My older son has just turned 4 and a half. We have been recently learning this Grade 1 exam piece.
Nearly all of my students can perform this piece better than shown in the video, but I am still
proud of him for being able to learn some of it.
He has a really strong sense of pitch accuracy. If he hits an incorrect key, he is able to correct himself. I definitely encourage children to start learning the piano as young as possible. By the time children's school work becomes more important (around GCSE level) they will hopefully have achieved Grade 8, which is a nice bonus for A level UCAS points.
Over the years that I have been teaching; I always welcome students to
request any songs they would like to learn. Sometimes I have adult students who bring Grade 7-8 standard pieces and hope I
can show them on the spot.
Even if I'm a piano teacher myself, sometimes I haven't heard all of the songs that my students request to learn. But having good sight reading ability allows me to have a try at playing pieces that I haven't seen before. If you are interested in watching some of the songs that my students request; you can view them in the media section here.
I am hoping to add more videos of my piano playing when I have more time in the future.
Dear Parents and students,
Hopefully you all are well. This is certainly a very fast changing time right now, everything seems to move on including the piano exam boards rather than waiting for the virus to go away.
The majority of the exam boards do exams online now, even ABRSM who is well known for being the most inflexible but biggest music exam board has now made a dramatic change.
From August, they will open online piano exams (remotely-assessed graded music exam). They are both worth equally the same UCAS points. Rather than taking the traditional structure of music syllabus for the exam. Students now can submit a recording of 4 pieces to the board. All 4 pieces must be recorded back to back as one video. Students can use 3 exam pieces from the current exam pieces book and choose one more piece that provides the same level. Each piece is 30 marks and the remaining mark is called “overall impression” to make up a total mark of 150.
Passing criteria will probably be the same. Waiting for more information. (100-pass, 120-merit,130-distinction). Students no longer need to do sight reading/aural/scale work at the remotely-assessed music exam. This is the first hand news I have obtained from ABRSM. For those whose exams were cancelled, you will be likely to use this assessment in August.
This will also become an ABRSM permanent option of assessment along with traditional exams when the centers open again. It means once we have restarted lessons next month, we will focus on learning the 4th piece for those whose exam is planned for this year. It’s some good news for students who have never liked practicing scales/sight reading. Now it’s the time you will do well for your remote exam.
But as a teacher I still would like to give my students knowledge of a broad curriculum to build good overall musical skill. I will incorporate some sight reading and scales into our lessons from time to time. But we will adapt our lessons to meet the exam board’s requirements. I will be in touch again soon once I have more updates regarding the exam requirement and the next registration opening date.
Please refer to the offical ABRSM website for further information.
This is a very uncertain time and everything is changing fast.
ABRSM has carried out online exam assessments this month for grade 6 and above,
it’s mainly for students who need UCAS points for A level this term.
They have only updated recently that there will also be online exams available for grade1-8 students from August too.
More details will be given from ABRSM at the end of this month. The piano exam registrations will re-open in July.
I will definitely do my best to assist my students with the online exam requirements and help checking all recordings.
I feel that everything is moving along, including the exam boards. I have finally made an announcement about my plans and how we will move forward with piano lessons, so students do not have a big learning gap while waiting for the virus to end.
Once the schools have re-opened in June, I am planning to give face to face lessons with extremely strict safety measures in place. For those who feel the measures taken are too strict or don’t feel safe about coming here there will also be an option of Zoom piano lessons available.
Regarding the safety measures I will take for face to face lessons; please refer to:
COVID-19 Face to Face Lessons
If you prefer to have online lessons, please read:
COVID-19 Online Lessons
During this pandemic I have stopped giving in person lessons. I don't really encourage students to have online lessons; especially for beginners
who would need me to reach over to correct their pose and navigate through the geography of the piano keys. Online piano
lessons are also very challenging for young children who struggle to focus on learning through a monitor without my physical presence.
I encourage students to wait for when we resume lessons as soon as the lockdown is eased, so I can ensure that I deliver the most effective piano lessons for my students and parents. However I have had a request from one of my Grade 3 students (9 years old) for online piano lessons. His exam was supposed to be last month, but has now been delayed. I have given him my first zoom piano lesson this week and will continue to do so until our face to face lessons begin again.
