How to be a good practiser

There is no doubt that pianists, of all levels, who practice more become better than those whose practice is sparse or irregular. But regular practice is easier said than done and even with the best of intentions the days between lessons can slip by quickly and practice becomes a last minute rush done only on the day before the lesson. Sounds familiar?

If so these practice tips may help: Continue reading “How to be a good practiser”

How to choose a good tutor book for a child

First steps are so important. The first piano lesson that a child has will have a huge influence on how he or she progresses and feels about playing the piano over the next few months and years. If they are to do well they need to leave the lesson feeling happy and confident that they will succeed.

Obviously, the way the teacher handles the lesson is a big part. Many teachers use a tutor book and the quality of this book will determine how easily the child learns and whether they find lessons fun and interesting or difficult and (dare I say it) boring.

So, here are my thoughts on some of the most popular tutor books out there today: Continue reading “How to choose a good tutor book for a child”

What is the best age to start piano lessons?

As a piano teacher, I am often asked to teach children who are very young. It is not unusual for parents to feel that they must start as early as possible in order that their child gets a good head start. Sometimes very young children are able to learn to play but as a general rule, it is better to wait until children are at least 6 years old. It won’t do any harm at all to start a year or two after the child is ready but it can do much harm to start before they are ready. Children who start too young make slow progress and often get frustrated or bored. A pattern can settle in where the child feels pressured to do something they find too hard and they soon associated the piano with bad feelings. Children who start a little later immediately make great progress and like practicing because they get the reward of being able to easily play well. Continue reading “What is the best age to start piano lessons?”