A Master Class with Zoltán Kocsis

Hungarian pianist Zoltán Kocsis was one of the finest pianists of his generation. He was a true representative of the Hungarian school and a great contemporary pianist (as well as a conductor and composer). His teaching serves to evoke the major figures of the great Hungarian piano tradition, from Franz Liszt, via Béla Bartók and Ernst…

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…

Pianist Magazine’s New Online Piano Courses

Renowned teacher and writer Graham Fitch and I will be hosting new online courses for Pianist Magazine. This will be the first time the magazine has ventured into piano lessons, and the new courses and workshops will hopefully encourage regular readers to engage with Pianist’s teachers and writers. Graham’s course, which is intended for those…

Weekend Competition: the winners

Many thanks to all those who took part in this weekend’s competition.  I really enjoyed reading your lovely comments. The prize was a copy of the new Faber Music Easy Piano Anthology for two lucky readers. Those winners are: LYNNE CONWAY and TAMARA BARSCHAK CONGRATULATIONS! Please send your name and address via the contact page…

The Faber Music Easy Piano Anthology: Weekend Competition

It’s time for a Summer weekend competition, and today’s chosen publication is the new Faber Music Easy Piano Anthology. Over the years, I’ve covered many of Faber’s new piano publications, and this one, in my opinion, will be particularly useful for teachers and their elementary students, due to the fact that most of the chosen…

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…

The Bridge Position

Today’s post features my latest technique article for Piano Professional (published by EPTA or the European Piano Teachers Association). If you aren’t aware of this organisation, may I suggest visiting their website for more details (please click here). This article highlights the Bridge Position, which is generally considered an important assumed hand position for pianists….

Pianists From The Past: Margaret Bonds

My Pianists From The Past series continues today with a fascinating article written by British pianist and musicologist Samantha Ege. Samantha is a leading interpreter and scholar of the African-American composer Florence Price.   Her PhD on Florence Price, and publications on women’s music networks, have shed an important light on classical practitioners from underrepresented…

6 Favourite Piano Resources

Many of us have been practising ‘social-distancing’ for a week or two already, and whilst not an especially enjoyable or uplifting experience, for me it has provided some much needed respite from the weekly lessons (although these are now all online), workshops, classes and piano courses, and work-related meetings. I love my work, but it’s…