He has a very strong musical backgruond knowledge. He follows my instructions and responds very well when prompted to during our online lesson. It's really hard to introduce a new concept or piece through a monitor; but we were able to do a lot of sight reading catch up. This will help him keep track of reading music notes for his level as well as helping him attain more points in his upcoming piano exam. I really enjoy teaching him sight reading through an online piano lesson.
I'm extremely thankful for all parents who help set up devices for their child/ren and facilitate the zoom recitals we have had over the past
4 weeks. During the lockdown I have stopped teaching completely, but I really miss my students and hope they can keep practicing the piano at home.
During the last 2 recitals I was touched by how much effort everyone has put in.
We had 21 students who took part in the first zoom recital, and 23 who took part in the 2nd recital today. I hope all my students which took part in these recitals have enjoyed listening to all sorts of different music pieces from others. For those who haven't been able to take part in our zoom recitals, including my adult students, I will be thinking of you.
Next zoom recital will be 2 weeks from today. Hopefully we will be able to resume lessons soon.
I hope everyone is coping well with the new way of living and life adjustments during the sad coronavirus time.
All UK ABRSM exams have been cancelled.
There will be no new exam bookings available until the 1st of July. I have also postponed all of my lessons at the moment. However, two of my 7 year old students have both got their exam results back recently. They took their exams right before the government lockdown was put in place. One passed their grade 1 exam and one passed their grade 3 exam. Both acheived high marks. The student which has just passed her grade 3 exam is now working on their theory exam and grade 5 preparation.
I am also hosting my first ever online recital. So far, 20 students have confirmed they will be taking part. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone's face pop up on the screen on the 18th of April. Hopefully everyone stays safe and healthy.
My eldest son has just turned 4 years old recently. We have been learning this famous traditional Italian tune named 500 Year Old Melody
for a couple of days now. The right hand does not sit in the middle C position anymore; it is harder than it looks for a 4 year old.
The video I took today is not 100% perfect, but I can tell he is gradually picking up the right tempo by playing this duet with me together. He
takes cues for when to play from when I play my part.
I am very pleased with his reading too; I always encourage students to not look at their hands and focus on the notes when learning a new piece. This will help with sight reading and allow for more stable play.
Some of my very young students are working towards their Grade 5 ABRSM piano exam this year. Over the past few years I have always formed a strong bond with my students that have been with me from a beginner level. I have seen them work so hard and I have learnt a lot from them, as well. I really can't wait for my son to reach the level that my students have achieved in the years to come.
This is a free event for all my students' families and friends. It will give everyone an opportunity to perform and encourage them to
work hard and keep practicing the piano. Something to work towards :)
More details will be sent out to students soon.
I have very much enjoyed playing this song with my 5 year old student who has only had 4 lessons
with me. I also have a few older students who all can play this song within 2 lessons.
I would also like to thank the parents who have helped my 5 year old student learn the piano;
without their support we would not have been able to progress this fast.
The Solfa method is such a powerful tool to help reading notes effectively. Singing Do Re Mi while reading notes is definitely the most understandable and efficient way to teach young children. Especially for students who cannot read letters yet. I aim to make my students, including my children, sing Do Re Mi and gradually introduce them to the letter names while we play the scales. Seeing them progress so fast at this young age is very rewarding.
Happy new year everyone.
Congratulations to my students who have passed their ABRSM piano exam in Autumn 2019.
My 3 students who took their grade 1 and grade 2 exam this autumn have achieved very high marks. I am very proud of them. (Above is one of my student's certificate pictures) I will have 8 students attend their piano exam in March this year and a few students attending piano competitions in February and March. There will be more events to come following these; it's going to be a very busy year and prosperous year. I am looking forward to it :)
I sometimes try to teach extra pieces to suit occassions on top of a student's current books that they are studying. I discovered this simple and easy festive duet that students and their parents can easily play together for fun. Here is a video of one of my very bright students and I playing together in our lesson; I hope that you will enjoy listening to this beautiful music made by Alison Mathews.
