Notespinner

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

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Front Cover of Play Piano Tutor Book

Recommended Piano Books for beginners

Over the years, I have used many different piano tutor books with students of all ages as they start learning the piano. There are some books that I come back to again and again, because I think they are creative, well written, and structured.

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Drawing of human head with music notes around it

Playing the piano makes you brainy

Does playing the piano make you brainy? Yes. It really does. On 29th September 2010, New Scientist reported recent research from several sources which explain how.

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A violin and a piano keyboard

Piano Teaching for Advanced Instrumentalists and A-level students

If you are an A-level (or prospective A-level student), who needs to improve their keyboard skills, then here is a possible syllabus that I would suggest, with resources for the first year of lessons.

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An image of piano scales from an old book

Piano Scales in exams

There are too many scales in ABRSM piano exams: far more than for other instruments - and I have sat across the table from the chief examiner and told her so. Why are there just scales and arpeggios and not technical exercises, as for other instruments?

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Help with note names for beginner pianists

Piano Help with note names

I find that some beginner students just can't remember the names of notes, so I made these cards for treble and bass clefs.

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A pianist's hands on the keyboard

Piano Fingering

I constantly re-iterate "Pitch, Rhythm, Fingering" when students start to learn a new piece: it helps their learning. Pitch and Rhythm alone are not enough.

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