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…

Exploring the Key Bed: 5 Tips

My latest article for Pianist Magazine’s newletter explores the tonal possibilities found in the ‘key bed’ or the area of the key beneath the double escapement action. I hope you find it of interest. The key-bed can remain a mystery for many, lurking, as it does,  beneath the only part of the key that is…

Eton College at Coach House Pianos

Just along the New King’s Road in Chelsea, London, stands an impressive white Art Deco building. Such buildings, generally constructed in the early part of the Twentieth century, frequently exhibit a certain majestic quality, even if they also tend to harbour a faded grandeur. This particular building, however, is the renowned Talisman building. Constructed in…

Perfect Alignment: 5 Tips

My latest article for Pianist Magazine’s newsletter focuses on hand alignment at the keyboard. Much has been made about this important facet, but it’s easy to overlook a few basic concepts. I hope you find these suggestions of interest. One of the most noticeable aspects when learning to play the piano is wrist, hand and…

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…

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…

MicroJazz Refreshed: the winners

Many thanks to all those who took part in my weekend competition. The prize is one of two books from composer Christopher Norton’s newly reissued MicroJazz series. The two winners are: Sinden Collier and Martin Bakaert Congratulations! Please send your address via the contact page on this blog, and your books will be on their…

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…