Guest Post by Karen Marshall
In memory of Enid Oughtibridge, 1993
A number of years ago I wrote an article for Music Teacher Magazine after interviewing a large number of children on a theme of ‘what makes a good music lesson or music teacher’. It became pretty clear that the teacher’s personality was just as important (if not more important) than their subject knowledge.
Time and time again students would talk about the importance of the teacher making them feel ‘liked’, showing interest in them and simply ‘smiling’ on their arrival in lessons.
In this blog I want to share with you my experience with one of my teachers, who I feel was a powerful influence in my teaching career and the ultimate in being a ‘people person piano teacher’.
Continue reading The “People Person” Piano Teacher
Guest author Frances Wilson considers a question we all ask ourselves from time to time, sometimes more frequently than we should…
Am I Really Good Enough?
- Am I good enough to pass this exam?
- Good enough to compete in that festival?
- Play in that concert?
- To be a piano teacher?
Continue reading Am I Really Good Enough?
In this month’s post, well-known author and regular Pianodao contributor Karen Marshall considers how teachers can continue developing their own journey at the piano …
Continue reading The Practising, Playing, Performing Piano Teacher
Sheet Music Review
’21 Amazingly Easy Pieces’ is an original collection of new pieces by Barbara Arens, published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 2014, which has recently come to my attention – and I am seriously impressed with it.
‘Piano Misterioso’, from the same author and publisher, will also be reviewed shortly on Pianodao.
Continue reading 21 Amazingly Easy Pieces
The great Russian pedagogue Heinrich Neuhaus (who taught such legendary classical pianists as Radu Lupu, Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels) wrote:
“I consider that one of the main tasks of a teacher is to ensure as quickly and as thoroughly as possible that he is no longer necessary to the pupil; to eliminate himself, to leave the stage in time, in other words to inculcate in the pupil that independent thinking, that method of work, that knowledge of self and ability to reach his goal which we term ‘maturity’, the threshold beyond which begins mastery.”
‘The Art of Piano Playing’,
trans. K.A. Leibovitch, London 1973
Continue reading The Art of Piano Pedagogy
I am delighted to welcome Karen Marshall, the co-author of the excellent “Get Set! Piano” series and compiler of the ABRSM Encore books, as a regular contributor on the Pianodao site. In this, Karen’s first post here, she explores the importance of personalised teaching…
Continue reading Karen Marshall: “Bespoke Teaching”
Guest Author Mark Polishook takes a look at the benefits of weight-based piano technique, with reference to boxing, martial arts and … cherry tomatoes.
Continue reading Piano Technique, Weight in Motion, Boxing, Taichichuan and The Cherry Tomato
Pathways for Teaching
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 recently, 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.”
Földes’ basic point – made some four decades before “The Sounding Symbol” by George Odam re-popularised the phrase “sound before symbol” – is that music is essentially an aural language, and that playing and reading must build on that foundation.
Continue reading “Sound before symbol”: lessons from history
Sheet Music Review
“Get Set! Piano” comprises two method books, two books of supplementary pieces, and extensive free website materials, all brought to us by Harper Collins. Aimed at younger beginners, the books claim to cover everything that pupils would need to know prior to taking Grade One piano (with any of the main boards).
Continue reading “Get Set! Piano”: six reasons to get excited!