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Back to School Resources & News

It’s back to school for many of us and this week we bring you some useful resources for the year ahead and a preview of what we have in store.

By |September 2nd, 2021|General|0 Comments

Teaching Healthy, Expressive Technique Preview

This week we bring you a preview of a new online course on teaching healthy, expressive piano technique based on Penelope Roskell’s award-winning book The Complete Pianist.

A Harpsichord Revival

In this week’s guest post, harpsichordist and conductor Jory Vinikour explores the harpsichord revival which started in the last 19th century and discusses two of his instruments from this period.

Your Piano Goals for 2021

With it being the start of a new year, many of us will be making all manner of virtuous resolutions. While we can’t offer any advice on resolutions for combatting excess padding brought on by festive indulgence, here are some ideas for pianistic goals for 2021 that we can help with! Expand your repertoire Learn new pieces more efficiently and effectively with our Practice Tools video lecture series, blog posts on the subject, repertoire library and study editions. Improve your technique Develop your technical skills to enable you to express your musical intentions with our technique “refresher” collection, our recently published module on balanced technique or our comprehensive online course on incorporating forearm rotation into your playing. Share your playing with others Getting feedback on your playing or just sharing your playing with others can be a wonderful goal to work towards while also being an excellent way to improve your playing. You might consider joining an online meet-up group, participating in an online workshop or even working towards an examination. Learn or develop new skills Learn something new e.g. how to improvise or develop skills like sight-reading in order to broaden your repertoire and open up new possibilities for music making with others. Share your Piano Goals and win! Start 2021 on a high note by sharing your #pianogoals2021 with us and stand a chance to win a year’s subscription to the Online Academy valued at £99.99! Whether it’s learning a piece, developing a specific aspect of technique, playing for others or learning something new, we’d love to hear what your ambitions for the year are! Click on one of the following links to share your goals with us: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn

By |January 7th, 2021|General|1 Comment

Highlights & Most Popular Content of 2020

We’re currently taking a break over the Festive Session and will resume further posts and updates in the New Year. In the meantime, we thought we’d leave you with some highlights and links to our most popular content from the last year. Highlights & silver linings Although 2020 has clearly not gone according to plan for most of us, we are very grateful that the year has still had a number of highlights, including: Launch of our online workshops and events programme which enabled us to meet and interact with pianists all over the world! These included a programme of Zoom workshops, monthly practice clinics and an online take on the traditional masterclass format. The Online Academy celebrated its fourth birthday We welcomed new authors to the Online Academy and published many new resources, including detailed study editions and over 100 videos! Most popular content The following were our most popular blog posts from the last year: Get It Right from the Start Pedalling the Moonlight Sonata A Fantasy Analysis of Brahms Op. 118 No. 2 How to Practise when Learning New Pieces Developing a Balanced Technique And these were the most popular Online Academy series: 25 Easy and Progressive Etudes (Burgmüller) Guide to the new ABRSM Syllabus Practice Tools Video Lecture Series Healthy Piano Playing Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum We also launched a new “collections” feature to provide additional ways to find and access content from our library. Our YouTube channel has also grown significantly and these were some of the most popular videos: Grieg – Arietta from Lyric Pieces (Op. 12, No. 1) “Everything You Know Is Wrong” – A Take on The Exercises of Peter Feuchtwanger A Presentation on Brahms’ Intermezzo in A Major (Op. […]

By |December 29th, 2020|General|0 Comments

Happy Holidays!

This is my final blog post for 2020, so let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and peaceful holiday season. It has been a year of tremendous growth for the Online Academy, with many new subscribers joining us from all over the globe and lots of new content from our team of contributors. Needless to say we have many exciting plans in place for the New Year! The global pandemic has been disastrous for live music and for the arts in general. And yet some silver linings have come out of it. The Online Academy has been able to offer an extensive series of Zoom workshops and presentations on a variety of different topics, from practising to technique, to exam preparation, sight-reading and more. My own Facebook Live practice clinics, which I give monthly, have become a regular fixture, offering subscribers the opportunity to send in questions and problems they are having from specific pieces. We are planning a new series of Zoom workshops for the 2021, so make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list for more information (details of the next fixtures are available here). Let me leave you with a piece I always associate with the holiday season, and New Year’s Eve – Schulz-Evler’s transcription of Johann Strauss II’s Blue Danube Waltz – ‘Concert Arabesques on The Beautiful Blue Danube‘, in this scintillating performance by Mikhail Pletnev. I’ll now be taking a break for the festive season, so see you in the New Year. Happy holidays, everyone! *** Looking for a gift for a pianist?   Our range of eBooks, digital editions, online lessons and subscriptions make ideal Christmas presents for piano lovers!  A selection of our digital products […]

Free Highlights and a New Feature!

