The simple answer to this question is "no". But the recent, rather heated discussion around the inclusion of pieces by Ludovico Einaudi in the new ABRSM piano syllabus revealed that some teachers feel it is their duty to steer their students to music which aligns more closely with their own tastes. A number suggested that… Continue reading Should our own tastes in music influence our students’ choices of repertoire?
Being confined to one's home for the duration of the coronavirus crisis may be an excellent reason to engage in more piano practice, but you may have questions arising out of your practising. In this new series, inspired by teaching sessions and conversations (in a London coffee shop) with a friend from my London piano… Continue reading Coffee Shop Questions – a new series
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
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
This attractive anthology contains a wealth of favourite piano pieces and gems of the repertoire, including Fur Elise, Gymnopedie No. 1, Solfegietto in c minor, La fille aux cheveux de lin, To A Wild Rose, and many other popular works by leading composers for the piano. There are also pieces by lesser-known composers such as… Continue reading Faber Music Piano Anthology
Why I love playing and teaching Ludovico Einaudi's piano music - guest post by Maria Busqué Ludovico Einaudi's piano music is a delight to play. That aside, there are many advantages to teaching it. I'm still grateful to the person who first introduced me to his pieces. Einaudi's music is beautiful and unpretentious. It's sincere, simple, and allows… Continue reading Beautiful music in motivating pieces
There are numerous anthologies of piano pieces which sit comfortably alongside the exam syllabuses, many of which are published by the ABRSM. Encore is a new compilation, in four volumes covering Grades 1 to 8, of over 70 favourite exam pieces from timeless classics to contemporary classical music and popular songs and show tunes or… Continue reading Encore – your favourite ABRSM piano exam pieces
I believe that our personal musical tastes should not influence the way we teach, and that we should not impose our preferences or prejudices on our students. Our role as teachers should be encourage students to explore as wide a range of music as possible - whether it is purely 'classical' music (actually a very… Continue reading The impartial teacher
This post first appeared on my sister blog The Cross-Eyed Pianist What better way to start a new year at the piano with some new repertoire? But where to start? Perhaps the greatest joy - and frustration - of being a pianist is the vast and wonderful repertoire available to us, from Baroque arabesques to… Continue reading New year, new repertoire!