Make friends with the music

Too often it seems that we view learning, studying, practising and performing music as a kind of fight. People talk about “doing battle with Beethoven” or “fighting the fear” (of performing) as if one must take up arms against unseen, powerful forces. It’s true that learning new repertoire can be a Herculean task, and practisingContinue reading “Make friends with the music”

A welcome return to teaching

I have always loved music and I adore the piano. Teaching allows me to share my passion and, I hope, to encourage a similar enthusiasm in my students. Fundamentally, the piano journey should be about enjoyment and self-fulfilment. Giving students permission to be less than perfect, liberating them from old-fashioned or limiting attitudes to learning music, and enabling them to play with confidence, poise and a personal musical voice are my chief aims.

Piano Lessons in Portland, Dorset

Frances Wilson LTCL is an experienced piano teacher offering private lessons for teenagers and adults in her home in Portland, Dorset.

Graded music exams don’t make musicians

She can certainly play the 2015-16 [Grade 8] syllabus pieces A-C brilliantly……Can she play anything else? I’ll get back to you on that. This is a quote from an article about graded music exams by journalist Rosie Millard, who, by her own admission, is “a pushy music parent” when it comes to her children’s musicContinue reading “Graded music exams don’t make musicians”

Reflections on ten years as a piano teacher

Another term is over and as my students depart for their summer holidays, I have time to pause and reflect as my piano teaching studio approaches its 10th birthday. I never intended to be a piano teacher. I worked for ten years in art and academic publishing after leaving university and I continued to freelanceContinue reading “Reflections on ten years as a piano teacher”

Teaching students to teach themselves

Following on from a post on my blog The Cross-Eyed Pianist about the notion of the “self-taught pianist”, I would like to explore further how teachers can – and should – enable their students to teach themselves. The word “teach” comes from the Old English tǣcan which means “to show, present, point out”. This forContinue reading “Teaching students to teach themselves”

An image crisis in independent piano teaching?

I recently ran a survey, Perceptions of Independent Piano Teachers, as part of some research for a paper I am writing to present at the Oxford Piano Group meeting at the end of this month. Originally intended to offer some insight into whether private and independent piano teachers regard themselves as “professionals”, the survey revealedContinue reading “An image crisis in independent piano teaching?”