My eldest son has just turned 4; I have only started to teach him recently. We practice a little bit at a time each day. He has made some progress, as a teacher myself I do not seem to be able to prioritise my son's lessons as much as my students'; but I will try my best to ensure he practices everyday, even for just 5 minutes. Hopefully he will turn out to be as good as my students when he is older.
I would like to share some good news; we had a wonderful day at the Leicester Music Fesitival held recently.
All of my young students are doing so well, including two of my 5 year old students.
Aaron: Grade 3 own choice solo – 1st Place
Received Peter Crump Memorial Trophy
Sara: Grade 3 exam pieces class – 3rd Place
Mia: Grade 3 own choice solo – 2nd Place
Grade 3 own choice piano program, two contrary pieces – 1st Place
Received the Vera Riley Cup
Grade 3 exam pieces class – 1st Place
Received Judith Gunn Challenge Cup
Bella: Grade 1 exam pieces class – 1st Place
Received Robert H Carter Memorial Trophy
Grade 1 own choice pieces – 2nd Place
Adrian: Grade 1 exam pieces class – 2nd Place
Jameela: Grade 1 exam pieces class – 3rd Place
I'm very proud of my son; he has just turned 4 two weeks ago. He can read 5 notes. But deep in my mind I knew that I should correct his finger pose from the start. He used to play with his fingers sticking up in the air; I have spent a lot of time in one evening reminding him to keep his fingers curved. We have made it, and I am sure in another three months he will be able to play some simple songs. I really can't wait to see his progress.
I am very proud of all of my students; especially those who work very hard. Some of them
will be taking two piano exams in one year, while some of them skip early grade exams to challenge themselves.
Everyone that has taken an exam has received either a merit or distinction.
One of my very bright student's parents are very supportive; they fully trust my judgement and recommendations. The student is highly interested in music and practices the piano every day for 1 hour since she was six.
I have been looking at some music specialised high schools in London for this student to attend. The school has high standards for entry, but I will do my best to support her whatever the school's requirements may be.
I am attending a piano competition with some of my students next week. I cant wait to share some good news here as I am sure some of them will win a prize!
I love my piano, especially when it has just been tuned. All the keys were removed and dusted. My tuner has also
adjusted and regulated my piano to make the keys more responsive.
I have my piano tuned every 6 months as it is used a lot by myself and my students. Can't wait to practice more fast tempo pieces and feel the difference!
A year ago I had a student which came to me, full of passion about learning the piano.
Her parents are one of the most supportive parents I have ever met. They have encouraged her throughout her journey
and have always given her a lot of praise for each improvement that was made every week.
Millie's progress means a lot to me as a teacher as I know how hard it is to be able to play on a Grade 1 level from a being a complete beginner. We have been through some challenging periods, but I am very pleased Millie was able to perservere and is now preparing for her grading.
I made this small video demonstrating Millie's progress over the last year. Looking at videos of past lessons makes me feel very touched and rewarding; it's always nice to look back and see how much a student has progressed after she began taking lessons.
I teach the piano by using the Yamaha solfa method alongside the C D E names.
Singing while playing is a very powerful tool when learning to read music notes, especially for young children.
It will also help develop their listening skills, which will be required if they are to take any piano exams.
I started teaching my son the piano, only doing the 5 finger independance awareness exercise when he was 3 years, 6 months old (bottom video).
At that point he wasn't able to read any music notes; now he is 3 years, 8 months old and is able to distinguish the difference between
the different notes on a music sheet.
The progress is still slow at the moment, but I am very proud of him for each small step he takes in relation to learning the piano.
Congratulations to my students who have passed their ABRSM piano exam in Summer 2019.
My 3 students who took their grade 1 exam this summer entry all achieved very high marks in their first piano exam. I am very proud of them. A piano exam covers many aspects and it might be harder than people think. Thanks to my students and their parents’ continued support and commitments to make this happen.
Parents, please download the Schedule Classes PDF and take a look at the class options. I will also discuss with you individually to see which class is suitable for your child. Please complete the Entry Form PDF if you wish to enter your child in the Leicester festival of music and drama. The form must be sent with a cheque/postal order for the relevant fees and be received by the festival no later than the 21st of September 2019. The address can be found in the entry form. Click here to visit their website.
For reference, there is another file which highlights the rules for attendance.
