Play it again: PIANO Book 1

The piano is an intoxicating instrument. Those who have played in their youth often harbour a desire to return to it later in life. Piano ‘returners’ make up an increasingly large cohort of amateur pianists. Whether younger or older, it’s usually fairly easy to pick up again and  progress can be swift, proffering the opportunity…

2017 Beethoven Junior Intercollegiate Piano Competition

Those who read this blog regularly will know how much I enjoy adjudicating; it’s always a fascinating experience, and one from which I’m constantly learning. On Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity to sit on the jury of the 2017 Beethoven Junior Intercollegiate Piano Competition. Organised by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, the competition…

Piano Notes 2017-18

Piano Notes were published  in early 2017, and offer students and teachers a wealth of practical advice for the entire ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examination board) piano syllabus from Grade 1 through to Grade 8, which started in January 2017 and goes through to Spring 2019. The notes include all…

Manchester Music Festival Young Artists Program

Here’s a wonderful chance for young pianists and string players to attend a Summer course in Vermont (US) with an illustrious faculty and exciting performance opportunities. The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) Young Artists Program is a full scholarship, six-week intensive chamber music festival for string players and pianists, aged from 18 – 26. Occurring annually…

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…

A Weekend at Jackdaws Music Education Trust

I had the pleasure of tutoring a second piano course at Jackdaws Music Education Trust over the weekend. Jackdaws is dedicated to improving participation in and enjoyment of music through residential and one day instrumental and vocal courses, various education projects, a Young Artists Programme, as well as performances by world-class musicians. Piano courses, whether…

Jackdaws Piano Course 2016

My piano course at Jackdaws Music Education Trust will be held in October this year and the bookings open today!  This is my second visit to Jackdaws and I’m very much forward to it. Jackdaws has a wonderful history and tradition, and is renowned for its instrumental and vocal courses, education projects, young artists programme,…

Weekend Competition Double Bill

This weekend’s competition features two piano resources which I hope will be of interest. The first is a collection of 12 Tangos, written by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla (1921 – 1992), arranged by Rachel Chapin, and published by Boosey and Hawkes. Each piece contains all the expected tango inflections, incorporated alongside elements of classical music…

A Few Thoughts on Selecting Piano Diploma Repertoire

Today’s post is the second exploring piano diploma repertoire. You can read my first post, here. As the previous article describes, there are many ways of ensuring an interesting well-balanced programme, but when it comes to choosing the music itself, how and what do you select? Which pieces make ‘safe’ choices and what constitutes an…

Selecting a piano diploma programme: 10 Top Tips

One of the most frequent questions I receive from those who read this blog, whether piano teachers or students, is how to prepare for diploma exams and how to select an interesting, innovative programme. My blog post today seeks to answer the latter question. There is no ‘correct’ answer of course, as programming is a…