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…

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…