Month: May 2015

Do I have to cut my nails to play the piano?  No! (But maybe…)

Should you cut your nails short to play the piano?  Can you practise and play well with long nails?  The answer is perhaps not as simple as some would have you believe…

Boys and Girls

Without wishing to sound sexist, this blog post definitely relates more to my female piano and keyboard pupils than the males!  I have yet to teach a boy or man who was unhappy about cutting his fingernails to play more easily.  The ladies and girls are a different matter. Continue reading

Learn the piano or the keyboard: which is best?  Top tips to help you decide

piano vs keyboardWhen I start a new pupil, whether they have requested piano or keyboard lessons, I always talk to them about this choice.  Often it’s something they haven’t even thought about.  Sometimes it’s a parent who decides and they have a fixed idea about what they want, which is fine.  But it’s always good to ask the question… Continue reading

The power of the sticker: Gold Star motivation for young pianists!

When I taught in a primary school, I received regular advertising from companies selling ‘motivational’ stickers in many shapes and sizes, together with personal progress cards and wall charts.  When I became a private music teacher I continued to use them with younger pupils.  These self-adhesive little bits of nothing contain a magic of their own…

Shiny stars, “Well Done” medals, “Good Effort” awards, “I’m a Star” badges – they all work wonders!  These days as a humble piano teacher I’ve reduced the wealth of my stock down to the bare minimum of coloured and gold stars.  Do well in your lesson – you’ll get a coloured star.  If you’ve tried really hard I might even let you choose which colour. Continue reading

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