Notespinner

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

image

SEARCH RESULTS

image

Buying a Home Practice Organ

You are learning the pipe organ, and need one to practise on. Assuming you do not have access to a church with an appropriate instrument, you will need one at home.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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.

image

How singers practise

The short answer would be "With some difficulty". If you are an instrumentalist, ask yourself, how would I practise if I didn't have my instrument with me? That puts you, more or less, in the position of a singer.

image

Is counting natural?

Is counting natural? My experience tells me not! Many young children have to be taught to hear the pulse of music, and most of us have had to learn to keep a steady pulse. One needs to practise, sometimes, with a metronome.

image

Practising the piano on holiday

"I couldn't practise, because there wasn't a piano where we were on holiday." My response would be "And your point is?". I get mystified looks. If they had at least taken their sheet music, they would have been able to do something.

image

Piano Scales for 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?

image

Is the backing track too fast?

You want to practise for your exam. You take out the CD from the envelope at the back of the book, but horror of horrors, it goes at the speed of light, and you can't keep up.

image

Get it Right!

I wrote some piano music recently, and had my students perform it in a concert. Gosh! I was much more enthusiastic about drawing their attention to the details of the score than I usually am.

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

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

We use cookies for the best online experience. By using this website you agree to the cookie policy.