Category Archives: Practising

Issue 134: Highlighting Problems

It has been a frustrating time for one of my piano students. We can look at a problem in a bar, work out what is causing it, sort it out, play it correctly half a dozen times in a row, … Continue reading

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Issue 128: Chunking up piano scales

The first “hands together” piano scales are actually the hardest ones to get to grips with. In fact I still remember being withdrawn from my Grade 2 piano exam, because I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) manage to do the proper fingering for … Continue reading

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Issue 125: Kerplunkers at the Keyboard

You must know what I mean? When your students play their “hands-together” scales, and the fingers of each hand aren’t coordinated, so that the notes don’t sound together at the same time? The solution to so many technical problems is … Continue reading

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Issue 125: In the Mood for Practising

Years ago, I watched a television documentary on one of the specialist music schools. During a lesson, the music teacher was teaching a young lad, and issued the instruction “when you practice this exercise, if you are not in the mood to … Continue reading

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Issue 120: Stickers for a young violinist

  Tonight I was running through the piano accompaniments for a young (and very tired) violinist preparing for Grade 3. One piece has a couple of Grade 1 standard A major and D major arpeggios, and she was consistently playing them … Continue reading

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Christmas Issue 116: Friday 27th December – teachpianotoday

I picked up a link to this post from the www.teachpianotoday.com site from one of the people I follow on twitter; (thanks, @trebletrio !) http://www.teachpianotoday.com/2013/12/26/the-top-5-piano-teaching-posts-in-2013/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-top-5-piano-teaching-posts-in-2013 Browsing through the site should while away an hour or so… I’m now about to follow … Continue reading

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Issue 114: Practising major scales through improvisation

I learned this from my saxophone teacher, back in the days when I suddenly decided that I wanted to learn to play the saxophone. The first step is, or course, to teach the scale, on what ever instrument you happen … Continue reading

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Issue 108: What do I teach first?

Thinking about teaching piano, the problem is that I want to ensure that the student learns the correct notes, fingering, rhythm, articulation, touch and dynamics. It is clearly impossible to learn all those elements in one go, but I am … Continue reading

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