Piano & Performance Practice

Melanie Spanswick has published over 850 articles and posts on this blog. This page focuses on piano practice, lessons and all aspects of performance. Click on the links below to read the articles.

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire

Sweet Dreams by P I Tchaikovsky

Étude in A minor by Louise Farrenc

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: Trinity Colllege London Grade 5

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: ABRSM Grade 5

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: Trinity College London Grade 4

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: ABRSM Grade 4

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: Trinity College London Grade 3

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: ABRSM Grade 3

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: Trinity College London Grade 2

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: ABRSM Grade 2

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: Trinity College London Grade 1

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: ABRSM Grade 1

9 Tips for Piano Exam Success

Tricky Corners: spot practice articles

Tricky Corners: Tension Breaks

Tricky Corners: Lateral Arm and Wrist Movement

Tricky Corners: Wrist Circles and Finger Articulation

Tricky Corners: Fourth and Fifth Finger in Chords

Tricky Corners: The Opening Phrase

Tricky Corners: Smooth Passagework

Tricky Corners: The Leaping Fifth Finger

Piano Practice

Breath Control: 5 Tips

Exploring the Key Bed: 5 Tips

5 Tips to help develop finger control

Perfect Alignment: 5 Tips

Attuning Our Listening Skills

5 Tips For Perfecting That Silence

Spot Finger Practice

Teaching Fast and Slow

The Thumb

Exploring the Sostenuto Pedal: 5 Tips

The Una Corda: 5 Tips

5 Tips For Your Left Hand

Repertoire Selection: 5 Tips

Ornaments: 5 Practice Tips

Practising Fast and Slow

Reverse Learning

Positional Piano Playing

5 Tips to Help Develop the Fourth and Fifth Fingers

No Pain, No Gain?

Creating Even Passagework

10 Motivational Practice Tips

5 Vital Daily Practice Reminders

5 Tips for Secure Coordination and Quick Movement

5 Top Tips for Hand Coordination

Twiddling Your Thumbs!

5 Stage Presentation Tips Part 2

Five New Year Tips to Seriously Improve Your Piano Playing 2019

Basic Tips for Healthy Piano Playing

5 Tips to Create the Illusion of Legato

Structured Piano Practice for Beginners: 10 tips

How Loose are You? Piano Teaching in Asia

Fruitful Fingering Part 1

5 Tips on Stage Presentation Part 1

5 Tips to Quell a Sustaining Pedal Addiction

Are you all Fingers and Thumbs?

5 Tips for Keeping Time

5 Top Tips for piano playing progress in 2018

5 Tips for Practising without the Piano

Practising Piano Waves

Approaches to Staccato Playing

5 Tips for the Perfect Practice Schedule

5 Tips to Instantly Improve a Performance

Practising Duets

5 Top Tips to Aid Memorisation

AllAboutPiano

Hand Flexibility

Improve Your Sight-reading; 5 Top Tips

5 Tips To Improve Your Warm-Up Regime

10 Top Tips to Improve Your Practice Schedule in 2017

10 Tips to Pass Your Piano Exam

The Power of Repetition

A few thoughts on the ‘Una Corda’

A few thoughts on selecting diploma repertoire

The Power of Visualisation

Selecting a piano diploma programme: 10 top tips

Practising without the Piano

10 Tips to Seriously Improve Your Piano Playing in 2016

9 Top Tips for Practising Octaves (EPTA article)

The Perils of the Glissando

The Importance of Breathing

A Few Thoughts On Demonstration

It’s All in The Preparation 4: 5 More Top Tips

It’s All in The Preparation 3: 5 More Top Tips

It’s All In The Preparation 2: 5 More Top Tips

It’s All In The Preparation: 5 Top Tips

Perfect Pedalling

5 Top Tips To Improve Wrist Staccato

5 Top Tips To Improve Finger Staccato

5 Practice Tips to Instantly Improve a Performance

10 Top Tips for Tonal Beauty

10 Top Tips to help Resolve Tension

Resolving Tension in Piano Playing; EPTA Article for Piano Professional Magazine

Improving your scales: article for the Piano Professional Magazine: EPTA

15 Top Tips for Successful Sight-Reading

10 Top Tips for Effective Memorisation

A few thoughts on Ornaments

Dance in Bulgarian Rhythm No. 4 by Béla Bartók

More Daily Practice Reminders

Some thoughts on practising during piano lessons

S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G! A few thoughts….

Between the Notes

8 Daily Practice Reminders

A Few Thoughts on Beethoven’s Für Elise 

Top 20 reasons to play the piano

Absolute Articulation

To play Studies or not to play Studies….that is the question!?

10 Top Tips for Successful Piano Practice in 2014

Some thoughts on chordal playing in the Scottish Legend by Amy Beach Op. 54 No.1

Comfortable Piano Playing

Rhythmic Precision in the First Movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C minor Op.10 No.1

A few thoughts on Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp minor Op. Posth.

In praise of slow practice

Celebrating the left hand

Structuring your piano practice

Do pianists really need to play the entire piano repertoire?

Listening and Focusing

Why write on the score?

Pulse Perfection

Fifty Shades of Pianism

Warm-Ups

Perfect hand positions

Perfect piano posture

Coaxing the fourth and fifth fingers into action!

10 reasons to fall in love with the piano! Happy Valentine’s Day

Tension, Czerny Studies and strong coffee….!

How much piano practice is enough?

To memorise or not? Happy 2013!

Espressivo…..a few tips to transform your piano playing

A helpful way to improve your piano fingering

More memorising tips

Memorising your piano pieces

How can amateur pianists become more professional in their approach to performing?

Piano Duets for the summer holidays

Piano Duets – sociable, satisfying and sensuous?

Preparing for your piano exam

Contemporary piano music?

How should I practice my scales?

Structured piano practice in 5 simple steps

Sight-reading – 6 helpful hints

Piano exam success – 9 key points

Scales – 6 reasons why you need to practice them

Piano practice?

Piano practice – how much should I do?

How long does it take to learn to play the piano?

10 reasons to play the piano