Piano teaching

How to be calmer and improve your music making

In this guest post, music teacher and vocal coach Rosemary Wiseman introduces her book ‘Zoom88 – How to be calmer and improve your music making’


Recently I was reading in my journal about the first time I ever read a copy of Music Teacher magazine. It was while I was waiting for my interview for the Music Teachers Certificate (MTC) at the London University Institute of Education. It was noted then by my interviewer that I had ‘strong ideas about music teaching’. I have now incorporated them in my book ‘Zoom88 – How to be calmer and improve your music making’.

The title was inspired by my mother who was preparing for her Grade 3 piano exam at the age of 88 and using a magnifying glass to zoom in to the musical notation of her pieces.

Zoom88 is primarily written for music teachers, students, parents of younger students and performers. It can be of benefit if you are interested in self-improvement or need to reduce anxiety in both practice and performance.

The inspiration to write the book came many years ago. I had a good friend that I had first met in our school orchestra, who, like me, had become a music teacher and performer. With her training as a Suzuki teacher and mine as a Hypnotherapist, we had some interesting discussions about our music teaching methods.

When she sadly passed away in 2000, I thought that I would have liked to have known even more about what she did in lessons with her students. So I began making notes about my own teaching methods and techniques. The outcome was a collection of notebooks, which I called Music All the Way. Much of the material in them is included in Zoom88.

I play and teach a variety of musical instruments – mainly piano, cello and flute, and am also a vocal coach. How did I come to be doing what I do now?

The book begins with an autobiographical adventure, as I zoom in to the journey of my musical life up until the time I became a hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner and went on to discover a very powerful and effective tapping technique called Thought Field Therapy (TFT), which changed my life and consequently the lives of many others.

In the next section of the book I share my teaching methods and techniques – some of which are unique – for helping with music practice and performance. For example, for those teachers or students who are still stuck with mnemonics such as ‘cows eating grass,’ my Key Notes method can assist with and speed up music reading and sight-reading.

I believe my well-proven ‘Successipe’ – the recipe for successful music practice –  will be most useful to readers. If you are having any trouble with encouraging students to practise slowly, then the chapter Slow is Fast Progress offers ideas to help. As for getting over fear of making mistakes and other issues around performance anxiety, there are plenty of suggestions to explore. The ideas can be adapted to any method you are currently using.

The third part of the book is a selection of cases including that of a well known Radio and TV presenter, as well as my journey to Grade 8 flute, the exam preparations and an in depth description of the exam day experience itself.

The Appendix includes procedures for TFT tapping and other resources for vocal health as well as charts to aid music practice.

I have found over time that this practical section of Zoom88 has helped people in other areas of life as well, such as confidence building, getting over fear of flying, public speaking, personal improvement, business development and sports performance.

‘Zoom88 – How to be calmer and improve your music making’ is available through high street retailers and online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For further information please visit Rosemary’s website


Rosemary Wiseman has a degree in music from Trinity College of Music London (now called Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) and the London University, Institute of Education. She teaches piano, cello and flute and is a vocal coach. Rosemary performs music regularly and is a highly qualified and experienced hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner who also specialises in a tapping technique known as Thought Field Therapy (TFT). She is a Performance Coach, working with both individual clients and groups and gives anxiety and performance nerves workshops.

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