Tuition Books

Click on links to order:

Me and My Piano (ISBN 0571532004) available at amazon and musicroom

Jazz, Rags & Blues (ISBN 0-7390-0963-X) available at amazon and musicroom

Piano Lessons bk1 (ISBN 0-571-50024-2) available at amazon and musicroom

The Complete Piano Player book1 CD Edition available at amazon and musicroom

The Complete Piano Player book 2 CD Edition available at musicroom and amazon

Improvising Blues Piano (ISBN 0-946535-97-3) available at amazon and musicroom

Hal Leanard Piano Lessons available at aoazon

My First Piano Adventure available at amazon

Making the Grade (ISBN 0-7119-7661-9) available at amazon and musicroom

ABRSM Jazz Piano GR1 (ISBN 1-86096-003-0) available at amazon and musicroom

Advice on Purchasing a Piano/Keyboard

Prior to stage d (see below 'Program of Study') most students can practise the piano with an electronic keyboard. The most important aspect is that the keyboard has 'touch sensitivity'. Currently, the best value for money keyboard is the 'Yamaha PSR E333'.

A good electric piano for beyond grade 2 is the Yamaha Arius digital piano (see on eBay). The difference between this and the PSR E333 keyboard is that it has weighted keys and a larger number of keys - the same as a modern piano. It retails for around £700.

If you are looking to purchase an acoustic upright piano then I would recommend Yamaha and Kemble models.

Important Information Regarding Music Exams

Music exams do not constitute a Program of Study - think of them as marker posts indicating a level of competence at a particular point in time. Therefore the student should be at least the level of the exam grade before preparation occurs. This will minimise any stalling of the students' development. It will be expected that exam preparation work occurs IN ADDITION to the student's 'Program of Study' so as to not impede progression. For a clear guide as to the readiness of a student to sit an exam please see the section entitled 'Program of Study' below.

External music exams can be fun for children. When your child has completed 'Hal Leonard Student Piano Library: Piano Lessons book 3' your child will be ready to take the 'prep grade' exam. And when they complete 'Hal Leonard Student Piano Library: Piano Lessons book 4' they are ready for Grade 1. Please let me know if you would like your child to do grades.

My requirements for grade entry is that by the application deadline: 1) All scales can be played by heart and 2) All pieces have their target levels achieved. This allows 6 weeks to perfect the Sight Reading and Aural elements of the examination and to polish the pieces so that the candidate is playing them expressively and with confidence.

Target Setting and Weekly Practise

All children respond differently to target setting. Most respond positively with the reward of gaining a gold star for practise but if you think that the weekly targets that I set are not working for your child I will be happy to remove them. I usually recommend a practise session is at least as long in minutes as their age (double if they are working toward grades) - let me know if you want a particular practise session time for your child.

It is quite common for children to have peaks and troughs in their motivation to practise. If your child needs reinvigorating to practise please email me and I can recommend a number of things (e.g. purchasing a different book or perhaps recommend taking a grade).

How to Enter Associated Board Exams

Information about fees and dates for taking the exam can be found here:

Be aware that the entry deadline to take the exam just before Easter (around 28Feb-2April known as Session 1) is in late January, to take the exam before the Summer Holidays (around 6 Jun - 2 Jul known as Session 2) is a date in early May and to take the exam just before the Christmas Holidays (around 7 Nov - 10 Dec known as Session 3) is a date in mid-September.

Information on how to book you or your child's exam can be found here:

Program of Study

I have listed what I consider to be my Program of Study with regard to you or your child's progression on a scale from a-z. This is a very approximate guide and it can be used to calculate the ABRSM Grade your child should be working toward.

a Me and My Piano bk1 (age 5-9)

a Tunes for 10 fingers bk1 (age 4-9)

a-b Complete Piano Player book 1

a-d Piano Lessons Book 1

b Me and My Piano bk2 (age 5-9)

b Tunes for 10 fingers bk2 (age 5-9)

c-d Complete Piano Player book 2

e-f Complete Piano Player book 3

e-h Piano Lessons book 2

g-h Complete Piano Player book 4

i-j Complete Piano Player book 5

i-l Piano Lessons book 3

m-t Czerny studies

m-p Tunes you've always wanted to play.

m-p The Library of Easy Piano Classics 2 (AMSCO)

q-u The Library of Piano Classics (AMSCO)

v-w Mozart/Haydn Sonatas. Bach keyboard work

x-y Chopin Mazurkas

z+ Beethoven Sonatas, more complex repertoire and Studies

ABRSM Grade readiness.

c+:Prep grade ready

e+: Grade 1 ready

g+: Grade 2 ready

i+: Grade 3 ready

m+: Grade 4 ready

q+: Grade 5 ready

v+: Grade 6 ready

x+: Grade 7 ready

z: Grade 8 ready

As an example, if you are 1/2 of the way through 'Piano Lessons book 1' you are roughly at stage d and are ready to tackle the 'prep grade' examination.