News

The Online Academy Turns Five!

The Practising the Piano Online Academy turns five in October 2021! Thanks to the support of our readers and subscribers, the site has grown significantly over the last five years. Our content library now features over 1000 videos and we’ve developed several value-added offerings, including our highly popular online events programme and practice clinics. During the course of the month, we will be celebrating by publishing various content updates and making a selection of popular videos from our premium content library freely available. Click here to sign-up to our mailing list for updates on new and free content! Recent Highlights The following are some of the highlights from new content published over the last year: Practising – New videos featuring practice tips from William Westney, an email course on how to start learning and practising a new piece and the next part in our Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum.  Technique – Several modules on how to use exercises by Hanon, Czerny and Berens, in addition to more resources on mastering scales & arpeggios.  Learning Pieces – Our repertoire library grew significantly with video walk-throughs of over 100 pieces from all levels. We also kicked-off a new series called Beethoven on Board which will ultimately feature detailed videos on each of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas! Performing & Exam Preparation – Our project for the 2021 & 2022 ABRSM piano syllabus was completed and now includes videos for pieces from all grades and several supplementary videos with tips on preparing for other aspects of an exam. Online Workshops & Practice Clinics Our online workshops programme has featured over fifty events and has proven to be very popular. These events provide a live, interactive way to learn about various topics with opportunities for questions and answers. The […]

By |September 30th, 2021|Events, News|1 Comment

Summer Sale 2021!

Summer Sale 2021: Get up to 40% off online events and various piano playing and teaching resources!

By |July 22nd, 2021|News|0 Comments

Playing Baroque Music on the Piano

Pianists are often scared of playing Baroque music. Can I use the pedal? How do I deal with all those fiddly ornaments? What about articulation and dynamics? We’re delighted to be featuring two online events focussing on Baroque style as part of our Piano Day 2021 festival. Baroque Style & The Harpsichord The first is a special lecture-demonstration and performance by twice-grammy-nominated harpsichordist and conductor Jory Vinikour. Jory will show you the inner workings of the harpsichord and discuss various aspects of Baroque style, including articulation and ornamentation with reference to works by Bach, Couperin, Rameau and more. Click here to find out more, or to book your place. Baroque Workshop for Pianists This presentation will be followed by a workshop in which Graham Fitch discusses how to play Baroque music stylistically and expressively on the piano. Graham will draw upon his background as a harpsichord student and pianist to demonstrate how the ideas presented by Jory can be applied pianistically to enable you to approach Baroque music fearlessly, informed by historical practices. Click here to find out more or to book your place. *** These events are part of our Piano Day 2021 Festival taking place from Friday 26th March until Sunday 28th. The programme features an exciting line-up of online events and workshops on topics including practising, technique, sight-reading, building speed and much more! Click here to find out more and for details of other events. Weekend Pass – Save 20%! Click here to save 20% by purchasing a combined ticket for all ten events! Online Academy subscribers are also entitled to a further 40% discount on this special price (a saving of £120!).

By |March 25th, 2021|Events, News|0 Comments

Take Your Practising to the Next Level!

Our online events line-up for our Piano Day 2021 festival includes two interactive practising workshops. These sessions are designed to give you a hands-on, interactive experience in applying Graham Fitch’s practice tools in your daily practising and within the context of pieces that you play or are learning.

By |March 23rd, 2021|Events, News|0 Comments

Building Speed, Inventing Exercises & Get Feedback!

The next showcase for our #pianoday2021 festival line-up includes online workshops on building speed, inventing exercises from your pieces and a chance to get feedback on your playing!

