ABRSM Workshop Day – Practising the Piano

Are you taking a piano exam, preparing students for one or just looking for tips on learning new, graded repertoire? Do you have questions regarding repertoire or other requirements for the new ABRSM syllabus?

Join us for a comprehensive online workshop day featuring all aspects of the new ABRSM 2021 – 2022 piano examination syllabus. This event serves as a follow-on to our previous workshop series, covering new repertoire and related topics in further detail with an opportunity for participants to ask questions and submit requests for repertoire to be featured.

ABRSM Workshop day

Workshop schedule & content

The day will be divided up into five sessions featuring the following topics:

  • Repertoire – Two sessions with detailed demonstrations on how to learn a piece, develop an interpretation and practice tips for pieces across all grades
  • Scales & arpeggios – Overcoming technical problems, practice methods and imaginative ways for integrating them into daily practice and lessons
  • Sight-reading & aural tests – Practical ideas for improving sight-reading and developing the ear using repertoire
  • Preparation and performance – Strategies for exam preparation, fostering a positive mental attitude and tips for what to do on the day

Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions and requests for repertoire to be featured in advance of the event. There will also be numerous opportunities for questions through-out the various sessions. (Please click here to view the complete schedule.)

What’s included?

In addition to participating in the event, tickets include the following:

  • Session recordings – The individual sessions will be recorded therefore you will be able to watch the videos in your own time if you are unable to attend any of the sessions.
  • Worksheets – A selection of worksheets will be provided for
  • Online Academy resources – Access to our full collection of video resources for the ABRSM syllabus (almost 100 videos!) is also included

Who it’s for?

This event will be useful not only for candidates and piano teachers following the syllabus, but also for those who want to learn some exciting new repertoire, make progress with scales and arpeggios, improve their sight-reading, learn strategies for performance preparation and deal with performance nerves.

If you have attended one of our previous workshops on the syllabus, you may still find this event to be useful as it is intended as a follow-up. Graham will be featuring new repertoire, covering topics e.g. learning pieces in further detail and taking questions from participants. You will also be able to submit your own questions and repertoire requests in advance of the event.

Click here for more information on the workshop or to book your place.


Piano Day 2021 Festival – Practising the Piano

The 29th of March is Piano Day 2021 and we’re celebrating with a festival featuring our biggest ever line-up of online events and workshops!

piano day 2021 festival

Piano Day Weekend Festival

Taking place from Fri 26th – Sun 28th of March, the programme comprises ten sessions on various topics, including:

  • Presentations by William Westney on  the technique of playing softly and Ken Johansen on rhythm in sight-reading
  • Two further interactive practising workshops based on our popular “hands-on” workshop format
  • A “Fantasy Analysis” by Graham Fitch on Haydn’s “English” Sonata (click here for Graham’s Fantasy Analysis of a work by Brahms)
  • A special lecture / performance by Harpsichordist Jory Vinikour followed by a workshop by Graham Fitch on Baroque style
  • A chance to perform and get feedback on your playing (or observe) in a performance workshop with Graham Fitch

…and much more!

Tickets can be purchased for individual events or you can save 20% by purchasing combined “weekend pass” for all ten. All events will be recorded and links to recordings along with any relevant resources will be provided to ticketholders shortly after the festival. Further information on how our online events work is available here.

Please click here to view the full programme and booking details. Online Academy subscribers are also entitled to a 40% discount on all events, including the weekend pass (Click here to find out more about the Online Academy or click here to sign-in for your discount to be applied if you are a subscriber).

Other Special Offers & Updates

We will be making other special offers available as part of our celebrations and providing updates with further information on scheduled events in the run-up. Be sure to sign-up to our mailing list here for further information and notifications!


Piano Day Festival Write-Up (1)

We recently celebrated Piano Day 2021 with a festival of online events and workshops over the preceding weekend. Over 100 pianists and teachers from literally all corners of the globe – Australia, Indonesia, Europe, Canada and the USA (even Hawaii) participated in what was our biggest ever online events line-up! In this week’s blog post we bring you a write-up of a selection of the events from the weekend.

