• Practice: Yes, that old Chestnut!

    Gee – how I hate that word! Enough to put fear into any child’s heart. I wish I never had to mention it. Unfortunately it is a fact of life that skills need to be practised and piano is no different. What is a skill? A skill is any activity that requires knowledge of technique and practice to acquire the necessary, often delicate, physical movements. Think of juggling, intricate sewing, playing basket ball or any sport, running, even playing complicated computer games. It is rather sad but true that I can usually tell within the first few weeks of lessons if a child is going to succeed or not. Sometimes…

  • 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…