Category Archives: Sight Reading

Zero to (grade) 6 in 34 (months)

Three years minus two months. From no knowledge of the keyboard to the successful completion of Grade 6. August, 2010 – a call from a mom looking for a history teacher for her 15-year-old daughter, who was working on grade … Continue reading

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Tetris, an ugly bump, and sight-reading

Thanks to good teaching I’ve never had a problem with tendinitis or any other pain in all the years I’ve been playing the piano. Thanks to Tetris, I have an ugly bump at the base of my thumb, which caused … Continue reading

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30 seconds of terror

Time to Sight-Read on the exam. And get an easy 10 marks. Or not. You get about 30 seconds to look over the piece before starting. And once you start, you Just Don’t Stop. Forget about showing the examiner (or … Continue reading

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It’s all about the brain

After looking at numerous incentive programs, and rejecting many because they’re more complicated than I’d like them to be, I’ve decided to use Jennifer Fink’s This is Your Brain… on Music! (Pianimation) I like this because : (1) It’s easy. It’s … Continue reading

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The big gun

Week 3 of the summer teaching schedule. Week 3 of the intense “let’s improve your reading” campaign with one of my early advanced students – blogged about here. Two weeks ago, in addition to what I blogged about I sent … Continue reading

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Back on the bench again

My summer (July) teaching schedule is very light – a half-day a week. Two good piano students in the morning and two good theory students in the afternoon. The summer goal for one of the piano students: to improve her … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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Anyone can compose…

…but that doesn’t mean that just anyone should. Until WWII virtually every pianist was also a composer. It was part of their music education, along with improvising. There are those who feel that it’s a tragic loss that we no … Continue reading

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Musings about Chopin: The Scherzi

I’m making some progress in my Chopin Sight-Reading project. From the outset, I decided to read through what I already own, and maybe download the odd piece that I don’t own, except for the Polonaises; I seem to have some … Continue reading

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Piano Books as Gifts

I’ve blogged about Rebekah Maxner’s Titanic books before. Briefly, she has two collections of arrangements of pieces that were played on the Titanic, or written in the style of pieces from that period (not the soundtrack from the movie). They … Continue reading

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