Stars of the Albion Competition 2018

On Saturday I swapped my teaching for adjudicating, spending a day in London at the Musica Nova International Music Academy situated on Cromer Road, near King’s Cross train station. This busy studio is owned (and was founded) by Russian pianist and singer, Evgenia Terentieva. As well as a music academy, providing one-to-one tuition (for children as young as three, right up to adults), the studio holds many courses (on a wide range of musical subjects, from musical theatre, to a ‘music wonderland’ programme) and a yearly competition; Stars of the Albion, Grand Prix.

The Stars of the Albion international performing arts festival & competition, now in its fifth year, joins gifted musicians and dancers from across the world. The project forms a unique bridge connecting vibrant cultures and, in particular, those of Russia and Great Britain. It aims to provide valuable opportunities for young emerging artists to perform, learn, communicate and develop.  There are many different classes open to competitors, and the event is going from strength to strength with a huge variety of disciplines and participants coming from around the globe to show case their talents.

I’ve been fortunate to be on the panel of judges for the past three years, and during this period I have observed the Stars of the Albion morph from a fairly small-scale competition, with one jury hearing all competitors, into a large-scale affair with two competitions (and two juries) running in tandem. This year I chaired the instrumental panel, working alongside (pictured below from left to right) concert pianist George Harliono (also from the UK), viola player and string teacher, Natalia Varkentin (from Latvia), and pianist and teacher, Nick Sergienko (from Canada).

The standard of playing was high, with most instrumentalists playing a well prepared programme (consisting of two contrasting works) from memory. The youngest performer was just six years old but already very accomplished, presenting Sonatina in A minor Op. 94 No. 4 by Albert Biehl and  a humorous work (Funny Puppy) by Anne Crosby. Her technical control was impressive with musicianship well beyond her years.

One reason I really love adjudicating is the breadth of works and composers offered at this type of competition. When judging festivals, set works frequently govern student (and teacher!) choices; pupils may be gearing up for an exam, so I might hear typical offerings from the ABRSM Grade 7 syllabus.

During this competition, however, we listened to a diverse collection of pieces across several instruments (clarinet, violin, piano and balalaika). The balalaika is a regular fixture in predominantly Russian contests such as this (and during my first year adjudicating at this competition, one such player won the Grand Prix award for the most outstanding performer). It’s a popular instrument and this year’s competitor had studied at the Central School in Moscow and was a touring professional (there were student, amateur and professional classes on offer). He was fantastic, and gave us rousing renditions of Vera Gorodovskaya’s Kalinka and Alexander Zigankov’s Introduction and Chardash.

I played the clarinet whilst a student, so relished hearing the beautiful Clarinet Sonata Op. 167 by Camille Saint-Saëns, having played it myself. The same participant also offered Igor Stravinsky’s exciting Three Solo Pieces (1919). Other repertoire offerings included: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance for violin, Vittorio Monti’s Czardas (violin), Suite italienne  (1932) by Stravinsky (violin), Sonatina in G HWV582 by George Frideric Handel (piano), Chaconne by Tomaso Antonio Vitali (violin), Salut d’amour by Edward Elgar (violin), Take Five by Paul Desmond (violin), Hava Nagila Trad. (violin), Sonatina in C major Op. 55 No. 1 by Friedrich Kuhlau (piano), Romance in F major by Dmitri Shostakovich (piano), Sonatina No. 3 in F major by Thomas Attwood (piano), Ragtime and Fantasy, both by Manfred Schmitz (piano duet), Children’s Corner Suite by Claude Debussy (piano) and the Nocturne in C sharp minor No. 20 Op. Posth. by Fryderyk  Chopin (piano).

Many disagree with the whole ethos behind competitions, but I feel every performer will have really benefitted from playing in this relaxed setting (irrespective of whether they won their class or not), and we hope they continue to enjoy these events, honing their playing and performing skills. A cohort of winners performed at the Gala concert and prizegiving ceremony held yesterday evening (at the Rudolf Steiner Theatre, in London). I wish Musica Nova continued success with the Stars of the Albion and I look forward to next year’s competition.


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.



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PIANO WEEK 2018

For the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of observing the inception and subsequent development  of various piano courses, both at home and abroad. There are many such courses available, catering for pianists of all levels and abilities. PIANO WEEK has been at the forefront of these developments, having metamorphosed from a week’s course held in North Wales, to an international festival with an impressive series of international residencies, all within the space of five years. I’m delighted to be joining the PIANO WEEK faculty this year, and am looking forward to participating in two courses at Moreton Hall (in Shropshire, UK), as well as further afield.

