Following our announcements last year regarding upcoming projects and content, we’ve been hard at work on a collection of modules on piano technique, the first of which is now available on the Online Academy – with others to follow thereafter. These initial modules will cover technical fundamentals, scales and arpeggios and a detailed exploration of forearm rotation.

The first module explores the basics of piano technique, covering seating position, posture, whole-arm and legato touches. Using a combination of bite-sized annotated video demonstrations, musical examples and downloads, this module shows how to move in ways that are natural to the body and to achieve physical freedom for playing that feels and sounds good. It will be a good starting point for beginners and useful for piano teachers who teach beginners as well as those seeking a refresher or “health check” on the basics.   

Video excerpt demonstrating how to find the natural hand position at the keyboard

The next module will look at the basics of scale and arpeggio playing, featuring close-up video demonstrations of the movements involved. The following video example takes a break from the technical aspects and offers a practical keyboard theory lesson showing how we can go through the circle of fifths one key at a time, clockwise in the sharp direction or anti-clockwise in the flat direction by playing the scale as a chord (all eight notes together, one tetrachord per hand). The scale-chord gives us a bird’s-eye view of the scale and is an excellent way of seeing the pattern of black and white keys as a whole.

Using the circle of fifths to gain a bird’s-eye view of a scale

Building on the first two modules is an extended video-based course on the principles of forearm rotation and its application, with many musical examples and text. This video excerpt shows a short example of how we might choreograph a snippet from a Mozart sonata using rotations, rather than a more traditional main-knuckle approach to finger work:

Choreographing a snippet from a Mozart sonata using forearm rotations

This initiative is the first phase of an ambitious, long term project to create a comprehensive online piano technique library featuring content from various pedagogical experts. Topics at all levels of playing will ultimately be covered, along with detailed information on exercises and studies – from creative approaches to the standard fare to new ideas and resources for developing technique in an effective and engaging manner. 

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Elementary Technique – Introduction and Basics is available for once-off purchase here or with an Online Academy subscription. Please click here to find out more about subscription options, or click here to view the module index if you are already a subscriber. Be sure to sign-up to our newsletter for further updates and subscribe to our YouTube channel for previews and video excerpts!

Further links & resources

  • Fundamentals of Scales & Arpeggios – The next module in in the Online Academy’s technique library which follows on from the introduction and basics. Click here to view.
  • A Practical Guide to Forearm Rotation – A step-by-step approach to incorporating forearm rotation in your playing to feel strong, coordinated and tension-free. Click here to view.
  • Mastering Piano Technique – Part 2 of the Practising the Piano eBook series provides an overview of different schools and traditions through to an extensive listing of technical exercises. Click here for more information.
  • Piano Technique Lecture Series – Video lecture series from the Piano Teachers’ Course UK on piano technique by Graham Fitch with a particular emphasis on teaching beginners and beginner exercises. Click here for more information.
  • Online Academy technique resources – Click here to view an index of existing resources on piano technique on the Online Academy or on one of the following links:

These new resources will all be available through an Online Academy subscription for as little as £9.99 a month or £99.99 per year. Please click here to find out more about the Online Academy or click here to subscribe.