Absolute Articulation

I have spent much of the last month adjudicating at various amateur music festivals around the country. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable job; I get to visit all different parts of the UK, and also hear a wide variety of piano playing. Standards vary of course, from young, inexperienced beginners to incredibly accomplished performers. Whilst it’s…

Structuring Your Piano Practice

This week’s piano post has been suggested by you, the reader; ‘structured practice for the more advanced pianist’ has been whirling around my inbox recently. I have written about it several times for beginners, but it does take on a different mantle for those of you who have clearly passed that stage. Piano practice has…

Fifty Shades of Pianism

Tonal colour is a glorious and important aspect of piano playing. Irrespective of standard, all pianists need this skill which allows them alter or grade piano sound; it’s often known as shading or colouring. This adds variation to the music but it also demonstrates an understanding for the composer and a ‘feel’ for the work…

Guest Post: Are you all fingers and thumbs?

Piano summer schools are a great way to enjoy an intense learning experience and there are a fair few to choose from around the UK and abroad, too. In my guest post today,  concert pianist and teacher Christine Stevenson talks about the Walsall Piano Summer School, where she has been coaching for many years. Summer…

Coaxing the fourth and fifth fingers into action

‘My little finger just won’t work on its own’; how often have I heard this phrase from disgruntled piano students? Too often is the answer. Pupils invariably spend so much time focusing on and looking at the music on the desk, that they forget all about posture and technique. One of the major technical obstacles…

More Memorising tips

I had some interesting responses to the post I wrote a few days ago dealing with memorisation (which you can read here). It was suggested that I should also focus on what happens when memory fails, that is, a memory slip! Therefore, here are my thoughts on this incredibly stressful event in any pianist’s life….

Sight Reading; 6 helpful hints

I have had several requests to write an article on piano sight reading. Sight reading is certainly a hot topic amongst those taking music exams, and it simply means the ability to play a piece of music on reading it for the first time, or reading at sight. It’s the part of music exams that…