Category Archives: SInging


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 […]

When singing in piano lessons isn’t an option…

Lots of teachers ask Sharon and me why singing is so important when we are teaching the piano. Well, as Professor Gary McPherson stresses: ‘singing should be a common and natural part of all early [instrumental] lessons’.[1] Singing matters because it helps children to build up important mental models. For example, without a mental model […]


It exists: the preconception that teaching beginners is ‘easier’ compared to teaching higher level pupils. Consider just how many fledgling piano teachers start their teaching careers – by teaching beginners. (I know I did). It can be easy to assume that teaching the basics is an obvious place to start. Yet how does one design a series of effective lessons […]


First, Sharon and I would like to say that we know we don’t have the magic key or solution when it comes to teaching and learning about scales! We know that not everyone will necessarily agree with some of our ideas along the way and that is just fine – no, honestly it really is. […]


Last Friday I spent the day singing playground songs and canons in the company of some very willing and enthusiastic class and instrumental teachers. This was Day 2 of The Voices Foundations Essential Musicianship for Teachers course. As I travelled back home on the train I thought to myself how very lucky I was to […]

A week in the life of a Curious Piano Teacher

This week Sharon and I have been busy filming for our forthcoming video series ‘Let’s Play’ so we handed this week’s blog over to Angie Tse, one of the Community members of The Curious Piano Teachers.   ANGIE: When I first volunteered to pen a few words to share my typical week as a Curious […]

Are you a little hazy about how to teach compound time?

Is the way you teach compound time a little fuzzy around the edges? Do you find yourself scrabbling around trying to explain the whys and the wherefores? In today’s blog you get a song, a score and teaching ideas all designed to help you. To be honest, teaching compound time was something I really struggled […]

Piano by Ear

Have you ever wished you were better at playing the piano by ear or without a score? Ever had that feeling of being asked to play Happy Birthday at a party or just busk along to accompany some songs and had to mumble ‘do you have the music’? Well, a book has just been published, […]

10 top tips for ‘Once a man’

  IT’S NOT THE SONG, IT’S WHAT YOU DO WITH IT! This is a saying that I inherited from my work with The Voices Foundation! This week I am going to share with you ten ideas for using ‘Once a man fell in a well’ in early piano lessons focussing on getting pupils to work out and […]

Sing first!

Singing is at the heart of all we do as pianists. At The Curious Piano Teachers we make no apology for stating that it is a theme that we will be returning to again and again! Today, we want to: explain the rationale for placing it centre stage present some of the research that reinforces its […]