Ivory Pulse: Piano Blogs Digest – Sep 05, 2023

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Ivory Pulse!

Every week, we dive into a sea of articles, blog posts, and updates to gather the most interesting and inspiring pieces from the world of piano music. From the latest news on piano technology and trends, to insightful interviews with accomplished pianists, to tips and tricks that will help you become a better player, we’ve got it all!

A comprehensive & wide-ranging new piano syllabus from Trinity College London

By: The Cross-Eyed Pianist, franspianostudio.me

Trinity College London has released a new piano syllabus that offers a wide range of styles and genres at every grade. The syllabus includes an extended edition for each grade, featuring 21 appealing pieces from Baroque to present-day, as well as exercises and scales. The repertoire includes classical composers, jazz and Latin artists, pop artists, film and TV show themes, and video game music. The inclusion of music by female composers and those from historically underrepresented backgrounds ensures a diverse range of repertoire. The syllabus aims to encourage students to enjoy their piano playing and find pleasure in the music they learn. Read more

Chopin and His Europe – New Combinations and Discoveries in Warsaw

By: nilsjohan, www.pianostreet.com

The annual festival ‘Chopin and His Europe’ in Warsaw featured 23 concerts with renowned pianists, including Ivo Pogorelic, Kevin Chen, and Bruce Liu. Highlights included a Liszt and Chopin recital by Kevin Chen, a performance on a Pleyel piano from 1848 by Thomasz Ritter, and a Brahms and Chopin concert on an Ehrbar grand piano from 1878 by Alexei Lubimov. Other notable performances included a Mozart concerto for two pianos by Dang Thai Son and Bruce Liu, and Grieg’s A-minor concerto on a period instrument by Aleksandra Swigut. Watch the concerts on the Chopin Institute’s YouTube channel. Read more

Piano Jobs You Can Get: How to Become a Piano Tuner

By: Charmaine Li, www.pianote.com

Interested in becoming a piano tuner? In this blog post, professional piano technician Cameron O’Neill shares insights on the skills needed, the job itself, and how to take care of your own piano. Discover the difference between a piano tuner and a piano technician, learn about the tasks involved, and find out how to become a piano tuner. O’Neill also discusses the importance of ear-training and provides resources for learning the art of piano tuning. If you’ve ever been curious about this career path, this blog post is a must-read! Read more

Six Hidden Practice Skills of Expert Musicians

By: Gerald Klickstein, www.musiciansway.com

Discover the six hidden practice skills of expert musicians that are crucial for high-level performance. This blog post highlights the importance of artistic repetition, feeling ahead, problem-solving, handling mistakes, cultivating ease, and reinforcing performance habits. By adopting these practice techniques, aspiring musicians can maximize their growth as artists. Read more

Iago Núñez plays Manuel de Falla’s Danza Ritual del Fuego

By: Pianist Magazine, www.youtube.com

Watch Iago Núñez perform Manuel de Falla’s fiery ‘Danza Ritual del Fuego’ in this captivating video. The piece is taken from ‘El Amor Brujo’ and will be featured in the October/November 2023 issue of Pianist Magazine. Watch on YouTube

Feeling Daunted About Learning to Play the Piano? Means You’re Learning and Gaining New Skills

By: Jen Crabb, pianoforretirees.com

Feeling daunted while learning to play the piano is normal and a sign of growth. The author shares a personal experience of feeling overwhelmed by a 10-page piece of music, only to realize that most of it was repeated sections. This realization helped calm the panic and approach the challenge with a new perspective. Feeling daunted means you’re about to learn something new and improve your skills. It’s a common experience for all piano students, even the gifted ones. Embrace the discomfort and know that it’s a sign of progress. Read more

Growing Before You Feel Ready (w. Kaitlyn D.) [7FMS Ep. #87]

By: Daniel Patterson, growyourmusicstudio.com

In this episode of the 7FMS podcast, Daniel Patterson interviews Kaitlyn Davidson, owner of a music studio in downtown Atlanta with over 400 students. They discuss topics such as teacher training, decision-making, student motivation, and knowing when to grow. Kaitlyn shares her wisdom and insights in a short but impactful episode. If you’re interested in running a music school or facing challenges in your own studio, don’t miss this episode. Plus, there’s a free live Q&A/coaching session coming up on September 1st. Tune in to learn more! Read more

Tending the Musical Garden: Nurturing our Students’ Musical Skills

By: Jennifer Foxx, musiceducatorresources.com

In this blog post, the author compares nurturing musical skills to tending a garden. They discuss the importance of having a solid musical foundation, exploring different genres and styles, consistent practice, and learning music theory. The author encourages teachers to expose their students to diverse music and to help them set specific goals for practice. They also emphasize the benefits of understanding music theory for enhancing musical abilities and creativity. Overall, this post provides valuable insights and tips for teachers on how to nurture their students’ musical skills. Read more

The Schott Student Edition Series

By: Melanie Spanswick, melaniespanswick.com

Melanie Spanswick is contributing to the Schott Student Edition Series, writing a series of books containing music mainly by women composers. The first completed books highlight the work of Spanish Composer Narcisa Freixas and American composer Amy Beach. The books offer motivating teaching literature for all levels of difficulty, providing guidance to both the pupil and the teacher. They contain composer biographies and practice notes for every piece, encouraging a well-rounded approach to music study. Further books in the series will be published next year. The books are available for purchase worldwide. Read more

Using Piano Etudes as Sight-Reading Material

By: Emmanuelle Fonsny, www.pianosightreading.com.au

Discover the benefits of using piano etudes as sight-reading material in this article. From easy keys to repeated rhythmic patterns, consistent articulation, and more, etudes provide a great opportunity to develop your sight-reading skills. The blog post also includes a list of free etudes categorized by difficulty level, making it easy to find the perfect ones to practice. Read more

How To Teach Attwood Sonatina in G Major

By: Janna Williamson, www.jannawilliamson.com

Learn how to teach the first movement of the Sonatina in G Major by Thomas Attwood in this blog post. Discover recommended editions and topics highlighted in the video, including key signature, scale patterns, chords, accompaniment, slurs, dynamics, and tempo. Stay up to date with Janna Williamson’s piano pedagogy content by subscribing to her newsletter. Read more

5 Fun Ways to Teach Music Form

By: Carmen Carpenter, colourfulkeys.ie

Learn fun and engaging ways to teach music form to students. This blog post by Carmen Carpenter suggests using movement, discovery, creativity, color, and games to help students understand the structure of their music. Activities like using a parachute or scarves can emphasize different sections of a piece, while guided listening and movement discussions encourage students to actively participate in recognizing form. By incorporating creativity through composing, students can further reinforce their understanding of music form. For more tips and resources on teaching music theory, visit the Colourful Keys hub page. Read more


That brings us to the end of this edition of Ivory Pulse. Don’t forget to join us again next week for another compilation of compelling piano-focused content. Until then, keep playing and enjoying the wonderful world of piano music.

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