By |March 18th, 2021|Events, News|0 Comments

Playing Softly, Keeping Going & More…

Our biggest ever online events programme kicks off on Friday 26th March. We will be providing further information on the various events in the run-up, starting a showcase of an initial selection from the programme. In these sessions, William Westney demystifies the technique of playing softly, Ken Johansen shows how to keep going no matter what when sight-reading and Graham Fitch takes us back to Haydn’s visit to London! Please see further details for each event below or click here to view the full programme. Click here if you haven’t attended one of our online events before and would like to find out more about how they work.   Keeping Going, No Matter What! Friday 26th March @ 15:00 – 17:00 GMT In sight-reading, we are often told to maintain a steady pulse and keep going, no matter what happens. But when confronted with confusing-looking rhythms, technical difficulties, and other challenges, it can be difficult to keep our rhythm regular and accurate. In this online workshop, Ken Johansen shows how to find a suitable tempo in sight-reading, keep the beat going even in challenging circumstances, and how to avoid common rhythmic inaccuracies. We’ll discuss several techniques that help us to find and solve rhythmic difficulties before we play, so that our sight-reading will be more comfortable and successful from the first reading. Examples will be drawn from all levels of difficulty, from easy to advanced, including several pieces from the Read Ahead curriculum, as well as a preview of Part 4 of the Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum, soon to be added to the Online Academy. Click here to book your place. Making Good, Healthy Sound – Even at the Softest Dynamic Level Friday 26th March @ 17:30 – 18:45 GMT Although it may seem like a simple matter, playing softly can […]

By |March 16th, 2021|Events, News|0 Comments

Piano Day 2021 Festival

The 29th of March is Piano Day 2021 and we’re celebrating with a festival featuring our biggest ever line-up of online events and workshops! Piano Day Weekend Festival Taking place from Fri 26th – Sun 28th of March, the programme comprises ten sessions on various topics, including: Presentations by William Westney on  the technique of playing softly and Ken Johansen on rhythm in sight-reading Two further interactive practising workshops based on our popular “hands-on” workshop format A “Fantasy Analysis” by Graham Fitch on Haydn’s “English” Sonata (click here for Graham’s Fantasy Analysis of a work by Brahms) A special lecture / performance by Harpsichordist Jory Vinikour followed by a workshop by Graham Fitch on Baroque style A chance to perform and get feedback on your playing (or observe) in a performance workshop with Graham Fitch …and much more! Tickets can be purchased for individual events or you can save 20% by purchasing combined “weekend pass” for all ten. All events will be recorded and links to recordings along with any relevant resources will be provided to ticketholders shortly after the festival. Further information on how our online events work is available here. Please click here to view the full programme and booking details. Online Academy subscribers are also entitled to a 40% discount on all events, including the weekend pass (Click here to find out more about the Online Academy or click here to sign-in for your discount to be applied if you are a subscriber). Other Special Offers & Updates We will be making other special offers available as part of our celebrations and providing updates with further information on scheduled events in the run-up. Be sure to sign-up to our mailing list here for further information and notifications!

By |March 11th, 2021|Events, News|0 Comments

How to Start Learning a New Piece

Sign-up for our free email course on how to lay good foundations from the outset when learning a new piece.

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

Warm-Ups Revisited

We’re delighted to welcome internationally noted pedagogue, performer and author William Westney to the Practising the Piano Online Academy.  William will be posting videos on many practical topics, expanding the content of his bestselling book The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self. William’s videos will cover well-being at the piano, problem-solving, technique, and the power of enjoyment. Common themes in his work are how to adopt the right mindset for effective practising and how practising that “feels great” sounds great.  In his first videos, William explores the subject of warming-up. Most pianists are aware that, like athletes, it is essential to warm-up before practising demanding music. By doing so, we avoid tension and injury, awakening and stretching our bodies to do their best and to feel good during practice. But what about warming up the mind to practise? Warm-ups are not just about doing scales and arpeggios. Successful practise requires the right mindset – alert, free of distractions and ready to focus. In this two-part video lecture, William re-thinks warming up as an integrated process for both body and mind. He provides an effortless approach – a relaxed, focused and therapeutic process that only takes a few minutes and has lasting benefits for healthy, productive practising. Starting with an introduction to the body-mind warm-up, the first video explains the underlying ideas and why this “re-thinking” of warming-up is needed. The second video demonstrates the approach and applies it to a specific piece of repertoire. Together they provide a simple and effective process that prepares body and mind for a highly rewarding practice session – focused in mind and comfortable in body. *** Warm-Ups Revisited is available for once-off purchase here or with an Online Academy […]

By |October 27th, 2020|News, Practising|0 Comments