More than a quarter of a century ago a family of piano enthusiasts in Swansea had a simple dream – to establish a local specialist business for pianists looking for something truly special. It all started in an unassuming 250 year old coach house with fantastic local historical charm with room for just 23 pianos.… Continue reading From Start-up to Steinway
“I am constantly surprised by how hard Grade 1 is”
As part of my continuing professional development I belong to an online community of piano teachers. Each month we research a specific topic, attend an online seminar (‘webinar’) and discuss the topic in our online forum. This month the topic was the ‘piano framework’ and – in particular – what skills and concepts need to be in place before entering a Grade 1 examination.
I have blogged before about the pros and cons of piano students taking graded music exams (click here). However, what really struck me by researching this topic further is quite how hard Grade 1 actually is!
Reviewing the set pieces of the main examination boards’ current syllabuses, we can see that a Grade 1 student needs to show a grasp of the following skills and concepts:
- Keys of C, G, D and F major…
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Make the most of your piano lessons by recording them. There are a number of benefits in doing this, not least the ability to recall word for word and note for note the interaction between you and your teacher, and the chance to listen again to comments, suggestions and passages which you went over during… Continue reading The benefits of recording your piano lessons
A guest post by Pamela Rose Much is said about nurturing the “well rounded musician”. Examining boards, conservatoires and teachers aspire to nurturing them. What is one exactly? [no fattist jokes please!] For me, it is someone who understands the music they play, visually, aurally and practically; who has connected these 3 elements (or sides… Continue reading The Well Rounded Musician
This excellent initiative was started by Australian piano teacher and composer Elissa Milne and was taken up by the music publisher Hal Leonard Australia in 2013. The purpose was to promote and implement the concept of students learning a huge quantity of piano pieces in one year. The main purpose of this exercise was to… Continue reading 40-Piece Challenge
What is your first memory of the piano? My parents moved from Hammersmith to Surrey when I was 3 years old, and the house they bought came with an old grand piano that was left behind! I remember being fascinated by the keyboard and what went on behind the lid. I had my first lesson… Continue reading At the Piano with……. Nadine Andre
This year my annual student concert was held at the 1901 Arts Club, a beautiful, intimate venue in a former schoolmaster's house (built in 1901) close to London's Waterloo Station. The venue boasts a lovely Steinway C grand piano and an informal, convivial atmosphere, thanks in no small part to the very welcoming personalities of… Continue reading Students’ Concert at the 1901 Arts Club
I was delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to this article by Clare Stevens which is published in the latest issue of 'Pianist' magazine. While primarily aimed at adult learners, there is plenty here which is relevant to younger students on the benefits of taking graded music exams.
This post is adapted from an article I wrote for Pianist magazine's April e-newsletter ‘Stagecraft’ is the term for a number of aspects of performing and preparation for a performance. Stagecraft is not just the ability to walk onto the stage without tripping over. From the moment the performer enters the stage, his or her… Continue reading Stagecraft and the art of poised performance
What is your first memory of the piano? Aged four, coming down the stairs in our house to hear my ten year old sister playing the piano very fast. Then I knew that I wanted to play-the-piano-very-fast! Who or what inspired you to start teaching? The discovery that music, more even than dancing (I had… Continue reading At the Piano with……Lucinda Mackworth-Young