The Musicians’ Union (MU) have launched a new website for pianists, piano teachers, students and piano lovers everywhere. AllAboutPiano focuses on all aspects of piano teaching and playing, and has been developed by the MU and publishers 1Hub Media, with support from Faber Music, EPTA UK and a host of other partners.
The site will feature resources, articles, videos, information about events, and special offers on sheet music and books as well as instruments. There will be an AllAboutPiano directory of key organisations, and as the site develops and evolves other benefits such as free membership packages will also be available.
The MU is calling for piano teachers and pianists to register; during the first month (March) the AllAboutPiano website will feature teaching tips, practice advice and repertoire from across the piano community.
A piano portal community such as this is a great idea, and it will hopefully provide lots of relevant information; I look forward to watching its development over the next year.
My contribution to the site’s launch consists of the following three videos. Shot in January at Jaques Samuel Pianos in London, they focus on three facets of technique: ornaments, octaves and thumbs. I hope you find them of interest.
Many find the addition of ornaments (to a piece), cumbersome; they can disturb the pulse and can be difficult to play evenly and with clear articulation. In this video, I have suggested a few different ways to practise, which will hopefully instigate finger strength and agility.
Whilst the interval of an octave can seem a large ‘reach’ for some, it is possible to feel more relaxed and comfortable with the hand in this out-stretched position. This video presents a few ideas for keeping flexible and for developing the necessary strength and control required to play octaves without any strain.
It’s easy to forget that thumbs play an important role in piano playing. In this video, I offer a few practice tips to get the thumb moving, encouraging it to work to its fully capacity, aiding rapid passagework and general keyboard dexterity.
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.