Good news! The Online Academy Trinity Series is now complete, and in this post I shall be looking at a representative selection of pieces from some of the grades. In the full series, each piece that we’ve featured comes with some teaching notes and a detailed video tutorial – here are samples and excerpts from the most recent works published:
Nathalie Béra-Tagrine: Conversation (Grade Initial)
Let’s start with Nathalie Béra-Tagrine’s Conversation. This is an excellent little study in combined touches, beginning with three-note drop-roll slurs in the right hand against a legatoline in the left. There is plenty of articulation detail to work on here between the hands, relying on mobility in the arms and hands.
Felicitas Kukuck: The Rowboat (Grade 2)
The Rowboat is a miniature tone picture relying on imagination and a sense of storyline to convey the musical message. What story is this piece telling? Remember this is personal, and every player can come up with their own version of what is going on – for them. Sensitivity to phrasing, developing a cantabiletouch and the technique of chord legato are explored in this video. Here is a snippet of it.
Michael Proksch: And Now Let’s Handel (Grade 5)
German composer Michael Proksch gives us a fun piece in neo-baroque style. And Now Let’s Handelfeatures a simple harmonic progression based on a cycle of fifths that repeats three times, each time with a different texture. The quaver patterns give each hand in turn the opportunity to develop forearm rotation while shaping the line. In this video extract, I demonstrate the technique.
Joaquín Turina: Fiesta (Grade 7)
Fiesta is one of a set of eight pieces entitled Miniaturesby Spanish composer Joaquín Turina. It makes a very effective recital piece for the intermediate pianist, containing elements of showmanship (especially in the repeated notes) and display but also calling for imagination and the ability to paint a picture in sound.
Ulrich Kallmeyer: Six-Eight Prelude (Grade 8)
This piece comes from a collection of easy to moderate piano pieces in different popular idioms, Cool Cat Piano Goodies by German composer Ulrich Kallmeyer. The mood is relaxed, possibly even a little lazy. In this extract from the full video, I demonstrate the practice tool often referred to as chaining, showing how to take a passage from a slow learning speed up to full performance tempo accurately and reliably.
Jean-Philipp Rameau: Fanfarinette and La Triomphante (Grade 8)
Here is an excerpt of a walkthrough of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Fanfarinette and La Triomphante from the Suite in A minor (third book), in which I take the second piece and experiment with touch, mood and dynamic possibilities to discover the character of the music and bring it to life.
Further resources & links
This video is part of an Online Academy series featuring articles and over 30 video demonstrations of repertoire from Trinity College London’s 2018 – 2020 piano examination syllabus. The full collection is available for once-off purchase here or as part of an Online Academy subscription. Please click here to find out more about subscription options or click here to view the series index if you are already a subscriber.
Trinity College London is also conducting a survey to obtain feedback on their syllabus and support resources. Please click here if you would like to participate and provide your feedback.