Celebrating the Legacies of

Guy Duckworth and Louise Goss

10:20a-11:00a, Thursday, July 30, Grand Ballroom EF

The 2015 NCKP conference will host a memorial session honoring two legends in the field of piano pedagogy that have passed away in the last year. Below are the individuals involved in the memorial.

Gail BerensonGail Berenson, Professor Emerita of Piano at Ohio University, Athens, is a past president of Music Teachers National Association and the recipient of the 2015 MTNA Distinguished Service Award.  She has performed and lectured in over thirty states and ten coun­tries.


IvanFrazierIvan Frazier retired in 2005 from the Piano Faculty at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music, after having been active nationally and internationally as performer, pedagogue, clinician, and author.



Rebecca Shockley photoRebecca Shockley is Professor Emerita of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Minnesota and author of Mapping Music: For Faster Learning and Secure Memory - A Guide for Piano Teachers and Students.



SylviaCoatsDr. Sylvia Coats NCTM, professor emerita of music at Wichita State University, authored Thinking as You Play: Teaching Piano in Individual and Group Lessons, published by Indiana University Press. She serves as secretary treasurer on the board of directors for MTNA.


 JudithJainFounder and Executive Director of New Tampa Piano and Pedagogy Academy, Dr. Judith Jain is active as a performer, lecturer and clinician in the US and abroad. Previous teaching affiliations include the New School for Music Study, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Indiana University in Bloomington.


Guy Duckworth

Guy Duckworth portraitDr. Guy Duckworth, a pioneer of group piano pedagogy, died January 27, 2015, at the age of 91. He created and directed the unique graduate programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Piano Performance Literature and Pedagogy: Process of Group Environments.Guys vision came to fruition at Colorado where studentsmusical growth and personal growth developed hand in hand. He stressed the wedding of affective and cognitive understanding of the music. Following is an excerpt from an article in Clavier Companion (July/August 2015)about his legacy authored by Sylvia Coats.

            Guy taught us about the gestalt, that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. A beautiful performance is not just the result of a correct reading of the score, but an understanding of the meaning of the music. Guy expected us to make the music come alive and to be emotionally invested in our playing. . .

            Guy considered each lesson "unknown territory, an open slate," but with the expectation that each student could have an aha moment of discovery. He worked hard to make it a possibility for each individual in the group. Because of the supportive, musical environment that Guy facilitated, students often described aha moments when their playing felt effortless with complete involvement in the music. . .

            His curriculum was organized by eleven musical, keyboard, and aesthetic concepts, whereby patterns could be observed regarding technical, musical, and expressive content and principles could be drawn about the music that are transferable to other repertoire . . .

            Guy’s life was one of growth. The amalgamation of his experience growing up in Burbank, CA, serving in World War II, touring as a performing artist, studying at Teachers College, Columbia University, teaching music at Tranquility Union High School, CA, the University of Minnesota, and Northwestern University led him to create a graduate program at Colorado University unlike any seen before or after his tenure there, documented in a media presentation titled, The Person First and Together (1984). Tribute by Sylvia Coats.

Louise Goss

Louise GossThe professional contributions of eminent American piano pedagogue Louise Goss (1926-2014) are countless. Her tireless efforts, along with those of Frances Clark, include the establishment of arguably the first piano pedagogy program in the United States atKalamazoo College in Michigan, the creation of the New School for Music Study, the development of The Music Tree and the Frances Clark Library for Piano Study, the presentation of countless workshops, the creation of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, the proliferation of the National Conference for Piano Pedagogy and its continuation as the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy, the publication of Keyboard Companion and later Clavier Companion magazines, and the editorship of books and articles on piano pedagogy.

Goss’s work touched the lives of innumerable piano students, piano pedagogy interns, and piano teachers. "I would say that my mission in life… has been to do everything [I] can to improve piano teaching methods and materials, so that every child who takes piano lessons can have a wonderful, joyful, growthful experience," stated Goss. But it was not in Goss’s nature to seek public recognition for her work, as Marvin Blickenstaff corroborates: “Louise [was] not one to covet the spotlight and willingly relinquished that position.”

When asked about her hopes and wishes for the future of the piano pedagogy profession, Goss stated: “My hope for the future is that a much larger group of people will come to see what piano pedagogy in its fullness means; how exciting it is, how important it is, and that lots of people will get on the bandwagon and make it become what it can become… [I hope]everybody [will] begin to grasp this notion that it’s the child first, music second, and only third is the piano.” Tribute by Judith Jain.