Category Archives: Beginners

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 […]

piano teaching apps

12 CURIOUS APPS FOR THE NEW TERM

The nights are beginning to draw in, the conkers are getting fatter and shinier by the day and the hedgrows are full of ripening blackberries. As Autumn gradually begins to make its presence felt in the Northern Hemisphere we are equally as gently turning our thoughts towards the new term ahead. We’ve asked all the […]

online piano teaching

BEING CREATIVE WITH THE NEW ABRSM SIGHT-READING APP

  The ABRSM’s newest app – the Sight-Reading Trainer – was launched last month. Designed to help pupils ‘develop the skills to quickly spot the key features, patterns and characteristics in music before you play it’ this new sight-reading app costs £4.99 and is available on the App Store and Google Play. For that you get a […]

Instrumental Lessons for secondary school students

PIANO LESSONS IN OR OUT OF SCHOOL? (PART 1)

Parents often ask for advice about changing music teachers when their children transfer to secondary school. Many secondary schools provide instrumental lessons in school which means parents and students have pause to make a choice about whether to have lessons in the school or to continue lessons with their existing teacher. Our blog post this […]

End well - crossing the lesson finishing line successfully!

3 top tips for first lessons ending well

All good athletes know that whilst running the race correctly is important, what happens at the end can determine whether the race is won or lost. In other words the end needs thoughts and careful preparation. It’s the same for a piano lesson (see my previous posts on lesson planning). No matter how brilliant the […]