Fergus Black

music teacher and performer


Tips and Tricks by Fergus Black

Tips for everybody
Some of these tips are about Associated Board exams:

Listening to Music with Understanding (part of Aural Tests for Grades 5 and above):
Quick-fix Checklist for Sight Singing (not just for singers!)
Choosing a Musical Instrument
The Wider Benefits of Music Education
Sports Psychology for Musicians

Tips for Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM)
Instruments of the Orchestra
Intervals (to follow)

External links:
  • Aural Tests: There are a number of online paid aural test sites (such as e-musicmaestro.com and hofnote) which help with aural tests. There is a free site at good-ear.com. If you just want to know what is in the exams, there are ABRSM samples on the ABRSM website.

Tips for Pianists
How to Sight Read at the piano
How to practise the piano
Memorising Piano Music
Download Grade 1 Piano Scales - save buying a scale book
Practice Rotas for Grades 1 - 5 Associated Board Piano Exams
Memorising ABRSM Grade 5 scale note names
An example of a systematic approach for Grade 7 Piano Scales
Why practise scales?
Help for students who can’t remember note names
Piano Lessons for Adult Learners (from Pianist magazine)
Teaching Keyboard Skills to A-level students
Recommended Beginner Piano Books for different ages
What is the difference between a Piano and a Keyboard?
How playing the piano makes your brainy
Why Left Hand is harder for pianists
A Guide to Grade 8 Dominant Seventh Arpeggios
External Links for Pianists:
  • Find a Piano Teacher on-line (including me!)
  • Free piano music on the Internet
  • General Piano Resources Online

Tips for Singers
Checklist for Sight Singing
Theory for Singers
Memorising Vocal Music
Choosing a Voice Teacher
Associated Board Song List Commentaries (to follow)
An Sylvie translation
The Singing Teacher’s Bookshelf - recommended books for Singing Teachers
External Links for Singers:
  • Find a Singing Teacher on-line (including me!)
  • Songs on the Internet
  • General Singing Resources

Tips for organists
External Links for Organists
  • Find an organ teacher on-line (including me!) at:
  • General Organ Resources
  • Free organ music on the Internet

Tips for choirs and conductors

Pronunciation Guides and Performance Notes for Choral Works
This is information on some of the choral works I’ve prepared for my choirs.