Keep Going No Matter What!

Our programme kicked-off with a presentation by Ken Johansen on how to maintain a steady pulse when sight-reading. Ken discussed how to find a good tempo and provided some tips and tools for tackling rhythmic difficulties such as dotted rhythms, syncopation and polyrhythms.

Click here to view in your library if you purchased a ticket or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources

Making Good, Healthy Sound – Even at the Softest Dynamic Level

The next event saw William Westney discuss one of his favourite topics: demystifying the technique of playing softly. William used examples by Schumann and Kuhlau to demonstrate how to find a satisfying, reliable approach that sounds and feels good.

Piano Day event featuring William Westney

Click here to view in your library if you purchased a ticket or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources

Note Learning, Maintaining Repertoire & Solving Problems

Saturday’s programme started with two interactive practising workshops. In the first workshop, Graham Fitch gave a hands-on demonstration of a selection of practice tools for learning new pieces and maintaining repertoire. The workshop included break-out sessions with exercises to give participants an opportunity to try out the concepts themselves during the session.

The second workshop focussed on solving musical and technical difficulties within pieces. In this workshop, Graham worked directly with a few volunteers who had submitted specific questions or problems in advance from works by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

The workshop recording and resources are available via the following links:

  • Note Learning & Maintaining Repertoire – click here to view in your library or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources
  • Solving Technical & Musical Problems – click here to view in your library or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources

Haydn’s “English” Sonata – A Fantasy Analysis

On Saturday afternoon, Graham took us on a journey back to Haydn’s last visit to London. In the style of his “Fantasy Analysis” of Brahms’ Intermezzo in A (Op. 118 no. 2), Graham analysed the Sonata in C, Hob. XVI/50 with a creative narrative to bring the music to life in an imaginative way.

Click here to view in your library if you purchased a ticket or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources.

Other Events & Resources

Click here to view a write-up of the other events, including a session on inventing exercises directly from pieces, a performance-lecture on the harpsichord and workshops on building speed and Baroque music followed by an online performance workshop.

The full programme and event details can be viewed here. All of the resources for the events for which you’ve purchased tickets are available under the events tab in your library. If you missed any of the events then you can still purchase access to the recordings and resources from the programme listing or from the events page on our store.


Piano Day Festival Write-Up (2)

In last weeks’ blog post we provided a write-up of a selection of the online events from our Piano Day 2021 festival (click here to view the initial write-ups). In this second instalment we bring you a write-up of the remaining events from the weekend.

Inventing Exercises from Your Pieces

On Saturday afternoon Graham Fitch explored the idea of inventing exercises directly from pieces as an alternative (or complement) to separate technical studies and exercises. Graham used various examples from his study editions featuring works by Burgmüller, Chopin, Debussy, Brahms and Ravel to show how this works and give ideas for creating your own exercises.

Piano day festival inventing exercises

Click here to view in your library if you purchased a ticket or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources.

Baroque Style

Pianists are often scared of playing baroque music. Am I allowed to use the pedal? How do I deal with all those fiddly ornaments? What about articulation and dynamics? Should I try and copy the sound of the harpsichord? 

These questions were addressed in two events focussing on the baroque style period. The first was a lecture-performance by twice grammy-nominated harpsichordist and conductor Jory Vinikour. In this intimate session, Jory showed the inner workings of the harpsichord and discussed various aspects of Baroque style alongside performing a delightful selection of works by Bach, Couperin, Rameau and Scarlatti.

Jory’s presentation also dispelled many myths held by pianists regarding the harpsichord, with several participants commenting on how surprised they were at the level of expression that it is capable of!

Piano Day festival baroque style

Graham Fitch then presented a follow-on workshop looking specifically at how one might apply the various aspects of the Baroque style on the piano. Graham drew upon his background as a harpsichord student and as a pianist to demonstrate how to play Baroque music stylistically and expressively.

