EVC @ the RAH

Pictured (from the left) – Andrew Eales, Elena Cobb, Lindsey Berwin and Heather Hammond.

We often hear of a decline in music education within UK state schools – and without doubt, over the last 25 years of teaching I have witnessed a steady but undeniable diminuendo in the musical life of local schools here, often despite best intentions.

How wonderful, then, to see buoyant evidence of enthusiasm for music among young people – as was most certainly and robustly the case when I attended the Elena Cobb Star Prize Event at the Elgar Room in London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall last week.

Here was a showcase of great playing delivered by young people from around the UK and beyond, each performing and clearly relishing music by a host of living writers, and in many cases in the very presence of those composers.

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A Free Certificate of Merit

With the generous permission of Collins Music and author/composers Karen Marshall and Heather Hammond, the Pianodao site has for some time been a host to the many creative and useful FREE resources that accompany the excellent Get Set! Piano series of tutor books.

And these have proved super-popular with both teachers and students!

So it’s a pleasure to let you know that there is a new addition to the growing resource-bank available for download here.

This certificate of merit is, according to Karen,

“… a general certificate of merit for the series which teachers can use as they please.  For some children there are some big achievements before they finish the book that need to be recognised.  The design is pretty beautiful and if put on card I think will be really special for children.”

And Karen is at pains to mention that the certificate would be useful regardless of whether you happen to use the Get Set! Piano series or not:

“It also could be used what ever method is being used – as Get Set! is a word that can simply be a general term linked with piano learning.”

So what are you waiting for? Here is the FREE download for you to save and print off:

Get Set certificate Piano Certificate of merit

Once again, it’s a pleasure to be able to share these resources on this site, and do check out the whole collection of them here!

LCM’s First Steps

Sheet Music Review

Of the accredited music exam boards in the UK, LCM (London College of Music) Exams offer the most diverse and perhaps most interesting range of graded and other assessments for piano players, and although perhaps less well-known than their main competitors ABRSM and Trinity College London, their brand new piano syllabus for 2018 may go a long way towards altering perceptions and the appeal of LCM.

As with ABRSM and TCL, LCM Exams offer a series of eight Grades, followed by a range of professional diploma exams. I was bowled over by the quality and content of the excellent new diploma anthology published back in the summer, which I reviewed here.

The new series of Piano Handbooks for the eight Grades are, in my view, equally stunning, and leave no doubt that LCM have set their sight on being the best in their field.

Not for me to review those books here, however, as I must openly state that I acted as a syllabus consultant for the 8 Grades, advising LCM on repertoire selection and editorial questions. Karen Marshall is therefore kindly stepping in, with an in-depth and independent review of those books for Pianodao.

In the meantime, I offer this review of LCM’s pre-grade one assessments, which are rather more extensive than the other examination boards’ …

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The Intermediate Pianist

Sheet Music Review

The Intermediate Pianist series is a fresh and ground-breaking approach which is full of brilliant musical ideas. It’s sure to enable pianists to play with greater understanding and engagement, and comes very highly recommended.

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