Selecting a piano diploma programme: 10 Top Tips

One of the most frequent questions I receive from those who read this blog (whether piano teachers or students), is how to prepare for diploma exams and how to select an interesting, innovative programme. My blog post today seeks to answer the latter question. There is no ‘correct’ answer of course, as programming is a…

Memorising your piano pieces

‘Who developed the concept of playing from memory?’ This question is pursued on the lips of  many piano pupils, conservatoire students, and professionals. Memorising a work  (playing without the score or committing a work to your memory) certainly puts an extra strain on an artist. Every note must be meticulously rehearsed and learned to the point of distraction (or might…

Contemporary piano music?

I was recently asked to name some late 20th and 21st century piano pieces suitable to play for diploma exams (some boards such as Trinity allow candidates to submit own choice pieces). On examining the diploma syllabus  I was struck by how little contemporary music was included – and by contemporary I mean music of today. I…