Category Archives: Repertoire

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. […]

PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR MESSY PIANO PART 4

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 […]

MESSY PIANO – AN ALTERNATIVE TO SPOON FEEDING PUPILS

Over the summer break I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about how we teach and how our pupils learn. As we know, each individual pupil has strengths or weaknesses and a pupil can sometimes make huge leaps in his/her understanding, whilst at other times their learning appears to plateau. Research shows that learning […]

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF PIANO TEACHING – PART 5

Over recent weeks, thousands of you have been following and reading our blog series The Social History of Piano Teaching. This is the last part in our series which provides an insight into the content of private piano lessons during the 20th century. … complete with an example of how not to play the piano! THE 20TH […]

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF PIANO TEACHING – PART 3

Last week we followed the rapid increase in the numbers of people teaching the piano during the Victorian period. The post also looked at piano lessons and the development and popularity of piano tutor books. This week we consider what emerged in an attempt to raise standards of both teachers and players. The Royal College […]

7 REASONS PIANO TEACHERS USE GRADED MUSIC EXAMS

What memories do YOU have of your very first piano exam? Can you still visualise the waiting room, the exam room, the front cover of your exam book? Can you remember what sort of day it was? What do you remember about the examiner? And how did your music-making experience go? You maybe still have the […]

THE JOY OF SCALES | PART 6: THREE TOP TIPS FOR EXAM PREPARATION

As teachers many of us enter our students for exams. For many boards, scales are an integral part of the assessment system. In today’s post I am going to share three top tips to help your students get the most out of the experience and, as a consequence, achieve higher marks! PREPARATION I’ve already spent […]

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. […]

A HELPING HAND: LET’S GET THAT CHRISTMAS PIANO PARTY STARTED!

December. What 5 things do you associate with this month? Mince pies – I had my first on Tuesday (yum!) Christmas tree – mine’s up, thanks to my mom Presents – come on guys! I’m organised, but not *that* organised Christmas carols – our November Curiosity Box, for members of The Community, featured Christmas music – so […]