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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

Fanfarinette and La Triomphante (from Suite in A minor)

Trinity College - Grade 8

Jean-Philippe Rameau was an important composer and theorist of the High Baroque. He wrote three books of very fine pieces for harpsichord - Fanfarinette and La Triomphante come from the Suite in A minor (third book), and are examples of character pieces with descriptive or fanciful titles typical of the... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Rameau

No. 2 from Kinderstücke (Op. 72)

Trinity College - Grade 7

Mendelssohn wrote his set of six Children’s Pieces, op. 72 for his young relatives during his summer holiday to England in 1842. No. 2, an andante sostenuto in the key of E flat, close in spirit to the composer’s many Songs without Words, features a lyrical melody in the right... Read >>


Allegro molto (3rd movement from Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:50)

Trinity College - Grade 7

This is the last movement of the so-called “English” Sonata in C, inspired by the powerful and resonant Broadwood pianos Haydn encountered on a visit to London in the 1790s. The music is full of humour and lightness of spirit, requiring a sense of comic timing, clarity of texture and... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Haydn

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

Rigaudon

Trinity College - Grade 2

A rigaudon is a lively French baroque dance. Telemann’s energetic example, set for Trinity Grade 2, contains plenty of springy rhythms and colour. In this video, I look at how to use simple five-finger patterns to develop the skills involved in playing the piece - forearm staccato and combined touches... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Telemann

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

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

Allegro Assai (1st movement from Sonata in A major, Wq 55 no. 4)

Trinity College - Grade 8

CPE Bach’s Sonata in A is full of invention and makes a great alternative to the standard Haydn or Mozart repertoire. Full of contrasts in dynamics and texture, it demands a lot of technical control and precision. In this walkthrough, I look at how CPE Bach embellishes some of the... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces CPE Bach

Minuet in D major, K. 355

Trinity College - Grade 7

Mozart’s Minuet in D, K. 355 features chromaticism that is surprising even to our ears (imagine what it must have sounded like to the listener of the day!). The piece is conceived as an ensemble piece for string trio, and we need to have this sound in our ear as... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces WA Mozart

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

Intermezzo in B minor (Op. 119 No. 1)

Trinity College - Grade 8

In 1893, Brahms wrote his last work for the piano, a set of four piano pieces, op. 119. The Intermezzo in B minor is the first piece of the set. As a composition it is full of riches, arousing keen interest in composers and scholars (including Arnold Schoenberg) as they... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Brahms

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

Sonata in G Major

Trinity College - Grade 3

Here is an opportunity for the developing player to explore various possibilities for touch and articulation. In this short sonata there are also several technical challenges to overcome, including jumps, rotary freedom, delicate grace notes.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Learning pieces Scarlatti

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

Waltz in E Minor (Op. Posth.)

Chopin’s brilliant Waltz in E minor is justly popular with pianists entering the advanced level. This From the Ground Up edition helps students to lay a solid musical and technical foundation for learning the piece efficiently and quickly, with particular attention given to using rhythmic practice to solve technical challenges.... Read >>


Ken Johansen Learning pieces Chopin