For those interested in finding out more about this continually expanding festival and summer school, here are some details.


International Festival & Summer School PIANO WEEK expands further afield in 2018 and welcomes new renowned members of the faculty to cater for the growing demand for piano tuition amongst professional and amateur pianists.

The festival directors are thrilled to announce that the PIANO WEEK team will be joined by Melanie Spanswick (UK), Grace Yeo (South Korea), Olivia Sham (Australia), Madalina Rusu (Romania), Gemma Beeson (UK), Annabelle Lawson (UK) and Nico de Villiers (South Africa). Headed by British concert pianist Samantha Ward (founder and artistic director) and Polish concert pianist Maciej Raginia (creative director), the festival offers high calibre performances from the in-house team of concert artists. It runs alongside the summer course, which is open to participants of any age and ability. In 2018, the festivals travel three times to Weston Rhyn (UK), twice to Beijing (China), as well as courses in Bangkok (Thailand), Sankt Goar (Germany) and Foligno (Italy).

PIANO WEEK’s Summer school forms an intensive programme of master classes, performances and one-to-one lessons, offering participants an opportunity to study with a distinguished international faculty of concert pianists, pedagogues and educators who hail from around the world. PIANO WEEK’s unique locations across Europe and Asia, world-renowned guest artists and inspiring faculty, make it one of the most exciting touring piano festivals today.

SANKT GOAR | GERMANY

5th – 12th August 2018

Taking place in a beautiful 1892 villa on the bank of the Rhine river (pictured to the left), this PIANO WEEK residency offers participants an intimate, boutique summer school experience. Surrounded by vineyards, woods and picturesque vistas, the property creates a spectacular backdrop to an intensive week of music making. You can enjoy the town and its surrounding area, part of the Upper Middle Rhine UNESCO World Heritage Site, either as a residential or non-residential PIANO WEEK participant.

FOLIGNO | ITALY

15th – 22nd July 2018

PIANO WEEK returns to the scenic town of Foligno in Umbria (image to the right) for the second time in 2018 and is open to non-residential participants only. Based at Scuola Comunale di Musica Alessandro Biagini, a beautiful building right in the heart of the old town, this location offers PIANO WEEK participants a chance to immerse themselves in the town’s ancient history alongside intensive coaching, master classes and performances. Foligno is a bustling town filled with restaurants, bars and historical sites, hosting several of the most important festivals in the whole of Italy.

WESTON RHYN | UK

25th March – 1st April 2018
22nd – 29th July 2018
29th July – 5th August 2018

Moreton Hall School (pictured to the left), PIANO WEEK’s UK base of the festival caters for both residential and non-residential participants in rural, peaceful Shropshire. Located near the Welsh border and not far from historic towns such as Shrewsbury and Chester, it is the perfect place to relax and work intensively for a week on your piano playing. Those who stay on campus during the festival can enjoy over 100 acres of beautiful green and safe grounds, a 9-hole golf course, an indoor 25-metre swimming pool, tennis courts and a fitness suite among many other of the School amenities (subject to availability).

BANGKOK | THAILAND

15th – 22nd April 2018

If attending a piano course in Europe is not adventurous enough for you,  this particular location might be the answer. PIANO WEEK visits the Thai capital for the first time in April 2018 and in the run up to the 4th Thailand Steinway Competition. Taking place during Songkran, one of the most colourful and festive times of the year to be experienced in Bangkok, this PIANO WEEK residency promises to be as exotic as it sounds!

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My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.

A few thoughts on publishing houses: a tour of Oxford University Press

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to tour Oxford University Press, the renowned publishing company affiliated to Oxford University. The premises of this outstanding publishing house, situated in Oxford on Walton and Great Clarendon Street, is majestic, grand and almost 200 years old (OUP has used three major sites in Oxford city over the course of its history). With nearly 6000 employees worldwide, it publishes thousands of new titles each year, including children’s books, school texts, music, journals, an extensive English Language catalogue, and academic works in every field from philosophy to quantum physics. Many of their publications are now in electronic format too.

My tour started in the museum, which was fascinating. Here, amongst the copious mind-boggling facts and figures, are rare printing artefacts (some behind alarmed doors) including machinery, lithograph imprints and wonderful photographs all capturing the spirit of various historical periods from over five centuries of publishing.   The press started in 1478  (it’s the oldest publishing company in the world), with the publication of a single volume (which was printed in Oxford with the university’s support), and is an exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, attributed to Theodoric Rood (a printer from Cologne).

