Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Adjusting the piano stool for a concert

Posted by Susan Tomes on 19 June 2017 under Concerts, Musings  •  1 Comment

Adjusting the piano stool to the right height for a concert may seem the simplest thing. When I finish rehearsing in a concert hall, I always leave the piano stool adjusted to the right height. The more old-fashioned piano stools have wooden handles that are quite hard work to turn, and I don’t want to […]




Major-key music for sad lyrics

Posted by Susan Tomes on 22 May 2017 under Daily Life, Musings  •  15 Comments

Last night I watched a very interesting episode of a BBC Arena series about ‘American Epic’ music, beginning with music from the Appalachian region, featuring the Carter Family from West Virginia who in the late 1920s brought the folk music of the remote hills to the nation’s attention. The words of the songs were often […]




An afternoon of piano duets

Posted by Susan Tomes on 13 May 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  1 Comment

Bob and I went to a big book sale today and came home with lots of ‘four hand’ duets to be played by two people sitting at one piano. We spent a chunk of the afternoon going through volumes of Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Brahms Hungarian Dances, and eventually a mad set of duets by Erik […]




EU music students still waiting for clarity on Brexit

Posted by Susan Tomes on 2 May 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching, Travel  •  Leave a comment

In the course of my teaching and coaching activities I meet lots of young musicians who have come from other European countries to study in the UK. Britain’s excellent music colleges and universities are extremely popular with Europeans, who often fund their studies through schemes like Erasmus. It’s worth remembering that ‘Erasmus’ in this context […]




Restless audiences vs acoustic instruments

Posted by Susan Tomes on 7 April 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  1 Comment

This morning I was making soup and listening to Stephen Jardine‘s phone-in programme on BBC Radio Scotland, as I often do on a Friday morning. They were discussing whether parents should restrain their children from behaving badly in public places such as cinemas, theatres and restaurants. People had strong views on both sides. Some said […]




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