Dr Clara Christian: It’s not too early to start! Introducing Catchy Classics

Topic Description:


When? How? Where to start? Introduce late beginning and early intermediate students to classical repertoire without hearing Minuet in G and Burgmuller’s Arabesque on repeat. Too many teachers end up postponing teaching classical music, because traditionally the choices are limited to music that is either too hard or played way too often. There are a number of alternative pieces from beginning and intermediate repertoire collections that are rewarding for the teacher and student alike. I will provide a bibliography of the pieces and repertoire collections I have found the most successful, along with specific ideas for introducing the pieces based on what the student’s level of skill is. To define students’ skill level, I will provide concrete examples of method book pieces as well as discuss reading level and technical ability.

Teachers will discover a variety of fun pieces from various periods and composers and ideas for when to introduce what. Examples will be taken from Keith Snell’s piano repertoire collections, “Everybody’s Perfect Masterpieces,” and other easy-to-find volumes of early classical repertoire. I am very passionate about this topic, and the ideas I have can be used in group classes, class piano curriculum at the college level, and for private students who are kids, high school age, or adults.



Dr. Clara Christian (DMA, Northwestern University) is assistant professor of music at College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, MO). Also active nationally as a performer, she teaches advanced piano, piano pedagogy, chamber music and class piano.