Étude in A minor by Louise Farrenc

Louise Farrenc (1804 – 1875), pictured above, was a French Romantic composer. In her lifetime she enjoyed a considerable reputation, and whilst the majority of her compositions are for the piano, her chamber music is generally regarded as her finest work. She eventually opened a publishing house with her flautist husband Aristide Farrenc, and Éditions…

Positional Piano Playing

‘Positional piano playing’ is a term I use for a particularly helpful technique which allows students to locate and play note patterns with ease. At my most recent Finchcocks piano course (held at the end of last year), I applied this technique in one of my classes with several adult students, and to their amazement…

Pianists From The Past: Cyril Smith

My Pianists From The Past series continues today and this article has been written by British pianist and pedagogue Julian Saphir. Julian’s past pianist of choice is the British concert pianist and pedagogue Cyril Smith, with whom he had a personal connection. Over to Julian… One day in the Spring of 1991, during my third…

5 Tips to Help Develop the Fourth & Fifth Fingers

Wishing you all a happy and restful bank holiday weekend. Today’s post was first published in Pianist magazine’s April 2020 newsletter (you can subscribe to this newsletter for free, here). I’ve written before about these pesky fingers! The fourth and fifth fingers can be tricky to control and they require patience to develop, and,  if…

Pianists From The Past: Lamar Crowson

I hope you continue to be safe and well during this difficult period. It’s time for a guest feature article. My Pianists From The Past series is proving popular, and today’s post has been penned by British pianist Julian Jacobson,  who is professor of piano at the Royal College of Music (in London, UK) and…

The Bridge Position

Today’s post features my latest technique article for Piano Professional (published by EPTA or the European Piano Teachers Association). If you aren’t aware of this organisation, may I suggest visiting their website for more details (please click here). This article highlights the Bridge Position, which is generally considered an important assumed hand position for pianists….

Pianists From The Past: Margaret Bonds

My Pianists From The Past series continues today with a fascinating article written by British pianist and musicologist Samantha Ege. Samantha is a leading interpreter and scholar of the African-American composer Florence Price.   Her PhD on Florence Price, and publications on women’s music networks, have shed an important light on classical practitioners from underrepresented…

Quarantine or Paradise: an interview with GéNIA

As the COVID-19 health crisis continues to dominate our everyday lives, many artists have taken to online forums, and particularly social media, in order to continue their work. With this in mind, Russian pianist, composer, teacher and writer, GéNIA (Genia Chudinovich) has established a new interview series, ‘Quarantine or Paradise’, where she will speak to…

A Happy Easter and a Master Class

A very HAPPY EASTER to you all. During this dreadful time, I hope you’re feeling well, and you are able relax and enjoy this holiday period, whether with your family or in self-isolation. Let’s pray for those who are currently suffering this terrible disease, and continue to support and celebrate the tremendous work undertaken by…

6 Favourite Piano Resources

Many of us have been practising ‘social-distancing’ for a week or two already, and whilst not an especially enjoyable or uplifting experience, for me it has provided some much needed respite from the weekly lessons (although these are now all online), workshops, classes and piano courses, and work-related meetings. I love my work, but it’s…