Notespinner

Thoughts on composing, teaching and performing music, by Fergus Black

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Choosing a Voice Teacher

How does one choose a voice teacher? How do you know if it's someone who will develop your voice appropriately, but not harm it? It is hard to know what to look for or what to ask a prospective teacher.

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High Speed Beginner Piano Tutor

This book for beginners at the piano is a breath of fresh air. It is fun, amusing, and unlike any other beginner tutor I know of.

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Adjusting to the Brave New World

Fergus Black of John Clare School talks about his experience teaching music online over the past year.

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Why practise piano scales? … and arpeggios!

What are benefits of scale practice, and what are the best ways to practise scales? The Aristocats knew: "Every truly cultured music student knows, You must learn your scales and your arpeggios"

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Music Theory Fast

I have been delivering a crash course in ABRSM Grade 5 Music Theory this week, for some nice people in Stamford (UK). They called their course Music Theory Fast, and whilst I cavilled, of course, at the grammar, I liked the double meaning of "Fast": we did it quick, or rather quickly, and hopefully it will stick fast.

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Keyboard or Piano?

I offer Piano lessons - not Portable Keyboard lessons. If you are considering whether an instrument at home is suitable, here is a short guide.

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The English Soldier?

What is to be done with Debussy's Le Petit Negre? It is a good piece, but it is unusable with its current title.

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Singing in english

Why is it that some singers manage to pronounce words clearly when they are singing? and others do not.

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Dominant and Diminished Sevenths

I've recently posted some Learning Guides to practising Diminished and Dominant Sevenths for ABRSM Grade 8 piano.

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The unaccompanied traditional song

The ABRSM requires a traditional unaccompanied song at all grades. Here are some thoughts: more to follow, but for now: Narrative, Range, Difficulty - and where do you find folk songs anyway?

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Buying a Home Practice Organ

You are learning the pipe organ, and need one to practise on. Assuming you do not have access to a church with an appropriate instrument, you will need one at home.

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Adult Piano Tutors Review

Which is the best Piano Tutor for Adults? This article began in my mind when a new adult student turned up, and already had a tutor book.

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