I'm no longer teaching regularly and although I still take an active interest in the world of piano pedagogy, I don't feel it's appropriate to continue to update this site, the main purpose of which was to offer guidance and advice for my own students and their parents, and for other piano teachers and students.… Continue reading A Piano Teacher Writes is signing off
Guest post by Simon Nicholls (adapted from advice to an adult pupil, already in the profession as teacher and player) There is no such thing as a ‘note-bashing stage’. Rather, as soon as one or two notes are involved, there should be music being made; even if it’s slow-motion, dry, nothing like the finished article will… Continue reading Some elements of effective practice
There are certain habits of piano practice which are ingrained in us from an early age and which have become a form of “piano dogma”. As a young piano student we may accept these practices without question, trusting in our teacher’s seniority and assertion that these activities are “good for you”, that they will make you “a better pianist”.
Most of us in the music teaching community will have seen it by now - an ill-judged tweet by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) which stated that “Musical achievement is about how well you can do, how good you can get. That sense of attainment is tested by assessment which gives us intrinsic motivation to make us want to get better. That’s the virtuous circle of motivation.” (via Twitter, 24 September 2021).
The key of C major. It’s the beginner’s key signature and usually the first scale that early piano students learn. (In fact, Chopin considered it the most difficult scale to play and instead liked to begin his students with the B major scale in the right hand, in order to more naturally introduce the passing… Continue reading In the Key of C
With COVID and lockdown, a lot of teachers and students have been faced with the challenge of learning online. Teachers, especially, have had to think of ways to make online lessons more fun and engaging.
“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
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.
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
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