Browse online piano courses, available exclusively on tonebase Piano.

Browse tonebase Piano's expansive library of online piano courses, featuring piano instructors such as Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and more.
Select a course difficulty:
Or filter by course type:
Arpeggios: From Beginner to Virtuoso

Taught by 

Dominic Cheli

In this course, Dominic Cheli will guide you through the basics of playing arpeggios at 1-octave, to developing speed, accuracy and relaxation in virtuoso 4-octave arpeggios.

All Levels

 | 

Skills

Chopin: Mazurkas

Taught by 

Jarred Dunn

Jarred Dunn presents a comprehensive guide to Chopin's Mazurkas. In this course, he discusses how to interpret the mazurkas, historical context and the hidden dances, as well as style, expression and lessons on specific mazurkas.

All levels

 | 

Repertoire

Repeated Notes: From Beginner to Virtuoso

Taught by 

Claire Huangci

In this course, Claire Huangci teaches how to play repeated notes starting with 1 finger all the way to using all 5. She teaches how to balance speed with power and the correct way to use the finger, wrist and arm.

All levels

 | 

Skills

Rhythm: From Beginner to Advanced

Taught by 

Ben Laude

In this course, Ben Laude teaches the fundamentals of rhythm and meter starting with the basics of note values and time signatures, leading to complex polyrhythms, syncopations and how to feel rhythm at its core.

All levels

 | 

Skills

Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30

Taught by 

Garrick Ohlsson

In this six-lesson course, Garrick Ohlsson sets out to demystify the work’s technical challenges and reveal the economy of means underlying the seemingly infinite surface of notes.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Rachmaninoff: Style & Symbolism

Taught by 

Nikolai Lugansky

Famed Rachmaninoff interpreter Nikolai Lugansky shares a course exploring the ideas that fired the composer’s (very active) imagination.

All levels

 | 

Repertoire

Four Piano Concertos

Taught by 

Boris Giltburg

The name “Rachmaninoff” has become synonymous with the passion, pathos, and power of the composer’s music. Nowhere are these qualities more on display than in Rachmaninoff’s music for piano and orchestra. In this series, Ben Laude sits down at the piano with one of today’s leading Rachmaninoff exponents Boris Giltburg for an engrossing deep dive into Rachmaninoff’s breathtaking tetralogy of piano concertos.

All levels

 | 

Repertoire

Sound, Structure, and Technique

Taught by 

Vadym Kholodenko

Join 2013 Cliburn Competition Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodekno as he shares the insights of his illustrious teacher at the Moscow Conservatory, the late Vera Gornostaeva. Kholodekno is one of a whole generation of pianists who emerged from Gornostaeva's studio and found international success.<br><br>In this lesson, he identifies three core principles Gornostaeva stressed to her pupils. The most important was sound. There is no single way of playing that can achieve a beautiful sound, nor is the category of "beautiful sound" helpful. Rather, there are specific sounds pianists must create in order to realize their expressive intention.<br><br>These expressive intentions are expanded to the realm of structure, which Gornostaeva understood as an attunement to the rhythmic unfolding of a work. Lastly, technical considerations are never addressed in the abstract, but only made when solving musical problems. Kholodenko demonstrates each principle in turn, using examples from Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and Scriabin.

Advanced

 | 

Skills

Caténaires

Taught by 

Ursula Oppens

Join five-time Grammy nominee Ursula Oppens for an illuminating lesson on Elliott Carter’s most popular piano work, Caténaires ("chains"). Anyone attempting to master this thorny, single-minded modernist work will need expert insights, and Oppens is ideally equipped to help untangle the difficulties: her 2009 Grammy nomination was for a recording of Carter’s complete piano works.<br><br>In the lesson, Oppens begins with a look at the work’s origins and stylistic influences, showing Carter’s interest in jazz and the classical canon, in particular Caténaires’ connection to the tradition of piano études stretching from Chopin to Debussy to Ligeti. These contextual insights are followed by practical tips on achieving consistent non-legato articulation, choosing a tempo, slow practice, and redistribution.<br><br>Oppens also sheds light on the structure of the piece, walking you through each section so you never feel lost in the ceaseless stream of sixteenth-notes. By delving into Carter’s unexpectedly slow harmonic changes (through an obsessive emphasis on various sets of pitches), use of different registers, and unrealistic dynamic markings, Oppens shows how Carter demarcates different sections, creates narrative flow, and arrives at climactic moments.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

