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Last week, I learned how to play the piano. This may sound strange, as my bio clearly states that I’ve been playing piano for 47 years.
Ok, so this probably sounds like a very far-fetched analogy, right? But I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the different factors involved in riding a bike, and how similar they are to the factors involved in a successful piano playing experience.
This is the story of how BlitzBooks Rote Repertoire (BBRR) came to be. It is a weird and wonderful confluence of my exposure to three very significant philosophies/methods in the music world: Piano Safari, Taubman and Suzuki, and how I have combined these with three decades of my own teaching experience to create what I […]
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably read many blogs on motivation. Most of them deal with how to motivate our students, our children, ourselves – and it’s usually about positive, intrinsic motivation. But motivation can actually be negative, or at least result in negatively engaged students/children/self. In this blog I am going to simplify […]
In Part 1 I talked about this matrix: Practice Not much or No practice Support 1 Fastest possible progress 2 Slow progress Not much or No support 3 Reasonable progress (unusual) 4 No progress In Part 2 I’ll talk more about each individual quadrant: what support means and what marks progress, and how to […]
I am a member of several piano teacher groups on Facebook. To me it seems that the conversation that comes up most often is on how to retain students who don’t practice. There are rants about the schedules that don’t permit enough practice time, the parents who expect everything to be fun and easy, the arguing between parent and student at home (and sometimes between student and teacher in the lesson!) and the expectations from all that are rarely met.
“No pain, no gain” is something that we hear so often in the world of physical accomplishments. But it is a dangerous approach in piano and in fact my physiotherapist tells me it’s an absolute myth in any physical pursuit.
I’ve created a very specific list of piano performance criteria that can be applied to any student, at any level, playing any piece. This list contains what I believe to be the components of any great performance, whether it’s given by the tiniest beginner pianist or the most accomplished recitalist.