General

Never too late

"I wish I'd kept up my piano lessons!" How many people do you meet who express this regret, that they'd continued childhood piano lessons into adulthood? At my piano club, there are people who have played all their life; others who, like me, gave up, often in childhood or their teens, only to return to… Continue reading Never too late

Piano teaching

Those who can, teach

The expression “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” does a great disservice to teachers everywhere. In the sphere of music, teaching is often regarded as a “second best” option for those who have trained as performers, yet for anyone who has encountered a great music teacher, it is evident that this is a… Continue reading Those who can, teach

Piano teaching

Making the Most of Your Continuing Professional Development

Guest post by Rhiana Henderson There are many courses, workshops, conferences and other events available of varying lengths and on a whole range of different topics for piano teachers. Afterwards though, how are we able to demonstrate to potential students and employers that we have invested valuable time and money into our own continuing professional… Continue reading Making the Most of Your Continuing Professional Development

Practising

Make friends with the music

Too often it seems that we view learning, studying, practising and performing music as a kind of fight. People talk about "doing battle with Beethoven" or "fighting the fear" (of performing) as if one must take up arms against unseen, powerful forces. It's true that learning new repertoire can be a Herculean task, and practising… Continue reading Make friends with the music

Piano teaching

Getting exercised about exercises

Some people swear by them; others detest them with a passion. Love them or hate them, exercises are a crucial part of the pianist's technical regime, and discussions about the pros and cons of exercises in online piano forums and elsewhere are often as heated as the Brexit debate!

Practising

Train your weaknesses

Like sportspeople, musicians need to train. We call training "practicing" - a catch-all term that encompasses learning new music, reviving previously-learnt music, keeping repertoire going and honing skills. We all have strengths and weaknesses, whether a professional or amateur musician, and understanding and appreciating our individual strengths and weaknesses is important in how we approach… Continue reading Train your weaknesses

Piano teaching

Technique Tips with Frances Wilson

In the second of my videos produced for Casio Music and Pianist Magazine, I discuss some basic aspects of technique including staccato and legato https://youtu.be/c-ms3yz9-r4   New e-book from Graham Fitch - Practising the Piano: an introduction to practice strategies and piano technique. Available free from Casio Music  

Piano teaching

Eleonor Bindman’s Stepping Stones to Bach

American pianist and teacher Eleonor Bindman is, by her own admission, devoted to the music of J S Bach. She has been praised for her performances and recordings of Bach's keyboard music and has made a transcription for piano 4-hands of the complete Brandenberg Concertos (read more here). In her 'Stepping Stones to Bach' Eleonor… Continue reading Eleonor Bindman’s Stepping Stones to Bach

Piano teaching

Pulling the rabbit out of the hat

The Piano and the Art of Illusion Guest post by Lynne Phillips A recent lesson with a young beginner got me thinking about something that has fascinated me for many years: the art of illusion. Is it our job, as musicians, to simply create something, whether that’s a story, an emotion, a landscape, or a… Continue reading Pulling the rabbit out of the hat