Online Academy – What’s Coming?

The Online Academy will soon be three years old and we have a number of exciting developments in the pipeline to celebrate this milestone. Following from our previous post which provided an overview of existing resources and content, this article will give you an idea of what you can look forward to from the Online Academy over the coming months.

New content

  • The Practice Tools – A detailed collection of resources building on Graham Fitch’s workshops and eBook series will be published as a complement to existing resources. These will include a course teaching the fundamentals of effective practising and a revised index of practice tools.
  • Quarantine Spots Series – We will be launching a focussed series which takes one of the practice tools, Quarantining, and expands on it with demonstrations of how it can be used in context of challenging examples from popular works within the repertoire.
  • Technique Library and Resources – A comprehensive library of resources focusing on improving technique and tackling technical challenges for all levels. This will include detailed demonstrations of various areas of techniques, guides to exercises and studies with contributions from current and new authors.
  • Walk throughs – Our library of resources for the piano repertoire will continue to grow and will feature words by Chopin, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart and Bach to name a few. Resources for examination syllabi will also be added on a continual basis.
  • Burgmüller’s 25 Easy and Progressive Etudes – The final four walk throughs are currently in production and will be added to complete this comprehensive series shortly.
  • Healthy Playing – Our set of resources on healthy playing by Penelope Roskell will be extended to include information on preventing and recovering from common pianist injuries
  • Teaching Beginners – Additional lectures and demonstrations from Ilga Pitkevica on teaching the foundations of a good technique are being developed as a follow-on from her recently published videos on teaching beginners.
  • Sight Reading – A new sight-reading curriculum for the advanced level along with exercises along with sample exercises from ReadAhead Level 4 extends our existing resources for elementary and early intermediate levels to cater for the intermediate and advanced levels.

Features & enhancements

  • Usability and Finding Content – Miscellaneous updates to the user interfaces will be added to make navigating and finding content easier. These include a new browse page, an updated content index and a new “search wizard”. Improved context sensitive help is also being added through-out the site.
  • Personalisation – Further tools allowing you to access personalised content recommendations
  • Courses – Subscribers will be able to enroll in courses on specific topics which provide a step-by-step, guided pathway through Online Academy content.
  • Questions and Answers – We will be launching a Q&A series which annual and premium subscribers will have the opportunity to contribute questions for possible inclusion.
  • Singles – Various improvements to our recently launched “Singles” offering which provides additional once-off purchase options for selected collections of Online Academy content.
  • Teaching Tools – New tools and licensing options for teachers and institutions will be added to make it easier to use content within a teaching practice and to share content with students.

We are very much looking forward to sharing the above developments with you. If you are already an Online Academy subscriber, then please be sure to sign-up for updates via our mailing list here. If you aren’t a subscriber and would like to get access to our existing resources and these new developments, then please click here.  


What’s in Store for the Online Academy

The Online Academy will be turning four in October and we have many exciting developments lined up for the year ahead! Our content library will continue to grow in breadth and depth, and we will be adding several new features to help you get even more from the site. The following are some highlights of what you can expect over the coming months.

What's in store for the Online Academy

New content and contributors

  • New contributors – We will be welcoming several new authors, including two distinguished performers, a renowned pedagogue and author of a best-selling book! Their contributions will cover topics such as mindful practising, performance psychology, technique and repertoire.
  • Technique – Our technique library project will see the addition of several new modules covering topics such as octave playing and guides to technical exercises and regimes. An extensive series on “Balanced Technique” based on the Russian School will be published shortly, followed by a guide to some unorthodox, but highly effective exercises!
  • Practising & learning pieces – New modules and an index of practice tools are planned for our resources on effective practising. Step-by-step guides demonstrating how to apply the practice tools in the context of learning specific pieces of varying levels are also in development.  
  • Repertoire – Numerous additions to our library of resources for the piano repertoire are in production featuring works by Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Mozart and Bach to name a few. We’re also embarking upon a major project featuring Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
  • Examination guides – Ongoing updates will be made to our recently launched series featuring walk-throughs of pieces from the new ABRSM syllabus. We will also be extending these resources to cover selections from other examination boards
  • Study Editions – Several new study editions are in the pipeline featuring works by Mozart, Bach and Chopin, starting with an incredibly detailed edition for one of the most famous piano pieces by the latter!

Content collections & courses

As our library continues to grow, we’re adding new ways to find, access and interact with content. A new “content collections” feature will provide curated playlists of content suggestions and guided pathways based on various themes and topics.

Following on from our pilot email course on practising, we are in the process will be adding new “micro-courses” which offer a step-by-step approach to learning about practising, learning pieces, technique or teaching. 

Personalised feedback on your playing!

We’re busy working on a new “performance assessment” offering. This tool will give you the opportunity to submit videos of your playing and receive personalised feedback. As with our recently launched events programme, Online Academy subscribers will be entitled to discounts on performance assessments.

We look forward to sharing these developments with you and be sure to sign-up to our mailing list for news and updates!


The Online Academy Turns Four!

It’s the Online Academy’s birthday today and a lot has happened since we first launched four years ago! Initially the site contained a few collections of videos and articles based on my eBook series. It has since grown to house almost a thousand videos with contributions from several renowned pianists and pedagogues.

The last year has been particularly busy with the launch of several new initiatives alongside an extensive production schedule. Our online events programme was launched and has proven to be very popular along with our regular “practice clinics”. We also piloted an email course on practising and were delighted to receive a glowing review from International Piano magazine.

