“I am a beginner. I am always learning”* Fou Ts’ong This wonderfully humble quote from Fou Ts’ong, the acclaimed Chinese pianist, who died in December 2020, is a reminder that even those at the top of the profession should never stop learning. Our learning journey often begins in childhood, with early music lessons under the… Continue reading Always a beginner
Author: The Cross-Eyed Pianist
“Playing to learn” – introducing ‘Chopsticks to Chopin’ piano course
My aim in this course is to be absolutely systematic and clear so that an adult beginner can teach themselves without difficulty, and without a teacher present. Equally, I would claim that an adult beginner can use the course to teach a child, or an older child a younger sibling, in exactly the way that Chopsticks has been handed down over generations.
Reflections on repertoire on International Women’s Day 2021
When I was having piano lessons as a child/teenager from the early 1970s to the mid-80s I never played any piano music by women composers, except perhaps some very rudimentary pieces by Fanny Waterman (though I cannot recall any). I learnt music from the "core canon" - pieces by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Mendelssohn… Continue reading Reflections on repertoire on International Women’s Day 2021
Learn to play Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Seasons’ with pianist Julia Zilberquit and MusicGurus
MusicGurus, the online music education platform that partners with worldleading artists to create unique interactive lessons, has released Perform Tchaikovsky’s “The Seasons” March, April, June and October with pianist Julia Zilberquit, exclusively on musicgurus.com. In this exciting masterclass, Julia will help you learn how to play her favourite four pieces from Tchaikovsky's cycle 'The Seasons':… Continue reading Learn to play Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Seasons’ with pianist Julia Zilberquit and MusicGurus
4 Tips for Achieving Joy-filled Practice
Guest post by Julian Harnish A smile played on my lips as I finished the last page of the last piece of my college senior recital - L’isle Joyeuse by Debussy. I was experiencing joy, and yes, part of that had to do with the state of flow that I find in performance. Yet, there… Continue reading 4 Tips for Achieving Joy-filled Practice
Fire & Water – Ji Liu
This recently released anthology of piano music comes two years after Ji Liu’s album of the same name and offers intermediate and advanced level pianists an opportunity to explore and play some of the pieces featured on Ji Liu’s recording
Meet the music publisher
I struggled to find the perfect teaching resource. I wanted a piano book for complete beginners, that progressed from lesson one onwards, and that included well-known children’s songs. I couldn’t find one so I wrote one,
Take the ‘angst’ out of music performance anxiety
Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) is a widespread problem. It affects musicians of any age, instrument, level of expertise, professional and amateur musicians alike. It can be a crippling experience for anyone who suffers, turning a performance into a nightmare.
5 Pieces to Play Instead of Für Elise
Pianist and composer Frederick Viner feels, like many of us, that Beethoven's Für Elise is "just a tad…overplayed". In this video, he select some wonderful and intriguing alternatives, including some lesser-known composers and music, to suit the intermediate player and which offer teachers a chance to explore the wider repertoire of the piano with their… Continue reading 5 Pieces to Play Instead of Für Elise
No piece is learnt in isolation
If we understand how to adapt specific skills, to make them relevant to the repertoire we are currently working on, we can make the learning process less arduous and more rewarding, while also continuing to build on existing skills and develop new ones.