Notespinner

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

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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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Photograph of Ewan MacColl by Chris Taylor_240

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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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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Arty drawing of the human brain

Sports Psychology for Musicians

If your concert nerves get the better of you, take advice from the world of sports psychologists, and apply their techniques to tackling concert nerves: process goals, thought stopping, using imagery, and seeking social support.

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Cartoon of a singer in difficulty

Sight singing

I realise that many instrumentalists find sight-reading difficult. However, they should spare a thought for singers. Except for those who have perfect pitch, singing at sight is a lot harder than playing at sight on an instrument.

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