Uncategorized

What is Grade 1?

Piano with Rebecca Singerman-Knight

“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…

View original post 359 more words

Uncategorized

The Well Rounded Musician

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

Uncategorized

Students’ Concert at the 1901 Arts Club

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

Uncategorized

Top Marks – can doing a graded music exam help you become a better player?

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.  

Uncategorized

Stagecraft and the art of poised performance

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

Uncategorized

At the Piano with……Lucinda Mackworth-Young

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