Archives August 2019

No Distractions

The power of unbroken, focused practice sessions comes from the entering of the ‘flow state’ where one is totally immersed in what they are doing. Given that this is the modern age with smartphones, notifications and short attention spans, it is important to be pro-active and up front about removing distractions. For example, leaving your phone in another room is better than keeping it on silent.


One key consideration when approaching the piano works of Beethoven is that the origins of each of the compositions were in lengthy improvisations. Beethoven was reported to have dazzled and amazed the aristocracy of the time with his seemingly endless facility for invention. Beethoven had the extraordinary ability to evoke emotions in his audience as he improvised, blending virtuosity with great feeling. From these improvisations, Beethoven would develop his sonatas, concertos and symphonies.

Always Keep Learning

Always be on the lookout for new songs to learn and play. This is a helpful way to keep your mind in learning mode, and its advisable to try out a variety of styles to be a well rounded musician. At any given time you must have 3 types of pieces of grading difficulty. The time period to learn them should be 1 week, 4 week and 3 months.

Practice = Performance

Try to approach practicing just like you do performing. Stretch and warm up the same way you do prior to a big performance. The familiarity of the movements not only will help you focus during your practice session, it’ll also help calm possible nerves on performance day.

The Lydian Mode

The modern Lydian mode is a seven-tone musical scale formed from a rising pattern of pitches comprising three whole tones, a semitone, two more whole tones, and a final semitone. The Lydian scale can be described as a major scale with the fourth scale degree raised a semitone, making it an augmented fourth above the tonic, e.g., an F-major scale with a B♮ rather than B♭. Many Polish folk songs are in the Lydian Mode.