Yesterday was International Women's Day, "a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women" (link).
Piano playing developed as a generally female activity, and since it's earliest emergence as a profession, the majority of private piano teachers have been women. (If you're interested in reading a fascinating series on the social history of piano teaching, click here.)
Composing, however, especially in the professional sense, was almost always relegated to men.
We see very few female composers in our standard teaching repertoire, and it's very rare to hear music by a female composer on your local classical radio station.
This doesn't mean that women haven't been creating great music for centuries. We just have to know where to look!
For your listening pleasure, check out this Spotify playlist put together by NAXOS.
These two collections are great for a broad overview of piano music by female composers. They both include a little biographical information about each of the composers.
Women Composers in History
At the Piano with Women Composers
Clara Schumann: both of these collections are great for advanced players
For Your Littles:
Here are three great little books from Kiddy Keys:
I hope these resources can get you started exploring the works of these great women with your piano students.
Know of any other great resources out there on female composers? Let me know in the comments. Let's share the wealth!
Hi! I teach piano in California. Here are some of my thoughts.