The workshop recordings and resources are available via the following links:

  • Baroque Style & The Harpsichord – click here to view in your library or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources
  • Baroque Workshop for Pianists – click here to view in your library or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources

Getting Your Pieces up to Speed

In a revised version of our most popular workshop to date, Graham Fitch addressed one of the most common questions amongst pianists, namely how to build speed. The workshop featured a practical demonstration of various practice methods for developing speed. These were followed by break-out sessions in which participants could try the methods out on their own pieces.

Piano Day festival building speed

Click here to view in your library if you purchased a ticket or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources.

An Online Performance Workshop

The programme concluded with an online take on the traditional masterclass format. Six participants played a piece of their choice to an audience of observers who were treated to works by Beethoven, Pescetti, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Soler.

Graham then worked directly with each performer, providing them with feedback on style, technique, practice methods or help on any specific questions they had.

Click here to view in your library if you purchased an observer ticket, click here if you performed or click here to purchase access to the event recording and resources.


Although this was quite a substantial undertaking, we were thrilled with the response and feedback received from participants. We also received some fantastic suggestions for future sessions which we will be incorporating into our planning. Thank you to everyone who participated and supported this initiative – we hope to welcome you back at future events soon!

The full programme and event details can be viewed here. All of the resources for the events for which you’ve purchased tickets are available under the events tab in your library. If you missed any of the events then you can still purchase access to the recordings and resources from the programme listing or from the events page on our store.


A Piano Day in London

On Saturday 15th Jan we celebrated the Online Academy’s fifth birthday with a day of piano-themed events in central London at the delightful Fidelio Cafe. It was wonderful to meet many of our supporters in person for the first time in a while and we were also thrilled to be joined online by an audience from all over the globe! In this week’s blog post, we bring you a write-up and some video excerpts from the day’s events.

Performance workshop

Our programme kicked-off with a performance workshop facilitated by Graham Fitch. Five fabulous pianists performed a piece (or part thereof) of their choice and then worked with Graham on specific areas. The following works were featured:

  • Scarlatti – Sonata in D (Kp 443)  
  • Beethoven – Tempest Sonata (Op. 31 No. 2, 1st mvt)
  • Brahms – Capriccio in F-Sharp Minor (Op. 76 No. 1)
  • Rachmaninoff – Etude Tableau No. 2 in A minor (Op. 39)
  • Bortkiewicz – Etude from Trois Morceaux (Op. 6 No. 3)

A wide range of topics were covered across these pieces, from interpretation and creative a narrative through to tackling various technical challenges, with frequent discussions throughout on the use of the pedal and sound quality.

“Pedaling is an art you never come to the end of”

Bringing Baroque Music to Life

In the first of the afternoon’s “lecture-performances”, Graham looked at how Baroque music can be played expressively despite the scores having few (if any) dynamic, articulation or pedal markings. Using a Gavotte by Handel, Graham demonstrated creative approaches to articulation and then explored the question how and when to use the pedal. He also demonstrated the under-used technique of “finger pedalling” using Couperin’s Les Barricades Mystérieuses.

“The printed page only tells us part of the story…”

Further examples of works by Bach and Scarlatti were used to show how various factors such as dynamics, ornamentation, articulation and touch could be applied to deliver creative, stylistically appropriate performances of Baroque music on the piano.

The following excerpt from the full recording shows how Graham applies these elements to go beyond what’s provided in the score in the Allemande from Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, BWV 825:

Mozart Sonata in B-Flat Major (K333)

The next presentation featured a walk-through and commentary on Mozart’s Sonata in B-Flat Major. This turned out to be a particular hit with the audience, many of them having played it! Following from the previous session, Graham explored how touch, pedalling and dynamic variation could be used despite there being limited indications in the score and highlighted many of the work’s interesting features.

