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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the late George Pratt, Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Huddersfield

The Wider Benefits of Music Education

Sir, The wider benefits of music education are not limited to school age (letter, May 31). Some years ago I was delighted but surprised to discover that the music department of which I was head had the best record for employment within the university.

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A singer still in bed, mid-morning

Why singers are lazy

Singers have something of a reputation, and not always in a good way. They don't practise as much as instrumentalists - in fact, many of them confuse the words practice and rehearsal - a cardinal sin in my book.

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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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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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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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