The 2022 Top Twenty

Looking back at the most popular posts of the year …

Each year as December arrives I look back and take stock of which posts struck a chord, a nerve, or otherwise gained traction over the preceding months. And it’s not mere vanity to do so. Understanding the data that a busy site such as Pianodao can offer (albeit with caveats) casts some light on the bigger picture of what is trending in the wider piano education community.

Many of us have noted that the internet has become a little quieter since the height of the pandemic. Understandably so. But nevertheless, in a year of rapid change Pianodao still succeeded in welcoming around a quarter of a million visits, and from well over 100 countries.

Such figures would be considered modest for a commercial organisation, but Pianodao remains my independent, personal blog site, 100% my own work, supported by occasional reader donations (yes, that’s a hint!). I am constantly astonished and truly humbled that so many look to the site for information, advice and enjoyment.

As a writer I could focus on my immediate community, telling readers “what is hot, and what is not” in my piano studio. That would have its own value. But analysing the interests of a wider readership helps me to provide content with broader relevance, address issues that players, teachers and enthusiasts around the world can relate to, and review music which has importance and interest beyond my immediate personal orbit.

So what did readers find most interesting? As usual, it included much of the Pianodao archive of 600+ older posts. Topical though many of these remain, the countdown which follows includes fresh 2022 content only.

Of more than 100 new articles posted over the last 12 months, let’s find out which ones made the strongest mark…

Counting Down from 20

To read any of these posts, simply click on its title (it will open in a fresh tab so that you don’t lose your place):

20: Alexis Ffrench: “Truth”

19. Paul Harris: Unconditional Teaching

18. Andrew Eales: “Fresh Air” tutorial

17. Hal Leonard’s ‘Classical Piano Sheet Music Series’

16. Victoria Proudler: ‘Piano Grades are Go!

15. The Rusty Pianist: Playable Pieces

14. A Common Approach 2022

13. In Memorium of Queen Elizabeth II: “Lilibet”

12. Singing in Aural Tests: the Bottom Line

11. The New, Improved Microjazz

Drum roll…

The Top Ten

10. Graded Gillock: the new series

The announcement and overview of my new series for Willis Music, bringing together three graded collections of the best music by William Gillock, rightly attracted a lot of attention. Rightly, because Gillock’s music has immense and enduring appeal, and these books really are essential for all piano teachers and students from elementary to early advanced level. Read more here.

9. Why do we Play the Piano?

I write a lot about motivation on this site and in my Hal Leonard book How to Practise Music, and in this post I unpack some simple but powerful points about exactly what it is that drives us as individuals to play the piano. Read more here.

8. Ludovico Einaudi: Underwater

Einaudi’s music continues to both divide opinion among musicians and sell by the million to those who appreciate accessible contemporary piano music. His latest album proved to be quite different from its predecessors though… and like many others, I loved it. Read more here.

7. ABRSM to update their Professional Diplomas

Towards the end of 2022, news filtered through that awarding body ABRSM are planning to overhaul their globally respected professional diplomas, and in common with several of their recent changes, it proved perplexing for many of their most loyal stakeholders… Read more here.

6. ABRSM Pop Performer!

Reviewing ABRSM’s new Pop Performer! books in the autumn I predicted they would be an essential “must have” purchase, and sure enough they are already proving hugely successful. Very deservedly so! Read more here.

5. Essential Piano Teaching Resources 2022

As the new academic year approached I brought together a list of all the recent publications which I thought teachers needed to be aware of. It proved very popular, and will be an annual feature on Pianodao from now on! Read more here.

4. Thoughts on the Art of Practice

Guest posts are few and far between on Pianodao, but I was truly honoured by the opportunity to publish this epic piece by the great concert pianist Philip Fowke, and I am thrilled that so many around the world have already found his advice immensely helpful. Read more here.

3. Which Adult Piano Method?

My multi-review roundup of the best adult piano method books has been one of the most popular resources on Pianodao for several years, and at the start of 2022 I gave it a thorough and radical update. Read more here.

2. How to Practice Music: The Handbook

For me, the professional highlight of 2022 has been the publication of my first book for Hal Leonard, with whom I now have an ongoing publishing relationship.

How to Practise Music is a little handbook suitable for all players, offering a better idea of how to practise, good reasons for doing so, and the confidence to succeed. Read more here.

1. ABRSM Piano Syllabus 2023-24

There are good reasons why so many regard ABRSM as the world’s leading exam board, and global interest in my reviews of their products and services continues to dwarf interest here in all the other boards combined.

The new 2023-24 syllabus is a stunner in many ways… but there’s a sting in the tail. Read more here.

ABRSM Piano Grades

Happy New Year…

In the coming year, I will continue to do my best to support all my students, colleagues and followers through this site, while also endeavouring to speak to the interests, needs and spirit of piano enthusiasts wherever you are around the world.

I truly want to thank you all for your continuing support. And I look forward to sharing the year ahead with you all, wishing each and every one of you the very best for 2023.

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Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is the author of HOW TO PRACTISE MUSIC, published worldwide by Hal Leonard. He is a widely respected piano educator and published composer based on Milton Keynes UK.