Master classes with Valentina Lisitsa

Continuing with my aim to highlight master classes, championing the importance of the public or ‘class’ lesson, today’s post features Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa. Valentina enjoys a busy performing career since establishing her YouTube channel in 2007, and she has been hailed an internet ‘star’. She now has over 582,000 followers, and 226 million views….

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,…

ArtePiano Masterclasses

My guest post today has been written by South African pianist Niel du Preez (pictured below), the artistic director of a new piano course, ArtePiano Masterclasses, which will be held in splendid Sankt Goar, Germany. Here, Niel descibes how and why he established this exciting new venture. Sankt Goar A couple of years ago I…

Piano Workshops in Newcastle and York

One aspect of writing books that I particularly enjoy is the opportunity to meet teachers and students at workshops and book presentations. This year, I will be doing a fair few workshops all around the country, as well as some abroad. In February, I’m looking forward to visiting Newcastle and York for two Play it…

Piano Workshops and Summer Adventures

I’ve come to the end of a very busy Summer. It has been stimulating and enjoyable on so many levels, and it’s a privilege to travel to interesting parts of the world, meeting and working with different piano students, teachers, music lovers, and (hopefully) spreading the love for the piano. Music courses, particularly piano courses,…

Snapchats Duets & Trios

Snapchats was originally a collection of short piano duets which was published a few years ago. This volume has now been republished and updated, with the inclusion of extra duets and some trios too; it’s most definitely bigger and better than ever! Snapchats are intended for students from late beginner standard to approximately Grade 4…

Fruitful Fingering Part 2

This is the second article in my series for Piano Professional Magazine, published by EPTA (European Piano Teachers Association): a teacher’s publication, for which I write the technique feature. You can read the first article, here, and in Part 2, I look at different methods of applying certain fingerings, offering various options¬† for students. Teachers…

Teaching Improvisation to Groups Part 2 by Christopher Norton

Today’s guest post has been penned by renowned composer and educationalist Christopher Norton. This is the second post in a series which offers practice ideas and suggestions for those teaching group improvisation (you can read Part 1, here). Christopher’s work has, for many years, involved teaching students how to improvise using his imaginative and very…

Are you all Fingers and Thumbs?

My most recent article for Pianist Magazine’s e-newsletter focuses on the thumb. As always, my intention is to draw attention to an area of piano playing which may benefit from concentrated practice. I notice in my own teaching that students perpetually work to achieve and maintain finger strength, but then leave the poor old thumb…

The Inception and Development of PIANO WEEK

Today’s guest blog post has been written by British pianist Samantha Ward. Samantha is director and founder of PIANO WEEK, the popular piano Summer school and festival which is now offering students of all ages and abilities the chance to study the piano in various locations around the world. I was keen to ask her…