A conversation between Frances Wilson (The Cross-Eyed Pianist) and Howard Smith Howard Smith is a late-returner pianist and the author of Note For Note: Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered. Here he shares his anxiety about the thorny issue of ‘efficient practice’ and the burden of imposter syndrome on self-confidence in one's practicing. Howard: I am in… Continue reading Efficient Practice and the ‘Imposter Syndrome’
In part a memoir, 'Note for Note' is a Pilgrim's Progress for the amateur pianist, and in it Howard charts the pleasures and the pitfalls, the breakthroughs and "lightbulb moments"
They say that goodbye is one of the hardest things to say, and saying goodbye to your piano teacher can be a difficult decision, especially if you have been taking lessons with that teacher for some time.
guest post by Doug Hanvey No matter what your age, it's never too late to learn a new skill. My experience teaching hundreds of adult piano students over many years leads me to generally agree with this truism. However, I’ve discovered it’s also true that each stage of adulthood has its unique challenges. In fact,… Continue reading Is It Ever Too Late to Learn Piano?
I'm a 'returner' pianist - and maybe, if you're reading this article, you are too and therefore what follows will chime with you. Or perhaps you are thinking of taking up the piano again after a long absence (as I did), in which case you should definitely read on.....
"I wish I'd kept up my piano lessons!" How many people do you meet who express this regret, that they'd continued childhood piano lessons into adulthood? At my piano club, there are people who have played all their life; others who, like me, gave up, often in childhood or their teens, only to return to… Continue reading Never too late
With time always moving on, some adult piano learners are keen to understand how to optimise their practice time so as to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. After all, beyond a certain age, there is a finite window of opportunity to get on top of any complex new skill, and piano is surely that.
Tucked away in a tranquil leafy corner of Great Elm, a small village near Frome in Somerset, is Jackdaws Music Education Trust. Now in its 25th year, Jackdaws was established by the singer Maureen Lehane in memory of her husband, the composer Peter Wishart, and took its name from his most-performed song, 'The Jackdaw'. Their… Continue reading Inspiration for pianists at Jackdaws
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?