Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

Tackling Chopin’s F major Nocturne

Posted by Susan Tomes on 8 August 2018 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  2 Comments

One of my summer projects has been to learn all the Chopin Nocturnes. Strangely enough I have never tackled them properly, and some of them, it turns out, I hardly knew even by ear. Getting to know them has given me tremendous respect for Chopin’s compositional skills as well as his genius for piano writing. […]

Old jury notes from music competitions

Posted by Susan Tomes on 7 September 2017 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching, Travel  •  3 Comments

Recently I came across folders of notes I had made when serving on international competition juries over the past decade or more. Pages and pages of detailed notes on people’s playing. Most of them played for at least half an hour, sometimes an hour, so there was plenty of time to make notes. I did […]

The cult of the individual

Posted by Susan Tomes on 3 September 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  10 Comments

Yesterday I had a message from someone who organises the masterclasses I teach at a university. This year she told me that there won’t be any masterclasses. Students don’t like them and don’t see why they should have to attend them if the music being taught is ‘not relevant’ to them. Masterclasses are an ‘add-on’, […]

The lust for loudness

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 August 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

Articles and letters in The Guardian recently have explored why some of today’s singers suffer from vocal problems, develop nodules on their vocal cords from singing so loudly, etc.  Curiously, the use of powerful amplification has not taken away the need to sing loudly: rather, it seems to create a vicious circle in which everything […]

‘Animato’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 30 June 2017 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

For various reasons I’ve been to quite a few amateur performances recently. All were enjoyable, but I noticed something that was common to them all. It puzzled me, but I am not sure if I have simply forgotten what it is like to be a beginner or a non-professional. What struck me was that as […]