Nigel Scaife, Anthony Williams and the rest of the piano syllabus team at ABRSM have once again selected an interesting and varied selection of pieces throughout the grades. For example, there is the gentle and evocative Canción para dormir una muñeca by Antonio Estevéz at Grade 4 whilst at Grade 7 By a meadow brook by Edward MacDowell reminds us all that there is more to this composer than just To a wild rose!
Of course, having great pieces that we teachers love is one thing but as a musician and teacher I always get excited about how I can introduce these pieces to my pupils in ways that will inspire and motivate them?'
At this point I put my creative teaching hat on and the fun begins! As a result I'm delighted to say that I have created a set of 'messy piano' resources for selected Grade 1 and 2 pieces from the new ABRSM 2015-17 syllabus.
At the next meeting of the Oxford Piano Group for teachers on Wednesday October 29th I am going to be sharing some of these resources with the teachers there. The morning will be spent introducing and exploring some innovative and imaginative ways introducing some of the pieces at these two grades.
Following my recent posts on the topic of 'Being professional' the afternoon session will focus on what it means to be a professional piano teacher. I have invited Sharon Mark, founder and Director of Evoco, Lucinda Mackworth-Young, Director of the Piano Teachers' Course, Frances Wilson, pianist, writer and teacher and Nigel Scaife, Syllabus Director, ABRSM to share their thoughts on this subject and to lead what will certainly be a fascinating debate.
During the February meeting - Wednesday February 18 - the Grades 3-5 repertoire will similarly be under scrutiny and HeartMass practioner, Su O'Hanlon will be providing players with strategies for dealing with performance anxiety.
The final meeting of the year will be held on Wednesday May 17 and will have as the focus for the day the topic of sight reading. I am delighted that Alan Bullard, author of 'Joining the dots,' will be leading a session based the books with piano teacher Janet Bullard, who also happens to be his wife. I will be presenting an overview of the research into sight reading that is currently available and there will the opportunity for teachers to discuss and debate the different approaches.
As always, each day will provide the teachers present with the opportunity to network with other teachers and exchange ideas and repertoire thoughts.
Booking is now open for this season, however, places are limited on each day and early application is strongly recommended.