5 Qigong Books for Beginners

Breathing and stretching exercises for healthy practice and living
Compiled for Pianodao by Andrew Eales.

The Qigong for Pianists articles on Pianodao focus on those “secondary benefits” of Qigong which are particularly relevant to piano playing, with descriptive instructions for a few simple introductory Qigong exercises and techniques.

But it is likely that having experienced the initial benefits these bring, readers will want to find out more about Qigong, its background, and exercises. Qigong is a huge and fascinating subject, and there are a great many excellent books and other resources now available to help the Westerner with an interest in finding out more.

If you are keen to find out about the primary benefits of regular Qigong practice, here are some recommended books to explore. Between them they include practical advice, simple exercises for beginner practice, a philosophical grounding and general overview of the history, science, styles and applications of Qigong.

I have included a short description of each, which I hope will help you to select the right book for you. And elsewhere, Pianodao includes a growing number of reviews of other book and Qigong Resources here.

Continue reading 5 Qigong Books for Beginners

First Term at the Piano

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Bartók’s Mikrokosmos has, since the first half of the 20th century, been a potent force in the pianist’s repertoire, hugely impacting pedagogy worldwide, while his charming collections of pieces For Children have delighted elementary to intermediate players of all ages. But what of his other little collection, The First Term at the Piano?

Largely overlooked, except as a curiosity for completists to consider, this seemingly innocuous sequence of 18 short pieces has passed under the radar of most piano teachers, and even though some of the pieces are brilliantly inventive and melodic, they have too rarely surfaced in other collections, exam syllabi or student performances.

Now the US-based pianist, teacher, lecturer and editor Immanuela Gruenberg is looking to turn the tables, resurrecting this work for a new century, and for a new audience.

Her stunning new edition of the pieces – which comes with complete commentary, imaginative lesson plans, and a series of online videos – has recently been published by Hal Leonard in association with Boosey & Hawkes. And as we shall see in this review, it is a genuine must-have purchase for anyone who teaches beginners.

Continue reading First Term at the Piano