Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

Email, instant messaging and the whirligig of time

Posted by Susan Tomes on 17 September 2018 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

I was complaining last week to a fellow musician about the difficulty of getting students to reply to emails. ‘You’d think they would reply to email precisely because it’s so easy to click on ‘reply’ and write a few words’, I said. ‘I have exactly the same problem’, he said. ‘I think it’s because a […]

Why go on having tuition when you’ve ‘finished training’?

Posted by Susan Tomes on 10 September 2018 under Musings, Teaching  •  4 Comments

I’ve been in London coaching young post-grad and professional chamber groups for ChamberStudio, a wonderful enterprise which provides mentorship and further training for instrumentalists who have ‘finished studying’ but still need or wish to have access to advice and tuition. Why would people want to go on having coaching when they’ve got degrees, diplomas, prizes […]

Tackling Chopin’s F major Nocturne

Posted by Susan Tomes on 8 August 2018 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  3 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’, […]