‘Tomes offers warm, thoughtful insights into the art of teaching’
‘Speaking the Piano explores more than simply the nuts and bolts of mastering an instrument – it tries to harness the ineffable magic of making music, and the ways in which that magic can be transmitted or made accessible to others.
This is Tomes’s fifth book. Her previous publications all explored the life and work of a professional musician, but here she tackles the more egalitarian issues of teaching and learning, whether for an aspiring concert pianist or an amateur musician playing for the pleasure of it. … In warm, elegant prose, Tomes contemplates topics from how to inspire musical imagination to how to get a handle on the subtleties of different musical styles, taking a conversational tone with plenty of demonstrative anecdotes thrown in.
… Tomes’s wide-ranging book is thoughtfully written, with a lot of heart. It doesn’t provide definitive answers to many of the questions it (and indeed the art and craft of learning to play music) throws up – in many ways it’s more memoir than methodology. But what it does offer is plenty of food for thought, new ways in, and different angles born of experience and careful observation. A worthwhile read for music teachers, students and anyone looking for ways to enrich their own musical journey.’
Angus McPherson, Limelight magazine, Australia