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Podcast2022-01-03T14:47:54+00:00

September 2022

E32: The #4 psychological skill you need to practise at the piano to be deeply musical

By |September 18th, 2022|Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

This fourth skill is immensely practical, maybe some of you might think it’s a stretch to call it a ‘psychological skill’, but I notice that it’s totally normal for most of my students to have issues with putting this into practice as- like in meditation- we have to practise choosing where to place our awareness in any given moment


Show Notes

  • [0:45] The #4 skill: to […]

E31: The #3 psychological skill you need to practise at the piano to be deeply musical

By |September 17th, 2022|Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

The third in a series looking at the most essential mental habits to practise at the piano that will give you the quickest and most profound progress. These are the things I refer to constantly when I’m teaching, and covers aspects of musicianship that almost all teachers consider unteachable- considered to be innate qualities in talented students. But I can show you how to develop this […]

E30: Review of Nikki Iles & Friends, Jazz Pieces For Piano

By |September 5th, 2022|Review|

A must-listen review (with music audio clips) of 3 books of jazz piano sheet music from Nikki Iles & Friends published by ABRSM covering from initial grade up to grade 8 and beyond. A detailed look at highlights and ‘weak’ pieces with audio clips from each book starts at 36:30


A brief bulletpoint summary of my […]

August 2022

E29: The #2 psychological skill you need to practise at the piano to be deeply musical

By |August 15th, 2022|Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

The second in a series looking at the most essential mental habits to practise at the piano that will give you the quickest and most profound progress. These are the things I refer to constantly when I’m teaching, and covers aspects of musicianship that almost all teachers consider unteachable- considered to be innate qualities in talented students. But I can show you how to develop this […]

June 2022

E28: Self-Determination Theory For Pianists- how it can unlock & improve your musicality, and help you deal with performance anxiety

By |June 25th, 2022|Discussion, Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

A lively and passionate discussion  where we introduce the ideas and research behind Self-Determination Theory, which could help you make giant leaps with your music. Some core topics covered in this episode include intrinsic & extrinsic motivation, autonomy, how rewards actually make us perform worse, ego & needing approval from others and ourselves, and how we can practise & cultivate intrinsic motivation in our own piano […]

E27: ABRSM Piano Syllabus 2023 & 2024- Review

By |June 9th, 2022|Review|

Can ABRSM bounce back from their last syllabus I was highly critical of?
Listen to this episode for a comprehensive review of the new set of books, including audio clips of many of the new pieces.
I also discuss some of the recent controversial issues regarding their operational and business challenges


A brief bulletpoint summary of my review:

    […]

May 2022

E26: The #1 psychological skill you need to practise at the piano to be deeply musical

By |May 5th, 2022|Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

The first in a series looking at the most essential mental habits to practise at the piano that will give you the quickest and most profound progress. These are the things I refer to constantly when I’m teaching, and covers aspects of musicianship that almost all teachers consider unteachable- considered to be innate qualities in talented students. But I can show you how to develop this […]

April 2022

E25: Interview with Matt Herskowitz- phenomenal classical and jazz virtuoso pianist with deep soul

By |April 30th, 2022|Interviews|

Matt Herskowitz is quite simply one of the most skilful, versatile, and soulful pianists on the planet.
Matt shines in many genres, but it’s his outstanding work jazzing up classical music in particular that was the reason I absolutely had to chat with him for the podcast!
I include many generous audio clips of Matt’s playing during the interview to give you a taste of what I love […]

E24: Brain Lateralisation Episode 3- Hands-on coaching at the piano

By |April 25th, 2022|Discussion, Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

A practical masterclass demonstrating how an understanding of the two brain hemispheres can help us deal with performance anxiety, and help us identify and deal with obstacles to our natural musicianship when learning and practising a new piece.


Show Notes

  • [3:05] Learning hands separately or together?
  • [7:40] Psychological strategies for dealing with performance anxiety, and finding an optimal state of mind before we start to practice […]

E23: Brain Lateralisation Episode 2- How to start applying these concepts to our piano playing

By |April 25th, 2022|Discussion, Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

A further introduction into how an understanding of the two brain hemispheres can help us with aspects of musicianship that are normally considered ‘unteachable’!


Show Notes

  • [2:30] Summing up important concepts from the last episode
  • [6:35] The neuroscience of the hemispheres is still in a (sometimes controversial) process of discovery- what may be most useful for musicians is to explore the two distinct ways of perceiving […]

E22: Brain Lateralisation Episode 1- Techniques For Deep Musicality

By |April 25th, 2022|Discussion, Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

An introduction into how an understanding of the two brain hemispheres can help us with aspects of musicianship that are normally considered ‘unteachable’!


Show Notes

  • [6:30] The story of how I came to understand the fundamental difference between the two brain hemispheres. The difference between analytic & holistic processing. Narrow focus & broad focus
  • [10:35] The evolutionary explanation for divided brains
  • [14:15] Right hemisphere gives the […]

October 2021

E21: Leeds International Piano Competition (‘The Leeds’) 2021 Review

By |October 22nd, 2021|Interviews, Review|

Not only just a review of the 2021 Leeds International Piano Competition, but also a wider examination of the issues brought up by competition in music, the role of music in communities, interviews with some of my favourite competitors including the winner Alim Beisembayev, audio clips from the unofficially linked Leeds Pub Piano Competition event, discussion with the competitors about how they deal with the nerves […]

E20: LCM (London College of Music) 2021 Piano Syllabus- Review

By |October 4th, 2021|Review|

After a long wait, LCM have published a brand new piano syllabus- which covers exams from Pre-Preparatory level to Grade 8. Find out how it compares to ABRSM, Trinity, and Rockschool Classical’s recent new syllabuses.


A written summary of this review is available here: https://heartofthepiano.com/summary-of-podcast-review-lcm-london-college-of-music-2021-piano-syllabus/

Show Notes

  • Who are LCM/ London College of Music? [0:50]
  • The previous 2018-2020 LCM […]

July 2021

E19: Rockschool Rock/Pop Piano Syllabus- Review

By |July 14th, 2021|Review|

Listen to see why I’m so enthusiastic about Rockschool’s Rock/Pop Piano grades for piano! Following on from my previous review, I also give more information for those considering the new Rockschool Classical grades.


Show Notes

  • Excellent for fixing common rhythmic weaknesses in classical students [3:05]
  • The difference between the graded exams and the performance certificates [4:30]
  • The improvisation […]

June 2021

E18: Rockschool New Classical Piano Syllabus 2021- Review

By |June 16th, 2021|Review|

Rockschool has recently released an exciting new set of classical piano grades! Listen to this review to find out their strengths and weaknesses, including my strong misgivings.


Show Notes

  • Identity crisis [2:50]
  • No mention of balanced programme [5:50]
  • Difficult to assess across different styles with no requirement for balanced programme [6:40]
  • Excellent representation of women and BIPOC [9:46]
  • […]

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