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The Ultimate Parental Guide for ABRSM Piano Practical Examination

Every child fears examinations. This fear is no different for your child when they are heading into an ABRSM piano practical exam, sweaty palms are definitely the first thing you will notice about them. Biologically speaking, being anxious before an upcoming test or exam is perfectly normal; however, the degree of anxiety can be managed with the right amount of quality practice. Before we dive into the different ways that you can help prepare your child for an ABRSM piano practical with tips from our knowledgeable teachers and students who have taken multiple ABRSM exams, let’s take a look at … Read more

What are Dominant and Diminished Seventh Chords?

Dominant and diminished seventh chords are common and important features of music. It’s hard to find a piece of music that doesn’t use either of these. In fact, they’re so prevalent that the higher grades of the ABRSM examinations require students to know them by heart. Unfortunately, they’re also rather dissonant and odd sounding. I remember asking my piano teacher what was the point of learning such harsh sounding chords. Nevertheless, when used appropriately, they sound perfectly beautiful and logical in the context of the whole piece. We’ve probably already heard and played these chords in many pieces of music, … Read more

Practicing as a Collaborative Pianist: An Interview with Dr Minjung Seo

At Liberty Park Music, we believe in bringing you music related perspectives from all over the world. In the coming weeks, we’re going to focus on practicing music and we’ll be interviewing accomplished musicians from all around the world on their thoughts and experiences with practice. These musicians hail from different countries and cultures, play different styles and instruments, and have varied professional experiences. Though diverse in their thoughts, they all share the common belief that practice is essential to any budding (and professional) musician. Through this interview series, we hope that you can glean some tips for better music … Read more

Book Review: Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks

“It really is a very odd business that all of us, to varying degrees, have music in our heads.” ― Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain   How much do you like music? How much of a role does music play in your life? Do you wish to be more musical? What if music is part of your being as the form of brain disease? What if music becomes part of you that cannot be turned off? Physician and professor of neurology Oliver Sacks wrote about fascinating stories about human brain; his The Man Who Mistook His … Read more

9 Essential Tips to Help You Maintain Good Piano Posture

While there is less literature about good posture for piano players than that for drummers or guitarists, it is just as vital that every pianist maintains a good posture. Having a good posture enables the player to comfortably practice or perform longer, without experiencing aches or causing injuries. A player with good posture can play in a relaxed manner, which grants greater control and hence, a greater quality of sound produced. In this article, we share 9 essential tips on how to improve your posture at the piano. Tip 1: Keep your neck aligned with your back (avoid forward neck!) … Read more

Mahler’s Piano Quartet in A Minor (c. 1876)

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was known as a conductor when he was alive, and his music slowly became popular since his death. His ten symphonies and some songs are probably his most well-known output, but today we want to talk about the earliest authenticated work that had survived. The authorship of the work is, however, not without debate. Mahler’s Piano Quartet was possibly composed in 1876, when he was 16 and a student at the Vienna Conservatory. The first movement (Nicht zu schnell, not too fast) in A Minor and 24 measures of Scherzo in G minor survived. This is also … Read more

Top 10 Pianos for the Cool (and Rich)

If you were a pianist with a few extra bucks to spare and a taste for the extraordinary, you’d want to purchase a piano that not only sounds good, but also makes a statement with its individuality. In this article, we introduce 10 super cool pianos, with out-of-this-world wacky designs, unparalleled elegance, and mind-blowing concepts. These are works of art that you might aspire to own one day. 1) Yoshiki’s Kawai CR-40A Crystal Piano It’s no exaggeration for Japanese piano manufacturer Kawai to claim that its transparent CR40-A grand pianos adorn every room with unsurpassed beauty and are deserving to … Read more

Guide to Piano Care & Tuning

At a glance… 1. Reasons why pianos go out of tune 2. Importance of tuning your piano 3. When you must tune your piano 4. How often you must tune your piano 5. Prices 6. DIY Piano Tuning 7. Care for your piano What is the importance of piano tuning? When should I tune my piano? Is piano tuning really necessary? If you’re a pianist or intending to purchase a piano, you’ve most likely asked yourself these questions a couple of times. Many seasoned pianists don’t give much thought to these questions and simply have their pianos tuned twice a … Read more

Meet the Teachers: Michelle Huang, our Piano Teacher

Michelle is our lead piano instructor at Liberty Park Music. She started learning piano at six years old! Her two older sisters were already learning and helped inspire her to want to learn and get better. And can you guess who Michelle’s first piano teacher was? Watch Michelle’s Meet the Teachers video to hear what silly thing her teacher would do to make sure she was playing the correct notes! Michelle has performed piano throughout the U.S., the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, and Taiwan, and taught classes and workshops in the Southeast United States and Taiwan. When she’s not traveling … Read more

How To Choose The Right Piano

Getting yourself a new piano is an exciting decision and, as a fellow musician, I’m happy for you! But before you can embark on your musical journey, you have to choose the right piano, which can be a real headache. There is a wide array of pianos, but which one should you buy? This article discusses the factors to consider and the things to look out for when you are buying a new piano. The first step is to decide between a digital and an acoustic piano. If you want to learn more about the differences between the two pianos, … Read more