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Podcast2023-08-27T23:29:49+01:00

February 2024

E40: Pianogate discussion- exploring the controversy around my YouTube video about pianist Brendan ‘Dr K’ Kavanagh

By |February 1st, 2024|Discussion|

We discuss the Pianogate drama – an international incident at St Pancras Station in London where Boogie Woogie live streamer Brendan Kavanagh stood his ground against some pushy Chinese communists. The resulting video went internationally viral and turned ‘Dr K’ into a hero of the people. But I wondered if the Chinese film crew might have had some valid points with some issues that make me […]

December 2023

E39: Interview with Tim Topham: legend of the piano education community!

By |December 2nd, 2023|Discussion, Interviews, Learning/ Practising|

Tim Topham is a legend in the piano education world, his podcast “The Integrated Music Teaching Podcast” is a who’s who of the most interesting & creative piano educators. It was a huge honour to chat to Tim about his new book which advocates and provides a framework for delaying reading music with beginner piano students.

This episode is not just for piano teachers though, […]

September 2023

E38: Trinity 2023 Piano Syllabus Review Part 2- the individual grades with audio clips from the official recordings

By |September 7th, 2023|Review, Uncategorized|

Check the shownotes for timings if you just want to listen to the review for one particular grade


Show Notes:

Init [2:13]

  • Terrible (almost non-existent) selection of Baroque/ Classical
  • Wild range of difficulty levels
  • For me, mostly unremarkable pieces

E37: Decolonising Piano Education… the radical new Trinity Piano Syllabus- and unpacking the many cans of unleashed worms

By |September 5th, 2023|Discussion, Review|

The most radical and indispensable piano syllabus ever! This will either be incredibly exciting for piano teachers & students- or highly controversial. Either way, it’s a must-own. In this episode I discuss some of the many controversial issues that this new syllabus raises, and give you a detailed verdict on these new books. Part two will review the individual grades.

April 2023

E35: Tension & Release- we discuss the #5 psychological skill you need to practise at the piano to be deeply musical

By |April 9th, 2023|Discussion, Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

Cheryl is back for a masterclass on how awareness of musical tension and release can make huge changes to our playing, and demonstrates that we absolutely need to learn to learn to feel it in the body before we can successfully apply it to our piano playing


Show Notes

  • [6:20] Pulling/ pushing tempo- stretching time
    • More tension = […]

November 2022

E34: We discuss the 4 most important psychological skills you need to practise at the piano to be deeply musical

By |November 27th, 2022|Discussion, Learning/ Practising, Mindfulness|

My friend Cheryl is back to chat about and get a deeper understanding of the practical ways in which we can become truly great pianists by bringing the psychological skills I’ve demonstrated in recent episodes into our learning and practising


Show Notes

  • [3:15] A reminder of the 4 skills:
    1. Look for what there is to love in every […]

E33: Comprehensive Review of Pop Performer! by ABRSM

By |November 8th, 2022|Review|

An epic review (with music audio clips) of ABRSM’s hotly anticipated foray into pop music!
I’m holding ABRSM to a high standard so I’m quite critical, but I do also look for what there is to enjoy in these books. Listen to this episode to find out if you should buy them for yourself or recommend them for your students!

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 […]

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