In this excerpt from his presentation, Graham shows how an overholding touch can be used instead of the pedal to create resonance and harmony:

Schubert’s Sonata in B-Flat Major (D960)

Rather fittingly, the day ended with a presentation on Schubert’s last sonata by Penelope Roskell. Penelope gave us some background context to the work, including how it is considered by some to be a swansong with beautiful melodies and harmonies often interrupted by ominous or somber motifs. After exploring various aspects of this monumental and complex work, the audience were treated to a performance of the first two movements!   

In this excerpt from her presentation, Penelope Roskell illustrates how the opening theme is interrupted with a trill on an unexpected note, giving the indication that this piece is not quite as serene as it might seem!

Many thanks to all of you who made the trip to London to attend or who supported us online. We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did and found it both inspiring and informative!

London Piano Weekend

Join us online or in person on 24th & 25th September 2022 for the first of our London Piano Courses taking place in our new studios in central London! This weekend course features a variety of presentations, performance workshops and several Q&A sessions. 

For those able to join us in London, it’s an ideal opportunity to get feedback on your playing, help with specific challenges and trouble spots, and general encouragement in a convenient central location.

If you aren’t able to participate in person, you can still learn and gain inspiration from observing the sessions online. There will also be opportunities to ask questions via chat during various sessions and in advance for the Practice Q&A. The sessions will be streamed and all participants will receive high-definition recordings of them after the event.

Click here to find out more and to book your place!


Free Online Event on Piano Day

The 29th of March is the 88th day of the year and we celebrated Piano Day 2022 by hosting a free online event featuring a revised version of one of our most popular online workshops. We will also be offering other specials on a selection of our resources.

Graham Fitch presents free online event

Fundamentals of Piano Practice

In this online workshop Graham Fitch demonstrated his tried and tested methods and strategies for learning pieces and practising more effectively. Based on his eBook series and original practice tools workshops, the workshop covered the following:

  • How to analyse your piece: Before embarking on note learning, you will need some sort of a map of the terrain. Analysis does not have to be academic or dry – we will explore a few different and creative approaches to gain a clear overview of the shape and structure of the music
  • The importance of a good fingering: To assist with the process of automation (muscle memory) planning the fingering is essential. However, the printed fingering is a suggestion only so we will be covering some of the principles of fingering and how to choose the fingering that fits your hand.
  • Using “The Three S’s” in day-to-day practice: How to apply the principles of “Slowly”, “Separately”, and “Sections” to achieve real results from your practice session.
  • Deep-learning techniques: Many players apply a superficial repeated play-through approach in their practice, creating frustration when things do not improve. Liszt advised us to “make haste slowly”, and in this segment we will explore some aspects of deliberate, methodical practice that are absorbing and creative, and that yield permanent results.
  • The two practice states: Practising is a mindful process involving self-diagnosis and an understanding of how to apply the practice tools at every stage. When we prepare for a performance there is a different focus, where non-stop run-throughs become part of our training. 

If you missed this event then you can still obtain access to the recording and resources by signing-up to our newsletter!

About Our Online Events

Originally started at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, our online events programme has proven to be an incredibly popular complement to our various digital resources. To date, hundreds of pianists and teachers from over thirty countries have participated in a range of events on topics including sight-reading, performing, preparing for examinations, technique and many more!

If you’d like to get a taste of some of the content, this extract from a workshop from one of our workshops on playing faster shows how to apply chaining techniques to the Allegro of the first movement of Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata:

Further extracts from workshops can be viewed on our YouTube channel here and a listing of our past events is available here. If you haven’t yet participated in one of our online workshops and would like to do so, then this is the perfect chance to try one out. Click here to book your free place!

What Participants Say

Here’s what some of our participants have had to say about our online events and workshops:

“Excellent format and content, appropriate number of people and expertly demonstrated – I thoroughly enjoyed the session.”

“I had ready Graham’s books on practice, but it was great to be reminded of the key principles in a way that was focused, allowed questions and made me feel like a member of an engaged community of piano learners.”

