Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

Feeling the tempo before you begin

Posted by Susan Tomes on 15 September 2019 under Inspirations, Teaching  •  1 Comment

I did a piano workshop recently at which a number of different people played. One of our topics was tempo. How do you decide at what speeed to play something, especially if the composer gives no indication? Even written instructions such as Andante or Adagio are largely evocative, leaving plenty of room for debate. The […]

Putting fuel in the tank

Posted by Susan Tomes on 20 July 2019 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  Leave a comment

After a recent concert a member of the audience was telling me how much she’d enjoyed it. ‘I always say it’s great to hear top professionals playing, because it’s only when people have really mastered the notes that they can think about how music communicates’, she said. Actually, I feel sad when I hear people […]

New technology

Posted by Susan Tomes on 29 May 2019 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

The other day I gave a copy of one of my own CDs as a gift to some young musicians. They thanked me politely, but I caught them eyeing the CD with a certain blankness. Suddenly a thought occurred to me and I said, ‘…Don’t tell me you haven’t got CD players!’ They all shook […]

Fake news

Posted by Susan Tomes on 18 May 2019 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  2 Comments

There’s so much talk about ‘fake news’ at the moment. Most of us are gradually getting better at spotting it. Fake news often seems to be accompanied by a certain style of presentation, which we often see in public speaking. Smiles that don’t arise from the inside. An over-developed sense of confidence and authority, a […]

Toe-tapping in the Baroque era

Posted by Susan Tomes on 8 March 2019 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

I did some guest teaching at the University of St Andrews the other day. During one of my sessions, a member of the audience asked an interesting question. I didn’t know the answer and am still thinking about it. He said: ‘I have some modern recordings of Baroque music. The orchestra plays with a lot […]