Exams, Piano teaching, Repertoire, Students

New Trinity College London piano syllabus – exploring the repertoire

This is a transcript of an article I wrote to accompany the release of Trinity College London's new piano syllabus, for which I also contributed teaching notes. Here I introduce the new piano syllabus for Grades 3 to 5 and explores some of my favourite pieces from the repertoire. For music examples, please see the… Continue reading New Trinity College London piano syllabus – exploring the repertoire

Piano teaching

Let’s not bash Einaudi

It's sad to find the all-too-common snobbery in classical music creeping in to reactions to the new piano syllabus from the ABRSM - a syllabus which has undergone quite a significant transformation from previous years to reflect the needs and tastes of piano students and teachers in the 21st century. (You can read detailed reviews… Continue reading Let’s not bash Einaudi

Piano teaching, Repertoire

ABRSM: Core Classics for Piano

When I was a young piano student in the 1970s, taking lessons with Mrs Scott in Sutton Coldfield, I remember having books like the ABRSM's new Core Classics series, volumes such as Hours With the Masters and Step By Step to the Classics, edited by Felix Swinstead (whose music still regularly appears in ABRSM exam… Continue reading ABRSM: Core Classics for Piano

Piano teaching

Seeking diversity in anthologies and exam repertoire 

We are very lucky as pianists/piano teachers to have such a wide repertoire, and one which is constantly being expanded as composers continue to write for the piano. Which is why I find it rather disconcerting when new anthologies of piano music are released purporting to offer "variety" when in fact they merely present a… Continue reading Seeking diversity in anthologies and exam repertoire 


Keeping exam repertoire fresh

With exams looming this term, students may be feeling as if they have been living with their exam pieces for aeons. I remember this feeling well, the same pieces of music facing me at my lessons, week after week..... Nothing beats being well prepared for an exam: knowing your repertoire inside out, being entirely secure… Continue reading Keeping exam repertoire fresh

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’