Loughborough schools foundation held a piano competition on the 12th of May. It was such a great experience
for my students and I. The competition was held in a recital hall at Loughborough Grammar School. It was
the second time this competition has taken place; I was told it will take place every year now, instead of every
other year as it has done in the past.
My 6 year old student, Mia, performed a classical music piece 2 movements of Clementi - Sonatina op. 36 no. 1. My 14 year old student, Sara, performed a contemporary music piece Yiruma - River Flows In You. Although they didnt win, it was a valuable experience for them. They both did so well for the short amount of time they have been learning with me. I am very proud of them. We will definitely keep working hard and attend many more competitions in the future.
One of my four year old students, Rachel, has only had 20 lessons so far. She is one of my most talented students.
I feel so privileged to be able to teach such a bright young girl. She is very mature and always engaging with me in our lessons.
I would like to thank her parents and grand parents for being so supportive of her lessons. Her parents are always
monitoring her practice at home while her grand parents love to listen to her play.
Above is a video of a song we were learning a few weeks ago. Now she is working on some Grade 1 standard pieces. I can only imagine how well she will be able to play when she gets older.
Congratulations to my students who have passed their ABRSM piano exam in Spring 2019.
Mia – Grade 1 Distinction
Sara – Grade 1 Distinction
I would like to give lots of praise to my hard working 11 year old student Aaron.
Aaron has only learnt the piano with me for a few months. He said that he was happy to attend the piano competition.
His bravery and persistent attitude is so rewarding and touching.
Arron has practiced the piano every day, because of this he was able to play this grade 3 standard piece in a few months
from a beginner level.
Aaron was learning this song with me while he was busy preparing for his 11+ entry exam. Juggling between academic schoolwork and piano practice is a big challenge for this age group of students. Aaron managed his time well and was able to pass his 11+ entry exam and also made it to play this song “Time to catch a Train” before the piano competition. He is now also aiming to enter his piano grade 3 exam this year after skipping the exams for grade 1 and 2. Normally I wouldn’t encourage students to skip grades, but I can see that Aaron has huge potential to achieve this goal.
I'd also like to thank his parents and his sibling who have given Aaron their full support at learning the piano at home. Aaron’s mother told me that even if his dad and her are busy with work, they make sure that they spare time to listen to his piano playing every evening. I really appreciate them for taking our piano lessons seriously. I very much enjoy teaching this young and bright pianist.
Big congratulations to Mia for winning many prizes at the music festival. Mia is 6 years old and she has managed to practice nearly 10 pieces in the last 2 months. 2 of them are grade 3 level. All credit to her dedicated parents. Without Mia’s mum this wouldn’t have been possible. Mia arrived early today at the venue and was doing a warm up playing ABRSM grade 3 exam piece. (We are not allowed to take pictures and videos during the competition, but we were told we are allowed to take videos outside of the competition sessions).
So proud of my student Millie who did well at the piano competition today.
Big thanks to the parents for driving this far to attend to the music festival and the sibling who was waiting patiently the whole afternoon.
I am so proud of her for having the courage to perform in front of a group of strangers and the adjudicators.
Millie started learning the piano from the age of 6. We have been preparing for the festival for a few months. She has skipped a few bits and jumped to learn a song which is harder than her current level. I am so pleased that she was able to learn this song before the festival and do so well. Performing a piano solo on stage is a nerve-wracking experience. How could she manage to stay calm at a such young age?!
One of my students has just received her 11+ music schloarship results. Enay has successfully been chosen for 2 different all girl schools in London and the parents are now making the final decision to see which school to attend. I spent many nights creating a very intense lesson plan for Enay over the Christmas break as a final push before her audition dates. Our hard work has paid off :)
Thank you to all my students and student's parents who take our lessons seriously. All of my students practice very hard. I make sure I keep improving myself too. Above is a Grade 8 Trinity College of London music piece. I really like this song made by Schumann. Hopefully everyone keeps progressing and practicing. If you would like to watch more videos please check the Media section.
This Christmas holiday I have had a business closure apart from a single student I took on from London for an intense 10 hour course. We are preparing for her 11+ music scholarship audition which she will attend in January 2019 at her prospective schools. It has been very enjoyable teaching her; in our lessons we have covered many subjects in music. She gave me a card (above) before she left. Although this is only a one off crash course we have still built a good relationship. We will definitely keep in touch.
