Performing, Piano teaching, Practising

The Perfectionism Trap

"Practise makes perfect" - that oft-quoted phrase beloved of instrumental teachers the world over.... It's a neat little mantra, but one that can have serious and potentially long-lasting negative effects if taken too literally. Musicians have to practise. Repetitive, committed and quality practise trains the procedural memory (what musicians and sportspeople call "muscle memory") and… Continue reading The Perfectionism Trap

Practising, Uncategorized

Stop-Start

During a conversation in a recent lesson with one of my students, she told me that her previous teacher would stop her every time she made a mistake and ask her to correct the error before continuing. She admitted to me that she found this habit irritating and I asked her what effect it might… Continue reading Stop-Start

Practising, Students, Teaching

Rewiring turns “I can’t” into “I can”

Whenever we have a thought or physical sensation thousands of neurons are triggered and get together to form a neural network in the brain. “Experience-dependent neuroplasticity” is the scientific term for this activity of continual creation and grouping of neuron connections which take place as a result of our personal life experiences. With repetitive thinking,… Continue reading Rewiring turns “I can’t” into “I can”

Practising, Studying music, Teaching

The Mindful Pianist – Mark Tanner

Mindful adjective 1. attentive, aware, or careful (usually followed by of): mindful of one's responsibilities. 2. noting or relating to the psychological technique of mindfulness: mindful observation of one's experiences. The Mindful Pianist by pianist, teacher composer and examiner, Mark Tanner is the latest volume in the Piano Professional series published by Faber Music in… Continue reading The Mindful Pianist – Mark Tanner

General, Practising

Piano Masterworks – a smart new app from Tido Music

Tido, in partnership with renowned music publisher Edition Peters, has created a smart new iPad application for pianists which takes the educational app to new heights. Tido has already developed the Mastering the Piano app with Chinese superstar pianist Lang Lang, and therefore already had a stack of tech and musical know-how with which to… Continue reading Piano Masterworks – a smart new app from Tido Music

Performing, Piano teaching, Practising, Uncategorized

Picture this

Using visualisation techniques in playing, performing and teaching Visualisation techniques have been used by sports people and sports psychologists for some time now to enable the tennis player or athlete, the golfer or cyclist to prepare for a match-winning shot or prize-winning sprint. The technique involves imagining an ideal scenario and positive outcome to achieve… Continue reading Picture this

Piano teaching, Practising, Students

New resources for pianists, piano teachers and parents

A couple of useful new resources for pianists, teachers and the parents of piano students which have come my way recently. The first, Piano Exercises, is a DVD by Mikael Pettersson, a Swedish concert pianist based in the UK. The exercises were created by Mikael to help pianists develop their technique to play without tension… Continue reading New resources for pianists, piano teachers and parents

Piano teaching, Practising

Purrfect Practice ‘Technique Trainer’

Purrfect Practice was created by Australian piano teacher Jackie Sharp. Her new Technique Trainer 1 is intended as the first volume in a three-part series of e-books of technical and musical exercises that develop the many skills necessary for achieving excellence and artistry at the piano. With an engaging and accessible design, Technique Trainer covers… Continue reading Purrfect Practice ‘Technique Trainer’