Practising

Efficient Practice and the ‘Imposter Syndrome’

A conversation between Frances Wilson (The Cross-Eyed Pianist) and Howard Smith Howard Smith is a late-returner pianist and the author of Note For Note: Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered.  Here he shares his anxiety about the thorny issue of ‘efficient practice’ and the burden of imposter syndrome on self-confidence in one's practicing.  Howard:  I am in… Continue reading Efficient Practice and the ‘Imposter Syndrome’

Piano teaching, Practising

4 Tips for Achieving Joy-filled Practice

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

Exams, Practising

Coffee Shop Questions: Keeping exam repertoire fresh

Theresa writes: I am ready to sit ABRSM G7 theory and practical exams but obviously cannot due to the current situation. I’ll continue with past exam papers but with my 3 performance pieces how do I stop getting stale/bored with them ? Can you suggest any ways I can vary practice ? I recently joined… Continue reading Coffee Shop Questions: Keeping exam repertoire fresh

Practising, Repertoire

Repertoire in focus: Mozart Rondo in A minor, K511

I first heard this work live more than 10 years ago at a concert given by the American pianist and noted Mozart specialist Robert Levin, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Played on a fortepiano, whose relatively modest voice spoke so elegantly in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, from the opening measures I was… Continue reading Repertoire in focus: Mozart Rondo in A minor, K511

Piano teaching, Practising

The Complete Pianist: from healthy technique to natural artistry – Penelope Roskell

The Complete Pianist by Penelope Roskell, renowned pedagogue and concert pianist, is an inspiring distillation of her experience and a comprehensive manual for pianists and teachers, packed with invaluable accumulated wisdom and excellent supporting materials

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

Practising

Make friends with the music

Too often it seems that we view learning, studying, practising and performing music as a kind of fight. People talk about "doing battle with Beethoven" or "fighting the fear" (of performing) as if one must take up arms against unseen, powerful forces. It's true that learning new repertoire can be a Herculean task, and practising… Continue reading Make friends with the music

Practising

Train your weaknesses

Like sportspeople, musicians need to train. We call training "practicing" - a catch-all term that encompasses learning new music, reviving previously-learnt music, keeping repertoire going and honing skills. We all have strengths and weaknesses, whether a professional or amateur musician, and understanding and appreciating our individual strengths and weaknesses is important in how we approach… Continue reading Train your weaknesses