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.Read more
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.Read more
Forty plus years and the metronome still ticks beats to the minute, be it a mechanical pendulum, electronic or my Steinway app!Read more
Celebrating Forty Years of Membership. Every year, the VMTA acknowledges members who have reached their membership milestone of forty years. Here are some reflections from two of our members, Maxine Shell and Patricia West.Read more
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!
by Noa Kageyama PhD
Reposted from https://bulletproofmusician.com/is-slow-practice-really-necessary/
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?
by Jeremy Woolhouse
Instrumental technique may be considered as the interface between concept and sound. Our technical prowess determines how effectively our ideas flow from imagination, through the instrument, to the listener. The definitions we create of technique, guide our practice and teaching. They may be a liberating or limiting factor. We inevitably acquire a set of judgements around what is appropriate technique, and what is not.
by Helen Kasztelan Chapman
MMus (Uni Melb), Graduate Diploma in Music Performance (VCA), BA Mus (VCA), LMusA, AMusA, MVMTA
As an AMEB piano examiner with over twenty-five years’ experience in teaching, examining and adjudicating in eisteddfods, I have observed that Bartók’s piano music is often overlooked by instrumental studio teachers. I wanted to find out why this is the case as well as look at the technical aspects of teaching this music.
By Drew Schweppe
Founder and Managing Director of Informusic, the first all-in-one music history resource for smart phones and tablets.
An informed performance lies in the historical context of a musical composition. A few weeks back I was catching up with a colleague of mine who is currently the Director of Bands at a public high school in the U.S. During our conversation he said something that struck us both as rather troubling – “My students don’t know much about the composers whose music they play.”