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…

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…

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…

Creating Even Passagework

The following article was recently published in Pianist magazine’s newsletter (you can subscribe, here), and I hope it might be a useful practice tool for all those who are planning a weekend of piano practice! Creating even passages, devoid of lumps, bumps, and rhythmic jerkiness, can be a demanding challenge. How can we practice fruitfully,…