Exams, Piano teaching, Repertoire, Students

New Trinity College London piano syllabus – exploring the repertoire

This is a transcript of an article I wrote to accompany the release of Trinity College London's new piano syllabus, for which I also contributed teaching notes. Here I introduce the new piano syllabus for Grades 3 to 5 and explores some of my favourite pieces from the repertoire. For music examples, please see the… Continue reading New Trinity College London piano syllabus – exploring the repertoire

Piano teaching

Should our own tastes in music influence our students’ choices of repertoire?

The simple answer to this question is "no". But the recent, rather heated discussion around the inclusion of pieces by Ludovico Einaudi in the new ABRSM piano syllabus revealed that some teachers feel it is their duty to steer their students to music which aligns more closely with their own tastes. A number suggested that… Continue reading Should our own tastes in music influence our students’ choices of repertoire?

Piano teaching

The Case for Einaudi

Divisive as ever, the inclusion of two pieces by Ludovico Einaudi in the ABRSM’s 2021-22 piano syllabus has generated some heated discussion around the pedagogic merits of his work. Teachers who enjoy his music are happy to see him included. Others do not like his work but are pleased on behalf of their students. The rest are dismayed, seeing it as representative of a dumbing down of standards.

Piano teaching

Let’s not bash Einaudi

It's sad to find the all-too-common snobbery in classical music creeping in to reactions to the new piano syllabus from the ABRSM - a syllabus which has undergone quite a significant transformation from previous years to reflect the needs and tastes of piano students and teachers in the 21st century. (You can read detailed reviews… Continue reading Let’s not bash Einaudi

Exams, Piano teaching

The benefits of online music exams

When coronavirus hit the UK, it became evident that normal life as we know it would have to change. This included the provision of graded music exams. The major exam boards swiftly cancelled the spring season's exams, which caused a great deal of frustration and disappointment to candidates and teachers who had been working so… Continue reading The benefits of online music exams

Piano teaching

Italian for Musicians – video tutorials

Guest post by Diana Lavarini I am not a musician, just someone who decided to start learning piano as an adult. I didn’t have any expectations back then, but eight years have passed and I’m still doing it, I’m still learning and letting music become an increasingly bigger part of my life as time goes… Continue reading Italian for Musicians – video tutorials

Piano teaching

Should you charge less for online lessons?

With the coronavirus and the attendant need for social distancing, many teachers have moved online in order to continue teaching, using applications such as Zoom, Skype and Facetime. For many this has forced a rapid embrace and learning of new tech to ensure equipment is set up to best serve teacher and student, and while… Continue reading Should you charge less for online lessons?

Piano teaching

Is It Ever Too Late to Learn Piano?

guest post by Doug Hanvey No matter what your age, it's never too late to learn a new skill. My experience teaching hundreds of adult piano students over many years leads me to generally agree with this truism. However, I’ve discovered it’s also true that each stage of adulthood has its unique challenges. In fact,… Continue reading Is It Ever Too Late to Learn Piano?

Piano teaching

How to Set Up for Online Lessons

guest post by Sindre Kaupang Whether you like it or not, in order to keep busy and still have a music tuition business after this Corona crisis has settled, you might be forced to do online lessons for some time. If you’ve never done it before and you’re used to regular face-to-face lessons, the thought… Continue reading How to Set Up for Online Lessons

Piano teaching

Coffee Shop Questions: Beethoven ‘Tempest’ Sonata

JJ writes: Hi Fran - I'm having trouble playing the tremolos in Beethoven's Tempest Sonata (1st movement) evenly and at speed, with L and R hands well synchronised. Have tried practising slowly, etc. but still having difficulty.  Hi JJ - These passages are tricky technically and artistically as you don't want the triplets to have… Continue reading Coffee Shop Questions: Beethoven ‘Tempest’ Sonata