Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

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 […]




Embarking on Beethoven’s opus 111 Sonata

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 March 2017 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  3 Comments

It’s been on my mind recently that I never properly learned Beethoven’s final piano sonata. I’ve been performing and lecturing about the two penultimate sonatas, opus 109 and 110, but when someone asked if I’d like to do opus 111 as well, I had to admit that it isn’t in my concert repertoire. Why not? […]




Seeking a female word for ‘virtuoso’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 12 March 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  6 Comments

Yesterday we had a meeting of my piano club, a group of adult amateur pianists interested in developing their playing. The subject of ‘virtuosos’ and ‘virtuoso technique’ came up in relation to a piano piece with some fast, technically difficult ‘show-off’ passages. We wondered where the word ‘virtuoso’ comes from and what it really means? […]




Meeting up again with my first piano teacher

Posted by Susan Tomes on 3 March 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Teaching  •  1 Comment

A lovely surprise awaited me when I played at the Brunton Theatre on Tuesday. Sitting in the front row was my first piano teacher, Gordon Lindsay (‘Mr Lindsay’, as I knew him). He taught me from when I began piano lessons at the age of seven until I was nine or ten. Since then, apart […]




Ryan Gosling’s piano playing skills

Posted by Susan Tomes on 12 January 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  4 Comments

I haven’t yet seen the movie ‘LaLa Land’ (it doesn’t open in the UK until tomorrow). But I enjoyed hearing BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ item this morning on how Ryan Gosling, who plays a struggling jazz musician in the film, learned to play the piano for it. He does all the piano playing in the […]