I'm no longer teaching regularly and although I still take an active interest in the world of piano pedagogy, I don't feel it's appropriate to continue to update this site, the main purpose of which was to offer guidance and advice for my own students and their parents, and for other piano teachers and students.… Continue reading A Piano Teacher Writes is signing off
Guest post by Simon Nicholls (adapted from advice to an adult pupil, already in the profession as teacher and player) There is no such thing as a ‘note-bashing stage’. Rather, as soon as one or two notes are involved, there should be music being made; even if it’s slow-motion, dry, nothing like the finished article will… Continue reading Some elements of effective practice
There are certain habits of piano practice which are ingrained in us from an early age and which have become a form of “piano dogma”. As a young piano student we may accept these practices without question, trusting in our teacher’s seniority and assertion that these activities are “good for you”, that they will make you “a better pianist”.
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’
Pianist Cordelia Williams offers ideas and inspiration to help you get the most of your practising in limited time.
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
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
Some people swear by them; others detest them with a passion. Love them or hate them, exercises are a crucial part of the pianist's technical regime, and discussions about the pros and cons of exercises in online piano forums and elsewhere are often as heated as the Brexit debate!
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.
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