Notespinner

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

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The impact of Brexit on the Church musician

This humorous article about putting together a Lessons and Carols service for Christmas in the brave new world of the UK leaving the EU, first appeared in the December edition of the Stamford All Saints' December 2018 magazine.

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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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Pencils

I recently came across a comment by Richard Egarr of the AAM, in an interview for the Cambridge Alumnus Magazine. Does anyone else do this? Ban pencils in rehearsals?

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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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Tools for Online Music Lessons

This is my setup for teaching online. Necessity is the mother of invention. When the coronavirus struck, my private and school teaching evaporated.

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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, etc. But is it true?

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In praise of the local music shop

All over the country, and probably the world, there are sad stories of independent bookshops closing down. I suppose the same must be happening with music shops

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Vocabulary for talking about music

ABRSM Aural Tests assess students' listening skills by requiring discussion of a piece of music which is played to the student on the piano. In my experience, students are sometimes disadvantaged by a lack of vocabulary in discussing the music.

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Common Problems in Piano Sight-Reading

Many people struggle with sight-reading at the piano. But not all for the same reason or reasons. Here are some common problems, together with my solutions to them.

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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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Piano Help with note names

I find that some beginner students just can't remember the names of notes, so I made these resources to help.

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A Review of Piano Sight Reading Guides

The best way to improve your sight-reading at the piano is to play a lot more music, and have a teacher guide you about what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong. But there are lots of books on the market that can help.

Please click on the buttons below to visit my other music web sites.

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