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Departamento de Comunicação e Arte | Universidade de Aveiro
Campus Universitário de Santiago
3810-193 Aveiro
Tel: (+351) 234 370 389 (ext. 23700)


Maria João Lopes has shown a great interest in music and education since her youth. At the age of seven, she emigrated to the United Kingdom with her family and began her piano studies in the city of Leeds. After returning to Portugal in 2007, Maria João continued her piano studies at the Conservatório Regional de Castelo Branco. During her adolescence, she had the opportunity to participate in artistic projects as a pianist, joining renowned orchestras and youth groups. At the same time, she accompanied various virtuoso musicians on the piano and taught piano to students of all ages. 

In 2014, Maria João was accepted and awarded a scholarship for the Bachelor's program in Piano at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In 2018, Maria João obtained the Diploma of the Associated Boards of Royal Schools of Music in Piano Teaching. In that same year, she returned to Portugal and joined the Master's program in Music Teaching at the University of Évora, completing it in 2021 with a final dissertation of the highest grade.

In 2022, Maria João was accepted into the Doctoral program of Artistic Education at the University of Lisbon, but decided to change her academic path in 2023 to the Doctorate in Music Teaching and Music in the Community at the University of Aveiro. In that same year, she was invited to transcribe the letters of José António da Motta to his son José Vianna da Motta. Maria João Lopes continues to actively dedicate herself to expanding knowledge in the field of music education and, in particular, piano pedagogy through her book publications and projects with piano teachers such as Pianisticamente Falando and the piano project carried out in schools and conservatories called Atividades Pianísticas. In addition, she continues to stand out artistically as a pianist, being an integral part of the Duo Anemoia, a piano and euphonium partnership that has performed in Portugal and Italy.


 Ciência Vitae | ORCID

Doctoral Project
"A Pedagogical Approach for the Complete Beginner Pianist"
Toni Mäkinen 
Considering the scarcity of beginner piano pedagogical material in Portugal, this project proposes an approach that seeks to reshape the conceptualization of the pianist. Personal input, auditory skills, and improvisation skills are generally neglected in published piano literature. In other words, pianists are becoming subordinate to the musical score, incapable of using their whole-brain capacity, and distancing themselves from developing a holistic pianistic-technical foundation. The proposed approach will take into account the learning objectives of the Sibelius Academy’s Free Accompaniment Course, which focuses on developing the neglected skills and coalesces with the ideas of typical piano education, that centralizes on musical reading, technique, and theory. In this way, piano education will be enhanced towards a more engaging and complete learning experience.

Keywords: Approach; Holistic; Competencies