Tag: how to play piano (page 1 of 2)

5 qualities of successful piano learners…be a brilliant pupil!

What makes a good piano pupil? How can you improve your chances of success? Here are five key qualities to develop…



It’s true: not all pupils are equal. Some seem to develop new skills and pass through the curriculum quickly and easily, others struggle and hit roadblocks regularly. Whilst a degree of ‘natural talent’ has a part to play, there are other significant factors.
So what do good piano pupils look like?
Continue reading

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

Is your piano teacher a scruff?

Different people expect different things from their music teacher, but what’s really important? Is it the qualifications they hold? Or the skill with which they teach? Is it the price of lessons? Or does their professional appearance and tidy studio matter, too? During a recent ‘tidying up’ session I got to thinking…

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Recently I realised that my Teaching Room was looking a bit of a mess. Of course, we “creative” types like to have things strewn around the room and sometimes it gets a bit out of hand! Continue reading

Get paid to teach while you learn for free!

As a busy piano and keyboard teacher, I spend a lot of time teaching people to acquire and develop new musical skills and knowledge.  But these same people often teach me things too…

Tyros John

John is one of my adult keyboard pupils.  He currently owns a Yamaha Tyros 5 – the “Rolls Royce” of keyboards!   Continue reading

VIDEO: How to play “Hold Back the River” by James Bay

This is a nice easy one – not many different notes, and all on the white keys!  Enjoy…

Magnetic musical note board makes note learning easy!

Do you teach a musical instrument?  Try this inexpensive and easy-to-make magnetic learning resource to teach note names and positions to your pupils!

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Like all the best ideas, this one is pinched from someone else.  My friend Sandie (herself a piano teacher) showed me a similar magnetic board she bought some years ago with movable note heads. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one anywhere – so I decided to make one.  It’s quick and easy, and all the materials are really inexpensive.  Give it a try! Continue reading

VIDEO: How to play “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne

I’ve added another piano tutorial video to YouTube –  this time it’s Hold My Hand by Jess Glynne…

Enjoy – and please let me know what you think in the comments below!

4 vital steps to learning a keyboard piece

Looking for a sure-fire method to boost your keyboard practice? No problem! Read on…

playing-keyboard (Medium)

Along with teaching piano, I have several pupils learning to play keyboard. By ‘keyboard’ I mean electronic or ‘chord’ keyboard: the type where you play a melody in the right hand, chord shapes in the left and the keyboard takes care of the rest with drums, accompaniment parts, multiple instrument voices, extra harmonies, etc. Most of my pupils use Yamaha keyboards such as the PSR-E343 which I strongly recommend for beginners on a budget. Continue reading

You want to learn to play…what? (YouTube to the rescue!)

On occasions I ask people, “What song or piece would you like to be able to play on the piano?” Whether it’s a pupil I have been teaching for a while, a brand new starter or even someone who has never had a music lesson in their life, they almost always have an answer.  Most people have apparently thought about it before!  But when it comes to helping them reach their goal, their answers can be quite challenging…

Sometimes it might be a well-known (possibly classical) piece that is far beyond their skill level. If so, I have check to see if there is a published simplified arrangement. Continue reading

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