Category Archives: research

curious piano teachers

Is there a right age to start learning?

At what age did you start learning the piano?   MY STORY My lessons began aged 8 when one of the teachers at my school remarked to my parents that: ‘Sally sings loudly in assembly – maybe she should learn an instrument?’ Once lessons began I made quite swift progress through the grades arriving at […]

Musical Connections – Glasgow ISME 2016

Back in 2008 I had no difficulty in persuading my husband to accompany me to Bologna, Italy, for my very first ISME conference. When I told him that the 32nd ISME conference was taking place in Glasgow and suggested that it would lovely if he were to come with me again I must admit I […]

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF PIANO TEACHING – PART 4

This week we return to The Social History of Piano Teaching, rejoining it just after the First World War when everything, including the piano, was about to undergo enormous change. THE 20TH CENTURY – MAINTAINING THE STATUS QUO The end of the First World War meant the end of life as many people had known […]

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 […]

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF PIANO TEACHING – PART 2

Last week’s post traced the development of the piano from the early days to its emergence as the instrument of choice for many from the late Georgian period onwards. The story continues as we turn our attention to the rise of the Victorian piano teacher and we take a glimpse into the Victorian piano lesson […]

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF PIANO TEACHING – PART 1

What do you know about the social history of piano teaching? This new blog series, which originally formed a chapter in Sally’s PhD thesis, will trace the development of piano teaching in the UK from its inception, during the Victorian era, to the present day. If you are wondering whether this social history still has […]

The Power of Practice: 5 effective strategies for teachers

You see your piano pupils on average for 30 minutes each week leaving them 10,050 minutes between lessons to practise. And yet, as I showed in last week’s post, many of them don’t! You pour your heart and soul into their lessons, you’ve tried every tactic and yet most weeks they return with the same […]

The Power of Practice: the pupil’s perspective

Last week I saw¬† a young brass player taking part in the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016. I was struck when his Mum said that he was always in his bedroom playing his instrument and that she never had to tell him to go and do his practise. What a joy such a […]

The Power of Practice

What do Lang Lang, Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams and Mozart have in common? As you might have guessed from the title of this week’s post they are all shining examples of individuals who have become experts in their field through the act of purposeful practice. Over the next four weeks I am going […]

THE JOY OF SCALES | PART 1: WHAT’S THE VALUE?

How did you learn scales as a child? Were they presented in systematic and imaginative ways or did you struggle to get the point of why they had to be practised? Maybe you still do! I have to admit that when I was growing up scales were not at the top of my most popularity […]