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Moving Beyond Stage Fright

I was working recently on an International Piano Academy in Germany, giving daily master classes to a group of committed and advanced pianists. I was also there in the capacity of Performance Coach. One of the students asked me whether I could talk to her friend, who was due to give a concert performance of […]

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More passion in Classical Music concerts please!

During a recent classical music concert, I was listening  to a song recital and admit to being rather underwhelmed by the lack of passion in the performance.  I know the world of art song very well. For years I coached singers and gave song recitals as a pianist. I know the repertoire back to front […]

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Memorising Music

I have worked as a chamber musician and duo partner for my entire career to date and therefore  I have not needed to play from memory in a concert. Music has been given to me anything from months before the concert to hours before, meaning that the demands I have had lay instead in being […]

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What is listening in music?

Listening in music is a strange one. It is as elusive a concept in normal everyday communication as it is in music. When do we really listen to someone without our minds half present or thinking of how we are going to reply next? How extraordinary and wonderful it is to bump up against people […]

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Teaching children: criticism or praise?

It only takes a period drama on television to remind us of how far society has moved in a relatively short period of time. I watched the first episode of BBC’s The Village last week, and it was shocking to see how a young boy of 12 could be caned on his hand for something as ‘bad’ […]

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Reality talent shows: does the culture of instant fame threaten the performing arts?

I was fascinated to hear the choreographer of decades of best selling West End shows, and former classical ballerina, Gillian Lynne say on Front Row, BBC Radio 4, 25/3/13, that she felt that the reality talent shows were bad for music theatre. Her point was that if someone rises rapidly to the top in a […]

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Engaging in the performance of music

What does it mean to engage in the performance of music? It’s a tricky one that I find myself exploring a lot. It is so easy to lose focus and concentration when playing, which is what I talked about in my last blog – ‘A meditative approach to practising’ – but this is something more. […]

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A meditative approach to practising music

There is so much that is involved in practising a piece of music for a performance. At some stage, I will write about the nuts and bolts of practising music, what needs to be involved to build the security needed to be able to let go in performance. But this is about the challenges of […]

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Performing from the score versus memorizing

I heard somewhere that seven eighths of the world’s music is not written down. I suspect then that most of the remaining eighth is filled up with the scores of classical music. What a relief that we have all of that music written down – the world would be a bleaker place if we didn’t […]

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