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Quarantine-Spots

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If you have spots in your pieces that regularly break down you’re going to need to identify them and isolate these sections so you can do some quality, systematic practice on them. This process I call quarantining, and each extract... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Invention in D Minor No. 4 (BWV 775)

Bach's Inventions (in two parts) and the Sinfonias (in three parts) were written for the Bach’s eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann and are played throughout the world by intermediate players and concert artists alike. This video walkthrough and article shows how to use quarantining and other practice tools to approach two... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Bach

Teaching & Developing Sight-Reading Skills

Sight-reading an interesting piece of music is like meeting an interesting person. We enjoy the pleasure of a new encounter, sense perhaps a mutual affinity, and look forward to a deeper acquaintance. This series of articles provides exercises and music aimed at developing confidence in playing at sight and enhancing... Read >>


Spread Chords

Spread (or rolled, ripped, broken or arpeggiated) chords are simply chords where we play one note after the other, rather than playing all the notes simultaneously. Although this sounds relatively straightforward, there are questions and problems associated with spreading chords which this series of articles will seek to address.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Performing

Slow Practice

If you’re serious about playing the piano, there’s no getting away from slow practice. It is a cornerstone of our work from the beginner stages right through to the advanced level, and a practice tool also used by professional pianists and seasoned virtuosos all the time. In this section, ... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Separate Practice

Learning a complex piece each hand alone before putting the hands together is a strategy favoured by the majority of piano teachers. While it is of course possible to practise a fugue hands separately, this misses the point. Rather than working hands separately, I advocate strands separately (playing each line... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

ABRSM Exam Resources

This series contains resources and further links to other resources featuring the ABRSM syllabus and is designed for elementary level players, young musicians and their teachers. Articles in this series provide step-by-step (or phrase-by-phrase) approaches to learning a pieces thoroughly and securely, offer practice exercises to help solve technical problems... Read >>


Graham Fitch Performing Examinations

Prelude in B Minor (Op. 28 No. 6)

ABRSM Grade 6 - B2

Chopin’s dark, somber Prélude in B minor is much more difficult to play than it looks. This video demonstrates how to approach this piece technically and musically with particular attention to the pedalling which requires a lot of thought... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Chopin

25 Easy and Progressive Etudes

(Op. 100)

Burgmüller’s 25 Easy and Progressive Etudes, Op. 100 have been a mainstay of elementary étude repertoire for many generations - and deservedly so. I cannot imagine any young pianist or elementary player who would not immediately engage with, or benefit from learning them. This series of videos will provide walkthroughs... Read >>


The Practice Tools Lecture Series

Without an understanding how to approach practising the piano, day-to-day practice can often be unfocussed and unproductive. In this series of video lectures, I identify and explore various practice tools that will help pianists of any level get the most out of their time spent practising.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Sostenuto in E flat

ABRSM Grade 5 – B1

Chopin's Sostenuto in E flat or Waltz in E flat was discovered as recently as 1941, by the Director of the Paris Conservatoire, Dr. Jacques Chailley. There are precious few works of Chopin that are suitable for the intermediate level pianist, so Grade V candidates will be extremely happy to... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Chopin

A Guide to the Trinity College Piano Syllabus

This series features video demonstrations of a selection of pieces from Trinity College London’s 2018 - 2020 piano examination syllabus, with examples from each grade from Initial to 8. You will find plenty of tips for practice, as well as suggestions for piano teachers, and guidance on matters relating to... Read >>


Graham Fitch Performing Examinations

Prelude in D Minor

BWV 935

Bach's Prelude in D minor, BWV 935, is a perfect introduction to the two-part Inventions, and a little gem in its own right. In this From the Ground Up edition, we work on developing an overall dynamic scheme for the piece, and on achieving rhythmic vitality through note grouping.... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces Bach

Elgar - Andantino (First movement from Sonatina)

