Performing, Piano teaching, Students, Studying music

Guest post: 10 reasons to play the piano

by Melanie Spanswick I am always asked if the piano is worth learning. Is it possible to achieve anything? Is it a suitable hobby? Or something which children endure rather like maths at school! There are so many reasons why both adults and children benefit from the study of a musical instrument. I look at… Continue reading Guest post: 10 reasons to play the piano

Exams, Practising, Repertoire, Students, Studying music

How to play……. ‘Fanfare for the Common Cold’

As the title of this piece suggests, it is inspired by Aaron Copland's famous 'Fanfare for the Common Man' - and the first thing I do when I start teaching this piece to a student is to ask them to listen to Copland's work and tell me what they hear in it and what instrument… Continue reading How to play……. ‘Fanfare for the Common Cold’

Piano teaching, Practising, Repertoire, Students, Studying music

Penelope Roskell’s Advanced Piano Course

There are still places available on Penelope Roskell's Spring course (16th-18th March). Penelope is an inspiring and dedicated teacher, and the courses, which are open to all advanced pianists (Grade 8 - post-diploma), amateur, student or professional, offer a very supportive and stimulating learning environment. Taking place over three days, the March course will focus… Continue reading Penelope Roskell’s Advanced Piano Course

Piano teaching, Practising, Studying music

Be a super sight-reader

Many junior students fear sight-reading, and for most it's the part of the practical music exam they dread: being asked to play a short piece of music, unseen. Sight-reading is an important skill for any musician, professional or amateur, and being able to sight-read - and sight-play - well allows one to learn new music… Continue reading Be a super sight-reader

Practising, Students, Studying music

Guest post: Avoiding sightreading derailments at the piano.

by Erica Sipes Erica is a primarily a pianist but also a cellist who has a passion for bringing joy, personality, and fun into making, listening to, and performing classical music. She studied at the Eastman School of Music, and lives in Blacksburg, Virginia. She writes a blog for pianists and musicians called Beyond the… Continue reading Guest post: Avoiding sightreading derailments at the piano.

Performing, Piano teaching, Practising, Students, Studying music

Telling stories, painting pictures

Music is all about story-telling and painting pictures. Pop music helpfully has titles and song lyrics to tell us what it is about, but Classical music can be more difficult to interpret unless the performer or performers give us "signposts" to help us understand the composer's intentions. The simplest "signposts" in the score are tempo,… Continue reading Telling stories, painting pictures

Students, Studying music

Guest post: Being a music student…..

Stephen Gott is a piano student in his first year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance. Since moving to London from Halifax, West Yorkshire, I have been studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (music college) in Greenwich.  I can safely say that studying music whether at primary school, GCSE, BTEC/A-level or Conservatoire is the… Continue reading Guest post: Being a music student…..