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Henry the Steinway and the Piano Recital.

by Sally Coveleskie and Peter Goodrich; illustrated by Laura Friedman. Bright Sky Press (P.O. Box 416, Albany, TX 76430), 2002. 32 pp., $15.95.

Certainly with the spring rain comes the recital pain--or so thinks Ana in Henry the Steinway and the Piano Recital While teachers do understand the distress and trauma that some students have over performing, especially in their first recital--they wonder too about the phenomenon of first-time students shuddering at even the mention of the "R-word"--where did they first learn that?

Whatever the reason, Ana and other student's pain is real, and teachers often fumble at attempts to help students successfully overcome their anxiety. Certainly the words from Ana's teacher did not help as she suggested only to "practice, practice, practice." This self-help book for anxiety-ridden students is beautifully illustrated and presents the plight of Ana and her recital. She soon understands, through conversations with Henry the Steinway piano that music comes from the heart and not from the written notes. Ana proceeds to practice with his encouragement and begins to look forward with delight, not horror, to the approaching recital day.

While the book is ageless in many ways, students ages 5 to 10 would find it most appealing--boys likely will become less interested as they get older because the student is a girl. Teachers should be aware that it takes ten to fifteen minutes to read aloud, so it may be a bit too long for some lessons. However, it would make great reading for the parent and student waiting room. The book is charming, clever, well written and certainly worth putting on any bookshelf! Reviewed by Rachel Kramer, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kramer, Rachel
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 2002
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