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
Those fortunate enough to have studied with acclaimed pianist, teacher and writer Graham Fitch will be very familiar with his intelligent, insightful, inspiring and highly accessible approach to piano playing. The internet allowed Graham to share his expertise and knowledge initially via his very popular and readable blog 'Practising the Piano'. This was followed by… Continue reading Practising the Piano Online Academy goes live
This weekend I had the great pleasure of attending a concert given by students of my friend and piano teaching colleague Rebecca Singerman-Knight. Based, like me, in Teddington, SW London, Rebecca specialises in early years' piano tuition, as well as children and adult beginners and returners. Most of the children performing in her concert were… Continue reading Small people at the piano – a student concert
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 meet many piano teachers, at courses, workshops and masterclasses. It is always good to meet other piano teachers, to exchange ideas, and to enjoy a collective grumble about the exigencies of the job. Many of the teachers whom I meet are also performing musicians, professional or otherwise, and many regard performing as a necessary,… Continue reading The Performing Teacher
A guest post from Grace Miles, founder of artiden.com, a blog about the musician lifestyle. She helps pianists get the most out of music with psychology. Remember the "spotlight"? When all eyes are on you, every little action feels 100 times more obvious. We all want more sparkle in our performances-- and it comes with… Continue reading Guest post: How to be confident (when you’re not feeling it)
With my students' concert less than two weeks away now, here are some tips on 'concert etiquette' to help make the experience as enjoyable as possible, for performers and audience. It's important to behave in the right way when you are taking part in a concert. How you walk on stage ('body language') and how… Continue reading Take a bow: how to behave at a concert
With my students' concert fast approaching, this article, which I wrote for a colleague's student concert programme, seems particularly apt..... Never underestimate the value of performing, whether at home for family, friends and pets, or in a ‘proper’ concert venue on a really special grand piano. Performing for others, and the ability to just get… Continue reading Performing – just do it!
Two of my students, Bella and Lucy, recently participated in Richmond Performing Arts Festival. This is an annual festival of music, drama and dance, and is very well supported in the local community. To make my students feel they weren't doing it entirely alone, I also entered two senior piano classes. I last took part… Continue reading Why do a music festival?
Music is all about story-telling and painting pictures. Pop music helpfully has titles and song lyrics to tell us what it is about, but Classical music can be more difficult to interpret unless the performer or performers give us "signposts" to help us understand the composer's intentions. The simplest "signposts" in the score are tempo,… Continue reading Telling stories, painting pictures