The Pleasures of Contemporary Music: Ursula Oppens in Conversation

Taught by 

Ursula Oppens

American pianist Ursula Oppens is one of the foremost interpreters of contemporary music of the past half-century, having worked closely with the likes of Elliott Carter, Frederic Rzewski, and Conlon Nancarrow, among others. Join Oppens as she discusses the joys and challenges of contemporary music with tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude. The first part of the discussion centers around Elliott Carter, whose complete piano music can be heard in Oppens' recent GRAMMY-nominated album "Oppens Plays Carter." The conversation expands from there, touching on the benefits contemporary music study brings to all-around musicianship, the innovations in timbre and meter in 20th-century music, and the often misunderstood democratic ideals embedded in contemporary music aesthetics.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052

Taught by 

Simone Dinnerstein

In this introduction to the series Realizing Bach, American pianist Simone Dinnerstein lays out the challenges faced by the pianist when interpreting Bach's D Minor Keyboard Concerto, BWV 1052. Dinnerstein's solo investigation into the possibilities of articulation, tone, and phrasing culminates in a collaboration with members of the string ensemble Baroklyn. Through their insights, Dinnerstein is able to resolve the problems posed in her initial investigation, and realize a compelling interpretation of Bach's concerto on modern instruments.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire,Skills

Album for the Young Op. 68

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

Join Seymour Bernstein as he presents some of his favorite pieces from Schumann's popular Album for the Young, Op. 68. In this introduction, Bernstein shows off his good luck charm: a tea kettle that once belonged to Robert and Clara Schumann.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Für Elise

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

Join Seymour Bernstein as he guides you through 'probably the most popular piano piece ever written': Für Elise. In his lesson, Bernstein offers detailed practical advice on the opening page for students approaching it for the first time.<br><br>The key to achieving a warm legato in the first phrase is rotation, Bernstein stresses, which begins by slightly lifting the finger but is supported by the wrist and forearm. Bernstein also clarifies how to interpret Beethoven's dynamics and pedal markings, which is crucial to producing an idiomatic sound.<br><br>Bernstein then delves into the much-neglected remaining sections of the work, providing technical and musical tips as well as an analysis of the form and character of the work as a whole. He finishes with a full performance.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Prelude in E Minor Op. 28 No. 4

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

Join Seymour Bernstein as he re-introduces you to one of Chopin's most popular and tragic works, the E Minor Prelude, Op. 28 No. 4. In this in-depth lesson, Bernstein not only demonstrates the physical mechanics necessary to realize your expressive intentions in this work, he reveals how the Prelude contains information crucial to your general development as a pianist.<br><br>After performing the work, Bernstein deals with the opening melodic line, showing how to properly execute a two note slur so that it cries with Chopin. The first phrase demonstrates Chopin's predilection for chromatic harmony, and Bernstein helps you navigate the left hand chords while reminding you to stay within the proper metrical framework, 'alla breve.'<br><br>While the interpretation is ultimately up to you, there are some aspects of the music that are set in stone. Bernstein, referring to the original manuscript, draws your attention to Chopin's placement of "hairpins," before revealing a discovery he made about their proper interpretation. According to Brahms and Fanny Mendelssohn, hairpins indicate not only a swell in dynamics but rhythmic flexibility as well.<br><br>Bernstein moves on to discuss Bach's influence on Chopin, as evinced by the four-part chorale texture that pervades the work, and demonstrates how to properly voice the individual notes of a chord. Finally, he shows you how to properly balance the two hands to achieve an effective crescendo.<br><br>These insights aren't only intended to enhance your playing but to develop your emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being as a human being.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Prelude in E Minor Op. 28 No. 4

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

In this video, Seymour Bernstein performs one of Chopin's most popular and tragic works, the E Minor Prelude, Op. 28 No. 4. Despite its small dimensions, this prelude contains a world of deeply pained emotion. Its melody seems trapped, an endless series of sighs, interrupted by a single passionate outburst, and underpinned by endlessly sinking chromatic harmonies. For more insights, watch Bernstein's lesson on this piece.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Minuet in G, K. 1e

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

In this video, Seymour Bernstein performs Mozart's first-ever composition, a Minuet in G written at age four. Even with a genius like Mozart, you might expect such an early work to be rudimentary – but no, it's flawlessly constructed and very endearing.<br><br>It follows the typical minuet structure: ABA form consisting of a series of perfectly regular eight-bar phrases, each repeated.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Keyboard Choreography

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

In this five-part course, celebrated pedagogue Seymour Bernstein introduces and demonstrates the elementary techniques required to play the piano with ease and avoid injury, as elaborated upon in his book "20 Lessons in Keyboard Choreography."

