Border Tune by Christopher Norton

My guest writer this week is world-renowned composer Christopher Norton. In this post, he offers practice suggestions for his piece Border Tune, which is the second piece from the volume Country Preludes Collection for piano. This piece is featured in List B of the Trinity College London Grade 7 piano exam 2021 – 2023 syllabus.¬†…

London College of Music Pre-Grade 1 Piano Exam Syllabus

I’m delighted to have written, compiled and annotated the new London College of Music Exams Pre-Grade 1 2021 – 2024 syllabus.¬† I also worked on the Grade 1 – 8 2021 – 2024 piano syllabus, too, selecting some of the repertoire as well as writing many of the performance notes, as I had done for…

Teaching Fast and Slow

Over the last few weeks I have been preparing for what will no doubt be the highlight of my year; directing the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School. This preparation has prompted a reflection on my own teaching, hence the subject of this blog post. There is often a general perception that…

The Key to Scales and Arpeggios: Weekend Competition

Today’s guest post has been written by Jane Mann. Jane is a piano teacher and writer, and, in this article, she highlights her scale book series (published by Alfred Music UK), telling the story behind its conception. We are also running a weekend competition, too, and therefore, for your chance to win one of two…

My work as a composer: Wendy Edwards Beardall-Norton

My guest writer today is Canadian composer and teacher Wendy Edwards Beardall-Norton. Wendy has taught the piano for over 40 years and, more recently, she has been writing music for it. In this article she describes her journey towards composition, and how she became a published composer. You can also enjoy her music by hearing…

Tricky Corners: Fourth and Fifth Fingers in Chords

Today’s ‘Tricky Corner’ examines those pesky fourth and fifth fingers in chords. A student recently studied the Praeludium from Ludas Tonalis by Hindemith. This delightfully contemplative piece presents a few technical challenges, not least the opening introduction, which must sound improvisatory, and the subsequent Moderato passage (from bar 4), with its copious demisemiquaver figurations. None…

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…