Practising the Piano eBooks

Black Friday – Subscription & eBook Offers!

It’s that time of the year again and we’re pleased to be offering a number of specials to our readers. These include 30% off all eBooks in our store and 50% off three-month subscriptions to the Online Academy. These offers are valid until the 5th of December and please see further details below. Practising the Piano Online Academy Get three month’s access for only £10! We’re offering £10 off once-off, three-month subscriptions to the Online Academy (standard price is £20). These subscriptions include access to all online content and updates, including: Over 40 walkthroughs and videos on learning popular works in the repertoire, including our acclaimed series featuring several works form Bürgmuller’s 25 Easy and Progressive Etudes (Op. 100) Guides to ABRSM and Trinity College Examinations featuring over 20 articles, videos and worksheets and with many more still to come! From the Ground Up editions providing reduced scores and walkthroughs for popular works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg and Schumann Access to over 100 sample sight reading works for early and late beginner levels from the ReadAhead curriculum Complete series of 17 videos and articles from Lucinda Mackworth Young and original works from Forrest Kinney’s Create First! introducing approaches to teaching and learning improvisation How it works This subscription doesn’t renew automatically but at the end of the three month period you will have the option to upgrade to an annual or premium subscription. Should you choose to upgrade, we’ll also give you the full price of your three-month subscription (£20) off the price of your upgrade! Please click here to sign-up for this offer with the discount code automatically applied or click here to upgrade if you already have a free account. Further information […]

By |November 22nd, 2018|News|0 Comments

6 Helpful Tips for Using Our Products & Services

In order to continually improve our products and services, we regularly review correspondence and support queries from our readership. Therefore we thought it might be helpful to compile a listing of tips provided in response to some of the most common questions just in case they are useful to you. We’re also making a few updates to our various systems in order to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), that comes into effect May 25, 2018. As part of these updates, we’re  consolidating our various mailing lists and are making a number of improvements which will make it much easier for you to manage and customise the content you receive from us. Therefore we’ve also included some further information on this process (#1) and how you can use these new features to manage your email preferences. #1 Manage your email subscriptions and preferences If you would like to sign-up for any of our mailing lists then please click here. If you are already subscribed then we will need you to confirm whether you would still like to receive content from us. You can do this by visiting this form and entering your email address and clicking “Subscribe”. You will then be able to request an email with a link to a form for updating your preferences. You can also update your preferences via your Online Academy account if you have one (further details are provided below) or using the “Update Subscription Preferences” link in the footer of any of the emails that we send you. If you have an Online Academy account then you can also click here (you will need to sign-in first) or visit “My Account” and then “Click here to edit email preferences” to subscribe, […]

Online Academy Survey – Your Feedback!

Thanks again to everyone who completed our recent Online Academy survey. The responses were overwhelmingly positive and therefore very encouraging. We’re also delighted with the detailed feedback we’ve received, all of which is invaluable to us for planning purposes. After reviewing the results in detail, here is a summary of some of the key findings. We also have some insights as to how we might accommodate these along with other suggestions in future. Audience & reasons for subscribing Although adult amateurs are the biggest subscriber group, each of the other groups also included a number of respondents thereby confirming that the Online Academy currently caters to a broad audience of musicians, amateurs and teaching professionals. Following from this, the main reason for subscribing is as a complement to lessons. Features & functionality Although not a surprise, browsing for content is the most commonly used feature, but is followed closely by the eBooks (these come bundled with the Premium subscription). Browsing by category and subcategory is also the most common way users are finding content although the various other methods (browse by author, search, text search etc.) are also well represented. Suggestions for improvement included: Improved navigation options including more indexing and cross referencing, categories and sub categories in the main menu and more features for personalising the home page. Making it easier to find new content including more frequent notifications (e.g. email updates) and some great suggestions regarding being able to “follow” authors and topics and view new content since your last login. Additional guidance on where to start with content e.g. a recommended approach or “lesson plan” for different profiles, levels and topics. Current & future content The most used content format is articles which combine […]

