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…

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…

Tricky Corners: Lateral Arm & Wrist Movement

My previous ‘Tricky Corners’ article focused on finger articulation, specifically relating to Chopin’s Étude in F major Op. 10 No. 8, a study on which I was working with a student. You can read it here. Today’s post examines this magnificent piece a little further, taking into consideration possibly one of the more challenging passages…

The Thumb

I’ve published articles in Piano Professional, which is the magazine published by EPTA UK (European Piano Teachers Association), for the past 8 years. My latest, which was published in Issue 54, focuses on the thumb. I hope you find it of interest. Thumbs. We know they form an important part of our hand, but how…

Studying at a Japanese Music Conservatoire: Yuki Negishi

Today’s article has been written by Japanese pianist Yuki Negishi. Following on from her very popular first post, in this second instalment, Yuki continues her piano journey, offering her thoughts and experiences on studying at the renowned Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan. You can read the first post in this series, which…

Lost in Thought: Practice Tips

The following post was written for Schott’s magazine üben e musizieren, and it’s been published in the most recent edition. The article is a veritable ‘How-To-Play’ of my little piece Lost in Thought, which is the first piece in a collection entitled No Words Necessary. Here, I’ve printed the English version below, but you can…

Tricky Corners: Wrist Circles & Finger Articulation

Speed isn’t always synonymous with clarity.  My work as an adjudicator can testify to the fact that’s it’s quite common to hear semiquaver (or demisemiquaver) passages played in a ‘garbled’, unstable, or just plain unrhythmical, manner; either too fast, with the tendency to rush through technically challenging sections resulting in the inevitable slips, errors and…

5 Tips For Your Left Hand

My most recent post for Pianist Magazine’s newsletter focuses on the left hand. I hope you find it of interest. The left hand can pose problems for many a pianist. If you examine some beginner method books, you might notice that a significant number focus on the right hand and right-hand music for pages –…

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…