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
Another term is over, and as my students depart for their summer holidays, I have time to pause and reflect as my piano teaching studio approaches its 10th birthday. I never intended to be a piano teacher. I worked for ten years in art and academic publishing after leaving university and I continued to freelance… Continue reading Reflections on ten years as a piano teacher
I showed this new book from Faber Music to one of my teenage students and she exclaimed "Wow! That's so cool!". She told me she liked the design, the selection of pieces and above all the illustrations which one can choose to colour in between practise sessions. Mindfulness, a simple practice of meditation which encourages… Continue reading Mindfulness – the piano collection
Do you dream of playing Beethoven's Emperor Piano Concerto to a packed house at Carnegie Hall? Do you long to play the graceful slow movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 with a full orchestra? When I was a teenager there was Music Minus One, which consisted of an LP and a score. I had… Continue reading Be a concert pianist in your own home
Why I love playing and teaching Ludovico Einaudi's piano music - guest post by Maria Busqué Ludovico Einaudi's piano music is a delight to play. That aside, there are many advantages to teaching it. I'm still grateful to the person who first introduced me to his pieces. Einaudi's music is beautiful and unpretentious. It's sincere, simple, and allows… Continue reading Beautiful music in motivating pieces
It's that time of the year again - exam season, when teachers and students everywhere are awaiting the results of their practical exams. All exam candidates receive a mark sheet which includes brief commentaries on and marks for their pieces, technical work (scales, arpeggios and exercises), aural tests, sight-reading etc. At the bottom of… Continue reading Exam mark sheets: help or hindrance?
Piano courses are more popular than ever now, in part thanks to Alan Rusbridger's book 'Play It Again'. (For many years, Alan was a regular at what he described as "piano camp" - Lot Music, based in the Lot-et-Garonne region of France). So what is the attraction of a piano course? I think most pianists… Continue reading Why go on a piano course?
Fans of acclaimed teacher and performer Graham Fitch's insightful, instructive and highly readable blog Practising the Piano and eBook series, his regular contributions to 'Pianist' magazine, his YouTube videos on piano technique, and his inspiring and supportive workshops and courses will be excited to learn of his latest initiative for pianists, the Practising the Piano… Continue reading Practising the Piano Online Academy
I believe that our personal musical tastes should not influence the way we teach, and that we should not impose our preferences or prejudices on our students. Our role as teachers should be encourage students to explore as wide a range of music as possible - whether it is purely 'classical' music (actually a very… Continue reading The impartial teacher
The 'Wolfie' piano app (named after who else but Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) offers students and teachers an interactive and supportive learning tool using up-to-the-minute score-reading software plus a whole host of other features. Developed by music tech company Tonara, who first launched an interactive score-reading app back in 2011, the team behind Wolfie appreciate that… Continue reading Wolfie makes piano practise made fun