This is a very personal manifesto about the purpose of piano lessons. You may not agree. You may disagree vehemently. But what you (as a piano teacher or as a parent of a piano student or as a piano student) believe piano lessons are for will affect your level of satisfaction with the piano lessons… Continue reading What Are Piano Lessons For?
by Elena Cobb I am very grateful to all who took part in the lively discussions on the Facebook piano teachers forums, made suggestions and offered their opinions on this highly interesting and often controversial topic. Special thank you to Snake Davis (UK), Kay Alexander (Canada), Elissa Milne (Australia), Rami Bar-Niv (Israel), Tom Lydon, the editor of the Music Teacher… Continue reading Guest post: You Can Teach Jazz
This week Eli, one of my students who has been learning with me for about 4 years, offered a wonderfully simple, yet insightful description of how we play musically, and ways in which we attempt to "tell the story" or "paint the picture" in music. He called it "making the music 3-D". It came up… Continue reading Making the music 3-D
This carefree 'Rondo' is an excellent introduction to the piano music of Beethoven for the intermediate student, offering a taster of what wonders and variety there is to enjoy and explore in his Piano Sonatas. Composed c1785, the Sonatina in F, Anh 5 is in two movements, and displays many of the style traits present… Continue reading How to play…… Beethoven – Rondo from Sonatina in F, Anh 5
A "study" or "étude" is a short, often considerably difficult, and technically advanced piece designed to help perfect a particular musical skill, such as finger dexterity, octaves, scale passages, balance and tone control, and co-ordination. In the 19th century Fryderyk Chopin elevated the etude from dull student study to concert showpiece, and his Études Op.… Continue reading James Bond Concert Study
We can learn a great deal from studying and learning music by the great composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Bartok, and even contemporary classical composers. Find out more here..... What the great composers teach us. (this post first appeared on my sister blog The Cross-Eyed Pianist)
Several of my students have been learning and enjoying this well-known piece by the Penguin Café Orchestra, and so I thought it might be helpful to have some background about the band and the music. The Penguin Café Orchestra (PCO) was a collective of musicians, founded by Simon Jeffes in the 1970s. It is hard… Continue reading ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ – Penguin Café Orchestra
To follow up my recent post on Modern Music, here's a great article by fellow blogger and pianist ClassicalMel on contemporary classical composers and their music: Contemporary piano music?
This beautiful miniature is a wonderful introduction to the impressionistic music of French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and even the early compositions of Olivier Messiaen. The composer, Simone Plé, was contemporary with all three composers. She published two volumes of music for children. The title gives a clue to the mood and atmosphere… Continue reading How to play…. ‘Petit Mystère’
A couple of my students have requested the sheet music for "that tune from The Muppets", so here it is (click on link below to download a PDF file to print out). It's actually called 'Mah Na Mah Na', and I've adapted it from a guitar score. Very simple, only two lines long, it can… Continue reading That tune from ‘The Muppet Show’….