Music exam tips

It's that time of year when many students across Ireland, the UK and other countries around the world are doing music exams. Of course, some exam boards offer sessions at different times of the year, but I thought I'd get some tips together. These are geared more towards pianists in some cases. -- Save the … Continue reading Music exam tips


Bach French Suite No. 4 BWV 815

Bach wrote six French Suites between the years 1722 and 1725. This suite, no.4 BWV 815 in E flat major contains 6 movements: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gavotte, Air, Menuet, Gigue. Allemande - This is a baroque dance form, also dating back to the renaissance, and usually danced by a couple. In its original form, it was … Continue reading Bach French Suite No. 4 BWV 815

Piano vs Keyboard

I thought I would write a few words on the difference between Pianos, Digital Pianos and Keyboards and why certain options are less helpful. One vital difference in comparing Grand or Upright Pianos(acoustic) with keyboards is their action. Piano keys are thicker and heavier than those on a keyboard and being naturally weighted due to the … Continue reading Piano vs Keyboard

Graded exams for piano

Most people who learned a musical instrument while growing up in Ireland will have vivid memories of exams and musical grades. Exams provide an assessment by musical experts, an objective guide to students progresses. They provide a goal to aim towards. For a lot of people, this can be their first time playing for anyone outside of … Continue reading Graded exams for piano

Brahms Op. 117

I studied these pieces at one point during my degree and had a brief play through them recently. I can't claim that they are fully polished here in the video below, it had been a while too. These three intermezzos were composed in 1892 and are among Brahms later works for the piano. The title … Continue reading Brahms Op. 117

Encouraging practice

A few words on encouraging children and young people to practice. One of the most basic ingredients here, I believe, is for the student to be enjoying their lessons. It helps to get along with the teacher (though this can have various meanings), and of course to be enjoying the music itself. Whatever the reason for starting, … Continue reading Encouraging practice