My Journey towards the End of Time

I am delighted to host this wonderfully reflective post by the brilliant young pianist Iyad Sughayer, which touches on the nature of musical engagement:

Guest post by Iyad Sughayer

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is perhaps one of his most celebrated works. Written during his time as a war prisoner at the Nazi Stalag VIII-A camp after the German invasion of France, it is the most intense religiously inspired work I have ever come across.

Despite coming from a Muslim background, having grown up in Jordan, I was still able to understand the strong Catholic Liturgy behind the work. Indeed Messiaen’s Catholic beliefs are clearly and beautifully portrayed throughout the work.

Continue reading My Journey towards the End of Time

SHINE Because of Music!

I’ve just heard about a FREE event taking part in London on 7th July 2017, which looks fantastic!

“Shine!” is a celebratory event hosted by ABRSM in partnership with the Barbican and Classic FM with a great line up of speakers, performers and awards to celebrate music education.

Confirmed to be appearing are the London Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Jess Gillam, Sir Simon Rattle and Classic FM presenter Myleene Klass.

Whatever your interest in music – whether a player, teacher, student or parent – this looks like a fantastic programme that offers something for everyone.

So without further ado, here is the full press release from ABRSM, and the link to reserve your FREE tickets:

Continue reading SHINE Because of Music!

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.

Continue reading EPTA Piano Teachers’ Course

Does music grow on the family tree?

Guest Post by Simon Reich

I would imagine, many creative and serious musicians, would love their children to follow in the same footsteps? Well interestingly enough, it doesn’t always turn out that way.

Take my own four children for example…

Continue reading Does music grow on the family tree?

Ask ABRSM

I’m delighted to let you know that Pianodao will feature an exclusive interview with ABRSM Chief Executive Michael Elliott next month.

Readers are invited to submit questions here.
Simply add yours as a comment below this blog post, and I will try to include it in the interview.

The goal of the interview is to get behind the scenes, perhaps bust a few myths, and give Michael a chance to talk about the direction ABRSM are headed, answering any questions or concerns teachers and candidates may have.

ABRSM and Pianodao will both be sharing this blog post via our respective social media channels, and hope to crowd-source as many interesting questions as possible. Questions submitted elsewhere on social media might get missed however, so please be sure to post your question in the comments here.

On your marks, get set ….  ASK!

Closing date: Monday 3rd April.

[NB if you haven’t commented here before, your first comment is send for approval before it appears in public, but I get an instant notification and will approve quickly.]

Interview with “Totally Mad” composer Chris Dann

“100 Totally Mad Really Easy Piano Songs for Kids” is an exciting collection of songs written especially for the young pianist. Wacky and original material makes learning fun, while progressively building skills in piano technique and music reading, providing a wide range of content suitable for use from the first lesson up until around Grade 1.

The use of songs – and hence singing – makes this an ideal resource for helping children developing their musicianship and aural engagement. And the quirky sense of humour that pervades the songs is sure to have huge appeal, hooking children into a lifetime of musical enjoyment.

It is without doubt one of the most innovative and imaginative alternatives to the conventional Tutor Book approach that I’ve come across. So it was a delight to catch up with the book’s author/composer, Chris Dann, and ask him all about the book – and the other resources he has produced.

But first, I wanted to find about more about Chris’s own musical journey…

Continue reading Interview with “Totally Mad” composer Chris Dann