Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

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 […]

A fine insult learned from a piper

Posted by Susan Tomes on 28 January 2020 under Books, Inspirations, Teaching  •  Leave a comment

I have been reading an enthralling book, ‘A Hundred Years in the Highlands‘, written in 1921 by Osgood Mackenzie. He was the founder and owner of the famous gardens at Inverewe. Osgood Mackenzie was an elderly man when he wrote the book and could recall childhood incidents from the 1850s, as well as many tales […]

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 […]