Practising the Piano Part 3 – Scales and Arpeggios

It seems to me that a thorough knowledge of scales and arpeggios is an absolute necessity for all serious students of the piano. Western music is built on the major/minor tonal system, and to attempt to study the piano without scales (or basic theory) would be as nonsensical as learning language without the alphabet or without bothering with grammar. You would get so far, then reach a dead end. Scale work is an ongoing process from the relative beginning stages of piano study through to conservatory level and beyond. The professional pianist will have mastered all major and minor scales in single as well as double notes, plus an array of different types of arpeggios, in all inversions. The result will be an intimate kinesthetic knowledge of the keyboard (how a particular scale feels under the hand) and of all tonalities and key relationships, acquired and honed over the course of time. Whether we continue to practise scales in later life depends on the individual – the great virtuoso Shura Cherkassky apparently played scales and arpeggios in every key every day! Many of the world’s greatest pianists and teachers wouldn’t think of beginning their daily practice without a thorough regimen of scales and arpeggios (possibly along with other exercises and studies), and they expect their students to do the same. Practising the Piano Part 3 It can be difficult to summon up the necessary enthusiasm to practise scales unless they are presented in ways that are fun, rewarding and challenging. I think there needs to be additional resources available to encourage the student to practise scales in a disciplined and orderly fashion, and a system of logging the work from day to day. Self-testing is also an important […]

By |March 21st, 2014|eBooks|0 Comments

My New eBook on Scales and Arpeggios

I’m delighted to announce the launch of Part 3 of my eBook series, Practising the Piano. Part 3 is a single, bumper volume on scales and arpeggios starting with a guide to the basic skills required followed by chapters for the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. As with my other eBooks, Part 3 features numerous video demonstrations, exercises written out in manuscript and practice suggestions.  It also features a number of resources and interactive tools to keep you motivated and to make your practising more effective: Scales index This section provides an index of all major, harmonic and melodic minor scales with key signatures, fingerings and variations for practice.  There is also a keyboard diagram of each scale so the beginner will be able to see the note patterns at a glance. Scales and arpeggios charts Download printable practice charts for ABRSM Grades 1 through to 8 featuring a grid layout with the keys listed vertically and the types of scales horizontally.  Teachers can use these to assign scales for practising in between lessons, and for students to keep a record of what they have practised. Scales and arpeggios generator Don’t you wish there was a way to test yourself on the scales and arpeggios for your grade?  Part 3 includes a scale generator that randomly selects these from the ABRSM syllabus for you.  It will keep you on your toes by requesting additional ways of doing them (different touches and speeds, and so on) and gives you an optional self-scoring mechanism for charting your progress. There are so many different and creative ways to practise your scales (have you ever tried the “Russian” way?).  Practising the Piano Part 3 shows you exactly how to practise […]

By |March 18th, 2014|eBooks|5 Comments

Practising the Piano Part 1 eBooks available on Amazon

I am pleased to announce that all three volumes of Part 1 of my Practising the Piano eBook series are now available on the Amazon Kindle store via the following links: Volume I Volume II Volume III   Please note that while the full content of each publication is included within the Kindle versions, due to the limitations of the platform, the multimedia content is not accessible offline.  Furthermore, while the text content and images are accessible on eInk devices (e.g. Kindle eReaders), a device with media playback capabilities (e.g. Smartphone, Tablet or Computer) is required for video and audio. As with the iBooks versions of the publications, existing customers who have purchased directly from my publisher will also get access to the Amazon Kindle editions of the publications they own via their library.  However, those of you who have existing Amazon accounts now have the option to purchase via Amazon should you prefer to do so.