Trinity College - Grade 4

Here we find the first movement of a two-movement sonatina that Elgar wrote for his niece. It is song-like and gently expressive, calling for sensitivity in shaping phrases and timing larger melodic intervals. The Andantino demands careful listening in the balancing of the hands, the accompanying left hand, while quieter,... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Elgar

Camidge - Scherzando (Second movement from Sonata no. 1 in G major)

Trinity College - Grade 5

Matthew Camidge's Scherzando in G is a worthy example of Classical period music, a light-natured piece full of melodic embellishments, opportunities for variety in phrase shaping, articulation and dynamic colouring. In this video I demonstrate solutions for the fast repeated notes we find in the B section, and show how... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Camidge

Practical Psychology for Teaching and Learning

Based on lectures from the Piano Teachers' Course, this set of video lectures provide psychological insight and understanding, and practical tips, to help piano teachers with their pupils.... Read >>


Lucinda Mackworth-Young Teaching

Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major (BWV 825)

This set of resources provides walkthroughs for movements from Bach's Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major (BWV 825) featured in the ABRSM examination syllabus. Menuets I and II (ABRSM Grade 6) make a beautiful contrasting pair of dances whereas the Gigue (ABRSM Grade 7) is unusual among Bach’s Gigues -... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Bach

Arietta

Lyric Pieces, Op. 12, No. 1

Edvard Grieg’s Arietta, the first of his many Lyric Pieces, is a miniature gem of great refinement and poetry. This From the Ground Up edition helps intermediate to advanced students to understand and communicate its expression, while learning some practice methods that can be applied to many other pieces as... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces Grieg

Bruch - Moderato from Sechs Klavierstücke (Op. 12, No. 4)

ABRSM Grade 6 – B1

Max Bruch’s delightful Moderato from Sechs Klavierstücke (Op. 12, No. 4 ) is set for ABRSM Grade 6, list B. In this video I demonstrate in detail the techniques of quick cover, springboarding and selective landing to assist you in mastering the LH jumps so that you can focus on... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Bruch

Diabelli - Moderato Cantabile (from Sonatina in F major, Op. 168 No. 1)

Trinity College - Grade 5 (Alternative)

The first movement (Moderato) of Diabelli’s appealing Sonatina in F is a model of sonata form in miniature, an ideal way to teach form and structure to the intermediate pianist. In this video I demonstrate the art of finger pedalling in the left hand alberti patterns and show how to... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Diabelli

Waltz in A minor

Trinity College - Grade 4

Grieg’s Waltz in A minor is full of character and contrasts, and not without its challenges - especially concerning how to use the pedal. In this video I show how to organise the pedalling in order to make some of the joins possible without covering over Grieg’s slurs and staccato... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Grieg

Allegro (from Fantasia no. 1 in D major)

Trinity College - Grade 6

Georg Philipp Telemann's Fantasia in D major, on Trinity’s Grade 6 alternative syllabus, is a worthy piece and a lot of fun to play. This video shows some of the principles involved in making decisions regarding dynamics, articulation, touch and expression and looks at several options for interpretation based on... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Telemann

Allegretto (from The London Sketchbook, K. 15hh)

Trinity College - Grade 4

Mozart was 8 years old on a trip to London when he wrote this charming little Allegretto in F major in minuet-style, with a trio section in the minor. The video demonstrates how to use quarantine practice for difficult spots, and how to apply bar-by-bar chaining for secure learning. Various... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces WA Mozart

Reger - Versöhnung (Reconciliation) (No. 20 from Aus der Jugendzeit, op. 17)

Trinity College - Grade 6

Max Reger’s Versöhnung (Reconciliation) demands from the player a vivid imagination, the ability to tell a story in sound. This delightful late Romantic piece describes a character asking someone to be their friend again after a disagreement – pleading, commiserating and even dancing to win back their affection. In the... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Reger

From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up is a series devoted to learning individual pieces using outlines and reduced scores that help you to practise more effectively, memorize more consciously, and interpret music more creatively.... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces

