“Sound before symbol”: lessons from history

Musicians and teachers often debate the relative merits of aural-based learning versus a notation-driven approach. Seeing the topic wheeled out for discussion again this week, I was reminded of this brilliant quote by the legendary concert pianist Andor Földes, taken from his book “Keys to the Keyboard” written back in 1950 :

“There is no such thing as a proper age for a child to start playing the piano. I avoid saying ‘to start his musical education’ because I believe that an education in music should start very early, perhaps years before the child ever actually learns how to read notes, or can find his way among the black and white keys.”

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“Get Set! Piano”: six reasons to get excited!

Having recently given such high praise to Karen Marshall’s “Encore” books (ABRSM, 2015), I had high hopes for the “Get Set! Piano” tutor books which she has co-written with composer Heather Hammond…

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Sunday Sounds, 11th October 2015
Simon Reich: “Inspiration”

A pleasure to feature this gorgeous piece by my good friend Simon Reich, who has contributed here as a guest author on a number of occasions. Simon writes:

Sometimes my wife thinks music is a mistress that takes me away from her, but what she doesn’t realise is, that she is my greatest inspiration.
Softly played piano instrumental, that began it’s life as an improvisation. I find this type of composing, as the purest musical art form.

Follow: Simon Reich on SoundCloud

“Autumn is Coming”

Sunday Sounds, 4 October 2015
Andrej Zatkalík:  “Autumn is Coming”

Andrej writes:

This is my piano improvisation from the last summer day.
In first part i play motiff from song from Manowar.
I play on masterkeyboard Kawai VPC1 coupled with VST piano Ravenscroft 275.
Download possible in 96kHz uncompressed sound quality.

Follow : Andrej Zatkalík on SoundCloud

Healing with music

Guest author Simon Reich shares an inspiring personal testimony to the power of music.

With war in Syria, daily muggings, deadlock in the Middle East, domestic violence and escalating racial tensions, we are in desperate need of some good news stories.

Being a creative musician, you may not realize it, but you hold the key to giving the world some peace and inspiration.

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Piano Lessons: why 45 minutes?

During a recent forum discussion I mentioned that I prefer to teach my students for 45 minutes weekly or fortnightly, usually even when they are beginners (more advanced students often come fortnightly, sometimes for up to 90 minutes).

The question was asked,

“45 minutes for somebody on Grade One is a lot, surely?
Isn’t 30 minutes plenty long enough?”

Continue reading Piano Lessons: why 45 minutes?