Friday competition: back by popular demand!


Last week’s Friday competition featured Lucinda Mackworth-Young’s new book, Piano by Ear, which is designed to help pianists learn to improvise and accompany songs. The competition proved extremely popular, and many of you asked for another chance to win this useful book. Faber have very kindly provided a second book, so for chance to win this volume, please leave a suitable comment in the comment box at the end of this post, and I will select a winner on Sunday evening (British time). Good luck!


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

33 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Smith says:

    Having been trained classically from an early age to read the notes on the page only, it’s been my lifelong dream to learn how to play by ear. I would love to win this book. I truly believe my playing and teaching will be transformed by this book.

  2. John Pennington says:

    Would be interested in using this at my school. Would this be useful for GCSE composirion students, after all, one often sits at the piano trying to improvise first ideas for a composition.

  3. Lorri Turcios says:

    Looks like a wonderful resource for promoting well rounded musicians!

  4. Julie Cooper says:

    I will use this book to help my pupils and myself play with more confidence BY EAR rather than BY BOOK! An extremely practical guide for all levels of pianists which will equip them to play WHENEVER and WHEREVER they are! (Apparently, Lucinda’s favourite question on the topic is “what can you play NOW?”). After reading Lucinda’s (fresh on the market) book, “PIANO BY EAR”, I am sure pianists will be converted from any pre-conceived thoughts they might have had before such as, “I would have loved to play, but I can’t because I haven’t got my book and no, I can’t improvise)”, to “yeah, let’s give it a go, what key? This is fun. What piece next?!” By using this book, pianists will be transformed into thinking more along the lines of, “Not having a book was always a disadvantage, but now it works to an advantage because, (as the mission of the title suggests), one is equipped to PLAY BY EAR!”

  5. Dana M. says:

    Okay, because I can be sarcastic and it is 3:30 a.m. I really just want to write “A Suitable Comment!”

    But then I decided I should actually write a comment that is suitable, so I will say how much I enjoy your blog and would love to win this book.

    Although I think my first idea was funnier…. πŸ˜‰

  6. nige says:

    What a brilliant competition prize.
    After a quick read up on Amazon, this book would be perfect for me.
    6 months into learning the piano and I’m stagnating a bit.
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed.. but not while playing obviously πŸ™‚

  7. Carol says:

    Thanks so much! This looks great and I hope to find out!

  8. Florence Garnett says:

    All of my music career has been strictly playing the notes written on the page. I play for church and play lots of hymns that are written for voice and not for the piano. I have learned to improvise somewhat but would love to learn more. I can hear music in my head but have a hard time translating what I hear into what I play.

  9. Dorothy Barnes says:

    I have always had a good ear for listening and singing. I would love to have this book for my personal use and in my teaching. I have composed a small piece ( not completed) and Really need to find direction. I know this book will be so valuable and transform me and my students. Thank you for the opportunity to win your book!!!

  10. bonnielauper says:

    I am very curious about what this book has to offer. I have been incorporating ear playing and improv in my lessons for a few years now, but would love the guidance of a master!

  11. Rhoda says:

    I would really like to read this book, knowing the usefulness of it!

  12. Liz Haddon says:

    Looks like a fantastic resource!

  13. Pat Daniels says:

    I would LOVE to able to improvise or play by ear. It has always been an embarrassement to have to say ‘have you got any dots?’ Or ‘I don’t have any music with me’. The piano keyboard always looks so inviting but without something to ‘read’ from’ I am as useless as anyone who has never had lessons!

  14. Irma Khouw says:

    Being able to play by ear is a very useful skill. I would like to share this skill with my students and this book will be very useful.

  15. lynne hall says:

    Thank you, Melanie, for offering a second opportunity to win this book. And thank you also to Faber for providing a second book. I appreciate your generosity. Playing by ear is something I need to work on. I have some rudimentary skill with this but need to expand and improve to be able to use it myself and to be better at teaching my students better skills as well.

  16. Linda Gatzke says:

    Thanks you so much for this wonderful opportunity to discover Play By Ear ! I would love to be able to use this book with my students !

  17. Eure says:


  18. Rebekah says:

    I’m so excited to have discovered Piano by Ear! It seems to be the step by step guide I’ve been searching for to not only develop my own skills but gain the confidence to inspire my students to grow musically and creatively through playing by ear.

  19. Dixie says:

    I have always been envious of those who can play by ear. I would love to win this book!

  20. I have been following this book all over Facebook and am amazed at its popularity! I would love a chance to win a copy. I have seen it on this site and on the Curious Piano Teachers site. It must be one outstanding book to be featured in so many places! Can’t wait to have it in my studio. Please oh please let me be the winner this time.

  21. Nancy Cole says:

    I would love to have help in this area. It is something I would like to teach, but don’t do well myself. Would love to have this book to help me.

  22. Sachma Dickens says:

    I’m just starting with the keys, I really would like to be able to play what I hear. I ‘m studying music performance at a local music Institute, it’s my first year, I got in by luck I think , however we are being taught how to read, a lot of attention is on reading. not much in how to use our ears . I would like to read and then apply what this book teaches.

  23. Sue says:

    This looks very interesting!!! Who wouldn’t love to play without a book in front of them.

  24. Carla Q. says:

    That’s how I started, playing by ear with a toy piano at 4 years old! Some things flow in me easily than my colleagues as a student because of the simple fact of having started my approach to music like this.

  25. Elsa says:

    Thank you very much for bringing this book back for your Friday giveaway! I think it sounds like a wonderful book and think it would help my students and I become better at both ear training and improvisation.

  26. Ben Kaye says:

    Better Piano by Ear surely than any Stringed Instrument by Air…

  27. Denise says:

    I would love to learn more about improvising.

  28. Cate Ranford says:

    I teach children that mucking around on the piano is a good thing, we call it improvisation. I would love to be able to expand my knowledge and help my students.

  29. Noreen says:

    Playing by ear is a skill every pianist wants. I’m very interested in seeing the book.

  30. Donna Reed says:

    More and more, pianists are being asked to play by ear. I would love to use this resource in my teaching!! Keeping my fingers crossed that I’m the lucky winner!!!

  31. Kayla says:

    Please, give me a chance to win this book! I need it! πŸ™‚

  32. This competition is now closed. Thank you all for taking part πŸ™‚

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