Piano teaching, Practising

Why short daily practice beats the once a week catch up

Guest post by Tom Van Schoor Why is daily practice so much better than having a dedicated day in the week? And how long should I set aside every day to see some measurable result? The answer lies in the way our brain works. How it processes new information and how it stores long term… Continue reading Why short daily practice beats the once a week catch up

Piano teaching

Those who can, teach

The expression “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” does a great disservice to teachers everywhere. In the sphere of music, teaching is often regarded as a “second best” option for those who have trained as performers, yet for anyone who has encountered a great music teacher, it is evident that this is a… Continue reading Those who can, teach

Piano teaching

Making the Most of Your Continuing Professional Development

Guest post by Rhiana Henderson There are many courses, workshops, conferences and other events available of varying lengths and on a whole range of different topics for piano teachers. Afterwards though, how are we able to demonstrate to potential students and employers that we have invested valuable time and money into our own continuing professional… Continue reading Making the Most of Your Continuing Professional Development

Piano teaching

Getting exercised about exercises

Some people swear by them; others detest them with a passion. Love them or hate them, exercises are a crucial part of the pianist's technical regime, and discussions about the pros and cons of exercises in online piano forums and elsewhere are often as heated as the Brexit debate!

Piano teaching

Technique Tips with Frances Wilson

In the second of my videos produced for Casio Music and Pianist Magazine, I discuss some basic aspects of technique including staccato and legato https://youtu.be/c-ms3yz9-r4   New e-book from Graham Fitch - Practising the Piano: an introduction to practice strategies and piano technique. Available free from Casio Music  

Piano teaching

Eleonor Bindman’s Stepping Stones to Bach

American pianist and teacher Eleonor Bindman is, by her own admission, devoted to the music of J S Bach. She has been praised for her performances and recordings of Bach's keyboard music and has made a transcription for piano 4-hands of the complete Brandenberg Concertos (read more here). In her 'Stepping Stones to Bach' Eleonor… Continue reading Eleonor Bindman’s Stepping Stones to Bach

Piano teaching

Pulling the rabbit out of the hat

The Piano and the Art of Illusion Guest post by Lynne Phillips A recent lesson with a young beginner got me thinking about something that has fascinated me for many years: the art of illusion. Is it our job, as musicians, to simply create something, whether that’s a story, an emotion, a landscape, or a… Continue reading Pulling the rabbit out of the hat

Piano teaching, Practising, Students, Teaching

How to Approach Sight Reading for Yourself or With Your Students

Guest post by Eleonor Bindman Sight reading is a very important skill which is often neglected during piano lessons and while practicing because of time constraints. It’s way at the bottom of our list of priorities and the fact that it seems challenging and not “fun” doesn’t help matters. In my early years of teaching… Continue reading How to Approach Sight Reading for Yourself or With Your Students

Piano teaching

Seeking diversity in anthologies and exam repertoire 

We are very lucky as pianists/piano teachers to have such a wide repertoire, and one which is constantly being expanded as composers continue to write for the piano. Which is why I find it rather disconcerting when new anthologies of piano music are released purporting to offer "variety" when in fact they merely present a… Continue reading Seeking diversity in anthologies and exam repertoire 

Piano teaching

Pedagogues and Demigods

….never had I had a piano teacher so demanding and tyrannical – Leonard Bernstein on Isabelle Vengerova The composer Philip Glass described her as somewhere “between intimidating and terrifying” whose lessons invariably left students “shaken and silent”, while Virgil Thomson wrote that she had a “no-nonsense approach to musical skills and a no-fooling-around treatment of… Continue reading Pedagogues and Demigods