Getting Your Pieces up to Speed

10 Jul 2024 @ 16:00 BST (GMT +01:00)

Many pianists can get their pieces up to a certain speed, but there appears to be a ceiling beyond which they cannot go. As the tempo increases, so the playing falls apart and loses all sense of flow - added to which the hands and arms seize up, buckling under the strain. In this online workshop, Graham Fitch used a selection of pieces from elementary to advanced levels to demonstrate effective ways to move them from an initial, slow learning speed up to full performance tempo.

What you will learn

  • Prerequisite steps for laying the foundations for fast playing at the note learning stages
  • A better method for building speed than the traditional “incremental metronome” approach
  • Avoiding common pitfalls that can prevent you from reaching the full performance tempo
  • How to use a selection of tried-and tested tools to increase speed while retaining the feeling of coordination and control from slower tempos
  • Ways to maintain speed and accuracy in old repertoire

The material will be useful for pianists from late elementary levels and upwards in addition to piano teachers.

How it works

The workshop is divided up into a set of topics with an introductory presentation for each followed by a “breakout” session in which you will be able to test out the concepts presented and associated exercises in the privacy of your own home. A worksheet with short repertoire extracts at various levels will be provided, but you can use your own pieces if preferred. Graham will be on stand-by to give assistance during the breakout sessions which will then be followed by a group discussion and Q&A.

In this extract from a recording of a previous session, Graham shows how to apply chaining techniques to the Allegro of the first movement of the Pathétique Sonata of Beethoven:

This event is a repeat of one of the most popular workshops from our Piano Day 2021 Festival. The material will be largely similar to that of the original session, but you may be interested in attending even if you have done so previously. Many participants find that they get more out of repeat sessions, hearing the same concepts covered with different examples and questions arising from the Q&A. Furthermore, because it is a practical workshop, you may also want to apply the exercises and concepts to new pieces or ask questions that have arisen after the initial session!

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