Piano teaching, Students

Guidance for parents of young piano students

Guest post by Alexandra Westcott Learning music should be fun, but there are processes along the way that can seem like an uphill struggle, especially to a young beginner. However, perseverance through these processes at the start will give a student more freedom at the instrument and, therefore, more fun and a greater ability to… Continue reading Guidance for parents of young piano students

Exams, Piano teaching, Repertoire, Students

LCM piano grade handbooks 2018-2020

I was delighted to act as a consultant in the selection of piano pieces for the new London College of Music (LCM) piano syllabus and I was impressed with the breadth and variety of music under consideration. When I received copies of the new handbooks, I was pleased to see some of the pieces I… Continue reading LCM piano grade handbooks 2018-2020

Practising, Students, Uncategorized

How teenagers practice

I suspect all piano teachers broadly agree on the importance and value of consistent and deliberate practicing for all students, and that practicing is essential for successful learning and progression. How our students practice is in no small part down to us as teachers: during lessons we will suggests areas which need special attention and… Continue reading How teenagers practice

Piano teaching, Practising, Students, Uncategorized

Creative approaches to practising

Routine or “autopilot” practising can kill one’s enjoyment and productivity at the piano. Practice can become strained or monotonous because it’s too often primarily directed by a preconceived idea and too exclusively goal- or result-oriented. This can lead to frustration and a feeling that you are not progressing as rapidly as you would like to.… Continue reading Creative approaches to practising

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”

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

Students

Be kind to your students

I'm sure I am not alone in having several students who are currently immersed in revision and study sessions ahead of their GCSE and A-level exams which commence next month. Some young people cope well with the pressure of revision and exams, but sometimes even the most confident or well-organised students find that something has… Continue reading Be kind to your students

Piano teaching, Practising, Students

‘The Virtuoso Teacher’ seminar with Paul Harris

Renowned educator, writer and clarinetist Paul Harris, author of innumerable books on sight-reading, music theory and music teaching as well as original compositions, led a seminar based around the ideas set out in his seminal book T'he Virtuoso Teacher' (Faber, 2012). The book focuses on the core issues of being a teacher and the teaching… Continue reading ‘The Virtuoso Teacher’ seminar with Paul Harris