Beginning Jazz Piano: Tim Richards

My guest writer today is renowned British jazz pianist, author, and educator Tim Richards. Tim has written numerous best-selling books and is a Schott Music author and composer. In this article, he offers an introduction to his latest series, Beginning Jazz Piano – A Introduction to Swing, Blues, Latin & Funk. Part 1 is the…

Historic Classes with Arthur Rubinstein

Those who read this blog regularly will know that I enjoy featuring classes given by master teachers. Today’s post highlights a series of historic classes with the legendary Polish born pianist Arthur Rubinstein (1887 – 1982). Considered by many as the greatest interpreter of Chopin, Rubinstein gave these classes in 1978 at the Jerusalem Music…

Weekend Competition: Play Women Composers

I don’t normally host two Weekend Competitions in a row, but today’s offering is another interesting publication for pianists of all abilities. Play Women Composers is a new digital volume, published by Pianist Magazine, comprising twelve piano works, taking pianists from elementary to advanced level. Featuring nine female composers spanning a couple of centuries, it’s…

Chetham’s International Piano Summer School Piano Teachers’ Course 2021

I’m really looking forward to leading the Piano Teachers’ Course at the renowned Chetham’s International Piano Summer School in 2021. My course was initially programmed to take place in August 2020, but, due to the pandemic, we decided to run it this year instead. If you haven’t yet explored what’s on offer at this incredible…

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…

Happy New Year! Is the future online?

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and you were able to see loved ones during this lockdown period. There’s no doubt that 2020 will go down in history as one of the most catastrophic episodes of our lifetime – possibly of the century. We…

Tricky Corners: The Leaping Fifth Finger

September heralds the start of a new academic year and is therefore an appropriate time to begin my new monthly series, ‘Tricky Corners’. Those who read this blog will know that I particularly enjoy developing a student’s technique. This is all about re-training bad habits, transforming them into good ones, which takes time and care….

Reverse Learning

My lastest article for Pianist Magazine’s newsletter, published in June (you can subscribe to the newsletter for free, here), focuses on a seemingly counterproductive concept: ‘reverse learning’.  But this can be a surprisingly useful tool, and I hope you might find it of interest.   Chances are that when you start learning a piece, you…

Jackdaws Piano Courses 2020/21

As many will know, the Jackdaws Music Education Trust is a very popular destination for music students of all ages. Set in Great Elm, just outside Frome in Somerset (U.K.), Jackdaws offers an exciting array of instrumental and vocal courses every year, and, as the saying goes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  And I…

Weekend Competition: the winners

Many thanks to all those who took part in this weekend’s competition.  I really enjoyed reading your lovely comments. The prize was a copy of the new Faber Music Easy Piano Anthology for two lucky readers. Those winners are: LYNNE CONWAY and TAMARA BARSCHAK CONGRATULATIONS! Please send your name and address via the contact page…