Category: Practice

  • Keep being taught to learn

    “Musical Futures is a global movement that transforms, engages and inspires people through making music that is meaningful to them; the festival builds on its aims to create exciting, innovative, tried-and-tested learning methods and approaches which are based on the way self-taught musicians learn. Dedicated to providing hands-on training and resources, the Music Learning Revolution […]

  • CPD through Music

    I took up singing lessons a year ago. I’m always on the hunt for a new endeavour and something that can feed my musical self as well as provide me with new ideas and repertoire for my own teaching. There’s something quite unique about being taught an instrument or voice as you form a very […]

  • We’re still musicians

    I am always thrilled to meet a new group of music teachers when leading an INSET course; it reminds me how valuable it is for us to get together and share our thoughts, worries and most importantly our successes. More than most subjects we can be rather isolated as a teacher of Music, having a […]

  • Forward and Up: The Alexander Technique

    Catching up with the various social media feeds recently I noticed Pedro de Alcantara had posted with pride a photo of the new edition of his Indirect Procedures. I first encountered the book as a student when I discover the technique through lessons offered at my students’ union. To say the technique had a massive […]

  • After the course

    I thoroughly enjoyed my three weeks in Edinburgh. It was very much appropriate to go away and undertake such an intensive piano course away from the concerns of one’s routines and everyday existence. The final concert demonstrated that all the pianists participating had made a great deal of progress and the performances were considerable improvements […]

  • Day Five

    It is not even the end of the morning session and already some interesting technical issues have been raised on Kenneth van Barthold’s intensive piano workshop in Edinburgh. The physiognomy of piano technique was most apparent in discussions this morning when the playing of octaves which in turn led to talking about curved fingers versus […]

  • Day Four

    Interesting class this morning and it was clear from my play-through of the second movement of the Prokofiev my two practice sessions had yet to cement the notes to ensure they would be reliable at the tempo I chose. I was encouraged though and can increasingly see the value of making decisions regarding choice of […]

  • Day Three in the “Loony Bin”

    Kenneth mentioned at the start of the week that Craighouse – where the piano course is held – was originally a mental health institution and in fact the very same institution that housed Wilfred Owen and Sassoon. It also seems a rather fitting place to be undertaking an intensive piano course where my sanity and […]

  • Day Two

    Day two is over – and perhaps a little early but my hands are “drunk on notes”, to quote a fellow participant. The class only lasted the morning today and it was good to hear more from those tackling some really big works and also get the first movement – albeit an excerpt – of […]

  • Getting down to practice

    Well day one on the Kenneth van Barthold Piano Course – held in Edinburgh – is over. A fascinating day of first performances by all of us undertaking the three weeks of sessions with Kenneth and his assistant Nicholas Pope. There is plenty of variety of repertoire and having multiple copies of the music was […]