The New Year is an excellent time to set some goals for your piano playing for the year ahead! Are there new pieces you’re aiming to learn, or areas of your technique you’re looking to improve? Or do you want to develop some new skills or possibly work towards sharing your playing with others? In our first blog post for the year, we share some ideas and resources to help you along the way, whatever your goals might be!
Expand your repertoire
It’s always exciting learning new pieces and if you’re looking to build solid foundations from the outset, why not try our free email course on starting a new piece (click here to sign-up) or click here for some suggestions on choosing new pieces. You might also want to join our Learning New Piano Pieces and tell us what you’re learning!
If you’re looking for ideas for repertoire or for guidance then do visit our growing library of resources for the piano repertoire. These resources aim to help you learn and master almost 300 works across all levels and include videos focussing on specific aspects of a piece through to detailed video walk-throughs of complete works and annotated study editions.
As a further suggestion to broaden your repertoire, why not try a few pieces that are earlier than your current level as quick studies? Even if you’re not planning on taking an exam, examination syllabuses can be useful for obtaining an indication of difficulty and discovering new repertoire ideas.
Hone your technique
Although it’s a means to an end, a refined technique is important for being able to realise our artistic aspirations at the piano. Our technique library on the Online Academy contains a vast array of resources to help you develop the piano technique. From advice on using studies and exercises to improve specific areas through to general tips for playing that feels and sounds good, this index provides a guide to our constantly growing list of materials.
Share your playing with others
Getting feedback on your playing or just sharing your playing with others can be an excellent way to improve and energise your playing. Why not set yourself a goal to work towards playing informally or perhaps even at a meet-up group for amateurs? This article has some suggestions for how to approach performing as an amateur with links to further resources.
Brush up on your theory knowledge
Understanding music theory gives us a wonderful insight into how music works and can also enable you to learn repertoire faster, interpret it more authentically and explore new worlds of improvisation and composition. Our online course There’s more to Playing the Piano provides a concise, interactive explanation of the basics of music theory (click here to view on the Online Academy or click here to purchase as an eBook).
Ken Johansen, author of our Advanced Sight Reading Curriculum and From the Ground Up series has also recently published a book on using keyboard harmony to learn pieces more effectively. If you’re an advanced pianist and have enjoyed Ken’s materials then you can purchase a copy of the book directly from his publisher here (using voucher code AFL04 will give you a 20% discount until 1st March 2024!). d get a 20% discount using
Develop your general musical skills
With the emphasis so often being on developing technical skills and learning new pieces, many pianists neglect the development of general musical skills. Why not resolve to train your ear or improve your sight-reading? Or perhaps give improvisation a try?
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