Opening of the Ian Potter Southbank Centre

It was wonderful to participate in the opening of this amazing new facility located right next to The Recital Centre and the VCA, and home to the new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. The event opened with a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country in Linear Park, with Boon Wurrung Elder, N’arweet Carolyn Briggs accompanied by student performers from the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development. A fanfare composed by Mark Pollard invited all to enter the building.

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Considerations in Position of the Piano Stool

When asked about school chairs, FM Alexander is quoted as saying “We need to educate our children, not our furniture.” The same can be said about the piano stool – it is far more profound and fundamental to learn to change one’s coordination than to learn where to put one’s stool. The former also informs the latter. We can look to Alexander Technique not for a prescribed position of piano stool, but for principles which can guide our decision making.

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How Many Hours a Day Should You Practice?

2 hours? 4 hours? 8 hours? 12 hours? How much is enough? Is there such a thing as practising too much? Is there an optimal number of hours that one should practice? Some of the great artists of the 20th century have shared their thoughts on these questions. I seem to recall reading an interview with Rubinstein years ago, in which he stated that nobody should have to practice more than four hours a day, explaining that if you needed to practice more than four hours a day, you probably weren’t doing it right.

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Positive Posture at the Piano

Piano instruction books often depict ‘the right posture for playing piano.’ They may illustrate a pianist with a straight back, feet on the floor, and forearms parallel to the floor. There are advantages and disadvantages to presenting images like this. If a student were to hold this position, the holding may become very limiting for piano technique, not to mention tiring! Through an investigation into positive poise, we can explore some principles of coordination for playing.

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Performance Anxiety: A Practical Guide for Music Teachers

By Gregory Daubney MSc MBPsS & Dr Alison Daubney
Reprinted from Performance Anxiety: A Practical Guide for Music Teachers
Incorporated Society of Musicians Trust (ISM Trust), February 2017
Your performance is tomorrow! Your heart races faster than ever as you realise that this time tomorrow you will be performing. Have you practised enough? Can you remember the whole piece? What happens if you fail? Why are you doing this? Your breathing is short and shallow. Your heart is hammering against your chest wall and getting louder while your mouth is dry. How can I do this? Why did I do this? I don’t want to do this! Don’t make me do this! and…STOP!

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Is Slow Practice Really Necessary?

by Noa Kageyama PhD
Reposted from
Like everyone else in the world who has ever taken music lessons, I’ve been urged to practice slowly on many an occasion. But did I heed my teachers’ advice? Nope. After all, what’s the point of slow practice? Everything is easier slower – of course you can play things more accurately at a slow tempo. What’s the big deal? But…why do so many people swear by slow practice?

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