9 Tips for Piano Exam Success in 2017

Selecting and Practising Piano Exam Repertoire is a new series on my blog, which will begin in earnest next week. Today’s post is in preparation, offering a few practice ideas to make piano exam study a more fruitful and rewarding affair. Some of you have written (over the past year or so) requesting information about…

Practising Duets

This is the first of two posts addressing piano duet practice. Most students love to play duets, after all it’s one of the few times they get to work with a fellow pianist. It can be helpful for pupils to work in pairs for many aspects of piano playing – from practising scales and arpeggios,…

5 Top Tips to Aid Memorisation

Pianist Magazine produces a newsletter which wings its way into a reader’s e mail box every other month. It’s brimming with piano news and information, as well as a few piano articles. I write a regular ‘Piano Tips’ feature, and today’s post presents the most recent, which focuses on memorisation. I’ve written about this topic…

Around the Globe Piano Music Festival 2016

Situated on the perpetually busy Talgarth road, to the West of London, Colet House is the home of the Study Society. Behind a perfunctory, inconspicuous door, lies a rather grand entrance hall which deftly transports visitors to a bygone era. I love places like this; the mystery behind the facade, the labyrinth of small passageways…

5 Top Tips To Improve Your Listening Skills

I occasionally contribute to Pianist magazine’s newsletter (in addition to writing a ‘how-to-play’ article in the magazine), which pops into a subscriber’s e mail box every other month. It’s full of interesting articles, competitions and everything piano! The most recent newsletter article contains 5 tips designed to cultivate and improve our listening skills, and I…

The Mindful Pianist: An Interview with Mark Tanner

The Mindful Pianist is a new book written by British pianist, author, teacher, composer, researcher, examiner and adjudicator,  Mark Tanner (pictured above). This volume forms part of EPTA‘s (European Piano Teachers Association) Piano Professional Series, and is published by Faber Music. I invited Mark to answer twelve questions about his life and diverse career as…

Weekend Competition! Safari by June Armstrong

My competition this weekend features a new collection of beginner to pre-grade one piano pieces written by composer June Armstrong. Safari consists of 23 elementary pieces and follows the course of a day in Africa, starting with African Dawn and ending with Night Sky with Stars.  You can meet all the animals along the way…

10 Top Tips To Pass Your Piano Exam

As the new term gets underway, many will be preparing for music exams at the end of the year and the aim of this post is to provide a few extra pointers and ideas for last-minute preparations. Once the pieces have been learnt, scales, arpeggios and technical work is all in place, and the dreaded…

The Power of Repetition

Finding the appropriate practice tool for a specific issue can, as we all know, be a matter of trial and error. When all the usual methods have been exhausted or have perhaps already been overused, it’s time to experiment with new ideas and find a fresh approach in order to nail that awkward passage. Recently,…

Friday Freebie!

Today’s Friday Freebie comes courtesy of US composer and arranger, Carol Matz. Carol (pictured above) is a prolific educational composer whose many collections of works and arrangements for the piano have been published by Alfred. She publishes her compositions as well, and you can sign up for free monthly piano pieces, arrangements and duets, here….