Feb 5th, 2009 @ 1:43 pm | Author:
Klingenstein Publishes Book on Profession of Piano Teaching
Valley City State University Associate Professor Beth Gigante Klingenstein has published the second book of her career: The Independent Piano Teacher's Studio Handbook (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2009).

"I wrote this book to give piano teachers a single source for the information they need to operate a successful studio," said Klingenstein. "Teachers who are just entering the field can use it as a good foundation for developing a career as a private piano teacher. Experienced teachers can use it because it includes information on how to upgrade and expand studio curriculum and also lists the latest resources in numerous areas of teaching. Many university instructors are telling me they plan to use it in their piano pedagogy courses."

Klingenstein was asked to write the book by the keyboard editor at Hal Leonard Corporation, a major music publisher. The book has been a long time in coming; Klingenstein began work on it in January of 2004 and the 452 page book just rolled off the press in January of 2009. The ambitious intentions of the author are made clear by the size and depth of the book. It covers dozens of business and pedagogy topics, all related to the professional issues faced by independent piano teachers. Examples include national standards, careers in music; developing and maintaining professionalism; establishing lessons; handling finances, legal issues and ethics; presenting recitals; teaching musical skills, music history, and theory; using technology; developing curriculum; serving as an advocate for the arts; obtaining arts funding, and much more.

"I kept the focus on the practical things that music teachers need to know in order to keep the studio running successfully,' Klingenstein said. 'Many books cover areas such as peddling Debussy or teaching Chopin, but do not include one word about the practical things such as how to set-up curriculum, how to organize and teach chamber music, how to create a studio budget, how to start a summer music camp, or what kinds of careers are available for people with music degrees."

Understanding that addressing any of these topics could be the content of a complete book, Klingenstein built into her book an in-depth list of resources that readers can use to get more information. "Development of these lists required extensive research, but they also add a great deal of value for the reader. I selected sources that are authoritative so that they will be useful well into the future."

Another unique feature in this book is an appendix that includes sample documents that music teachers need in the independent studio. These documents include a sample studio policy, registration form, interview form, brochures, and many others. "I included these to give teachers an idea of the type of documents that can help their studio to run more smoothly. Efficient paperwork gives the teacher more time for effective teaching."

Klingenstein has been with VCSU since 1994 and is the founding director of the VCSU Community School of the Arts. A music teacher herself for over 40 years, she has developed a national reputation as an expert in the subject of the business issues involved in teaching music. She has delivered numerous presentations to local, state and national music organizations, and has been a feature columnist for American Music Teacher magazine, one of the most widely read publications in the field. Her first book, A Business Guide for the Music Teacher (Neil A. Kjos Music Company, San Diego, CA), was published in 1987. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Syracuse University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership through the University of North Dakota.