• Reward or Not…?

    In case you have not yet noticed, by and large children are not self-motivated. As adults we realise that if we put our minds to something, work through the steps, do the work and don’t give up, we can pretty much acquire any skill. Children in fact do just this when they learn to walk, or teach themselves to do pretty much any of their early skills. But learning the piano is different. If we can capture their imagination we are off to a flying start, but this doesn’t work for all children. Often children can’t work out themselves the best way to play a piece. They revert to what…

  • The Path to Success

    Some well-intentioned students have little idea how to practise or how to progress. Here are some observations of how high-achieving students work. Of course there are many ways to succeed and you may know other ways. These points are based on my own observations. How high-achieving students work: 1. They approach fresh pieces with enthusiasm and determination. They are explorers in a fascinating world. It’s a musical adventure! 2. They follow up quickly on lessons and practise the new skills throughout the week. 3. They listen to themselves when they play and enjoy making the sound better and better. 4. They never allow themselves to be bored but find new…

  • Piano Drop Outs

    A recent survey in America revealed surprising results:  Biggest reasons for dropping piano: 1.  Having a stay-at-home parent with a musical background 2.  Students rating themselves very poorly 3.  Insufficient practice time 4.  Lack of motivation These are very interesting results. Let’s look at them in more detail. 1. Having a stay-at-home parent with a musical background This may surprise you. Isn’t that the ideal?!  Although it is very beneficial to provide a supporting home environment with the opportunity of hearing a variety of music including classical art music, there is obviously a fine line here between providing interested, nurturing support and too much nagging. That can have the opposite effect!! This…