, Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes, and Bartok’s Out of Doors.  You can purchase this from the Cliburn shop here.

Do you have any new books on your shelf that you’re really enjoying?  We’d love to hear about them!

Author: Spring

Spring Seals, NCTM, teaches 60 piano students ranging from age 3 to 70 in Fort Worth, Texas. She also serves as the Director of Certification for TMTA. She is passionate about helping teachers become more effective in their studios through professional development, new resources, and fresh ideas.