I was very pleased to be able to write a review of the new ABRSM 2019 – 2020 syllabus for the excellent blog by Tim Topham.
Tim is an internationally-renowned music educator, piano teacher, writer and presenter.
Through his blog and podcast at timtopham.com, he regularly inspires more than 20,000 teachers across the globe to become better educators for their students. He has also set-up an international community of dedicated and creative teachers – his Inner Circle – of which I am very pleased to be a member.
Readers of my blog will know my views on the place of piano exams in a musical education. Whilst exams can be an excellent motivator for some students, too much focus on exams can be detrimental to the development of all-round musicianship and, at worst, can put a student off playing the piano altogether. Many of my students choose not to go down the exam route and I will only enter students for exams when they are fully ready. Please refer to my ‘Guiding Principles‘ for more information about my approach to piano exams.
You can read my review here.
I’ve been holding my twice-yearly concerts for nearly four years now. In the earlier years, I didn’t always record the performances although I have now started doing so. It’s lovely to watch them back and see how the students have developed over the years. Luckily, however, there are some recordings of performances at the earlier concerts so I have been able to look back on some from July 2015 and see how the students have developed since then, as seen in the videos from my latest concert on 30 June 2018. For starters, here is Nathan in July 2015, then 6 years’ old, playing 2 pieces including his own composition:
And here he is three years later, age 9, playing Little Prelude in C by JS Bach……
Keiva was only just 5 years old when she played here at her second concert:
And here she is, at 8, playing the wonderful Emerald Green by June Armstrong:
Here’s Daniel playing at his first concert in July 2015 when he was 6:
And three years’ later he performs his own composition The Easter Blues:
Izzy was 7 when she played Plain Sailing by Rosa Conrad at her second concert:
And at the age of 10 here she is introducing and playing her own ‘untitled’ composition, and challenging the audience to see if they could tell what it was about!
I often bore friends and family by saying I have the best job in the world. But I really do. And watching my students grow and develop, not just as pianists but as young people, is a real privilege.