In 1585, Joseph Barnes became the university’s first official printer and a year later a Star Chamber document, under Queen Elizabeth I, recognised the university’s legal right to employ printers. A group of academics established the Delegates of the Press in 1633 (to supervise the printing), and by 1636 the University Chancellor William Laud obtained the ‘Great Charter’ from Charles I, affording the right to print ‘all manner of books’.

OUP is synonymous with the Bible and the Oxford English Dictionary. The former was first published (King James version) in 1675, and subsequently revised in 1881 (New Testament), with a million copies dispatched within 24 hours. The Oxford English Dictionary (the first part of which was published in 1884), took years to complete, and was only available in the full version in 1928. OUP now publishes all manner of reference books from the Dictionary of National Biography (which was acquired in 1917), to A S Hornby’s Learner’s Dictionary of Current English (published in 1948 and later called the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary).

My tour guide was thorough and delightfully enthusiastic, punctuating all the facts with anecdotes and stories. The machinery used for printing was well-preserved and quite different from the procedures we are accustomed to today (the image to the right illustrates a printing machine on display in the museum).

Moving to the Twentieth century, OUP formed its music department in 1923 (founded by Hubert Foss), and it immediately attracted renowned British composers, publishing original scores as well educational music books. Ralph Vaughan William, William Walton, and Constant Lambert, were all published by OUP, and it continues to publish influential British composers today, including John Rutter, Howard Skempton, Rebecca Clarke, Michael Finnissy, Alun Hoddinott, Michael Berkeley, and Kerry Andrews.

Championing new composers alongside educational text books reminded me of my publisher, Schott Music, who have a similar historic background; Schott was founded by  Bernhard Schott (1748 – 1809) in 1770, with headquarters in Mainz near Frankfurt, Germany). They have a very impressive music catalogue, having published manuscripts of such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Orff, Stravinsky, Hindemith, and more contemporary composers; Hans Werner Henze, Michael Tippett, Gyorgy Ligeti, Henri Dutilleux, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Mark-Anthony Turnage (to name a few).

The Schott group also includes the publishing houses of Panton, Ars-Viva, Ernst Eulenburg, Fürstner, Cranz, Atlantis Musikbuch and Hohner-Verlag, two recording labels (Wergo and Intuition), and eight specialist magazines. I feel  tremendously privileged to work with this publisher, and (in my experience) the attention and support they offer their authors and composers is second to none.

My tour ended with a wander around the premises, a quadrangle  (pictured at the top) and to the left) with, what on first glance appears to be a decorative water feature, but (according to my guide)  is apparently a very deep well where old printing machines were supposedly dispatched when they eventually ‘died’!  A sumptuous, private press lunch, held in one of the oldest parts of the building, brought my visit to a close.

We are lucky to have (and be able to enjoy) publishing houses offering a wealth of history. Nothing can replace such longevity and reputation, and it was a real pleasure to witness OUP’s long and interesting history via their museum and impressive premises.


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Learn to Sight Read: the winner…

Many thanks to all those who took part in the weekend competition. The prize is a copy of the new sight-reading book published by E-Music Maestro, Learn to Sight Read. This book is the first in the series and is therefore at Grade 1 level (there are also Grades 2 and 3 available).

The winner is:

BOB SEPPY

Congratulations! Please send your address via the contact page on this blog, and your book will be on its way.

For more information about this series, click here.


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Weekend competition: Learn to Sight Read by E-Music Maestro

My competition today focuses on a new set of publications from E-Music Maestro. Lean to Sight Read & Hear the Difference is a series of comprehensive sight-reading manuals for teachers and students using free QR code technology. Included in each book are 100 short pieces, in a range of appropriate keys covering a wide variety of musical styles, rhythmic patterns, time signatures, and note ranges comparable to the piano exams at that grade. At present, the books range from Grade 1 – 3 level.

There is a note for teachers at the beginning about how to use the books and an explanation of how to use the technology alongside each piece. For those who enjoy featuring tablets or phone apps in lessons, this method will certainly be of interest.The pieces are tuneful and there are tips from the Maestro ‘dog’ (a cartoon character) alongside many of the pieces. At certain intervals throughout the book (denoted by ‘sets’) there is a progress chart for students to log their sight-reading journey.

I have one copy of Grade 1 level to give away to one lucky winner. For your chance to win, as always, please leave your comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I will select the winner on Monday evening (British time). Good luck!

