Exams, Piano teaching

MTB Exams – graded music exams for the digital age

Just as so many aspects of our normal daily lives have been severely disrupted or curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, so has the graded music exams system. The three main exam boards, ABSRM, Trinity College London (TCL) and London College of Music (LCM), cancelled physical face-to-face exams and both sought to offer candidates the opportunity… Continue reading MTB Exams – graded music exams for the digital age

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