The New Year is an excellent time to start learning some new piano pieces! If you are about to embark upon some new repertoire, we have many resources to help you along the way. These include online workshops on topics such as choosing the right pieces, interpretation and learning techniques through to video walk-throughs and annotated scores for a wide range of popular works.
Choosing the right pieces
How do we discover what’s out there and what criteria do we use to determine if pieces we’re drawn to are the right level? Many pianists tend to hanker after big pieces at the expense of building a broad base of repertoire made up of a mix of challenging long-term projects and other pieces that offer more immediate gratification.
If you’d like some tips and ideas for choosing repertoire, then don’t miss our online workshops on 4th February. In a set of three presentations, Graham Fitch gives advice on selecting suitable pieces and presents a selection of repertoire ideas from all levels, including popular works and hidden gems. Click here to find out more or to book your place.
Workshop Offer – Save 20%!
Save 20% by purchasing a combined ticket for both our 14th of January workshop on creating personal interpretations and the full set of repertoire ideas workshops on the 4th of February. Click here to take advantage of this offer and obtain access to these events and the recordings for £80 (£48 for Online Academy subscribers)!
Narrative and interpretation
Learning the notes accurately is only part of the process and alongside this, it is vital we develop our own individual artistic image of the music, uncovering the composer’s message as we see it and formulating our own ideas about how the music should sound. This requires us to open up our imagination to engage with the music expressively rather than mechanically.
In our first workshop of the year on 14th January, Graham Fitch will use a selection of pieces from the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels to demonstrate how one might and explore narratives, images and expressive ideas in order to shape a personal interpretation. Click here to find out more or to book your place.
Laying firm foundations
Many people attempt to learn a new piece by repeatedly reading it through at the piano. Unless the piece is well below your current level, this approach can lead to problems that can be difficult to fix. We’re busy updating our popular free email course which shows you how to go about laying good foundations from the outset when learning a new piece.
This new course will have several supplementary videos featuring the various concepts applied to a range of pieces. The course will be launching within the next few weeks together with a Facebook group in which we will be posting various materials relating to learning pieces and giving you the opportunity to share your progress. In the meantime, you can sign-up to be notified when the course is available here and you can join the Facebook group here!
Repertoire guides and resources
Our repertoire library on the Online Academy now features resources to help you learn and master over 200 pieces (and growing!) of all levels. These resources include videos focussing on specific aspects of a piece through to detailed video walk-throughs of complete works and annotated study editions.
We are in the process of making several updates to the navigation on our site, but in the meantime we have created a useful index of our resources for the repertoire which allows you to access them by composer, level and grade. Click here or on the image below to view the indexes.
Mastering a piece
Playing a piece over and over eventually makes the muscular movements automatic, but this muscle memory can be extremely unreliable when under pressure in a performing situation. On 18th February Graham Fitch presents an interactive, hands-on workshop exploring the different memory systems and introducing various tools that will help you learn pieces on a deeper level for confident performances that reflect your full potential! Click here to find out more or to book your place!
Our monthly practice clinics feature answers to questions on specific aspects of a wide range of works. Our next clinic takes place on Wednesday 18th January @ 12:00 GMT and the recordings from past clinics are available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page.
If you are an Online Academy subscriber and you would like to submit a question then please sign-in to your account and use the ink provided on your dashboard (questions for the January clinic are now closed but you will be able to submit for the next event).