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Jack's First Piano Lesson

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

In this pedagogy demonstration, Seymour Bernstein gives a model of an adult amateur's first piano lesson. His student is Jack Desrosier, a college student studying violin. Seymour shows Jack the step-pattern for constructing major scales at the keyboard, revealing the simple fingering rules and choreographic principles for playing them.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

On Pedagogy

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

Join legendary pedagogue Seymour Bernstein for a fascinating and funny interview and lesson on Beethoven, hosted by tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude.<br><br>Ben plays two beautiful slow movements for Seymour that bookend Beethoven's oeuvre: the early 'Adagio Cantabile' from his Pathetique Sonata, Op. 13, and the Bagatelle 'Andante, Cantabile e grazioso' from his final piano work, Op. 126. Equal parts enlightening and entertaining, Seymour targets Ben's physical and expressive approach to interpreting Beethoven at the piano, searching for just the right rubato and helping him find the most poetic way to deliver each phrase.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Seymour & Ben at the Piano

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

Join Seymour Bernstein and Ben Laude at Seymour’s cottage on the Atlantic Coast in Maine for three intimate lessons on popular intermediate works from the piano repertoire. Ben presents Seymour with a Bach Invention, a Mozart Fantasy, and Chopin Prelude, and invites the 96-year-old to share his wisdom on how he interprets each piece. The results are charming explorations of the expressive possibilities of the piano between friends from two different generations.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire,Skills

Sonata in C Major, K. 545

Taught by 

Sara Davis Buechner

Mozart's C Major Sonata, K. 545 is one of his most popular works, often attempted by young students during the early phase of their development at the piano. This so-called "easy sonata," as Sara Davis Buechner explains, is more than child's play. It requires great skill to execute Mozart's deceptively simple textures and lines.<br><br>Mozart intended this sonata as a teaching piece for young musicians, Buechner tells us, not only in their development as pianists but also as composers. It is a model of sonata form, featuring some surprising modulations that serve to challenge the student's musicianship and stimulate their creativity.<br><br>Walking step-by-step through each of the three movements, Buechner highlights the challenges students often face in their early training – scales, arpeggios, and trills – and shows how to conceptualize and practice them to gain facility and style. At the same time, Buechner offers higher level advice that will both inspire less advanced pianists to reach for new heights, while engaging more serious students to refine their own skills.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Sonata in F Major, K. 332

Taught by 

Sara Davis Buechner

Mozart was famous for his melodies, and the first movement of his F Major Sonata, K. 332, is full of them. Join Sara Davis Buechner as she shows you how to make your fingers sing in this memorable piece.<br><br>Buechner shows how Mozart opens with the simplest and most elegant of lines before answering with a hint of counterpoint, offering advice on executing Mozart's slurs to achieve a singing line. The second theme anticipates Verdi's Rigoletto, and Buechner reveals techniques for generating lyrical, operatic phrases. Technically the work presents challenges of polyrhythms and legato double-notes, each of which can be mastered through specific practice techniques that Buechner demonstrates.<br><br>The piece is a dramatic narrative, and Buechner insists on understanding the drama of the work's unfolding thematic and tonal relationships as the key to fashioning a compelling interpretation.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Sonata in G Major, K. 283

Taught by 

Sara Davis Buechner

Join Mozart-specialist Sara Davis Buechner as she teaches you the first movement of the delightful G Major Sonata, K. 283. The sonata is an excellent introduction to Mozart's piano writing for intermediate players, while nonetheless a masterpiece worthy of the concert stage.<br><br>Buechner deftly balances technical and expressive advice as she guides you through the exposition, development, and recapitulation. Topics include: Alberti bass technique, melodic shaping, scale and arpeggio practice, two-note slurs, ornaments, and more!