Our library of content on the Online Academy has grown substantially since we first launched. We have just developed a new feature called “collections” to provide another method of finding and accessing content. Collections are selections of content from the Online Academy library which offer a guided pathway through content or a “play list” based on themes or topics. These may be topics not covered directly within the main browse categories or might span multiple categories e.g. resources at the intermediate level on practising and technique, repertoire collections, recommendations for “returning” pianists and so on. How it works Previously, the Online Academy was navigated by browsing, searching or a full content index. Collections offer an additional way to browse customised groupings from start to finish rather than having to browse / search for individual items. Within a collection you will be able to browse backwards and forwards from start to finish. Breadcrumbs and additional menus will enable you to jump between items. If you’re signed in then you will also be able to jump to your last viewed page from your “Recently viewed” links. You can also add pages that were particularly interesting to your bookmarks. Free Highlights The Online academy recently turned four and therefore we decided to make first collection a set of highlights featuring some of the most popular recent items and a perennial favourites. As part of our birthday celebrations, these resources will be available to view free without a subscription on the Online Academy until Tuesday 24th November 2020. The highlights collection includes: Two of our most popular videos by Graham Fitch on practising which introduce highly effective practice tools A selection of technique resources on general principles, position, scales, […]

By |November 3rd, 2020|General, News|0 Comments

The Online Academy Turns Four!

It’s the Online Academy’s birthday today and a lot has happened since we first launched four years ago! Initially the site contained a few collections of videos and articles based on my eBook series. It has since grown to house almost a thousand videos with contributions from several renowned pianists and pedagogues. The last year has been particularly busy with the launch of several new initiatives alongside an extensive production schedule. Our online events programme was launched and has proven to be very popular along with our regular “practice clinics”. We also piloted an email course on practising and were delighted to receive a glowing review from International Piano magazine. Our plans for the year ahead are packed with a busy publishing schedule and many new initiatives to make the site even better than before (click here to find out more about what’s in store!)

By |October 1st, 2020|General, News|8 Comments

What’s in Store for the Online Academy

The Online Academy will be turning four in October and we have many exciting developments lined up for the year ahead! Our content library will continue to grow in breadth and depth, and we will be adding several new features to help you get even more from the site. The following are some highlights of what you can expect over the coming months. New content and contributors New contributors – We will be welcoming several new authors, including two distinguished performers, a renowned pedagogue and author of a best-selling book! Their contributions will cover topics such as mindful practising, performance psychology, technique and repertoire. Technique – Our technique library project will see the addition of several new modules covering topics such as octave playing and guides to technical exercises and regimes. An extensive series on “Balanced Technique” based on the Russian School will be published shortly, followed by a guide to some unorthodox, but highly effective exercises! Practising & learning pieces – New modules and an index of practice tools are planned for our resources on effective practising. Step-by-step guides demonstrating how to apply the practice tools in the context of learning specific pieces of varying levels are also in development.   Repertoire – Numerous additions to our library of resources for the piano repertoire are in production featuring works by Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Mozart and Bach to name a few. We’re also embarking upon a major project featuring Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Examination guides – Ongoing updates will be made to our recently launched series featuring walk-throughs of pieces from the new ABRSM syllabus. We will also be extending these resources to cover selections from other examination boards Study Editions – Several new study editions are in the pipeline featuring works by Mozart, Bach and Chopin, starting with […]

By |September 29th, 2020|General, News|0 Comments

New Year’s Piano Resolutions!

We’d like to wish all of our readers all of the best for the year ahead and thank you for your support in 2019. With 2020 now underway, there are a number of exciting developments in the pipeline for Practising the Piano which we’re very much looking forward to sharing with you! The following are some examples of what we have in store over the next few months: Technique library and resources – A comprehensive library of resources focussing on improving technique and tackling technical challenges for all levels. This will include detailed demonstrations of various areas of technique, guides to exercises and studies with contributions from current and new authors. The Practice Tools – More content based on Graham Fitch’s workshops and eBook series, including a course teaching the fundamentals of effective practising and a revised index of practice tools for different levels. Walk throughs – Our repertoire library will continue to grow with works including Für Elise, Chopin’s mighty 1st Ballade and Brahms’s Intermezzo in A Major Op. 118 No. 2 coming shortly. We will also be celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the launch of a series dedicated to his Sonatas. Healthy playing – Our healthy piano playing module by Penelope Roskell will be extended to include information and numerous video demonstrations on preventing and recovering from common pianist injuries. Together with Penelope’s recently published Yoga for Musicians videos, this will serve as an invaluable resource for pianists and teachers alike. Sight reading – An exciting new sight-reading curriculum developed by Ken Johansen at the Peabody Institute, for the advanced level along with exercises along with sample exercises from ReadAhead Level 4. New features – A number of developments are planned for the […]

By |January 2nd, 2020|General|0 Comments