Clara Schumann as Piano Pedagogue
Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896), played a significant role in the musical culture of the nineteenth century as both a pianist and pedagogue. However, Clara’s achievements are often overlooked: her career is frequently overshadowed by the pedagogical success of her father, Friedrich Wieck, and the compositions of her husband, Robert Schumann.
Although much research has been conducted into Clara Schumann’s life, this has been mainly from a biographical standpoint (Chissell, 1983 and Reich, 2001). A detailed exploration of Clara’s teaching philosophies, methods, and techniques, however, has not yet been undertaken. While Fang (1978), discusses Clara Schumann’s teaching, she relies predominantly on the first-hand accounts of her students, primarily consulting these sources for biographical information, thus overlooking their inherent qualities as material for the exploration of her pedagogical methods. Likewise, while including a discography of Clara’s students, she fails to analyse the recordings in any specific detail, neglecting the potential of using historical recordings as evidence of pedagogical influence.
Using recordings made by Clara’s students – in particular Adelina de Lara, Fanny Davies, Ilona Eibenschütz, and Carl Friedberg – alongside an examination of Clara’s editorial additions (published and manuscript), and first-hand accounts of her teaching. This research systematically investigates Clara Schumann’s pedagogical methods, thereby revealing her substantial contribution to the field of modern pedagogy.