Pianodao – The Way of Piano – is the piano education blog of Andrew Eales, a pianist, teacher and writer based in Milton Keynes UK.
The aim of Pianodao is to inform, encourage and offer practical wisdom to help and support piano players, including those who teach.
Building on a vision of piano playing as a lifetime journey, the site focusses on our musical development in the context of our broader lives.
Pianodao is perhaps best-known to many as a leading independent review site, with over 300 reviews covering books, recordings, educational resources, and a wide range of sheet music suitable for everyone from beginners to professionals.
Guest Authors from around the world have also significantly contributed to the site, sharing their experiences, perspectives, and knowledge here.
Welcome to Pianodao!
I’m so pleased that you’ve found this site, and very much hope that you enjoy exploring the 400+ articles here, written to help you on your piano journey.
We pianists know that self-evaluation is crucial to our progress and musical development. Pianodao takes this basic principle and places the process of reflection within a much broader context – our journey through life.
When teaching I continue to observe that many of the problems and issues that I and my students grapple with have very little to do with our pianism and musical understanding, and far more to do with our physical limitations, tension, mental state and internal beliefs. The work of a piano teacher can sometimes have as much to do with helping our students to address these issues as it does with conventional pedagogical content.
We all have a life outside of our piano playing, and it is clearly worthwhile considering the connections between our experience of life and our ongoing musical development. But where do we start?
I have found that the philosophical wisdom of Daoism (“Taoism”) and other Eastern traditions can offer fresh perspectives and an insightful approach – one which celebrates inter-connectedness in all things, rather than isolating disconnected specialisms as so often happens in Western thinking.
Alongside all these broader reflections, which distinguish this from other piano sites, Pianodao of course includes plenty of practical material which directly addresses piano playing, teaching, repertoire and resources.
Enjoy the site!
How to use this site
It isn’t a good idea to change our playing, teaching or lifestyle simply on the basis of a few blog posts – read here or elsewhere – or advice gleaned from social media. Articles published here should be read in the context of your broader journey as a person and as a pianist, and not as a substitute for it.
The Pianodao site does not purport to provide a comprehensive method of playing or teaching the piano, or of practising qigong. Nor should the lifestyle advice offered here be accepted in isolation.
We need to be discerning, and to root our lives and practice in real world experience and interactions.
Please also understand that the views I express here are not necessarily those of my employers, past, present or future. They have their own sites. And all views are provisional, subject to change as my own journey progresses.
Bearing these important points in mind:
- Piano playing ideas are published here for discussion with your teacher;
- Teaching ideas are for consideration as part of your wider continuing professional development and reflection;
- Lifestyle ideas should be discussed with your doctor, family and friends.
The Pianodao site offers:
- ideas for consideration;
- opinions for discussion;
- questions for reflection;
- possibilities for experimentation; and hopefully –
- inspiration for living a more fulfilling and musical life.
I hope Pianodao offers insights which will bring clarity to your own Way of Piano. If you feel that I could particularly help you and would like to consult with me privately, please feel free to get in touch.
All original material published on this site is copyright Keyquest Music or to guest authors where credited.
You are welcome to freely link to and share this material for non-commercial purposes. Please always credit the authors and Pianodao website when doing so.
Links to music and videos on YouTube, SoundCloud and other sites are included on the basis that those sites are responsible for any issues arising from copyright. If you spot an issue please report it to the host site concerned – and don’t panic, they will deal with it quickly for you.
Pianodao is owned by Keyquest Music, the independent music education consultancy, private teaching practice and creative outlet of pianist, writer and teacher Andrew Eales.
Andrew is a member of The Incorporated Society of Musicians and EPTA UK, the European Piano Teachers’ Association.