“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”

(PLUS: free sheet music for Love Divine, All Loves Excelling)

These two tutorials are based upon my simple arrangement of “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”. It’s a famous Charles Wesley hymn, very popular at weddings.

Love Divine first appeared in a hymn book in 1747 and has stood the test of time as perhaps Wesley’s most famous and successful hymn.  In fact, it features in the hymn books of just about every mainstream Christian denomination! Continue reading

“Sing A Song Of Sixpence”

(PLUS: free sheet music for Sing A Song Of Sixpence)

The next pair of tutorials are based on the popular English nursery rhyme,  “Sing A Song Of Sixpence”.

As with many nursery rhymes, its origins are not very clear. Some think it dates back to the 18th century. Others claim it is referenced by Shakespeare (“Whoa, here’s a stir now! Sing a song o’ sixpence!”)

The lyrics include: Continue reading

“Au Clair De La Lune”

(PLUS: free sheet music for Au Clair De La Lune!)

Today’s two tutorials are based on my easy piano arrangement of “Au Clair De La Lune.”This is a French folk song, dating back to the 18th century. The original composer is unknown.

The title of the song translates as, ” By The Light Of The Moon.” It has a very simple melody, which makes it ideal for anyone just starting to learn. Continue reading

“When The Saints Go Marching In”

(PLUS: free sheet music for When The Saints!)

These two tutorials use my easy piano arrangement of “When The Saints Go Marching In.”

This song is a black spiritual. Sometimes, it’s called just “The Saints.” Although originally a Christian hymn, it’s popular with jazz bands. Louis Armstrong and his orchestra made a famous recording of it in 1938. Continue reading

Pupils Who Won’t Practise: A Matter Of Conscience

So your pupil arrives for their piano lesson. They sit and play what they have been working on, receive constructive  feedback, work on some important techniques with you and leave with some new challenges for the week ahead, confident in their progress, right? If only it were that easy… 

Pupils Who Won't Practise: A Matter Of Conscience

photo credit: Alexander Ward (licence)

I am pleased to say that almost all my weekly piano and keyboard pupils practise between their lessons. However, there are always some exceptions.

Continue reading

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

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