You can find out much more, here.

www. e-musicmaestro.com


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

STARS OF THE ALBION: 5th International Performing Arts Festival & Competition in London

The period from February to April is always a busy one for adjudicators (or music judges). Many music festivals (often those affiliated to BIFF, or the British and International Federation of Festivals) take place at this time, as well as other competitions organised by musicians far and wide.

One such event is the Stars of the Albion, which is an international performing arts festival and competition. It’s an annual event, uniting young talented musicians and dancers from across the world. The project forms a unique bridge connecting different cultures and, in particular, that of Russia and Great Britain. It aims to provide valuable opportunities for young emerging artists to perform, learn, communicate and develop.

Organised and promoted by Musica Nova Academy of Music, which was founded and is owned by Russian singer, pianist and educator Evgenia Terentieva (pictured, second from the left, with some former winners). This bilingual establishment (situated just around the corner from King’s Cross station, on Crommer Street), combines the British and Russian principles of teaching. It’s held under the Patronage of the World Association of Performing Arts (WAPA) and is supported by the Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian cultural centre in the UK.

This is the 5th performing arts festival & competition, and it will be held from the 16 – 18 February 2018 in London (primarily at the Mission of Rossotrudnichestvo (Russia House in the UK) at 37 Kensington High Street, London W8 5ED).

The competition consists of two rounds. The first one has been based on video recordings (either on DVD or YouTube), and the second round is open to the public and held at the concert hall of the Russian Cultural centre, and at the Musica Nova Academy. Forty soloists and fifteen ensembles or groups will be selected to come to London to participate in the second round. Participants come from Great Britain, France, USA, Malta, Cyprus, Russia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Ghana to take part in the competition.

This is my third year on the panel of judges at this competition and it has always been a fascinating day spent with colleagues and fellow judges, hearing a complete mixture of music and dance. Last year I was one of four judges for the piano and strings section and the standard of playing was generally high.

Anyone can attend this event. The awards ceremony and gala concert will take place on Sunday 18th February at 6.30pm at the Rudolf Steiner Theatre,  35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT. You can also attend the opening ceremony on Friday 16th February, which features performances of previous winners and some of the adjudication panel (at the Mission of Rossotrudnichestvo in Kensington High Street).

The classes include the following disciplines;

• Singing (classical, contemporary, folk)
• Instrumental playing (solo and ensemble)
• Dance (ballet, modern, historical dance, street-dance)

(as well as classes in music theatre, fringe theatre, one man show, performance in fine art, and performance in photography).

Age category: Children from 6 years old to adults, no age limit.

Applications deadline: 1 February 2018

For ticket sales & reservations call: +44 (0) 7832341745 | +44 (0) 207 8330502

Visit www.starsofthealbion.org.uk for more information

Send a message to: info@starsofthealbion.org.uk

Tickets online at: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

 

5 Top Tips for Keeping Time

My column for the latest bi-monthly newsletter for Pianist Magazine contains tips and suggestions for how to keep a rhythmic pulse. Accuracy in this respect is an incredibly important component when learning to play any instrument, and many of you have written asking about the best ways of doing this. So here are my ideas – I hope they are of interest. You can read the original version here.


Keeping time (or playing rhythmically) can be a challenge for many, and particularly for pianists, as they are often playing alone and therefore have the opportunity to change the tempo as often as they wish! For those who feel they need to curb any tendency to rush or linger, here are a few ideas to implement at your practice sessions.

  1. To create the best tempo in any work (for you), locate what you feel is the most taxing area of the piece being studied and decide what speed is most comfortable in order to achieve clarity, fluency and a musically coherent performance.
  2. Once you’ve instigated a speed (when learning a new piece), go through the piece and tap the rhythm of the right hand part with your right hand (on the lid of the piano), and the left hand part with the left hand (also on the piano lid). You could do this hands separately at first, then both hands together. Ensure you count as you do this, so you establish a firm, steady beat. It’s easier to attain rhythmic precision (at the start of the learning process) when notes are separated from the rhythm.
  3. For fluency and rhythmic accuracy, consider using a metronome at the beginning of the learning process. Listen to the ‘tick’; both the speed of the tick and the ‘space’ in between. One of the most useful methods to attain accurate pulse keeping, is learning to ‘sit’ on the metronome tick. This skill can be acquired by playing exactly with the tick every time it occurs, as opposed to just before or after; both of which can happen with alarming regularity if you’re not used to attuning your ear and mind to decisively following a pulse. To do this effectively, it’s best if notes are securely learned, so you’re free to focus on time-keeping.
  4. Once the metronome has been used for a period of time and you’ve got used to playing along to an omnipresent beat, aim to count out loud as you play, or count along to the beat you have established. It can be a good idea to sub-divide the beat for this purpose. If your piece is in crotchets, count in quavers, and if it is in quavers, count in semiquavers, and so on. It may be exhausting, but by playing along to your verbal counting, you’ll quickly become accustomed to where you are in the bar and should eventually be able to ‘feel’ the pulse. As a general rule, the smaller the sub-division, the more accurate your pulse keeping.
  5. Finally, curb any sense of rushing (or slowing down), and encourage excellent articulation (or touch) by paying attention to the ends of notes; experiment by employing ‘active’, strong fingers, placing every finger precisely, producing a full, rich tone, paying special attention to the fourth and fifth fingers. Each note (or chord) must ideally be in its rightful place at any time, and shouldn’t be ‘cut’ or brushed over.

