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Just as musical etudes focus on the development of skills and address the technical problems encountered in keyboard literature, the "etudes" in Stewart Gordon's new book also focus on ideas which prepare piano teachers for meeting the problems encountered in piano performing and teaching. This collection of essays, many of which first appeared in the "New Davidites" series in American Music Teacher, examines the many challenges involved in piano teaching - not only the technical tasks of teaching students how to play the instrument, but also the more general challenges of how to inspire and shape students' learning, growth, and personal identity, and how to offer career guidance. Drawing on thirty years of teaching and performing experience, Gordon provides a carefully-balanced exploration of the role of the piano student and teacher as well as a realistic view of the problems facing the profession today, the dynamics of a performing career, and the stages through which musicians' careers often pass. Designed to open up new avenues of inquiry, to provoke discussion and creative thinking, and to challenge and motivate students, these essays will be vital reading for all serious piano students and teachers.