Our next showcase looks at the subject of piano technique and follows-on from our previous showcases on practising and learning pieces. A good technique is essential for having the freedom to express yourself and to convey your artistic intentions at the piano. However, there are many varying opinions on this subject and highly accomplished pianists who have followed different paths to mastery.
Our approach to the technique resources on the Online Academy is to present a variety of recognised options in an open-minded and non-dogmatic manner. The intention is to enable you to discover which approach (or perhaps a combination thereof) works best for you!
Elementary Technique – Introduction and Basics
This initial module explores the basics of piano technique, covering seating position, posture, whole-arm and legato touches. It is an excellent starting point for beginners as well as useful for piano teachers who teach beginners and those seeking a refresher or “health check”. Click here to view the series index or click here for a free article with videos on position yourself at the piano.
A Practical Guide to Forearm Rotation
Forearm rotation provides an alternative to the “finger school” of playing and is a way of coordinating the arm with the fingers for better coordination and comfort. Our guide provides a step-by-step approach to incorporating forearm rotation in your playing with numerous videos and musical examples. Click here to view the introduction.
FREE VIDEO: Click here to view an article with two videos on the basic principles of forearm rotation.
The Art of Piano Fingering
Without comfortable, musically appropriate fingerings, we can waste hours of practice time trying to remedy a problem which could have been averted much earlier. In this series of articles and videos based on her acclaimed book on the subject, Penelope Roskell looks at the fundamental principles which lie at the heart of good fingering. Click here to view the series index.
Developing a Balanced Technique
Based on her personal experience and the traditions of the Russian School, Ilga Pitkevica shares insights into approaches and strategies for achieving “pianistic fitness” and developing a balanced piano technique. Click here to view the introductory video.
FREE VIDEOS: Click here to view two videos on developing dexterity, speed and a beautiful sound when playing scales.
Exercises & Studies
Exercises and studies can be very useful for improving technique, but done mindlessly they can be dull, inefficient and potentially harmful. It is very much a case of how you do them rather than what you do. Our technique library includes several resources which show you how to get the best results from a selection of exercises and studies while avoiding tension and injury.
In this lecture series, Graham Fitch shows many applications for Hanon’s exercises, including how they can be used as a blank canvas to experience and develop movements encountered in real music, such as lateral wrist adjustments, wrist circles, rotational movements and more! Click here to view the introduction or click here for a free video on the first exercise.
NEW VIDEO: The next video in this series is now available on the Online Academy and shows how exercises 5 – 10 can be used specifically for developing forearm rotation and sensing the associated movements. Click here to view.
Czerny – Practical Method for Beginners (Op. 599)
Ilga Pitkevica gives a tour of Czerny’s Op. 599, explaining how and why these etudes should be used for developing and teaching both musical and technical skills. Click here to view an introduction on the book and it’s uses or click here to view a free video featuring the first ten exercises.
Developing the Left Hand
Do you feel that your left hand is weaker than your right hand, and is holding you back in your piano playing? In these videos, Graham Fitch shows how a selection of studies and exercises from Berens’s The Training of the Left Hand (Op. 89) can be used to develop left hand technique.
NEW VIDEOS: Two new videos featuring exercises No. 3 & 4 and Studies No. 2 & 3 are now available on the Online Academy. Click here to view the series index.
FREE SCORE: As part of a collection of resources for improving left hand technique, we’ve created an arrangement of Bach’s magnificent Cello Suite in G Major for the left hand. Click here for a free excerpt featuring the Allemande (2nd movement). The full version of this edition is available as part of our Annotated Study Editions bundle or with an annual subscription to the Practising the Piano Online Academy.
Please see the technique section on the Online Academy for a full listing of resources on topics such as pedalling, healthy playing and much more!
Please click on one of the following links to see free content form previous showcases: