Category Archives: Resources


Scale fingering keyboard visual


Here’s how I use visuals to help with learning octave scale fingerings. The piano scales of C, G, D, A and E major, all use a 123-1234 fingering pattern. It’s not such a tricky pattern once you have memorised and in your ‘muscle memory’  ….but it’s much easier to actively memorise anything when we use […]

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Key-sized stave freebie


Beginner pianists can sometimes find it tricky to correlate that one step to the right on the keyboard = moving up to the next line or space on the stave…. it’s a fairly abstract concept.  Here’s a stave with light horizontal lines spaced the same distance as a standard key width (22mm).  It can help […]

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How to make a practice bead page marker


Here’s a nice tactile way to remind your child or pupil to practice those tricky spots! I’ll often get my pupils to play a tricky spot 3 or 5 times.  Use these practice beads to help them keep track!  They simply slide one bead from the top end to the bottom end (or vice versa) […]

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Valentine’s Day 2020 activities


This year Valentines Day falls on a Friday (and the last day of half term at local schools)- so all my pupils get to have fun with Valentines-themed activities!  I’m really excited to see their reactions and hope they have a special time this week 🙂 The home studio is bedecked in pink and loveliness […]

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Shape phrases with playdough


A quick technique activity to develop phrase shaping. Musicians often talk about ‘shaping the phrases’.  OK, there are countless ways to shape a phrase, but your classic phrase shape is the arch-shaped phrase. Here the first note is lighter, then the tone deepens as we reach the middle of the phrase, then ends more softly.  […]

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Strengthen finger joints with this crocodile game


Here is a fun tool I made that strengthens all the fingers to help stop collapsing knuckles.  It’s easy to make your own.     Collapsing knuckle joints like the one pictured above are a common sight when people start to learn the piano, because they haven’t yet built up the strength in their finger joints.  […]

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Summer Practice Challenge


The summer holidays are nearly here! For pupils that have piano lessons in school, that can mean a very long time before they have their next piano lesson in September. Here is a practice challenge I made for my beginners that reviews their learning in a fun and creative way.  It reminds them of some […]

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Beat lollipops


Here is a bright and simple way I help beginner musicians embed pulse and beat in their first year of learning. My piano pupils do lots of aural activities during lessons. They learn through a ‘sound before symbol’ approach. One way my pupils internalise beat and pulse is with a quick challenge where we swap […]

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Monstrous Fun with Rhythm


This is a hugely versatile game that children especially love in piano lessons, but I use it with students of all ages! 10 of my beginners at Didsbury Piano have started learning crotchet, quaver, minim and semibreve rhythms and I like to give them plenty of reinforcement in a fresh and fun way.  Today we […]

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A practice game to make repetition fun


Here’s how I use a fun game with a beginner teaching piece that really reaps its rewards through repetition.  The piece: Zebra on a Playground This is a beginner improv/technique piece from Piano Safari repertoire book level 1. The goal: strengthen the nail joint on every finger and cement keyboard geography. How: Play the piece […]

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Due to Covid-19, tuition will take place via live online video lessons until further notice.