Category Archives: Beginners

sol-fa

7 reasons for using sol-fa in piano lessons

Teachers are often a bit scared of using sol-fa in piano lessons. Yet sol-fa is such a useful tool for piano teachers and once learnt is a real time-saver. Sol-fa is the use of singing names for vocal pitch: doh, rah, mi, fah, soh, lah, ti. doh’. As pitch cannot be seen, sol-fa helps our […]

THE CURIOUS PIANO TEACHERS

Is learning the piano in decline? Part 1

  Are less children and adults starting to learn the piano these days? It’s a question that I have been asked on several occasions and up till now I’ve always had to say that I don’t honestly know.   The recent decline in A level and GCSE Music in the UK is well documented with […]

curious piano teachers

Is there a right age to start learning?

At what age did you start learning the piano?   MY STORY My lessons began aged 8 when one of the teachers at my school remarked to my parents that: ‘Sally sings loudly in assembly – maybe she should learn an instrument?’ Once lessons began I made quite swift progress through the grades arriving at […]

Your one-stop guide to teaching musical literacy

During April we have been looking at musical literacy from lots of angles. Today’s blog post is simply a round-up of all the different posts and videos we’ve put out there: a one-stop guide. MNEMONICS – HELP OR HINDRANCE? Back at the start of the month I questioned whether the use of mnemonics in learning […]

notation mnemonics

Mnemonics in music reading: help or hindrance?

Do your young piano pupils struggle to fully grasp reading music notation? Do some pupils drop out because they can’t seem to get the hang of it despite your best efforts to help them? For teachers this can be very frustrating. Often, we wonder what exactly the problem is. USING MNEMONICS One traditional way of […]

teaching piano improvisation

Improvisation – the Power of Three

Do you ever include improvisation into your lessons? Does the very thought of having to improvise make you feel apprehensive? Are you puzzled by why so many music educators seem to think that improvisation is a good thing? Over the last two weeks I have been exploring the Power of Three. We’ve looked at internalisation […]

memorisation at the piano

Memorisation – the Power of Three

Were you ever encouraged to memorise pieces when you were learning the piano? For a lucky few the answer might be ‘yes’ but I suspect for many of you this was a neglected skill. Memorising is the second, vital connection in the Power of Three. Just like internalising (click here to read last week’s blog […]

Internalisation – The Power of Three

What do international musicians have in common with premier league footballers, Olympic athletes and top-flight tennis players? They all visualise their performance before an event either by ‘playing’ the piece in the concert hall, ‘running’ the race or ‘hitting’ the ball. But the visualisation isn’t just a mental image; it includes the sounds, the smells, […]

improvisation internalisation memorisation

UNLOCKING THE POWER OF 3

The new music has been ordered, the pencils are all sharpened and the notebooks are ready. I expect you are nearly prepared for the new term. What about preparation though beyond the practicalities? Are you ready to incorporate improvising, memorising and internalising (audiation) into every lesson? Or are you really not convinced of their role […]

piano method books

PIANO METHOD BOOKS | A CURIOUS PERSPECTIVE

It’s easy to feel rather overwhelmed at times isn’t it? During this week I felt like this when I started to sort out all my music scores and books ready for the term ahead. It’s great that there is an ever-increasing amount of teaching material and resources available. However, it can make the job of […]