We will always have a warm up first. Then we’ll do a bit of technical work – finger exercises, studies, scales and so on - to practice new skills. Sometimes we will make up our own studies together.
Then it is time to concentrate on your pieces.
Every lesson will give you a chance to use and practice your musical listening skills. Sometimes we will do this as part of learning a new piece, or by playing games that help you with rhythm, or co-ordination.
I will usually give you some theory puzzles to do in the lesson or at home too.
I will always write in your notebook the things I would like you to work on for next time – please check this regularly!
I always try to find the right Primer or Tutor book for every pianist. So we will choose the books that suit you together, but here are some favourites:
Colour Play by Sharon Goodey..........'proper' notation but in colour to help reading skills. Great for....getting youngest players to use all their fingers fluently from the beginning.
Me and my piano by Fanny Waterman..........traditional but quickly progressive tutors. Great for... sneaking a fair bit of theory and technique into the fun!
Piano Adventures (Faber)............a real favourite of mine, from first steps and right into the later grades. Great for....building all round musicality and general knowledge while learning superbly imaginative pieces
Piano Discoveries (Lusher et al).........Not always easy to obtain but still a very useful, gently progressive series. Great for.... building confidence while playing lots of short solos and duets with the teacher
Music Makers by Joan Last..... Virtuoso teacher and composer Joan Last produced fantastic pieces for learners. Great for....fast learning older beginners and adults who want to work quite a lot on their own
Chester Theory Puzzle packs.........Poco series (Ng)............Theory made easy for little children (Ng)
As your playing develops you will start to find your own style. I always try to find the right tutor book for every pianist. So we will choose repertoire together, but you will have more influence on the directions you take. Here are some favourites:
Classical Style series by Nancy Bacchus..........A bit of history and context mixed in with the music, Great for... explorers!
Rock, Pop piano and Jazz tutors from John Kember, Martha Mier and Chris Norton............Great for...everyone, wherever they are on their jazz journey
Hello Mr Gillock, Hello Carl Czerny..........Really innovative approach that adds to the appreciation of both classical and contemporary styles. Great for...developing versatility and a really great toolkit of techniques
John Thompson’s Graded course books..........Schubert’s, Schumann's and Tchaikovsky’s pieces for children............Heller and Burgmuller studies... Mendelssohn's Songs without Words...Bach Inventions... Chopin Preludes
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