“I enjoyed this workshop very much even though I had to be up at 6 AM! I am a member of Practising the Piano Online Academy and I have the eBooks but I always learn a bit more each time I review the materials or view a presentation!”

“The practical advice and very specific examples regarding effective practice. It’s great to not only hear about the principles but to be guided through sample applications.”

“Graham’s pedagogy is thorough and the scope of the content is as wide as it is deep.”

“I am very grateful for these events. That way, people who are not able to travel can benefit from the knowledge of a great teacher as well!”

“I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to using these newly gained tools in my piano practice.”

“I am very glad I have attended the Practice Tools workshop. I really liked the fact that Graham was going through any questions that we were posting in the chat in between his presentation slides.”

“The best part of the workshops was where Graham answered our questions when we needed clarification.”

“The clarity of Graham’s teaching and being able to watch his demonstrations so clearly and in such detail was fantastic.”

“I hope there will be more events like this in the future. I also found the combination with the materials on the Online Academy to be very beneficial.”


Piano Day 2023 Events & Offers

The 29th of March is Piano Day 2023 and we’re celebrating with a free presentation by Penelope Roskell on her approach and resources followed by a live performance session hosted by Graham Fitch.

Piano Day 2023 with Penelope Roskell & Graham Fitch

Introduction to the Roskell Approach

29 March @ 16:00 BST / GMT + 1 – 17:00

Piano Day 2023 - Penelope Roskell

In this free streamed presentation you can learn more about Penelope Roskell’s approach to piano technique. Penelope will also discuss some of her resources including her book, The Complete Pianist, her online course for teachers and her new books for children. Please use the following form to sign-up to our mailing list and receive joining instructions for this event:

Performance Event

29 March @ 18:30 BST / GMT + 1 – 20:30

In this special performance event, several pianists will perform a work of their choice (or part thereof) for Graham Fitch and an audience of online and in-person observers. Each participant will have up to six minutes to perform following which Graham will give brief feedback on their performance, including observations on style, interpretation, practice suggestions or general encouragement and support.

The works featured are likely to include include Janacek’s Piano Sonata 1.X.1905, selections from Schumann’s Carnaval, Sonata movements by Haydn & Beethoven, Debussy’s La Puerta del Vino and an original composition! Online tickets cost £20 (£12 for Online Academy subscribers) and can be purchased here.

Both events will be recorded and everyone signed-up will receive access to the recordings once they have been edited after the event. Therefore if you can’t join us live you will still be able to watch the recordings at your convenience thereafter!

Special Offers

In addition to these events, we will also be offering discounts on a selection of our eBooks, editions, courses, workshops and video bundles. Please use the following form to sign-up to our mailing list to receive notifications when these specials become available.


A Piano Day Celebration! – Practising the Piano

Wednesday 29th of March was Piano Day 2023 and we celebrated with two special events and discounts on a selection of some of our most popular resources for pianists and teachers!

A free online presentation

The first event of the day was a free online presentation by Penelope Roskell on her approach to piano technique and her various resources. Penelope also shared some information on new projects including the Roskell Academy which offers support to pianists and teachers in using her approach.

If you missed this event, you can still sign-up to our mailing list to get access to the recording using this form:

Penelope Roskell Piano Day Presentation

Performance & feedback event

The next event was a performance workshop hosted by Graham Fitch in which we were treated to some fabulous performances of works including Janacek’s Piano Sonata 1.X.1905, selections from Schumann’s Carnaval, Ravel’s Forlane, Debussy’s La Puerta del Vino and an original composition. Graham then gave each performer feedback on their playing and general encouragement!

The following video is an excerpt from the event recording:

If you missed this event, you can still purchase a ticket for access to the recordings here.

Special offers

In addition to these events, we’re also be offering discounts on a selection of our eBooks, editions, courses, workshops and video bundles for a limited time. Please use the following form to sign-up to our mailing list and receive further details!