Managing performance anxiety

This is the final part of three posts on preparing for a grade exam. When to enter a pupil for a grade exam The exam countdown Managing performance anxiety Some lucky pupils perform out of their skins when they give a performance; adrenalin helps them perform at their...

The exam countdown

This is the second of three posts on preparing for a grade exam. When to enter a pupil for a grade exam The exam countdown Managing performance anxiety The most successful athletes have a detailed planned programme which leads them up to their big events. This enables...

When to enter a pupil for a grade exam?

This is the first of three posts on preparing for a grade exam. When to enter a pupil for a grade exam The exam countdown Managing performance anxiety So my pupil has been learning their grade 1 pieces for a term and a half and is getting there, but when should I...

New teaching tips and app: Lullaby, Grade 2, ABRSM

Lullaby by Neugasimov is the most popular choice from the B list of ABRSM’s grade 2. It has a lilting RH melody that is gently accompanied by some beautiful LH broken chords and pupils love it. At Yohondo, we know that despite your expert teaching, pupils need support...

After the exam – part 2

In this post: How you sit affects how they talk What to do if the exam went badly Keeping records of exam reports Maintaining a student’s wish list of pieces So the exam is done and the results are in. I like to go through the report with my pupil and have a...

After the exam

In the UK the exams every term are a big part of our year. We choose the pieces carefully, work on them diligently, hope that our pupils will practise for them and rehearse their performing skills, all in readiness for exam day. And then it’s over. Having a plan for...

50 ways to play a scale

Several years ago I heard someone say that the easiest way to improve a piano grade mark was to secure the scales. The reasoning was that scales are a little bit like maths – get them right and no-one can argue with them. Also they come first in the exam and if...

Jelly Baby Day

Motivating students to remember their music Last week one of my school piano pupils asked if it was Jelly Baby Day. Jelly Baby Day is my way of getting pupils to remember to bring their music to their lessons at school. Each term there are a couple of Jelly Baby Days....

30 Piece Challenge Results

This last year has been a wonderfully successful year in motivating my pupils, especially my young pupils, to get in the habit of practising regularly and enjoying the rewards that this brings. The idea came from a fabulous blog post by Elissa Milne. The results have...

3 reasons to bring crafts into your final Christmas lesson

In the final piano lesson before Christmas as well as playing our favourite Christmas pieces, I like to make something that my pupils can take away with them. Last year we made origami pianos and this year it’s pipe cleaner and bead treble clefs for the Christmas...