EPTA Piano Teachers’ Course

I am delighted to tell readers that I have accepted an invitation to join the Principal Tutor team for the European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA) UK Piano Teachers’ Course.

I will be joining the esteemed colleagues that I am pictured with above (photo by Jennie Parke Matheson) – from the left, Ilga Pitkevica, Sally Cathcart, me, Lucinda Mackworth-Young, Graham Fitch and Heli Ignatius-Fleet.

The PTC is a part-time course, designed to suit those with other commitments, running with the academic year from October through to June. It consists of four residential weekends, two single Sundays and independent study and assignments spread throughout the year.

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Andrew Eales: an interview

Interview by Frances Wilson

This interview includes material that originally appeared on Frances Wilson’s site The Cross-Eyed Pianist, and is reproduced here with her kind permission.

Continue reading Andrew Eales: an interview

Take a Bow! How, When and Why…

Advice for New Performers

As the pianist releases the final notes of the piece, the audience bursts into enthusiastic applause. The player stands and takes a bow…

It’s a code of conduct that we tend to take for granted – but one that should be taught and practised as part of performance preparation.

Because I try to cultivate a friendly, non-competitive, informal atmosphere at my student concerts, I have not always been careful to make sure that new performers understand the importance of “stagecraft”, and the essential place of taking a bow in order to receive and acknowledge audience applause.

I have been trying to address that by giving students a “mock performance” experience in their lesson, including teaching them how to bow. Here is a quick summary that supports that practice.

Continue reading Take a Bow! How, When and Why…

Andrew Eales 2016 Recital

I would like to say a HUGE Thank You! to all who supported my 2016 Recital performance at the Chrysalis Theatre, Milton Keynes on Saturday 8th October.

Each year I try to give at least one solo recital locally as an opportunity to share my own playing and enthusiasm with my students, families and friends in the area – as well as those who choose to travel from further afield.

One such is my friend Stephen Marquiss, himself a very highly respected pianist and teacher, who kindly wrote of the evening:

“Treated to a recital by Andrew Eales last night packed with exquisite musical detail, inspired programming and engaging and informative introductions.”

For those who are interested in the programme I played, and would like to explore the music and composers more, here’s the list:

  • Louis Couperin (1626-61): Chaconne in F major
  • Erik Satie (1866-1925): Sarabande No.1
  • Erik Satie:  Gymnopédies 1-3
  • W.A. Mozart (1756-1791):  Piano Sonata in F major K.332

And after the interval:

  • Elena Kats-Chernin (b1957):  Eliza Aria
  • Elena Kats-Chernin:  Butterflying
  • Robert Schumann (1810-1856):  Papillons Op.2
  • Erik Satie:  3 Gnossiennes

At the end I also performed my own composition “Prelude to a Better Year”, a version of which I recorded here:

The concert was held to benefit the Campbell Community Milton Keynes, a charity that all recent Keyquest Music concerts have supported.

Including the ticket sales and refreshments on Saturday, the total amount we have raised for this wonderful cause over the last three years has now risen to more than £5,000.

Thank you for such overwhelming generosity!

Introducing ABRSM Piano Star!

I am delighted to inform readers that ABRSM commissioned me to compose a number of pieces for their new Piano Star series of pre-Grade 1 books, which they formally unveil today. I feel honoured to have been involved with these fabulous new books…

As a direct contributor, of course I am unable to offer a full independent review of the publications here for ethical reasons. Instead, I have reproduced today’s Media Release from ABRSM, which gives full details of the publications below.

Continue reading Introducing ABRSM Piano Star!

Writing the Piano

I am thrilled to be taking part in a special event for those interested in writing about the piano.

“Writing the Piano” has been organised by my good friend and successful blogger Frances Wilson, who writes the following:

Tuesday 18th October 2016, 1901 Arts Club, London

The piano, in all its complexity and beauty, is a source of constant fascination, for those who play it and those who enjoy hearing the instrument being played. We listen in wonder to the lonely pianist conjuring magical sounds out of that box of wood and wires, in effect a machine, and marvel at his or her ability to create myriad sonic shadings, from a full orchestral fortissimo to the quietest most intimate whispered pianissimo.

This special event will explore how we translate that fascination and engrossing engagement with the instrument into words: how we explain the feeling of playing certain repertoire, the experience of concerts and performing, differing approaches to technique and interpretation, teaching and mentoring, and simply enjoying the instrument.

Three leading UK bloggers on the piano and piano teaching will explore different approaches to writing about the piano, pianism, being a pianist, piano playing, the instrument and its literature. The event will be of interest to pianists of all levels, professional or amateur, piano teachers, piano enthusiasts and music lovers in general, and takes place in the convivial surroundings of the 1901 Arts Club, close to London’s Waterloo Station. Pianist Elspeth Wyllie will give a short recital to open the event.

Early booking is recommended due to the small size of the venue

Book tickets

Guest speakers

Graham Fitch – acclaimed pianist, teacher, writer and author of the Practising the Piano blog and ebook

Andrew Eales – pianist, teacher and creator of the Pianodao blog

Frances Wilson – pianist, teacher, concert reviewer and author of The Cross-Eyed Pianist blog

Elspeth Wyllie – pianist   elspethwyllie.co.uk

graham-fitch     andrew-eales     frances-wilson     elspeth-wyllie

  • Short recital by guest performer Elspeth Wyllie
  • Presentations by each speaker
  • Q&A/discussion session
  • Networking and socialising upstairs at the 1901 Arts Club