Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sight Reading A to Z

Not a how-to list with 26 points on how to be a better sight-reader, but a decision on what to tackle next. The plan is to read through all the composer books (as opposed to the teaching rep and graded … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Whose decision?

From a recent phone conversation with a mother whose 8-year-old expressed an interest in piano lessons. Mother: “I just don’t know if my daughter will be committed to practicing.” My inner response: “You’ve got to be joking. You expect an … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Cycling meets Mozart

Anyone in Canada who knows (and cares) anything about professional cycling is on a bit of a high. Victoria, BC cyclist Ryder Hesjedal won the Giro d’Italia yesterday – the second biggest pro cycling race in the world – second … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Drill the skills

This is kind of a follow-up to the previous post on the value of repetition in practicing. An article in a March issue of Maclean’s magazine, titled ¬†“Why is it your job to teach your kid math?” discusses recent learning … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy, Sight Reading | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

No advantage for lefties

Almost everyone struggles more with the left hand (LH) than the right hand (RH) – especially in technical passages, and especially when the LH line is descending, moving from the stronger to the weaker part of the hand, “backwards” in … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy, Technic | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Be orderly… then violent

Another great article and interview at ON THE BENCH features the piano duo Greg Anderson and Liz Roe. They continue to produce fabulous arrangements for piano duo that smash any stereotypes of sisters playing duets in matching dresses. In the … Continue reading

| Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Musings on Chopin: It’s a Wrap.

And there we have it. I’ve sight-read through most of Chopin’s solo piano music – all the Preludes, Etudes, Nocturnes, Waltzes, Ballades, Impromptus, Mazurkas and a few miscellaneous pieces (notably absent – the Polonaises and Sonatas). Definite favourites have emerged … Continue reading

Posted in Sight Reading | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Musings about Chopin: The Mazurkas

Chopin wrote a lot of mazurkas – at least 69, of which 58 have been published. As with the waltzes, he did not intend them for an actual dance, but as stylized piano solos that would be recognized as a … Continue reading

| Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Some small measure of progress

One of my students has been having difficulty learning to read music. I blogged about it in January – you can read the post here. Last month I contacted the parents and mentioned that there has been virtually no progress … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy | Tagged , | 7 Comments

The Anti-Diva

I just stumbled on a newish blog – On The Bench: Conversations with Other Pianists¬†by Lara Downes. The latest post is about Angela Hewitt – currently one of my favourite pianists, more so since I saw her in recital in … Continue reading

| Tagged , | Leave a comment

The One-Minute Club

As the year begins to wind down (from my perspective, possibly not from the students’ perspective!), my goal for a number of my 2nd and 3rd year students is to be able to say the letter-names of all the notes … Continue reading

Posted in Piano pedagogy, Sight Reading, Theory | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Tips for Harmony Exams

Theory exams are next week. In the days of final preparation, I thought I’d put together a list of things to remember as you or your students head into the exam room. Anyone writing an exam will already know all … Continue reading

Posted in Theory | Tagged | Leave a comment