Rohan started learning the piano with me when he just turned 7 years old.
He has passed his Grade 1 piano exam with flying colours and within 1 year of taking lessons.
He is one of the most resilient students I have ever seen. He put in a lot of hard work this year and never complained when the learning
curve became steeper and more difficult. He is very talented and currently working on making his own music. He is also not scared of
reading difficult music sheets and trying to figure them out by himself. He is truly an amazing student for his age.
To the right is a table from oliveland.com which shows that the difficulty in achieving ABRSM Grade 1 is equivalent to the difficulty of passing a GCSE subject from D-G. The average time taken to pass Grade 1 is 1.5 years. Rohan passed in under 1 year, I am very proud of him. Rohan’s parents are one of the most supportive parents I have ever met. They travel very far to my studio every week and also have given him loads of support at home. All credit goes to his parents for this achievement.
Grace Cole got 2nd place at the Grade 1 exam class competition at Leicester Music Festival 2018.
There were 9 competitors in total, Grace came second. She performed “The Echo”, one of the piano grade 1 2019-2020 exan pieces.
Mia Gu got 3nd place at the Grade 1 own choice class competition at Leicester Music Festival 2018. There were 10 competitors in total, Mia came third. She performed Beethoven, Moonlight, arrargement by John Thompson.
Thank you everyone who attended the recital, it was such a lovely morning. All of the performing
students did very well. The church venue was very beautiful.
I have uploaded some pictures in our media section. You can find them under the "Recital 2018" menu option under the Media tab. I'd also like to thank my very good friend Yitsen Har who accompanied me on all my performances at the recital. Above you can watch opening piece to our recital.
I have just completed another seminar course about teaching pre-school students.
I have had a few new preschool students recently; they have surprised me with what they are capable of. Young children
are like a sponge when it comes to learning.
My youngest student as of now is 3 years 10 months old; her ability to copy what I play is amazing. We have also started reading notes today. I aim to teach all of my students to read music as early as possible. When students start from a young age with me we are able to build a strong bond.
This week I have come across a book which is full of Beethoven classical music that has a pop theme to each song.
The author (Andrew Dow) describes the songs as "pop-infused piano solos inspired by the music of Beethoven".
I understand that one book that works for one person may not be best for another, so I am always on the look out
for new books that might be better for certain age groups of students.
Exploring new piano books is like getting Christmas presents; I can't wait to teach my students songs from this pop/classical mixed book. Above you can see a short video of one of the songs from the book. The book is called "Beethoven sessions classical pop piano solos".
If you're looking for a piano teacher to help you pass your piano exams, I can make my lesson very
exam focussed and help you to pass your exam as quickly as possible. I have a few students who will be taking their grade 1, grade 3
and grade 4 exams this year. I am feeling very excited for them and am looking forward to go to the exam with each of them.
I have just completed a one hour online training course on preschooler piano teaching.
I can't wait to carry out all of the wonderful ideas that I have learnt in the lessons with my 3-4 years old students :)
Teaching this age group of students is challenging, but it doesn't need to be a conventional way of teaching,
it can be full of fun and learning at the same time.
If the student is not able to sit still for 5 minutes on the piano chair, or the child's concentration span is low, this is not a problem for me at all. But if he or she is not able to copy the rhythm I have made, or follow simple instructions, I would say that he or she is not quite ready to begin learning the piano just yet. It is a good idea to come to me for a trial first. It's never too early to start, in fact, children who start early will have a better sense of music tempo and rhythm comparing to children who start later.
Parents, please download the Schedule Classes PDF and take a look at the class options. I will also discuss with you individually to see which class is suitable for your child. Please complete the Entry Form PDF if you wish to enter your child in the Leicester festival of music and drama. The form must be sent with a cheque/postal order for the relevant fees and be received by the festival no later than the 22nd of September. The address can be found in the entry form. Click here to visit their website.
For reference, there is another file which highlights the rules for attendance.
