Piano Exams

You might have heard that you can sit piano exams if you’re learning the piano. There are  both practical exams in piano (where you play music/scales and answer some listening tests in front of an examiner) and/or theory exams (a written exam which tests you understanding of the language of music.)   Piano exams are…

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Getting started on a composition

Getting started on a composition assignment is much easier if you’ve already got an idea that you want to write about. Having a reason to write a piece of music helps you set up the mood of your piece right from the start, ensures that you have something to communicate in your music and can…

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UTOPIA TRIO PERFORM ‘SUBTLE DANCES’ BY CLAIRE COWAN

Zach Jans participated in the 2019 NZCT chamber music competition along with Rosa Hook (violin) and Grace Tak (cello). They performed ‘Subtle Dances’ by Claire Cowan and were the winners of the BOP District Round of the NZCT chamber music competition and also received the prize for best performance of a NZ work in the…

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White Cat – Movement 1 from ‘Miss Brodie’s Cats’

The three short movements that make up my orchestral pieces, ‘Miss Brodie’s Cats’ were inspired by the three feline characters in my charge when house sitting for a week in Onehunga. They’re dedicated to Sally Brodie, whose sense of humour is infectious. ‘White Cat’, movement one from the set, was recorded and then performed by the Auckland Philharmonnia in 2003.

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Aue Io – by Carol Storey, orchestration Kathryn Lauder

In 2016, I had the honour of orchestrating Carol Storey’s beautiful piece “Aue Io” for a performance by the Tauranga Intermediate School Choir, Members of Opus Orchestra, Taonga pūoro musicians: Horomono Hora and Joel Komene, conducted by Timothy Carpenter. You can view the performance below.

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NZ Music Month Celebrations 2020

Every year, May is NZ Music Month. To celebrate this in 2020, I posted past performances of students playing NZ works on Facebook and invited students who had a piece by a NZ composer in their repertoire to record a performance of it for sharing on Facebook. You can view some of the student work…

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Why you should work on your scales

Learning to play your scales and arpeggios really well will help you develop as a pianist and as a musician.   When you play scales, you’re strengthening your fingers, the coordination between your hands and preparing yourself for scale passages which occur in a lot of music.  You can also use your scale practice to…

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Opportunities to compose

There are many composition competitions and opportunities for you to have your original pieces performed.  It’s hugely satisfying to hear other people perform your piece(s), to have your music recorded and have a meaningful, real context for your learning in composition.   Below you’ll find competitions and events that I’m aware of, and I’ll try…

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