Category Archives: Inspiration

Teaching Ideas for War Dance by Kabalevsky

This blog presents a series of teaching ideas for War Dance by Kabalevsky (from his collection 30 Children’s Pieces Op.27)… … and with a title like this there is plenty of scope for the imagination! So what springs to mind when you think of the title ‘War Dance’? Totem poles. Feather headbands. Open, dusty plains. Buffalo. […]

the curious piano teachers


Do some of your students struggle to find their motivation? Can lesson after lesson go past without any worthwhile practice happening? In the worst case scenario, do some students stop having lessons completely? So often learning the piano starts so well; beaming and joyful students with heaps of motivation and so eager and willing to […]

Teaching Ideas for Watermark by Louise Chamberlain

We piano teachers, we’re all the same. We love our printable resources! So for this month’s ‘Teaching Ideas’ video, I thought I’d design a student workbook to accompany the piece I’ve chosen to present to you: Louise Chamberlain’s Watermark, currently on the Grade 2 LCM Exams piano syllabus. WATERMARK BY LOUISE CHAMBERLAIN Did you know […]

Creating Musical Encounters


‘Why do you play the piano’? I asked this question last week when I gave a talk at Miller’s Music in Cambridge (UK) to a group of piano teachers. Overwhelmingly the answer was: “because of a love of music and the piano”. I went on and asked the same question about our pupils and came […]

making choices piano


Have you seen the film Sliding Doors? It’s two versions of a story. In the first version Helen, played by Gwyneth Paltrow gets fired and catches the train home only to find her husband is being unfaithul to her. In the second version she just misses the train by a whisker and an alternative story […]

musical backstory


What’s your musical ‘backstory’? Sharon and I were chatting recently about the various events in our childhood and beyond that brought us, ultimately, to start teaching the piano. It can be fascinating for us to recollect our first encounters with music. It’s also inspiring for others to read about the influences, the opportunities, the choices […]

musically literate

Are your students musically literate?

Are your students musically literate? And by that I mean able to read, sing, internalise/audiate, play and create. Now before you wander off thinking that Sally’s talking about beginners again, I don’t just mean those students who are at the more elementary levels but at all levels and standards. WHAT IS MUSICAL LITERACY? To help […]


Debussy and childhood. One’s thoughts immediately turn to Children’s Corner (more on that below) but his own childhood is an interesting starting point for finding out more about the composer. Here are a few fascinating gems about the young Claude-Achille Debussy. FAMILY FACTS Debussy’s father, grand-father and great-grand-father were all known as de Bussy. Debussy […]

Teaching Special Needs – Be Inspired!

Writing last week’s blog about my special needs pupil felt really quite special for me. It was lovely to find that are quite a few of us who have been inspired by similar situations in our teaching.   This week we are continuing our Special Needs theme by highlighting some of the great resources that […]

motivating students to practice


The enormous time and effort it takes to learn a musical instrument can be daunting for students – and especially discouraging when contrasted with our digital world, where contact is instantaneous and learning can happen so quickly. We’re delighted that Professor Rena Upitis has written a 3-part blog series for us on the topic of […]