In last weeks’ blog post we provided a write-up of a selection of the online events from our Piano Day 2021 festival (click here to view the initial write-ups). In this second instalment we bring you a write-up of the remaining events from the weekend.

Inventing Exercises from Your Pieces

On Saturday afternoon Graham Fitch explored the idea of inventing exercises directly from pieces as an alternative (or complement) to separate technical studies and exercises. Graham used various examples from his study editions featuring works by Burgmüller, Chopin, Debussy, Brahms and Ravel to show how this works and give ideas for creating your own exercises.

Piano day festival inventing exercises

Click here to view in your library if you purchased a ticket or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources.

Baroque Style

Pianists are often scared of playing baroque music. Am I allowed to use the pedal? How do I deal with all those fiddly ornaments? What about articulation and dynamics? Should I try and copy the sound of the harpsichord? 

These questions were addressed in two events focussing on the baroque style period. The first was a lecture-performance by twice grammy-nominated harpsichordist and conductor Jory Vinikour. In this intimate session, Jory showed the inner workings of the harpsichord and discussed various aspects of Baroque style alongside performing a delightful selection of works by Bach, Couperin, Rameau and Scarlatti.

Jory’s presentation also dispelled many myths held by pianists regarding the harpsichord, with several participants commenting on how surprised they were at the level of expression that it is capable of!

Piano Day festival baroque style

Graham Fitch then presented a follow-on workshop looking specifically at how one might apply the various aspects of the Baroque style on the piano. Graham drew upon his background as a harpsichord student and as a pianist to demonstrate how to play Baroque music stylistically and expressively.

The workshop recordings and resources are available via the following links:

  • Baroque Style & The Harpsichord – click here to view in your library or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources
  • Baroque Workshop for Pianists – click here to view in your library or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources

Getting Your Pieces up to Speed

In a revised version of our most popular workshop to date, Graham Fitch addressed one of the most common questions amongst pianists, namely how to build speed. The workshop featured a practical demonstration of various practice methods for developing speed. These were followed by break-out sessions in which participants could try the methods out on their own pieces.

Piano Day festival building speed

Click here to view in your library if you purchased a ticket or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources.

An Online Performance Workshop

The programme concluded with an online take on the traditional masterclass format. Six participants played a piece of their choice to an audience of observers who were treated to works by Beethoven, Pescetti, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Soler.

Graham then worked directly with each performer, providing them with feedback on style, technique, practice methods or help on any specific questions they had.

Click here to view in your library if you purchased an observer ticket, click here if you performed or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources.

Conclusion

Although this was quite a substantial undertaking, we were thrilled with the response and feedback received from participants. We also received some fantastic suggestions for future sessions which we will be incorporating into our planning. Thank you to everyone who participated and supported this initiative – we hope to welcome you back at future events soon!

The full programme and event details can be viewed here. All of the resources for the events for which you’ve purchased tickets are available under the events tab in your library. If you missed any of the events then you can still purchase access to the recordings and resources from the programme listing or from the events page on our store.

Practising the Piano Online Academy

The Practising the Piano Online Academy is the ultimate online resource for mastering the piano. It features a constantly growing library of over 300 articles, thousands of musical excerpts and hundreds of videos on topics including practising, piano technique and performing from leading experts. Please click here to find out more about the Online Academy or on one of the options below to subscribe:

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