A Special Faber Weekend Competition

It’s Friday and therefore time for a weekend competition. My competition this week highlights three books all courtesy of Faber Music. The Ultimate Piano Solos anthology is just that: a collection of fifty favourite works across many different genres arranged for the piano, for approximately Intermediate (to advanced) level. Beautifully laid out, this selection would…

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

Continuing with my series surveying piano exam repertoire, today’s post examines Trinity College London Grade 5. A collection of diverse and well-chosen pieces, List A comprises composers such as Richard Jones, Anton Diabelli, Moritz Vogel and Dmitri Kabalevsky! The exercises, of which each candidate must prepare three (played alongside scales and arpeggios), can help with…

The London College of Music Piano Syllabus 2018 – 2020

The much awaited London College of Music (LCM) piano syllabus has finally been published. A new syllabus is always exciting – both for student and teacher. I am an enthusiastic supporter of piano exams; they provide a veritable goal for anyone learning, particularly for younger players. And whilst an exam syllabus should never be used…

Workshop for the Performing Arts Festival in Singapore

After a thoroughly enjoyable Southeast Asia tour over the Summer, I will be returning to Singapore and Malaysia at the beginning of November. This time, I’ll be predominantly based in Kuala Lumpur (where I’m looking forward to presenting at the UCSI University Piano Pedagogy Conference, and giving presentations for Schott Music), but will also be…

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: ABRSM Grade 4

Today I am continuing my series on selected exam repertoire. I’ve chosen three complimentary pieces from the ABRSM Grade 4 list (taken from the main syllabus (shown to the left), as opposed to the alternative syllabus) and have offered five practice tips for each one, as well as a recording (taken from the many on…

Practising Piano Waves

Piano Waves consists of 5 little pieces for the intermediate pianist (approximately Grade 4 – 6 level ABRSM). They were written in 2016, and have proved popular with all ages, but particularly with teenagers. This year, two pieces from the collection are set works on the Around The Globe Piano Festival syllabus (to be held…

Selecting & Practising Piano Exam Repertoire: ABRSM Grade 3

Selecting and practising piano exam repertoire continues today with ABRSM Grade 3. I’m selecting contrasting works or those which sit well together, thereby producing an interesting programme. This element should not be underestimated; examiners are pleased to hear all the repertoire on set lists, but for the student, who might spend a good few months…

9 Tips for Piano Exam Success in 2017

Selecting and Practising Piano Exam Repertoire is a new series on my blog, which will begin in earnest next week. Today’s post is in preparation, offering a few practice ideas to make piano exam study a more fruitful and rewarding affair. Some of you have written (over the past year or so) requesting information about…

Weekend Competition: Piano Notes 2017-18

Piano Notes were published last month and offer students and teachers a wealth of practical advice for the entire ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examination board) piano syllabus from Grade 1 through to Grade 8, which started in January 2017 and goes through to Spring 2019. The notes include all alternative…

Improve Your Sight-Reading Skills: 5 Top Tips

My latest article for Pianist Magazine’s New Year’s newsletter focuses on sight-reading. I’ve written about this subject many times, but it’s an important topic for pianists, and is often ignored or sidestepped in piano lessons until absolutely necessary i.e. just prior to an exam or audition, when testing is unavoidable. Few pianists are keen sight-readers,…