General, Performing, Piano teaching

You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing

The desire for perfection surrounds us in our modern society. "Getting it right" and "being perfect" are inculcated in children from the moment they enter the formal school system, where they are continually assessed and tested, where correct answers are rewarded with stickers and other symbols of approval and mistakes are regarded are "wrong". Many… Continue reading You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing

Performing, Piano teaching

Small people at the piano – a student concert

This weekend I had the great pleasure of attending a concert given by students of my friend and piano teaching colleague Rebecca Singerman-Knight. Based, like me, in Teddington, SW London, Rebecca specialises in early years' piano tuition, as well as children and adult beginners and returners. Most of the children performing in her concert were… Continue reading Small people at the piano – a student concert

Performing, Piano teaching

The Performing Teacher

I meet many piano teachers, at courses, workshops and masterclasses. It is always good to meet other piano teachers, to exchange ideas, and to enjoy a collective grumble about the exigencies of the job. Many of the teachers whom I meet are also performing musicians, professional or otherwise, and many regard performing as a necessary,… Continue reading The Performing Teacher

Performing, Teaching

Guest post: How to be confident (when you’re not feeling it)

A guest post from Grace Miles, founder of, a blog about the musician lifestyle. She helps pianists get the most out of music with psychology. Remember the "spotlight"? When all eyes are on you, every little action feels 100 times more obvious. We all want more sparkle in our performances-- and it comes with… Continue reading Guest post: How to be confident (when you’re not feeling it)

Performing, Piano teaching, Practising

Musical Punctuation Marks

Imagine if you were listening to someone speak, perhaps reading out the news on television, or reading a poem to you. The speaker's voice sounds the same the entire time they are speaking, with no rise or fall in sound, no changes in rhythm or tempo (speed), and no indication that there are pauses, full… Continue reading Musical Punctuation Marks

Concerts, Performing

Take a bow: how to behave at a concert

With my students' concert less than two weeks away now, here are some tips on 'concert etiquette' to help make the experience as enjoyable as possible, for performers and audience. It's important to behave in the right way when you are taking part in a concert. How you walk on stage ('body language') and how… Continue reading Take a bow: how to behave at a concert

Concerts, Performing

Performing – just do it!

With my students' concert fast approaching, this article, which I wrote for a colleague's student concert programme, seems particularly apt..... Never underestimate the value of performing, whether at home for family, friends and pets, or in a ‘proper’ concert venue on a really special grand piano. Performing for others, and the ability to just get… Continue reading Performing – just do it!


Reblogged: Stage Fright – 5 tips

I am reblogging this post from pianist Melanie Spanswick's ClassicalMel blog as it contains some very helpful advice for anyone preparing for a performance (or exam), whether amateur or professional. Over the past few days I have had several requests from readers for a blog post dealing with stress and nerves associated with performance. I… Continue reading Reblogged: Stage Fright – 5 tips

Performing, Piano teaching, Students, Studying music

Guest post: 10 reasons to play the piano

by Melanie Spanswick I am always asked if the piano is worth learning. Is it possible to achieve anything? Is it a suitable hobby? Or something which children endure rather like maths at school! There are so many reasons why both adults and children benefit from the study of a musical instrument. I look at… Continue reading Guest post: 10 reasons to play the piano