Piano teaching, Practising

Feeding the practise habit

If we are serious about our music, our progress with our repertoire and our technical and artistic development, we need to establish good and regular practising habits, as regular as cleaning one’s teeth. No one, not even professional musicians at the top of their game, is born with an innate talent which negates the need… Continue reading Feeding the practise habit

Practising

Breaking the routine 

Some years ago I belonged to a gym. I went regularly - 3 or 4 times a week - and followed the same sequence of exercises every time: rowing, cycling, cross-trainer, weight-training. After a while, it occurred to me that my fitness wasn't really improving as I was just “going through the motions”, following the… Continue reading Breaking the routine 

Piano teaching, Practising, Students, Uncategorized

Creative approaches to practising

Routine or “autopilot” practising can kill one’s enjoyment and productivity at the piano. Practice can become strained or monotonous because it’s too often primarily directed by a preconceived idea and too exclusively goal- or result-oriented. This can lead to frustration and a feeling that you are not progressing as rapidly as you would like to.… Continue reading Creative approaches to practising

General

Practising the Piano Online Academy goes live

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

Piano teaching, Practising, Students

New resources for pianists, piano teachers and parents

A couple of useful new resources for pianists, teachers and the parents of piano students which have come my way recently. The first, Piano Exercises, is a DVD by Mikael Pettersson, a Swedish concert pianist based in the UK. The exercises were created by Mikael to help pianists develop their technique to play without tension… Continue reading New resources for pianists, piano teachers and parents

Piano teaching, Uncategorized

Wolfie makes piano practise made fun

The 'Wolfie' piano app (named after who else but Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) offers students and teachers an interactive and supportive learning tool using up-to-the-minute score-reading software plus a whole host of other features. Developed by music tech company Tonara, who first launched an interactive score-reading app back in 2011, the team behind Wolfie appreciate that… Continue reading Wolfie makes piano practise made fun

General, Performing, Piano teaching

You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing

The desire for perfection surrounds us in our modern society. "Getting it right" and "being perfect" are inculcated in children from the moment they enter the formal school system, where they are continually assessed and tested, where correct answers are rewarded with stickers and other symbols of approval and mistakes are regarded are "wrong". Many… Continue reading You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing

Piano teaching, Practising

Less is More

One of my students, Harrison, arrived for his lesson last week and confessed he had not had much time to practise. He told me he had "loads of homework!" and extra-curricular activities every day after school, apart from Thursday, the day of his piano lesson ("this is my only day off!" he sighed). In addition… Continue reading Less is More

Piano teaching, Practising

A new kind of practice notebook

Encouraging piano students to practice can be the bane of the piano teacher's life and teachers regular seek new ways to encourage students to practice creatively, thoughtfully and intelligently. The practice notebook is usually the means by which the teacher records what he or she would like student to focus on in the intervening days… Continue reading A new kind of practice notebook