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Finding joy in music – every day: The Happy Music Play Book

'The Happy Music Play Book' by Cordelia Williams There’s a lot more to making music with children than singing The Wheels on the Bus or dancing to Baby Shark. Newborn babies can detect the pulse in music and infants respond to maternal speech and singing. Many children have a natural instinct for music making and… Continue reading Finding joy in music – every day: The Happy Music Play Book

General, Studying music

UK’s future music ‘talent pipeline’ at risk from A-level music decline

A-level music education provided by state schools could completely disappear by 2033 as a result of an alarming year-on-year decline, new research suggests. Falling access to the music qualifications, accelerated by cuts in local and central government funding in recent years, has also led to the gap between state and independent music education provision widening,… Continue reading UK’s future music ‘talent pipeline’ at risk from A-level music decline

General

Piano Journeys – six books to own and love

Books about piano journeys are rare and valuable - especially those written from the perspective of the amateur player. A new book, by late-returner pianist and ex-technologist Howard Smith, adds to the genre and does so in a surprising (and delightful) fashion. In this article I list the six books I have read, and compare… Continue reading Piano Journeys – six books to own and love

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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

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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.

General

The Mammoth in the Practice Room: 7 reasons why musicians fall short of their potential

Guest post by Stephen Marquiss “We’ll see you on TV one day”, they said. By the time I reached my 29th birthday, I had been on TV once – but does a school promotional appearance really count? I could’ve made it twice, for the semi-final of BBC Young Musicians. But I withdrew through injury. I’m… Continue reading The Mammoth in the Practice Room: 7 reasons why musicians fall short of their potential

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Play what you play best

The key is trying to limit yourself to perform only the pieces that will be best for you and the audience. Otherwise, you’re doing everyone—yourself, the composer, and the audience, a huge disservice. – Richard Goode, concert pianist I’m sure most performers would agree with Richard Goode’s statement, yet many, especially younger artists, are under… Continue reading Play what you play best

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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

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An entry-level compact digital piano to help you learn and love music

Digital pianos offer musicians, professional or amateur, regardless of their ability level, a user-friendly, versatile instrument on which to practice and perform, and perhaps their greatest asset is that these instruments have a volume control and headphone jack, enabling the player to practice without disturbing others, at any time of the day or night. This… Continue reading An entry-level compact digital piano to help you learn and love music