Category Archives: Practising

34/60 Christmas is a time for sudden progess

At this time of year I switch to focussing on Christmas Carols. With careful choice of book, many of the students will make great gains in confidence and motivation. As well as choosing “off-the-shelf” books, I’ve also transposed carols into … Continue reading

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31/60 Hoovering and Swooping

  When the children in the choir slide between every note in the song… It is quite hard to break them of this horrible habit. Every time there is a leap between two notes they slither from one to the … Continue reading

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23/60 Teaching by Finger Number/Note Letter

Please don’t. I think it is is such a BAD idea… What has provoked this post, is taking on a number of young piano students recently. They turned up with numbers written over EVERY SINGLE NOTE in their pieces. Ugh. … Continue reading

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95/100 Scales – Start at the top

Here’s a thing; Suppose the brain is like a battery, that runs out of energy when it is used; When your student is playing a scale, especially if it is a new one, (and I’m talking piano here because that’s what … Continue reading

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85/100 Intentional Learning

That sounds a bit serious… But I mean that kind of practising when you first work out, and then work at, exactly what has to happen to manage to play the right notes. Let’s take this extract from the A2 … Continue reading

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76/100 Carols for cellos – with flats!

I’m teaching several groups of young Grade 2 cellists at the moment, covering for a colleague. All the groups are wrestling with the intricacies of B flat and E flat major scales – the novelty of “first finger back” on … Continue reading

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69/100 – Jig-saw Learning

What do you do when a pupil turns up at a lesson, declaring that she hadn’t done any work on the piece from last week because “it is too difficult”…. Let’s pretend she was a violin pupil learning to play … Continue reading

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64/100 The Post-It Window

I follow  the www.teachpianotoday.com site, and often use ideas that they suggest. I’m pretty sure this one came from them, but I haven’t been able to track it down. Anyway, here it is; Can you see, under the coloured pencils, … Continue reading

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