Piano Teachers’ Course Live – May 2023

Learning Phrasing, Understanding Rubato & Performance Anxiety

The Piano Teachers’ Course UK is pleased to offer a new series of online workshops for piano players and teachers. Hosted in partnership with Informance Publishing, these workshops will give you new ideas, inspiration and practical tips wherever you might be on your pianistic journey!

In our fourth set of workshops in this series which took place on Sunday 14th May, Ilga Pitkevica, Kris Worsley and Lucinda Mackworth-Young discussed learning and teaching phrasing, understanding rubato in late romantic composers and strategies for dealing with performance anxiety.

phrasing rubato performance anxiety


Learning Phrasing for Musical Expression (11:30 – 12:30 BST)

What is phrasing? Is it something that comes only instinctively and intuitively or can it be taught and developed? Are there any rules to follow or is there such thing as a wrong phrasing?  

The concept of phrasing is often overlooked by pianists and teachers when learning or teaching a piece. Some pianists follow their natural instincts to project their musical thoughts. But is this always correct? Others are shy and often end up simply “doing dynamics” resulting in their playing not engaging the listener. Is there a way to overcome this problem and develop musicality?

In this session, Ilga Pitkevica will answer these questions and demonstrate how understanding and knowledge of the rules of correct phrasing can help to develop musicality and expressiveness in everyone’s playing.  

Understanding Tempo Rubato of the Later Romantics (13:00 – 14:00 BST)

In this follow-on from his March presentation, Kris Worsley continues his discussion of Tempo Rubato. Having discussed earlier forms in relation to the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, the discussion here will focus upon composers who advocated later styles of rubato, including Hensel, Brahms and Rachmaninov. 

Kris will discuss various means by which composers left clues in their music (often missed by modern performers!) for how tempo rubato could be used in performance and how learning to read such clues leads to a more advanced understanding of the musical language and of the works themselves.

Practical Psychology for Performance Anxiety (14:15 – 15:15 BST)

In the last session of the day, Lucinda Mackworth-Young will give you a deeper understanding of the causes of performance anxiety. She will also demonstrate a wide variety of practical strategies for preparing yourself (or your pupils) physically, mentally, emotionally and musically, for secure and satisfying performances which you all enjoy giving.

Format & ticket options

If you missed this event, you can still purchase access to the recordings to watch at your convenience. The videos for the sessions have been created from the footage recorded in the studio and therefore are significantly better quality than the streamed versions.

Tickets for all three sessions cost £50 (Online Academy subscribers and PTC Alumni get 40% off) and can be purchased here or individually for £25 (£15 for Online Academy subscribers & PTC alumni) via the following links:

Further information and links to purchase recordings for the previous events in this series are available here. Please click here for more information about how our online events work or click here to contact us if you have any other questions.

About the Piano Teachers’ Course

For 16 years, the Piano Teachers’ Course UK has been on a mission to raise the bar in piano teaching standards across the country. We’ve helped hundreds of teachers inspire in thousands of students and deep love of music that reaches beyond the pages of a tutor book. Click here to find out more.