By |February 18th, 2014|eBooks, News|8 Comments

Complete Practising the Piano series now available for iBooks

As many of you who have purchased my eBooks are probably aware, my publisher has been busy producing versions of my publications for Apple iBooks.  This is intended to offer existing customers another option for accessing the publications on Apple devices in addition to making the publications available for purchase via the Apple iBookstore. I’m now pleased to announce that all six volumes of Part I and Part II are now available in this format.  Please click here for more information on how to access them or click here to log-in to your library (note that you may need to refresh your library page in order to see the new download option). The first volume of Part 1 is now also available for purchase via the iBookstore here.  Subsequent volumes will be made available in the iBookstore in due course subject to Apple’s review process.  Versions for Amazon Kindle are also in the pipeline although these will not support some of the interactive publication features or offline video due to the limitations of the Amazon platform.   Please note that purchasing direct from my publisher will give you access to all of the available formats for each publication you purchase (in addition to the iBooks versions mentioned above).  However, those of you who have existing Apple iTunes accounts may prefer purchasing via this route (or via Amazon in future).  

By |February 5th, 2014|eBooks, News|0 Comments

My new eBook on Technique

When I started work on Part 2 of Practising the Piano, I had only a rough outline of the content I wanted to cover. I soon found that the project was expanding in all sorts of directions. It has been an exciting journey putting it all into writing, and one that I am happy to share with you. While writing articles on technique for Pianist Magazine over the years, I learnt how to put my ideas into words succinctly, but there is still the strong possibility that someone might misconstrue the written word. Fortunately, the technology behind the eBooks enables me to include video demonstration of anything I have just described in words. Because the reader can watch the video over and over, there is a greater chance they will understand what I mean. This is why I included over 100 videos in Part 2, the camera perched as close as possible to the keyboard – warts and all! A colleague once said to me that he did not teach technique; each student must work it out for themselves in their practice room. I couldn’t agree with him less. There are so many detours and dead ends a piano student can take when left to their own devices in this way. They can get seriously side-tracked, the worst-case scenario being debilitating injury. Why have them reinvent the wheel? Why not pass down methodology that is proven to work? Piano playing is a highly sophisticated activity and, while some people do seem born to it, for most of us success is achieved through sheer hard work – blood, sweat and tears. It is true that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to […]

By |November 15th, 2013|eBooks, News|1 Comment

Practising the Piano Part 2 Now Available

I am delighted to announce the release today of Part 2 of my Practising the Piano eBook series, available via www.practisingthepiano.com/eBooks. Part 1 (published in March) dealt with practice methodology (techniques of learning) and getting the most out of our practice time. I think of this as a foundation course. Part 2 covers the complex area of piano technique providing a comprehensive treatise on the subject. We all know that technique is essential for realising our musical intentions at the piano. Every dynamic and every nuance must be produced by a technical means, a physical means.  Part 2 is comprised of three volumes featuring: 100+ video demonstrations Almost 1,000 bars of musical excerpts and exercises Numerous diagrams and illustrations Interactive “sliders” Extensive links to supplementary resources I started playing at the late age of 13 and was fortunate to have excellent teachers from the very best of the European and Russian traditions. I absorbed everything they did with me on a conscious level. I think this is why I have such a thorough understanding of piano technique and can help students overcome technical problems, even those who are not natural pianists. In Practising the Piano I present the best of what I can offer, and while I realise that no publication can ever hope to replace a live teacher, the combination of text, musical examples and video demonstrations enable me to show you quite clearly what needs to be done to manage technical difficulties at the piano while avoiding common pitfalls that lead to tension and injury. Please click here for more information, free previews or to purchase Practicing the Piano Part 2. Special offer Buy Part 2 of Practising The Piano (three volumes) for 25% off the full individual prices.    

By |November 12th, 2013|eBooks, News|2 Comments

The Practice Tools – Volume 3

I would like to thank you for your support with my ebook series – I am very pleased with the uptake and have had lots of great feedback. It is good to know that the publication is assisting you in your practice! The beta launch period is now over, we have done some minor edits and updates to the publications, and all existing customers will be upgraded automatically to the new versions. The full version of Part 1 is now available at £9.99 for all three volumes. Volume 3 will be available for £2.99 until May 31 as a special offer to existing customers. Please note that you do not need a PayPal account to purchase the publications, simply click on “buy as guest” to use your debit or credit card to make a purchase via the secure gateway. For further information on how the publications work and what devices are supported, please see the FAQ on the Informance website.

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