Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

‘She taught me that every step has meaning’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 6 December 2020 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

The other day I was listening to a ballet dancer reminiscing on radio about the time when, as a girl, she took part in a ballet masterclass given by Dame Margot Fonteyn. Dame Margot, it seems, was more terrifying in person than the students had expected. ‘She hardly smiled at all during the class’. But […]

Remembering an old college friend

Posted by Susan Tomes on 23 July 2020 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  4 Comments

Today is a melancholy day, the funeral of one of my first college friends. He had battled for years with depression, anxiety and a cascade of associated health problems. His passing led to a burst of correspondence between those of us in his circle in those university years. We agreed that if we had been […]

Lockdown practice insights

Posted by Susan Tomes on 14 July 2020 under Musings, Teaching  •  4 Comments

During lockdown I have had plenty of time to practise slowly. Normally, I practise things because I’m getting ready to perform them. But with all concerts cancelled, there was no reason to prepare in the usual way – that is to say, securing things in a way that I knew I could depend on when […]

Exploring the Shelves, 20: Bach’s first Invention

Posted by Susan Tomes on 8 July 2020 under Inspirations, Musings, Teaching  •  2 Comments

Most people who learn piano will have come across Bach’s Two-Part Inventions, but their eyes may not have alighted on his Foreword. Mine hadn’t until the other day. ‘Forthright instruction, wherewith lovers of the clavier, especially those eager to learn, are shown in a clear way not only 1) to learn to play two voices […]

Digesting what you’ve practised

Posted by Susan Tomes on 30 April 2020 under Musings, Teaching  •  4 Comments

I mentioned last weekend that I’ve been trying to learn Chopin’s fourth ballade, a wonderful piece of music although not easy to master. After some days of quite intensive effort, I felt like having a rest from it. Some parts of it are very difficult, and day by day they didn’t seem to be getting […]