Riddles and quandaries

Every so often I have spoken of the riddles and quandaries that I experience with painting – mostly how I find my way when stuck !!

I am finding the same conundrum occurs with learning the piano .. and to solve them I need to apply some of the same principles!

I have had quite a strange hiatus of a couple months ….. really strangely almost like a stubborn school child simply NOT WANTING TO PRACTISE….

If you didnt know – there are 36 scales to learn  ( 12 Major and 23 minor + arpeggios and major/diminished chords too) I think  although I enjoyed it I was bending under the weight…. and it is better to play them randomly than sequentially….hence the lolly stick lottery!

This is where the quality of the teacher comes in…!   I have done nothing to deserve having a teacher like Sadie!   She has conspired … to help me overcome myself… !    She released me from the  strict uptight disciplinarian  who criticised everything I did – and was taking all the pleasure away ….  so for a while I I stopped all my exercises and scales!      and go straight into pieces….

And to begin with I went back to some favourites – pieces that I knew and liked but which presented plenty of scope for improvement… !

The pieces are – Bach Sarabande, Chopin Mazurka and a lovely and schmaltzy piece of Elgar … I am currently learning them by heart so hopefully I can play more fluently!

Last lesson Sadie suggested that I start on a new piece from the Partitas …. It is the Bach that is such an extraordinary piece of music – I cant find the words ! here are two links – and I am loving the piano again….

12th November 2016…. sorry such short notice….

Theo’s Lullaby for cor anglais and harp premieres in Salisbury


Theo’s Lullaby was originally written for beginner double bass and piano in 2012. Over the years, I have made several arrangements of this little piece (dedicated to my grandson Theo) – among them, versions for 2 double basses and piano (for David Heyes); bassoon, bass clarinet and piano (Sarah Watts and Laurence Perkins) and now for cor anglais and harp. The work receives its premiere on 12 November (7.30) at Salisbury Methodist Church performed by Jennifer Porcas (ob) and Helena de Rijke (harp) at a charity concert for the Salisbury Trust for the Homeless.