About Sonja Joubert

Sonja Joubert is a master pianist classically trained by the late master Mr Josias Van Der Merwe and the late Adolph Hallis. She is also an excellent piano teacher with over 35 years of teaching experience specialising in both jazz and classical piano.

How to improve your tone production on the piano


Let's start with the instrument. The Pianoforte is an instrument that plays both softly and loudly as the name indicates. The Italian term ‘piano’ is translated as ‘soft’ and ‘forte’ as ‘loud’. The piano is also known as a percussion instrument. The sound is produced by a hammer hitting strings when a key is pressed. The instruments leading towards the development of the piano were the clavichord and harpsichord. On the harpsichord, the sound was produced by a string being plucked and one had no control over the tone production or dynamics. When the piano was developed the possibility of creating [...]

How to improve your tone production on the piano2021-03-01T10:47:03+00:00

Why it is essential for adults to learn how to read music properly


“Obtaining a perfect knowledge of the vocabulary used in music is essential if you do not always want to struggle with your piano playing. Reading music is an ESSENTIAL and SERIOUS tool that will help you progress to the next level of your piano playing.” (Celine-Gaurier Joubert in Note Reading) “Learning to read music can be one of the best ways to train your brain but it can also have a huge impact on other areas of your life, like confidence and fitness (trust us)” Classical FM 4th of September 2018 If you as an adult endeavour to learn to play [...]

Why it is essential for adults to learn how to read music properly2021-03-01T10:46:49+00:00

Why do I keep making mistakes and how can I correct it?


When you are playing the piano you can say you are making mistakes when there is a set progression or notation that you have to follow or a set pattern that you want to play and you fail to do it exactly. Improvising and mistakes If you however improvise, you can not really say you are making a ‘mistake’ because you are improvising, and in improvisation, you can actually play what you want to and if a note sounds strange or not the ‘right’ tone as it should be, then as our jazz instructor always said: “it's just a halftone away’. [...]

Why do I keep making mistakes and how can I correct it?2021-03-01T10:46:28+00:00

How to learn a piano piece by memory


There are different ways of memorising a piano piece. The first is the normal memorising with your eyes, or what your eyes can see on your music score. Memorising with your mind, thinking specifically what you are playing from your score. Knowing what chords you are playing, knowing where you are going, seeing with your eyes and memorising that. Then there is ear-memory, which according to me is the higher way of memorising a piano piece because you use your ear to hear the sounds, feel the music and remember the melodies etc. For most classically trained pianists, reading a score [...]

How to learn a piano piece by memory2021-03-01T10:46:14+00:00

The advantages of playing duets


Playing duets has been a much-neglected aspect of music teaching, especially in the piano. It's mainly because it's a huge instrument on which one person can play music sounding like a whole orchestra or band playing together, not needing another instrument. Duet playing is more utilised in weekly teaching in single line or single melody instruments (like a flute or trumpet or violin etc), as it helps the student to hear chords and music on the whole. Duet playing in all instruments including the piano has great benefits and advantages. What is duet playing? Duet playing is where two persons are [...]

The advantages of playing duets2021-03-01T10:45:55+00:00

Shall I sit the ABRSM exam?


What does the name ABRSM stand for? The name stands for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music which is based in London in the UK. “We believe in the importance of all-round musicianship and this focus the basis of our exams” - As recorded in an advert from The Royal Schools of Music, London. These are musical exams designed by the Royal Schools of Music to help assess students on a yearly basis on their growth and development in music, be it classical or jazz. The exams are usually yearly or every 6 months which one can enter. [...]

Shall I sit the ABRSM exam?2021-03-01T10:45:18+00:00

Why are technical exercises so important for your piano playing?


Before we get to the why always remember to take care of your body: In the first place we are working with muscles in the hand, especially the fingers and then also the wrist, lower arm, upper arm and shoulders. Even the whole body are coming in to play when one sits to perform in front of a piano. As with any other sport, muscles needs to be cared for and developed. Many a serious piano or instrument player had to find this out much later with a lot of pain and frustration, because of no or little training on how [...]

Why are technical exercises so important for your piano playing?2021-03-01T10:45:07+00:00

How to adapt to a different piano for each performance


Having to adapt to a different piano at each performance can sometimes be quite a tricky exercise. There are basically two standard acoustic pianos, namely the upright piano and the grand piano. There is quite a significant difference between them, let alone having to play on any given piano except for the one you are used to playing on. The upright piano has vertical strings and is more seen as the ‘household’ piano used for training children or plainly for a practice instrument. The action is that of hammers hitting against the vertically strung strings within an upright wooden body. The [...]

How to adapt to a different piano for each performance2021-03-01T10:44:41+00:00

Can you teach yourself piano?


Yes, it is absolutely possible, especially today with Google and YouTube's accessibility where one can find everything you need in written format and on video which makes learning easy. This information is easily accessible and one can learn wherever you are, on the tube, in a coffee shop or in the privacy of your own room at any time available. No booked time slots needed, nor monies to pay for a teacher or travelling to go for piano lessons. One can quite easily find the “right” teacher on YouTube e.g. for learning e.g. Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” as quite a few [...]

Can you teach yourself piano?2021-03-31T18:57:36+01:00

How to structure your piano practice


The first thing, before structuring your piano practice is to recognise the importance of practising your instrument. Why practise? Or even structure your practice time? Firstly: Reasons are quite logical but still important to recognise because, without consistent practice and diligence, you probably will stop before reaching that long-desired dream to play or perform a beautiful song or that classical piece that you love - be it Mozart’s Turkish Rhapsody or Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata or Debussy's Clair de Lune or the jazz classic called Autumn Leaves. Secondly: There is the important need for finger technique and skills needed to [...]

How to structure your piano practice2021-03-01T10:43:46+00:00
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