Notespinner

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

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Piano keyboard with a tablet showing the YouTube logo

YouTube piano resources

There was a while when I felt obliged to make recordings for students, to help them learn new pieces. But now, there is a wealth of professional material available through YouTube

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Still from The Aristocats

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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Cartoon of man taking his piano on a cart to his first piano lesson.

Top Ten Tips for Adult Piano Beginners

Here are the Top Ten Tips for adult beginners learning the piano, from anthis article that appeared in Pianist (the magazine) August-September 2003 by Jocelyn Abbott.

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Broken keys on a piano

The most important thing to do when you practice

What is the secret of successful practise? Don't play the wrong notes! Does that sound simplistic? Bear with me.

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The cover of the piano tutor

Teaching Young Beginners

There seems to be a view that 8 years old is a good age to begin piano lessons: by that age children have sufficient mental and physical capacity - not to mention the concentration and discipline to benefit from lessons (and indeed to make the teacher's life easier).

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A pianist's left hand on the piano. Black and White.

Right Hand or Left Hand?

When learning a new piece of piano music, start with the Left Hand. Why? Because it is harder. But we can all take inspiration from the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who used only his left arm and hand in concerts.

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