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Rebecca Swaby BMus (Hons) DipABRSM MISM

A fresh and creative approach to piano teaching. Private piano tuition in the Lincoln area. 

Lessons continue online

I will teach you in a room I will teach you now on Zoom I will teach you in your house I will teach you with a mouse I will teach you here and there I will teach you because I care So just do your very best And do not worry about the rest!

Happy Christmas!

 Here is my take on the beautiful carol, Silent Night. I've been experimenting and playing around with some unusual chords and unexpected harmonies to try and create something a little different. Fostering this kind of creativity is something I like to include as a central part of my lessons. Hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Termly Lesson Themes

There is so much that I would like to share with my pupils in lesson time, from the core skills needed such as understanding rhythm, note-reading, and basic technique to understanding chords and harmony, playing by ear, improvising, composing……..the list is endless. Being the ‘lesson planner’, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed with all the things I would like to try and squeeze into a 30-minute lesson, there simply isn’t enough time to cover everything. The nature of how we learn also means that constant repetition is needed, particularly for such a complex skill. Of course, where practice is (a-hem) not quite at the ‘optimal’ level of 5 or more sessions per week, we can so easily end up spending time recapping what we have already covered in previous lessons and it becomes even harder to squeeze in all I would like to a lesson. The solution….. I decided to try out the idea of having a termly theme. We still be covering a broad range of core skills in all lessons, but

Practice makes perfect!

For most of my pupils, there is a total of 10,050 minutes between each of their weekly 30-minute lessons!! What they do between their lessons with me is therefore vitally important for their learning journey. With so much to fit into one short lesson it can be all too easy to give the pupil a quick instruction on what to practice before they leave. But would this be doing the pupil a disservice? It is my job as their teacher, not only to teach them how to play piano in the lesson time, but also to help them to make effective use of their time between lessons. I try to take the time during lessons to walk the pupil through the process of playing the piano at home. Above all, I believe it is of vital importance that the pupil leaves the lesson feeling confident that they understand what we have explored together and can continue the consolidation process without me. Perhaps we might talk through some strategies on how best to learn a new piece, or give some creative suggestions o

The Lego Challenge!

Between now and the Christmas break I'm getting all my pupils involved in a studio-wide group project. Sight-reading, the skills of playing music at sight without preparation time or practice, is a really important skill for musicians, and one which needs regular work. So each and every one of my students, from complete beginner to advanced, has regular opportunity to work on this during lessons by completing short note or rhythm reading challenges. For each challenge completed correctly, a brick can be added to my lego mountain. Let's see what we can all build together in a few short weeks!

Always researching!

With autumn days drawing in, warm afternoons spent in the garden seem like a distant memory! This was my holiday reading only three weeks ago. It was written by the wonderful Nicola Cantan, whose piano teaching blog I follow avidly. In the book she decribes how she guides her students towards more effective home practice. My piano students really only see me for a very small fraction of their week, so helping them to find constructive ways to continue learning and developing at home between lessons is something I see as very important. Nicola's witty 'cures' to common practice 'ailments' will be definately making several apperances in my studio in the coming weeks.

Meet the Wunderbies!

I love teaching little ones (this one is my very own little one!)... Did you know that several recent studies have highlighted that piano lessons in early childhood actually have positive and measurable effects on the developing brain, and these benefits are more pronounced if music lessons start before the age of 7! Read the article here. These wonderful little puppets arrived today, courtesy of the very talented Nat, who has a little shop on Folksy. Find them here. They are a perfect aid for encouraging dexterity and tie in perfectly with the pre-school method book which I like to use for my youngest pupils. The puppets were met with much excitement and are already well-loved. I can't wait to use them in my lessons!

Welcome to my new blog!

I've been plotting for a while to have a little section on my site where I could show everyone what I've been up to, and what resources I have been enjoying in my studio. Stay tuned....!