Category Archives: Musical Skills and Concepts

Teaching Ideas for Watermark by Louise Chamberlain

We piano teachers, we’re all the same. We’re 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 […]

curious perfect pitch

IS PERFECT PITCH REALLY SO PERFECT?

Can you sing the opening motif of Beethoven’s 5th symphony? Or for something a little lighter what about Karen Carpenter singing I’m On The Top Of The World or Queen strutting their stuff with Bohemian Rhapsody? Whatever you chose there’s a good chance that you sang it at the right pitch. Does that mean you […]

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 […]

When singing in piano lessons isn’t an option…

  …and what to do instead! 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. […]

HOW TO INSPIRE YOUR TEENAGER PIANO STARTER

Just before Christmas someone in my village asked me if I would consider teaching her teenage son. When the 16-year old son came round for a trial lesson he told me that he wanted a ‘new challenge’ and something that was a bit different from his academic work. As I started to think about how […]

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 […]

TEACHING BEGINNERS IS EASY, RIGHT?

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 […]

4 Essential Ingredients for Piano Teachers

I love cake! What’s more I love making cakes, especially cupcakes but I am not someone who just remembers recipes so when I have to make a special, celebratory tea with a menu made up of sandwiches, jelly, cupcakes, swiss roll etc. I go straight to my recipe books, usually Nigella where I know I […]

THE JOY OF SCALES | PART 5: MINOR SCALES

Today we are returning to our series on scales. We have already spent some time exploring how to introduce scale playing in Part 4 as well as examining the construction of a major scale through the use of tetrachords in Part 2. In this blog post we are turning out attention back to the theoretical side […]

THE JOY OF SCALES | PART 2: SINGING & TETRACHORDS

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. […]