If you would like to lay foundations for much more productive and effective practising in the year ahead, you might want to join my upcoming interactive practising workshop. The workshop takes place on Saturday, January 16th from 14:00 – 17:30 GMT and in it I will demonstrate some of the important practice tools and show you how to apply them to learning a new piece, as well as keeping old pieces in good shape. The material will be useful to players from lower intermediate up to advanced levels, and of special interest to piano teachers.
Background to the Workshop
In the summer of 2019, I was invited by Casio to present a day’s course on piano practice at a central London hotel. I felt we could add huge value to the event if everyone had their own piano to practise on during the frequent breakout sessions. Casio arranged for each participant to have a digital piano and headphones, enabling them to try out the ideas I had just demonstrated using worksheets provided without being overheard.
This attracted visitors from all over the UK as well as Europe, and was a great success. we were considering doing this event again when COVID struck. My team and I realised we could adapt this workshop format and present it online and ran a pilot of the format in December last year.
From the feedback received, this turned out to be one of our best received events. The format actually worked better online as it made the event more accessible. Having microphones muted during the break-out allowed participants to practise in the comfort of their homes. The only thing missing was the sumptuous lunch and delicious cakes during the refreshment breaks!
“I loved the well-constructed sessions with a balanced approach of information provided combined with a chance to try out ideas at my own piano in private!”
Workshop format and content
Following from the initial pilot, we’ve decided to develop this format further and will be running an event featuring new worksheets and examples on Sat 16th January @ 14:00 GMT.
The workshop will be divided into two parts with a short break in-between. Each part features presentations on specific practice tools interlaced with short breakout sessions where you get to try out the ideas presented in the privacy of your own space.
With plenty of opportunity for Q&A throughout the afternoon, we will explore the following topics:
- Using the feedback loop: How to plan and focus your practice session for maximum benefit in every area and to develop your inner “quality control” inspector.
- Slow practice: How to use ultra-slow speeds for learning notes, correcting errors and finessing sound – and when not to use it!
- Gaining speed: We explore two methods of taking a piece from the slow stages to performance speed, developing fluency and accuracy as well as ease and grace.
- Repetition in practice: We form habits by repetition, but only perfect practice makes perfect. In this session we learn how to manage repetition in our practice mindfully and creatively to achieve tangible, lasting results.
- Deep learning and memorisation techniques: Thorough practice habits lead to security in performance. When we practise using deep learning techniques, we develop not only our muscular memory and physical technique but also musicianly skills such aural and analytic awareness.
Although similar topics are covered, the content of each of my workshops is different! I will also be using new examples in the worksheets and presentations which will be provided in advance of the event. Therefore if you have attended one of my practice workshops before, you will discover new things the second time around and have opportunities to ask any questions that may have arisen following previous workshops.
Tickets cost £50 (£30 for Online Academy subscribers) and include access to the workshop resources, presentations and recordings of the event. Click here to book your place or click here and further information on how our online events work is available here.
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What people have said about this workshop format:
- “I enjoyed the “hands on” format, instantly putting into practice the topic of discussion is very beneficial. I would almost like to have this format all the time!”
- “The interlaced 10 min practice sessions were excellent. They helped cement more what Graham was addressing.”
- “This workshop was so good! Graham has the gift of making everything seem possible and is able to explain and demonstrate how to practise at all levels of piano playing – from beginners to advanced. I feel inspired and encouraged by what I learned in this workshop.”
- “Even though I have attended other workshops on these topics before, I found this more practical format to be incredibly useful and engaging!”
- “I loved the well-constructed sessions with a balanced approach of information provided combined with a chance to try out ideas at my own piano in private.”
- “The materials were well designed and inclusive. The host and presenter were very positive and encouraging – not easy to achieve in an online format!”