As with many facets of piano playing, listening will prove to be a vital element when learning to play in time. If you can train your ears to be really aware of what is being played, then you’re on your way to honing rhythmically sound performances.

Image: Nathan Nelson/Flickr


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Musical Chairs 2018

If you play an orchestral instrument (or have played one in the past and fancy rekindling this passion), I hope this event might be of interest.

Musical Chairs offers the chance to play in an orchestra for a day. You’ll spend the day working with a team of professional music tutors and young musicians from the National Orchestra for All (NOFA), rehearsing and performing two favourite works – Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. Now into its fourth year, Musical Chairs is a charity  offering support for young musicians with complex lives.

Musical Chairs is encouraging you to reacquaint yourself with an instrument you used to play, or try a new instrument for the first time. The musical parts have been specially arranged to cater for all abilities – whether you’re a complete beginner or a virtuoso!

Money raised on the day will be used to deliver an annual programme of OFA activities offering access to life-changing experience of ensemble music-making for 11-18 years olds.

A full day will be spent rehearsing at Cecil Sharp House in Camden (London) from 10 – 4pm on Saturday 24 February 2018. There will be a mixture of full rehearsals and smaller sectional rehearsals in your instrumental groups. At 4pm, there’ll be an informal concert to friends, family and supporters, followed by a well-earned drink.

There are many ways to secure your seat in the orchestra for Musical Chairs 2018. You can raise sponsorship, make a donation, or even gift a place for a friend or loved one. The suggested fundraising target or donation to take part is £250, but any contribution is welcome. Once you have signed up to take part via the online form, one of the team will be in touch to explain the next steps in terms of securing your seat and will send the sheet music.

For those who feel their instrumental skills are a bit rusty (or if you are a beginner), there are up to three ‘after work’ First Aid Clinics in the run up to the event where you can go for extra support and help. A team member will be on hand to take you through your part and show you how to play the tricky bits.

If you have any further questions, you can get in touch on 0207 267 4141 or at info@orchestrasforall.org.  Sign up to take part on February 24th by using the online form, here.

Find out more about Musical Chairs, here.

 Image link

Piano Gallery: the winner…

Many thanks to all for taking part in my first competition of the year. The prize is a copy of Piano Gallery, a new collection of 14 pieces written by Pam Wedgwood and published by Faber Music.

The winner is:

SHARON SCOTT

Congratulations! Please send your address via the contact page here on this blog, and your book will be on its way.

More competitions coming soon! For more information on Piano Gallery, click here.


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Weekend Competition: Piano Gallery

The first competition of 2018 features an innovative, attractive volume penned by renowned composer Pamela Wedgwood. Piano Gallery  (published in November 2017 by Faber Music) is a collection of 14 piano pieces which, as the title suggests, have all been inspired by great works of art. Each piece corresponds to a particular painting, and these paintings have been beautifully printed and included as a pull-out (in the middle of the publication) alongside the music.

‘I’ve relished writing this music that responds to the mood, colour, style, story and even humour behind each painting.’

Pamela Wedgwood

The works are easily accessible and intended for the intermediate level pianist (around Grade 4 – 6 of ABRSM standard). Playing through them, I would suggest they contain a variety of styles, yet Pam’s own voice can still be clearly heard. I enjoyed Starry Night (painting by Vincent Van Gogh), Fatata te Miti (painting by Paul Gauguin) and Large Wave (painting by Hokusai).

You can discover the music and paintings behind them for yourself by taking part in my competition. I have one copy to giveaway to one lucky winner. As usual, just leave your comment in the comment box below this blog post, and I will pick the winner on Sunday evening (British time). Be sure to check the post here on this blog, to see if you’ve been selected. Good luck!

You can find out more about Piano Gallery, here.


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.