Piano teaching

“Playing to learn” – introducing ‘Chopsticks to Chopin’ piano course

My aim in this course is to be absolutely systematic and clear so that an adult beginner can teach themselves without difficulty, and without a teacher present. Equally, I would claim that an adult beginner can use the course to teach a child, or an older child a younger sibling, in exactly the way that Chopsticks has been handed down over generations.

Piano teaching

There’s no ‘Quick Fix’ to playing the piano

The internet is full of articles promising to help you learn to play the piano Learn to play in just 4 weeks! Play piano in 10 easy steps 5 ways to become a great pianist And so on.... The British pianist James Rhodes entered this busy, lucrative market a few years ago with his book… Continue reading There’s no ‘Quick Fix’ to playing the piano


Play what you play best

The key is trying to limit yourself to perform only the pieces that will be best for you and the audience. Otherwise, you’re doing everyone—yourself, the composer, and the audience, a huge disservice. – Richard Goode, concert pianist I’m sure most performers would agree with Richard Goode’s statement, yet many, especially younger artists, are under… Continue reading Play what you play best

General, Uncategorized

Let’s Play Piano! No excuses!

There is absolutely no need to regret not having learned to play an instrument simply because it is truly never too late to do so. Sure, people like to tell themselves that they’re too old for learning something new, but that’s just not true because we never actually cease to learn new things. The only… Continue reading Let’s Play Piano! No excuses!

Piano teaching

Learning Curve

Two of my students, siblings as it happens, are working on pieces which include a continuously moving left hand, scored in triplets. One is a Rondo by Diabelli, the other a Sonatina by Clementi. I am also working on a movement of a Schubert sonata which includes the same figure. The other day, during a… Continue reading Learning Curve

Piano teaching

Learn to play the piano with Chilly Gonzales

The eccentric Canadian pianist is on a mission to reinvigorate the lives of lapsed amateur pianists. Here, he gives a lesson on bringing joy to music, as part of his Re-Introduction Etudes book Chilly Gonzales … bet he doesn't look like your old piano teacher. Photograph: Hayley Madden/Redferns Chilly Gonzales wants to bring joy to… Continue reading Learn to play the piano with Chilly Gonzales

Piano teaching, Practising

Myths about piano lessons

Thinking about taking piano lessons, but worried you won't cut the mustard as a piano student? This helpful and informative article by Howard Richman dispels plenty of myths about piano lessons and piano teachers, offers sensible advice about how to approach lessons, whether a child or an adult, a beginner or a restarter, and has… Continue reading Myths about piano lessons

Performing, Piano teaching, Students, Studying music

Guest post: 10 reasons to play the piano

by Melanie Spanswick I am always asked if the piano is worth learning. Is it possible to achieve anything? Is it a suitable hobby? Or something which children endure rather like maths at school! There are so many reasons why both adults and children benefit from the study of a musical instrument. I look at… Continue reading Guest post: 10 reasons to play the piano