5 Tips For Breath Control

My latest article for Pianist Magazine’s newsletter and online content, focuses on breath control. I hope you find it of interest. Breath control. It might be a topic more closely associated with singing than piano playing, but developing secure breath control can by a most helpful asset, especially for those who regularly perform. Once this…

The Craft of Piano Tuning: Eric Tan

Today’s guest post has been written by piano tuner Eric Tan. Eric is based in Los Angeles, USA, where he runs his own tuning studio. In this post, he offers a detailed account of how to tune your own instrument, which, as he explains, can be a most useful tool for pianists. The Benefits of…

First Repertoire For Little Pianists

I first started teaching the piano at the age of fifteen – far too young, many would say, and they’d be right! But, encouraged by my teacher, who ran a piano school, I often taught the school’s younger students, and I was always interested to discover various beginners’ methods. My first teacher used her own…

Attuning Our Listening Skills

My most recent post for Pianist Magazine’s newsletter focuses on our ability to ‘hear’ what we are playing. I hope you find it of interest. One of the most important piano playing skills that we need to assimilate is the ability to listen. I spent my college years struggling with aural tests, especially the atonal…

Snapchats Duets & Trios: New recordings by Christopher Norton

Snapchats was originally a collection of short piano duets which was published a few years ago. The volume was republished and updated in 2019, with the inclusion of extra duets and piano trios. This new version has proved popular with both children and adult students, and I always enjoy using them in my own sight-reading…

The Thinking Pianist: David Jones

My guest post today has been written by David Jones who is Head of Keyboard Studies at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Earlier this year, David inaugurated a new piano course held at Cheltenham Ladies College; The Thinking Pianist. After an extremely successful pilot course in July 2021, The Thinking Pianist, will now offer a more expansive…

Tricky Corners: Tension Breaks

Students often find the concept of tension breaks challenging. What do I mean by this expression? Most pianists understand the idea of tension and release; we need a certain amount of tension in our bodies to play a note or a group of notes, but the second (or millisecond) the note or notes have been…

5 Tips for Perfecting That Silence

My latest Pianist Magazine newsletter article focuses on perfecting that silence! We sometimes forget the importance of observing rests, fermatas, or even creating dramatic pauses. Here are a few tips and reminders. Rests, as we know, indicate a place in the score where we literally stop playing. An actual rest is generally a specified length,…

Spot Finger Practice

Pianist Magazine is currently celebrating its twentieth year, and it has been an honour to write for the magazine since 2014. I write a ‘How-to-play’ article in every issue and a ‘5 Tips’ based article for the bi-monthly newsletter. The following piece first appeared in the magazine’s most recent newsletter. It’s a subject which I…