I was intrigued by an article in my local paper about a program at the Melberger Arts Center where teacher, Don Thompson, emphasizes “learning repertoire” over all those other pesky details such as finger technique, theory, interpretation and tone color. When you come right down to it, that’s what it’s all about, right?

I tell my students that it’s all good and fine to know your National Guild requirements each year, but it’s a good idea to keep something in your fingers after the auditions are over so that when you go away to college and there’s a piano in your dorm, it sure would be nice to be able to sit down and play something for your friends. Even better would be to be able to play something they would recognize.

“We’re teaching them a skill, not a career,” he said. “So they can build up their repertoires. So wherever they go where there’s a piano or a keyboard, they can play from their repertoires.”

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