Category Archives: messy piano

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Online Piano Teaching Course - beginner musical concepts away from the keyboard

3 top tips for first piano lessons – #2 Away from the keyboard

How and where does your best thinking happen? Are you able to sustain your concentration for quite long periods? Or do you find that after a while, you need to get up, move around and have a short break before resuming what you were doing? Young children in particular tend to learn best through action […]

PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR MESSY PIANO PART 8

Do you have any pieces of music that live especially close to your heart? Pieces that were first learnt a while ago, maybe when you were young, that somehow you keep returning to? For me one such piece is Dr Gradus ad Parnassum from Children’s Corner Suite by Claude Debussy. I first learnt it when […]

PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR MESSY PIANO PART 7

In the Curious Community the other day we were discussing ‘demented’ 7ths.  The husband of a Curious Piano teacher had referred to a diminished 7th in this way! It wasn’t the first time I had heard this however as several years ago one of my A level students always referred to a diminished 7th as […]

PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR MESSY PIANO PART 5

How does music make you feel? How does teaching make you feel? How does teaching music make you feel? Just take a moment to reflect on these questions in your own experience before going on and reading further. I have a meditation app called Headspace that I love to use for my short, daily meditations. […]

GROWTH MINDSET IN PIANO LESSONS

When I am wearing my hat as an ABRSM examiner it is not uncommon to get a whole group of pupils from the same teacher, all taking the same practical grade exam, all playing the same pieces. THE NEED FOR TAILOR-MADE TEACHING I wonder why this is the case? Whilst it might make preparation easier […]

PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR MESSY PIANO PART 3

I’ve found myself falling back into old ways a bit at the start of this term. I talked too much. I explained too much. And this meant that there wasn’t enough music making in lessons. It is so easy to slip into familiar and comfortable teaching habits especially when trying to juggle all the additional […]

PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR MESSY PIANO PART 2

Have you ever noticed how pupils are always keen to learn pieces their friends and peers are learning? Several years ago I had a pupil who was about late elementary level (grade 1+). One week she came bounding into her lesson: ‘Sally, my cousin came to stay this weekend and she’s a really, really good […]