The final set of videos in our guide to the Trinity College London 2021 – 23 piano examination syllabus features four new pieces from the Trinity Grade 8 Syllabus. These complement two existing videos for Grade 8 with a total of over fifty works now covered for works from the initial grade up to Grade 8.
In these excerpts from the full videos, I discuss jumps in Joplin, pedalling in Bach, left-hand repeated chords in Czerny and share a neat practice tip for mastering the irregular rhythms in a work by Bartók! Each of the full video walkthroughs offers plenty of tips for practice, as well as suggestions for piano teachers, and guidance on matters relating to style and interpretation. As with the previous selection, many of the works are in the public domain with links to free scores where available.
Bach – Prelude & Fugue in E Major, BWV 854 (No. 9 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1)
Many players are confused by the subject of pedalling in Bach. Should we use it, or should we avoid it? While it is certainly true that none of Bach’s keyboard instruments had any type of device to sustain the sound after the finger left the key, piano sound without pedal can also sound dry and academic sounding. Learning the piece with no pedal at first until we have found the best sound is suggested. After this, add short, shallow dabs of pedal in those places where we feel the need for some extra resonance or colour.
In this excerpt, I demonstrate how to use pedal in Bach’s music and looks at some possibilities for articulation in the E Major Prelude from Book 1 of the Well Tempered Klavier:
Bartok – No. 2 from Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm
The 2nd piece in Béla Bartók’s Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm, from Mikrokosmos, Book 6, features an unusual time signature – 2+2+3/8 (effectively 7/8). In this excerpt, I demonstrate how you can use scales to get the feeling for this irregular meter and enliven your scale practice at the same time!
Czerny – Feodora (from Album élégant des dames pianistes, Op. 804)
How can the perfect singing style and creating magic from our percussion instrument be achieved? A clingy legato at the bottoms of the keys goes some way to describing the mechanics involved, but we need to start off by actually singing the line until we have found its shape and meaning.
In this excerpt, I show how to create a beautiful singing line in the right hand as well as how to play repeated chords and notes both accurately and freely in this fun piece by Czerny:
Joplin – The Cascades
Scott Joplin insisted his rags should not be played too fast. Even at a moderate tempo, the stride left hand parts pose the challenge of how to move from the lower octaves to the higher chords accurately. Fortunately, there are proven ways to practise this technique so that we can automate the motions involved, which then become second nature.
In this excerpt, I discuss a practice tool I like to call “springboarding” which can be applied to any jump. Once mastered, it is much easier to move effortlessly and accurately from one position on the keyboard to another:
The full videos for the repertoire selections for this and all other grades are available here via the series index on the Online Academy.
More excerpts from other grades are available on our YouTube channel or click here for videos and information for Grade 7, click here for the intermediate grades (Grades 4 – 6) or here for the foundation grades (Initial – Grade 3). Existing resources for the Trinity and previous ABRSM syllabuses can be viewed on the Online Academy here.
Guide to the Trinity College Piano Syllabus
Our guide to the Trinity 2021 – 2023 piano examination features 50+ video walk-throughs of selected repertoire from Initial to Grade 8. It also includes a collection of videos on preparing for an examination offering general tips and suggestions for preparing or a piano examination, covering topics including sight-reading, aural, technical tests (scales & arpeggios), general preparation and practice strategies.
These videos form part of the Online Academy’s extensive library of over 1,000 videos and are included with a subscription from as little as £9.99 per month or £99.99 per year. The collection is also available for a separate, once-off purchase via our store for £80. Please click here to find out more about the Online Academy or click here to purchase these videos from our store.