Welcome to Pianodao!

Pianodao – “The Way of Piano” – seeks to inform, inspire and encourage piano players, teachers and students.

Built around the metaphor of piano playing as a lifetime journey, Pianodao focuses on our musical and creative development while also considering our personal well-being.   Find out more »

Piano Village (Elena Kats-Chernin)

Sheet Music Review

Elena Kats-Chernin (born 1957) is an Australian composer, originally from Uzbekistan (at the time part of the Soviet Union). Kats-Chernin has won numerous prizes, and her music was featured in the opening ceremony’s of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Her output includes 6 operas, the popular ballet Wild Swans, numerous orchestral and instrumental works, film scores and a large amount of piano music.

Piano Village brings together 25 of her piano solos in a single gorgeously presented volume recently published in the UK by Boosey & Hawkes. And it’s a stunning book.

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Sit up and Shut down

Piano Qigong Exercises

Here is a simple qigong practice that provides an easy hack for diminishing the effects of anxiety in our lives. It can help before performing, taking an exam, or simply enable us get through the basics of daily life.

Anxiety. It seems to be the curse of the modern age, inflicting and blighting so many of our lives. As pianists we often talk about “performance anxiety”, but the truth is that our anxiety about performing is often one element of a bigger picture, and shouldn’t lightly be isolated…

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Safari: Adventures for Piano (June Armstrong)

Sheet Music Review

Composer June Armstrong has now published more than a dozen collections of original solo piano music through her business Pianissimo Publishing, and I have previously published favourable reviews of her book Stars: 14 Constellations for Piano and her easy duet collection Rayan’s Duet Book‘.

June is well known to many piano teachers for ‘Toy Box’ (aimed at beginner to pre-grade 1 standard) and its sequel ‘Paint Box’ (pre-grade 1 to grade 1), the most popular of her previous collections.

‘Safari: Adventures for Piano  is June’s latest publication, released September 2016. Aimed at “Beginner to pre-grade 1 standard”, the book revisits the level of ‘Toy Box’.

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Relax at Schott Music’s London store

It’s always great to see music publishers support the performance of their latest releases, whether new commissions or compilations of popular favourites. Schott Music’s London store have hosted many performance evenings in recent years, in which members of the public are even invited to participate at the piano.

Regular readers may remember how impressed I was with their Relax with Piano Styles series published earlier this year, and I’m delighted that on 13th October the Schott Music London shop are hosting a special evening event in their Recital Room, celebrating these publications.

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Lang Lang’s Piano Method: now it’s complete!

Sheet Music Review

Earlier this year The Lang Lang Piano Method was unveiled, arousing much interest.

Here on Pianodao I wrote a detailed review of the first three books, in which I not only provided an overview of the product itself, but hopefully gave teachers sufficient insight into the underlying pedagogy of the series to make an informed choice about whether or not the books would fit in with their approach.

From 1st September 2016, Levels 4 and 5 are now also available, which complete the series and bridge the gap between the first three Piano Method books and Lang Lang’s Mastering the Piano series, also published by Faber Music.

Continue reading Lang Lang’s Piano Method: now it’s complete!

Get Set! Piano comes to Pianodao…

It is with huge pleasure that I can announce today that Harper Collins, the new publishers of Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond’s outstanding piano method Get Set! Piano have allowed Pianodao to host the tremendously useful FREE download resources that accompany the series.

Continue reading Get Set! Piano comes to Pianodao…