Our plans for the year ahead are packed with a busy publishing schedule and many new initiatives to make the site even better than before (click here to find out more about what’s in store!)


The Online Academy Turns Five!

The Practising the Piano Online Academy turns five in October 2021! Thanks to the support of our readers and subscribers, the site has grown significantly over the last five years. Our content library now features over 1000 videos and we’ve developed several value-added offerings, including our highly popular online events programme and practice clinics.

Happy Birthday - Online Academy Turns Five!

During the course of the month, we will be celebrating by publishing various content updates and making a selection of popular videos from our premium content library freely available. Click here to sign-up to our mailing list for updates on new and free content!

Recent Highlights

The following are some of the highlights from new content published over the last year:

  • Practising – New videos featuring practice tips from William Westney, an email course on how to start learning and practising a new piece and the next part in our Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum. 
  • Technique – Several modules on how to use exercises by Hanon, Czerny and Berens, in addition to more resources on mastering scales & arpeggios. 
  • Learning Pieces – Our repertoire library grew significantly with video walk-throughs of over 100 pieces from all levels. We also kicked-off a new series called Beethoven on Board which will ultimately feature detailed videos on each of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas!
  • Performing & Exam Preparation – Our project for the 2021 & 2022 ABRSM piano syllabus was completed and now includes videos for pieces from all grades and several supplementary videos with tips on preparing for other aspects of an exam.
online academy turns five - highlights and what's coming

Online Workshops & Practice Clinics

Our online workshops programme has featured over fifty events and has proven to be very popular. These events provide a live, interactive way to learn about various topics with opportunities for questions and answers. The workshops are recorded and we provide links to the video along with any relevant resources for the sessions afterwards. More information about how our online workshops work is available here.

Last year we launched monthly “practice clinics” in which Graham Fitch answers practising-related queries submitted by subscribers in advance. These are broadcast live on Facebook and are also posted up on our YouTube channel shortly afterwards. Click here to find out more or click here to view videos from past events.

What’s Coming?

We’re constantly working on extending and improving the Online Academy and look forward to sharing our future developments with you!

  • Technique – Further installments in our technique library project focusing on improving technique and providing recommendations and guides to popular exercises, studies and regimes
  • Practising – Extensions to our resources on effective practising with an index of practice tools and many additional examples in the context of repertoire of varying levels
  • Learning Pieces & Repertoire – More guides and examples on how to apply practice tools to learn new pieces efficiently and effectively and numerous additions of varying levels to our repertoire library
  • Sight-reading – Additions to our existing resources for improving sight-reading skills, including the final part of our advanced curriculum
  • Examination Guides – Video walk-throughs of selected repertoire from the syllabuses of several examination boards, starting with Trinity College London

We will also be making several enhancements to the Online Academy to make it easier to find and interact with content as the library continues to grow. These include various navigation improvements and applying new video viewing and online course functionality to selected content.


The Online Academy Turns Seven!

October is a special month for us as it’s the Online Academy’s birthday! This year, the Online Academy will be turning seven. From humble beginnings as a collection of articles and videos on practising, it has since grown to boast over 1,000 resources on a broad range of topics such as improvisation, sight reading, learning pieces, technique, healthy piano playing and teaching.

An extensive, expanding library

We’ve been consistently creating and adding new content to the Online Academy’s library throughout its existence. In addition to our collection of resources on practising and learning pieces, our library now contains resources for almost 300 works from the repertoire (click here for an listing by composer, level and grade).

A well-developed technique is essential for realising our musical intentions at the piano. The technique section of our library contains modules on everything from the fundamentals through to specific aspects of technique. Click here for a full listing of resources on topics such as pedalling, healthy playing and much more!

In addition to building in-depth collections of materials on practising, repertoire and technique, we’ve also simultaneously broadened our library to cover topics such as preparing for examinations, sight-reading, improvisation and music theory. There is also a section dedicated to teaching which has been developed in partnership with The Piano Teachers’ Course.

Practising the Piano Online Academy content

Insights from distinguished pedagogues

The Online Academy’s content was initially based on Graham Fitch’s popular Practising the Piano blog. We’ve since been delighted to form a panel of contributors who have been selected for their pedagogical expertise. Luminaries include best selling author, pianist and teacher William Westney; winner of the Frances Clarke keyboard pedagogy award, Fred Karpoff; Peabody professor and author Ken Johansen; healthy playing expert and author of The Complete Pianist, Penelope Roskell and many more!

Live events & workshops

In 2020 we launched a live events programme as a complement to our content library. Events include a regular practice clinic and many online events delivered via Zoom. We’ve been delighted to meet pianists from all over the globe during these events…

After starting with only online events, we now also run hybrid events in our new state-of-the-art London studio. The studio enables us to create high-quality recordings and offer the opportunity to participate both in-person and online (information on upcoming and past events is available here).

Practising the Piano events

What’s coming?

As always, we have many projects in the pipeline which we are looking forward to sharing with you. Our library will continue to grow in breadth and depth as we have already filmed a substantial volume of content in our studios which is currently in the editing process. We’re also working on several enhancements to the site which will make it easier to navigate and will continue to programme a variety of live events and workshops.   

We’d like to conclude by saying a big thank to all our customers and subscribers. Your support over the years is very much appreciated and has been indispensable in enabling us to make our offering what it is today. In turn we look forward to continuing to create materials to help you get the most out of your piano playing!

All the very best,

The Practising the Piano Team

P.S. If you haven’t already, please be sure to sign-up to our mailing list to be notified of new projects and upcoming events!