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. [...]
About Sonja JoubertSonja 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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
I already discussed jazz in general and its origin in a former article. As I mentioned before, the term Jazz is used very loosely for nearly every style of music which is not classical or contemporary, like rock or rap. “Jazz is a broad and complex genre, and so it may seem difficult for those who are first getting into Jazz to know where to start. . . . But Jazz doesn’t need to be complex. You can actually get by with a minimum amount of theory and practice”Stefan Joubert In this article, I will try to capture some of [...]