As we slide from one decade into the next, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to readers for all your support in 2019.
The close of the year is always a time for reflection, for looking back at our successes and failures, for making resolutions to do and to be better in the coming year…
The last twelve months have been record-breaking ones for this site, with readership numbers worldwide having doubled in the last couple of years.
As ever, there have been many individual articles and reviews that have attracted special attention, and in this post I will be continuing the annual tradition of counting down the most popular ten posts.
It’s always interesting to see which posts most speak to the contemporary issues and concerns that readers have, and the list can be seen as a barometer of the subjects which the piano community are interested in at present.
I will also be naming the Pianodao Album of the Year 2019 as well as highlighting some other great piano recordings that I wasn’t able to feature in my Recording of the Month series.
And as in previous years, this post will disappear in just a few days’ time, so if you are interested… don’t wait! Now’s the time to read on …
The Top Ten Posts of 2019
In reverse order, here’s what readers were checking out in 2019…
10: Eva Gevorgyan: Makings of a Superstar
Following her astonishing London debut, I was able to chat to 15-year-old Russian prodigy Eva Gevorgyan about her musical journey thus far…
9: Rockschool Piano: The Review
Reviews of new exam syllabus materials always seem to attract particular interest on Pianodao, and it was certainly fascinating to take an in-depth look at a syllabus with a genuine difference…
8: Active Repertoire Challenge 2019
The Active Repertoire Challenge has become one of the staple ingredients of the Pianodao website. This instalment offered a single sheet to be used by players across the whole year. Did you try it?
7: The Piano Student’s Humiliation
To my mind, the most important of all the articles published here in 2019, this piece considers how we piano teachers can best nurture our students.
6: Einaudi’s Seven Days Walking
The music of Ludovico Einaudi continues to enchant audiences and players everywhere. His latest album, released on 7 CD’s at monthly intervals, is perhaps his best yet; I’ve loved listening to it throughout the year, and enjoyed teaching the pieces included in the official music collection.
5: Get Set! Christmas Downloads
Shared on the Pianodao site by exclusive arrangement with Collins Music, and with thanks to the wonderful Karen Marshall, the site this year hosted six brand new carol arrangements and three activity sheets. Needless to say, readers around the world loved this material!
4: Lang Lang’s Piano Book
Released in conjunction with his latest two-CD album from Deutsche Grammophon, the Lang Lang Piano Book is a sumptuous affair brought to us by Faber Music. The Pianodao review as always sought to include all the info you need…
3: Piano Trainer Downloads
More amazing teaching resources from Karen Marshall and her co-writers, this time designed and shared on Pianodao by publishers Faber Music… there’s something here for students at each and every level of their development!
2: ABRSM’s Scales Review
Pianodao reviews of ABRSM syllabus materials have been read by tens of thousands around the world, so it was no surprise that this response to their deeply concerning scales proposals would reach a wide audience, the feedback suggesting that the views expressed here are shared very widely. But will ABRSM have listened to this feedback? We’ll find out in early summer 2020…
1: Which Adult Piano Method 2019?
By a considerable margin the most-read post of 2019, this epic survey has hopefully been a signifiant help to teachers and adult beginners. Watch out for a fully updated and expanded version coming early in 2020…
Piano Album of the Year 2019
I hope that you’ve enjoyed the Recording of the Month series this year. It’s been a real joy to discover great new piano albums, and to share the best of the best with you here on Pianodao. In particular, how wonderful to have showcased so many younger up-and-coming piano virtuosi.
In addition to the recordings I’ve featured, I’ve really enjoyed the latest from Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Abdullah Ibrahim, Hai-Kyung Suh, Ivo Kahánek, Lucas Debargue, Peter Donohoe, Iyad Sughayer and Saskia Georgini.
In some of these cases I had selected these for Recording of the Month and begun drafting the reviews before switching choice at the eleventh hour. All the above are well worth listening to!
But when looking back at 2019, there’s (for me at least) one recording which stands out above all others for its sheer panache and brilliance.
Without further ado, my choice for ALBUM OF THE YEAR is Beatrice Rana’s Stravinsky/Ravel album, reviewed as December’s Recording of the Month here.
Watch out for more great Recording of the Month albums throughout 2020, and let’s hope it proves to be another brilliant year!
My main goal for the coming year is to strengthen the core content and identity of Pianodao as a piano education resource that supports players at all levels, and their teachers.
Among other things, this will mean revisiting all 500+ posts on the site over the course of the next 12 months, deleting those that are no longer of relevance, editing others, and republishing some with updated content.
I also hope to:
- completely rewrite the Piano Qigong content and give it a renewed focus.
- limit sheet music reviews to one choice publication per week, with an even spread and variety of music for players at all levels.
- expand on book reviews, the “Building a Library” series.
- Further develop “The Pianist’s Reflections” series.
The less popular aspects of the site will quietly diminish.
I also hope to further develop the Pianodao Tea Room concept in the coming year, and will have more to say about that very soon!
So those are the plans, and as always let’s see what happens in the year ahead! I hope that your plans for 2020 are also coming together well, and look forward to sharing your piano journey in the coming years!
And please leave a comment below, letting me know what you enjoyed and found helpful on Pianodao this year, and any suggestions you would like to make for the year to come … again, THANK YOU!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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