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

Piano teaching

Coffee Shop Questions: Tackling Mozart’s Fantasia in D Minor

Howard Smith and Frances Wilson exchange thoughts on Mozart's Fantasia in D minor, K397 H: Approaching Grade Seven, you suggested I tackle this lovely work, Frances. I am enjoying the challenge. Listening to recordings of the Mozart, it seems there are degrees of freedom in interpretation. What could be more different than those of Mitsuko… Continue reading Coffee Shop Questions: Tackling Mozart’s Fantasia in D Minor

Piano teaching

Coffee Shop Questions – a new series

Being confined to one's home for the duration of the coronavirus crisis may be an excellent reason to engage in more piano practice, but you may have questions arising out of your practising. In this new series, inspired by teaching sessions and conversations (in a London coffee shop) with a friend from my London piano… Continue reading Coffee Shop Questions – a new series

Piano teaching

Fingering schemes: help or hindrance?

"The most dangerous thing is 'finger memory'; if you really know a piece harmonically, it doesn't matter what finger you use, but if finger memory fails you, it falls apart utterly." the late Peter Feuchtwanger, quoted in The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart. From our earliest time at the piano, we… Continue reading Fingering schemes: help or hindrance?

Piano teaching, Repertoire

ABRSM: Core Classics for Piano

When I was a young piano student in the 1970s, taking lessons with Mrs Scott in Sutton Coldfield, I remember having books like the ABRSM's new Core Classics series, volumes such as Hours With the Masters and Step By Step to the Classics, edited by Felix Swinstead (whose music still regularly appears in ABRSM exam… Continue reading ABRSM: Core Classics for Piano