Piano Exams are Optional

Piano Exams are Optional

There’s a big misconception out there that if you learn to play the piano, you have to do piano exams.

This is not true.

There’s another misconception that you can determine someone’s ability at the piano simply by knowing what grade of exam they have passed.

This..

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How to Practice as an Adult

How to Practice as an Adult

You’d think that as a piano teacher, I’d be very disciplined when it comes to practicing the piano myself.

However, time is scarce and I find that most of my time at the piano is spent on my work as a teacher. I’m often playing through music to find suitable repertoire for..

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Student Compositions of “Creepy March”

Student Compositions of “Creepy March”

Following on from my last post which talked about composition, here are some more videos of my students playing their own compositions!

All of these are based on Samantha Coates’ rote repertoire pieces which give students such a great starting point to creating their own music. It’s..

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Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate

Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate

I’ve always been in awe of musicians who can improvise, arrange or compose music.

Back in the day when I was learning piano, there was a strong emphasis on exams. Most kids who “did” piano followed the same trajectory that I did, where our lessons were mostly dedicated to..

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Music is what feelings sound like

Music is what feelings sound like

I love this quote.

It describes so precisely why music has been such an important part of my life. I’m not a very emotionally expressive person when it comes to saying or showing how I feel, but I have feelings swirling around inside all the same. Where do these feelings go?

For..

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A Celebration Concert

A Celebration Concert

Four weeks into isolation lock down, I’ve finally found time to get around to those “important, but not urgent” tasks on my to-do list!

One of these was to share about the end of year Celebration Concert that I hosted at my studio last December. Feels like a lifetime ago now…

Setting..

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Making time for practice

Making time for practice

“How much practice did you do this week?”

I remember dreading this question as an adult voice student because my answer would almost always be “not much”. I was in my early 20s, starting out a career in a fast-paced organisation, partying on Friday nights and trying..

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My 30 days of yoga (and how it relates to piano)

My 30 days of yoga (and how it relates to piano)

Imagine you know two people who both do yoga. One tells you they have been practicing for a year and a half, while the other tells you they have practiced for 30 days. Which person do you think would be more advanced in their mastery of yoga?

Most of us would say that the person who has done..

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Let Them Be Silly

Let Them Be Silly

As a piano teacher, I am very conscious of every minute that goes by in a lesson. There is always so much I want to teach and there’s rarely enough time to squeeze it all in. 30, 45 or even 60 minutes can go by really quickly and it’s tempting to cut short parts of the lesson that don’t..

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Play and Practice Pieces

Play and Practice Pieces

I give my beginner piano students a lot of pieces to play after their first month or so, introducing at least one or two new pieces of music each lesson. Being new to the piano, every piece of music has something in it for them to learn, be it technique, patterns, rhythm or note reading.
Some..

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