Well done Geoff in getting 98% in the ABRSM grade 3 theory exam - nearly 100% - next time?!
Perhaps you learnt the memory aids "All cows eat grass" and FACE, as well as "good boys deserve favours always" or equivalents (green buses drive fast always)? They keep on coming back FROM THE PARENTS! Theory and practical books (eg Chesters) have tended to ignore them but these mnemonics seem to still have great value.
First Evening of El Des
Well done Geoff for getting this up and running. There was a great atmosphere. Onwards and upwards! PLease watch http://eldesperados.weebly.com for updates and photos.
I have never forgotten the day in 1988 when I was interviewed for Napier Uni's Music course: I was informed that one of the tests was to assess my teachable-ness: in other words, to what extent was I prepared to listen to a teacher and to try new approaches to technique etc.
We could grade this on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = bad; 10 = the perfect student!). What affects this? Negatively: Pride, arrogance, mistrust of teacher (eg a new pupil), rebelliousness, apathy... positively: good pupil/teacher relationship, teacher reputation, the pupil's enthusiasm, etc etc.
At last! The first meeting of El Desperados will be Thursday 28th August at Euxton Methodist Church on the A49. From 7.15pm onwards. eldesperados.weebly.com
This is to give amateur musicians, not just pianists, performance experience in a welcoming and encouraging environment.
Performance nerves - is it just a lack of experience of playing in front of others? I think not. Some people just take to playing in front of others like a fish to water. But it is simply not 100% one way (all nerves) or 100% the other (all confidence). There are an infinite number of degrees in between these extremes with different things going in different heads. Is it simply that some don't care what people think and others fear terribly what the audience is thinking. That is an issue for some, but not for all.
One of my pupils, Geoff, is tackling this head on. He is going to initiate a gathering in south Lancs, probably the Chorley area, so that amateurs can get together to perform in front of each other in a welcoming and encouraging way. Watch this space!!!!!
Satie Gymnopedie - the famous one was recently an ABRSM grade 6 piano piece: seems fair enough. A few years ago another exam board set it at grace 3!!! I pity the souls who went through that.....
Exams or not? I find that pupils' progress definitely improves when they are preparing for an exam. I am well aware that some teachers believe that exams can impede a growing love of learning an instrument; Fair point. But the progress of pro-exam pupils definitely outstrips anti-exam pupils. If pupils dont want anything to do with exams then that is fine: I will proceed without that option; but rarely do anti-exam pupils make anything like the same progress. I operate as a private teacher: perhaps things are different in a school setting.
To improve cross rhythms - try C major contrary motion scales: triplet quavers in left and duplet quavers in the right. Take it slowly at first and use a metronome ONLY on the crotchet pulse.
Singing - I'm thinking about it again, even though I am a piano teacher primarily. This is for teachers and parents: if a pupil is preparing for an aural section of an exam and they are shy of singing, make sure that you hum or sing with them simultaneously. It helps them to feel less self-conscious about the sound they make.
Piano and keyboard teacher based in Eccleston, south Lancashire, England.