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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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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How we’re using Noteflight

Noteflight is an online tool that you can use to write and playback music over the internet. It’s reasonably priced and is a great tool for music students. It’s possible for music teachers to set up a safe space on Noteflight where their students can share music and access online resources. This year, I’ve started…

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Online Piano Lessons – 5 tips for students

Here’s 5 simple tips that will help you have a great online piano lesson. 1. choosing which device to use If you have a laptop computer or chrome book, use this for your online lesson. The benefit of using a device with a large screen, is that you’ll be able to see the annotations that…

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Preparing a spoken introduction for a performance

These days, when you attend a concert,  it is quite common for the performers to engage with the audience and share a little bit about the pieces that they’re going to play.   This post is designed to help you if you find that you need to prepare a spoken introduction before a musical performance.…

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Rotorua LearnMusicNZ Cushion Concerts

The Rotorua Cushion Concerts organised by our local branch of LearnMusicNZ are held at St Lukes in May and September each year.  These concerts give students the opportunity to perform in front of a friendly audience. The programme is always diverse and represents a range of ages, levels and styles. Sometimes a guest artist is…

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