*** (Album for the Young No. 30)

The 30th piece in Schumann’s Album for the Young is one of the composer’s most intimate and tender short pieces, full of harmonic and contrapuntal refinement. Although it is technically accessible to intermediate pianists, it is musically rewarding for more advanced players as well. This From the Ground Up edition... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces Schumann

Read Ahead - Level 3

Sightreading for the Modern Musician

Read Ahead is an exciting new program that helps piano students to improve their sight-reading ability. This unique curriculum is based on an extensive collection of carefully ordered compositions with related exercises and quizzes that help students develop the mental and tactile skills necessary for fluent sight-reading. This section features Level... Read >>


The Art of Piano Fingering

A thorough understanding of the principles of good fingering is a vital basis for good piano playing. Without comfortable, musically appropriate fingerings, we can waste hours of practice time trying to remedy a problem which could have been averted much earlier. In this series of articles, author Penelope Roskell... Read >>


Penelope Roskell Technique Fingering

Technical Exercises and Regimes

This section provides an introduction to what will ultimately be an extensive library of technical exercises and provides an overview of exercise regimens for aspects of playing such as warm-ups, finger exercises, chord playing, octaves, double notes, repeated notes and trills.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Technique Exercises

Von fremden Ländern und Menschen

Kinderszenen, Op. 15, no. 1

Schumann’s Von fremden Länder und Menschen (Of Foreign Lands and People), the first piece of his Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood), is a poetic evocation of the dream-like world of children. In this article, the three strands of the music — melody, bass, and accompaniment — are studied individually before being... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces Schumann

Intermediate Scales & Arpeggios

Pianists at the intermediate level should know all major and minor scales (one form of minor), and all major and minor arpeggios in root position. There are several scale manuals available, but this manual is different in that it offers exercises and suggestions for practice, together with short, easy-to-use video... Read >>


Anyone Can Improvise!

Dedicated to helping everyone play the music they love and long to play, Lucinda Mackworth-Young introduces her step-by-step system for learning to play by ear and improvise, so that even classically trained piano players can play spontaneously, anywhere, anytime - and say “Yes!” when asked to play Happy Birthday!... Read >>


Lucinda Mackworth-Young Performing Improvisation

Solfeggietto in C Minor

H220 Wq177:2

The term “solfeggietto” means an exercise, or little study. This much-loved little piece is a study in evenness of tempo and touch, but it is also a study in composition (how a piece of music may be constructed from the simplest of ideas). This series of videos provides an introduction... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces CPE Bach

Two Short Pieces

This series features two popular short pieces by William Alwyn, The Sun is Setting and The Sea is Angry which are both ideal for the intermediate level.... Read >>


An Overview of the Practice Tools

This series of articles serves as an introduction to Graham Fitch’s practice tools, including how to approach a new piece and the Three Ss.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Mastering Polyrhythms

A polyrhythm (sometimes referred to as a cross rhythm) is the effect produced when two conflicting rhythms are played together and can prove very challenging indeed! This series of articles will help you tackle them in various ratios, starting with the simplest: two-against-three (2:3) or three-against-two (3:2).... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising

Skeleton Practice

This series of articles will describe how to deconstruct a score and use skeleton practice by way of a number of examples. New articles and examples will be added on an ongoing basis therefore please do watch this space!... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Healthy Piano Playing

Piano playing is a deeply satisfying artistic activity, but it can also be very demanding physically on our arms and hands. Just as elite athletes understand and care for their bodies, so should pianists think carefully about their approach to playing and practising. A healthy piano technique not only avoids... Read >>


Penelope Roskell Technique Healthy playing

Mazurkas

This section contains walk-throughs and lessons on Chopin's Mazurkas, starting with the Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Chopin

Hanon

There have always been first-rate concert pianists at the top of the profession who swear by Hanon’s exercises and practise them daily e.g. Sergei Rachmaninov. Then there are also many piano teachers who condemn five-finger exercises as not only a waste of time but also contrary to a holistic and... Read >>


Graham Fitch Technique Exercises