If you would like to allow your children to have the opportunity to perform a piano solo on stage in a local church, sign up for piano lessons now! There is still time, take the opportunity to learn an extra skill this summer! This recital is a big deal for many of my students who have been preparing for months. I put a lot of heart and effort into all of my lessons to make sure everybody progresses fast. If you are looking for a neighbourhood teacher that lives close by and is inexpensive I'm not the right teacher for you. But if you are looking for a teacher who goes the extra mile, teaches with passion and gives high quality lessons as well as providing a competitive price please contact me :)
Since I have opened this studio luckily I have acquired many young students. They are all different and
everyone is progressing well. Some of my student's parents told me that I am very patient. I believe that every student has the potential
to learn the piano as long as they can be guided in a way that they can understand, especially for very young children (4-5 years old).
I received a message today from one of my student's parents saying "Teachers affect eternity. No one can tell where their influence stops. - Henry Brookes Adams".
I am thankful that I have the privilege to be your child's first piano teacher. I am aware that I am playing an important role in regards to the children's early year musical education.
What does your piano room look like? I like my piano room to be neat and tidy for all my students. I was practicing my
scales yesterday while enjoying a bit of sunshine and thought I would write a quick message.
Half term and summer break are coming up soon, but Abby's piano school runs all year round. Don't forget to keep practicing, we will have our autumn recital on the 22nd of September. You still have plenty of time to master your favourite song which you'll be performing on stage.
Mia entered the Don Valley Festival and attended class 68 where she took first place earning herself a medal and the Annie Green Shield. The adjudicator Sam Dunkly had lots of positive feedback for her, too. Well done Mia!
Please find the rescheduled timetable at the Don Valley Festival website
Student Notice: All lessons on the 14th of April will be cancelled due to the rescheduling of the Piano competition at the Don Valley Festival.
Last week we had an article talking about adult students learning the piano. This week I have come across this article, which may inspire you if you are thinking about signing your children up for piano lessons. I always tell my student's parents, the earlier they start, the better. The article can be found here.
It's never too late to learn the piano. This article discusses some of the challenges adult students face which you can relate to. Please have a read. Hopefully this will motivate you and keep you going on the journey of learning the piano. The article can be found here.
Regarding the competition that was meant to take place today, unfortunately it was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions.
Please see below email from the Don Valley Festival Team. Please expect the event to be rescheduled meaning some lessons on either
Saturday or Sunday will need to be re-arranged or cancelled for that weekend.
We're really sorry, but the building we hire for the weekend has made the decision to close due to the weather. This is beyond our control. All classes are cancelled for the rest of today and Sunday 18th. We will aim the reschedule as soon as possible in the future and be in touch with an alternative date. We're really sorry again and we hope you understrand the building has taken this decision in the interest of health and safety for all.
The Don Valley Festival Team Thank you, Abby
Notice Dear all, Following on from the last student's notice, the Don Valley Festival organisation has confirmed with me that the date of the piano competition which was originally stated to be the 17th of March will now be held on the 18th of March (Sunday) instead. All lessons taking place on the 17th will remain unaffected, but all lessons on the 18th will be cancelled. Thank you, Abby
A letter for my students Dear all, I hope you are still enjoying playing the piano, even though most of us are moving to some more difficult music pieces now. Hopefully the increase in difficulty doesn’t put you off continuing to learn. Do not give up. I just want to quickly mention that a late summer recital will definitely be taking place this year. After speaking to most of the families and students, so far, everyone is very excited about this event. I can’t tell you how much I am excited too. This event is mainly for my existing students, and I hope everyone, regardless of age, can have an experience of performing on stage in their life. Piano lessons will be paused for 1 week as I will be away. You will all have 2 weeks to practice your homework before I see you again. You are all doing very well, the enormous amount of time and effort you have put in to learn the piano so far is recognized; I can clearly see you are all progressing from week to week. Keep practicing and have a lovely 2 weeks. Best Wishes, Abby x
A door has been fitted to separate the piano room from our waiting room. This helps students by giving them less distractions and allows the next student to wait in a relaxed environment while the current one finishes their lesson. It also allows student's parents a room to relax if they are travelling from further away. Refreshments are provided.
These exercises will improve finger dexterity and will help when playing more complex songs. Click here for more details
Scholarship for covering the cost of instruments and tuition fees. Click here for details