The work of the independent piano teacher can be as varied as it is rewarding, and this throws up innumerable challenges on a regular basis.
Every student is unique, and each lesson different from the previous or next one. Holistic teaching requires not only a deep subject knowledge combined with pedagogic expertise, but also psychological insight, access to multiple teaching strategies and resources, tactful diplomacy and administrative efficiency.
It’s little wonder that many piano teachers struggle to be equally adroit in all these areas, or to have well-honed skill-sets to meet all these varied demands. And while answers to many of the questions we face – and situations which arise – are probably to be found in our previous knowledge, experience and common sense, it is nevertheless a huge asset to go through each day prepared for what may arise, and thoughtful of the ways in which we can improve as well-rounded teachers.
Help is at hand in a recent book written by Penny Stirling and Karen Marshall, and published by Collins Music.
Continue reading 100 Inspiring Ideas!
A brilliant new publication, The Piano Teacher’s Survival Guide instantly establishes itself as the very best practical manual available for today’s piano teachers …
Book Review by Andrew Eales, with a Second Opinion by Karen Marshall.
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“Music is a serious matter”
Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950)
Dinu Lipatti was born in Bucharest on 19th March 1917, a hundred years ago this week. His life and career shone with a brightness that helped illuminate the piano’s “golden age”, leaving an indelible hue on our cultural heritage. That blazing light was tragically extinguished on 2nd December 1950, when Lipatti died of Hodgkin’s Disease.
But Lipatti’s legacy lives on, and such was the precision, luminosity and spirituality of his playing that, these many decades later, many of his recordings (mostly from the 1940s) are still regarded as milestones in the history of music.
Continue reading Lipatti: Remembering a Legend
“Mindfulness” has become one of the buzzwords of the decade. We’ve no doubt all seen the regular articles about it in the popular press, exploring the possible benefits of mindfulness practice for our physical and mental health, productivity, learning, and general happiness.
But what of piano players – how can we benefit from mindfulness practice?
It’s a question for which we might hope to find answers in highly respected teacher, composer and pianist Mark Tanner’s hotly anticipated book and much lauded The Mindful Pianist, published by Faber Music this autumn.
Continue reading Mark Tanner’s ‘The Mindful Pianist’
Rami Bar-Niv is one of Israel’s most acclaimed and sought after pianists. He performs worldwide as a soloist with orchestra, recitalist and chamber musician, and has become an ambassador of goodwill for Israel. He has made several well received recordings for CBS, several of his compositions have been published and recorded, and he is widely in demand as a teacher.
Though some UK readers may not have come across Rami, those who are active networking on Facebook will have seen, and no doubt benefitted, from his erudite, constructive and generous support of other pianists, especially in the Piano Technique Discussion group, which he helps to administer. In short, Rami has won many friends around the world with his warmth, charm, and passion for the piano.
The Art of Piano Fingering
The Art of Piano Fingering is essentially a large manual for piano playing, published as a 212 page book via CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Several readers have asked me about it, and my opinion can effectively be summed up in just two words: Buy it.
Books about piano technique are rarely page-turners, and the idea of a large book that just deals with the nitty-gritty of piano fingering may not immediately appear enticing, but don’t be put off. In this review I will explain why I believe this book is an essential purchase for anyone who plays or teaches the piano…
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