Thursday, 5 December 2013

Teaching the piano and BIG weather !

What a night, and then what day weather wise! I was supposed to teach six students and in the end I actually taught one ! So many folk are ill, and without voice, so I had a couple of phone calls from J and M, and I could barely recognise them from the croaks and crackles, then the weather was so bad two more students who travel over 45 mins to get to me were imprisoned by the snow, the violent wind and the snakey one track roads in the Highlands, which were covered in a layer of snow and hail the size of large peas!

So my great young man H, who now is doing so brilliantly with the piano, was my lone pupil today. He has worked very hard, and over the last two years or so has made huge progress. Firstly I am not a piano teacher in the way I am a singing teacher, but the choices are not many on Paradise, and I have felt unable to deny some of my singing students the keyboard skills they most definitely need. The difference it makes to a singer if they can play their own melody lines, add in some keyboard harmony, or simply understand musicianship to a greater degree, has infinite rewards on their singing journey.

So, I found myself with one piano pupil, which grew like Topsy to the present moment when I have 6 piano students, some beginners, some around Grade 5 and D who is without grading, but probably around Grade 7 ish ! I have enjoyed returning to my very young school teacher days when piano teaching was equal to singing teaching. It has meant that I have to think in a different way, and revisit pianistic skills after years of being the best 'busker' in the UK. That sounds very arrogant, but what it really means is that I can busk, or 'chord' my way through almost any style or genre of vocal music, with the possible exception of Britten opera ! A skill which I have acquired over many years of singing teaching. Teaching my keyboard pupils has given me a more disciplined approach to the music - in other words, to play (some of) the notes which the composer has painstakingly written !

So good on you H, you have worked SO well, and you and the others make me remember how much I enjoyed teaching something other than voices!

Now that's a feat !



A small Gretel jumping up to bite the snow flakes !

(You need to take my word for it though - a bit blurry!)


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