Playing Softly, Keeping Going & More…

Our biggest ever online events programme kicks off on Friday 26th March. We will be providing further information on the various events in the run-up, starting a showcase of an initial selection from the programme.

In these sessions, William Westney demystifies the technique of playing softly, Ken Johansen shows how to keep going no matter what when sight-reading and Graham Fitch takes us back to Haydn’s visit to London!

Please see further details for each event below or click here to view the full programme. Click here if you haven’t attended one of our online events before and would like to find out more about how they work.  

William westney Graham Fitch and Ken Johansen

Keeping Going, No Matter What!

Friday 26th March @ 15:00 – 17:00 GMT

In sight-reading, we are often told to maintain a steady pulse and keep going, no matter what happens. But when confronted with confusing-looking rhythms, technical difficulties, and other challenges, it can be difficult to keep our rhythm regular and accurate.

In this online workshop, Ken Johansen shows how to find a suitable tempo in sight-reading, keep the beat going even in challenging circumstances, and how to avoid common rhythmic inaccuracies. We’ll discuss several techniques that help us to find and solve rhythmic difficulties before we play, so that our sight-reading will be more comfortable and successful from the first reading.

Examples will be drawn from all levels of difficulty, from easy to advanced, including several pieces from the Read Ahead curriculum, as well as a preview of Part 4 of the Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum, soon to be added to the Online Academy. Click here to book your place.

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

Friday 26th March @ 17:30 – 18:45 GMT

Although it may seem like a simple matter, playing softly can be one of the trickier aspects of pianism – especially if we go about it timidly or by simply “retreating” from the keyboard.

In this online workshop, William Westney discusses one of his favourite topics: demystifying the technique of piano / pianissimo dynamics and finding a satisfying, reliable approach that sounds and feels good! Click here to book your place.

Haydn’s C Major “English” Sonata – A Fantasy Analysis

Saturday 27th March @ 14:30 – 16:00 GMT

In the style of his “Fantasy Analysis” of Brahms’ Intermezzo in A, op 118 no 2, Graham Fitch takes us on a journey back to Haydn’s last visit to London. The English pianos were new to Haydn and inspired him to create brand new sounds and textures in his late compositions.

In this online presentation, Graham analyses the Sonata in C, Hob. XVI/50 with a creative narrative to bring the music to life in an imaginative way. Click here to book your place.

Weekend Pass – Save 20%!

Click here to save 20% by purchasing a combined ticket for all ten events! Online Academy subscribers are also entitled to a further 40% discount on this special price (a saving of £120!). 


Bach, Schubert, Pedalling & Playing Softly –

Our latest Practice Clinic recording features answers to questions on playing softly in the left hand, practising a Bach Invention, pedalling in a piece by Maikapar and tackling some of the challenges in the 1st movement of Schubert’s monumental last sonata.

Schubert Sonata in B-flat Major D960

Practice clinic questions

How to play the left hand softly – Can you give some tips for achieving balance between the hands, particularly when the left hand has the accompaniment and needs to be softer than the right?

Bach Invention No. 1 in C Major, BWV772 – What is the relationship between the left hand and right hand and how does one practise to make each motif clear? Should I play both hands and try to hear the hand that has the motif at any time?

Samuil Maikapar At the Smithy, Op. 8 No. 5 – Could you please advise me on the pedalling for the piece? The IMSLP and ABRSM editions have different pedal markings!

Schubert Sonata No. 21 in B-flat major, D960 (1st mvt) – How should I go about playing the melody legato in the first theme? Should I do as much with my fingers as possible, sometimes doing 4-5 or 5-4 changes on the higher note? Or can I let go and allow the pedal to take care of that? Some passages, if performed as written can be challenging, especially in the right hand 4th beats in quavers despite the tempo being relatively slow. Also, I’d be very grateful if you can offer some advice on how to perform the left hand pianissimo trill! 

Next practice clinic & new format

Going forward, our practice clinics are no longer taking place on Facebook live but are rather pre-recorded and published alongside our regular blog posts. Our next clinic will be published on the 19th of October. Please sign-up to our mailing list here for updates on future practice clinic dates and to receive links to the recordings when they become available.

Watch previous clinics

Recordings of past practice clinics are posted up on our blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel once recorded and you can also view our full archive of previous events via these platforms.

How they work?

Further information on how our practice clinics work is available here or please click here to find out more about the Online Academy.

Online Academy subscribers can submit questions for practice clinics up to two weeks before each session. This can be done using the link provided on the Online Academy dashboard under “subscription benefits” (click here to sign-in and visit your dashboard).

Further information on how our practice clinics work is available here or please click here to find out more about the Online Academy.