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Taubman Master Classes

Taught by 

Robert Durso

Piano technique is a seemingly bottomless pit of traps and obstacles. For more than a century, the biomechanical principles at work in the best pianist's techniques were mostly unknown to teachers, and it wasn't until the 20th century that piano playing began to be studied scientifically. It was the late American pianist and teacher Dorothy Taubman who put forward one of the most highly developed theories of technical development at the keyboard, which she formulated through seven decades of experimental practice working with countless students. In this series of master classes, a direct heir to Taubman's legacy Robert Durso works with tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude and demonstrates how her discoveries can be put into pedagogical practice, featuring notoriously difficult passagework from Beethoven and Ravel.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Fantasy in D Minor, K. 397

Taught by 

Sara Davis Buechner

Mozart's D Minor Fantasy is for many pianists one of the first introductions to the composer's piano works. As Sara Davis Buechner stresses, it's also a window into Mozart's operatic world.<br><br>"Here in miniature fashion you have all the elements of Mozartian drama," Buechner points out. In her lesson, she reveals how the work portrays a movement from chaos and order, beginning with a turbulent "Sturm und Drang" opening in D minor and culminating with the clarity and balance of the final D Major theme.<br><br> While foregrounding the character changes that define the work's form, Buechner also spotlights the stylistic conventions which define Mozart playing in general, and demonstrates how to approach these physically and expressively.<br><br>In the midst of her musical exploration of the piece, Buechner delivers a wealth of practical advice, often geared to the intermediate player. From memory, fingering, and practice tips to advice on scales, arpeggios, and sustained trills, Buechner's appeals to pianists and music lovers from a range of backgrounds.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

The Voice of the Piano

Taught by 

Rebecca Penneys

Join noted American pianist Rebecca Penneys for a wide-ranging look at the fundamental concepts that underpin expressive and fluent piano playing. Based in part on her early training as a dancer, Penneys reveals the inextricable nature of physicality and expressivity — or, as she puts it, “motion and emotion” at the piano.<br><br>Penneys begins by describing four basic principles of piano technique: staying close to the keys to aid all single-note playing; rotation in scales; “port de bras”-like use of the arms in arpeggios; and efficient positioning in chords and octaves. Each of these ideas helps to minimize strain and make beautiful playing possible (and even easy).<br><br>From the harpsichord to the pianos of Chopin and Liszt’s day, insights gleaned from historic instruments, influence how we play the modern piano: changes in physical positioning, fingering, and palette of sound. These adjustments are part of the task of the pianist, molding the voice of the piano – any piano – to create the desired soundscape. Penneys’ tips for “bending” the sound help achieve a smooth, singing legato on different instruments by reducing noise from the piano mechanism (hint: use your upper arm to smooth out and slow down the keystrokes).<br><br>Penneys closes her lesson by exploring “motion and emotion.” Physical composure has a direct effect on the character of the music: if you feel cramped or artificially constrained, the music will as well. She discusses the painterly art of finger-pedaling, as if holding onto these beautiful sonorities — as well as the opposite: the releases necessary to keep music going forward!<br><br>Peppered throughout are anecdotes of memorable encounters with great figures like Arthur Rubinstein and Oliver Sacks, all attesting to the remarkable power of physical expressivity.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 34 No. 1

Taught by 

Rebecca Penneys

In this lesson, American pianist Rebecca Penneys guides you Chopin’s Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 34 No. 1. First, you will learn the basic steps of a waltz and discover the importance of the first beat, which carries the most weight in this triple-meter dance style. Next, Penneys will teach you how to shift your upper body while maintaining your balance at the piano bench. Developing this kind of lateral movement will help you to navigate the various leaps that occur throughout this piece and many other waltzes. <br><br>Many of Chopin’s piano works require fast fingers, and this waltz is no exception. Dead weight inhibits your dexterity, and Penneys encourages you to beware of your fingers when they aren’t playing notes. Your thumb and pinky, for instance, are your hand’s “training wheels,” and if either sticks out or is left unattended to, you risk your agility. Finally, Penneys teaches you how to execute fast repeated notes in the context of dotted rhythms, which appear throughout this work and many other waltzes, mazurkas, and polonaises.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2 in D-flat Major

Taught by 

Rebecca Penneys

In this lesson, American pianist Rebecca Penneys guides you through Chopin’s Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2. <br><br>First, you will learn strategies for internalizing the three different themes that distinguish this nocturne from the others in Chopin’s oeuvre. Though Penneys will guide you through the composer’s harmonic progressions in detail, she tells you that knowing the work’s keys and form is not enough to truly learn it. <br><br>Rather, she encourages you to explore ways of varying your phrasing, articulation, and ornamentation, both as means of distinguishing between repeated figures and, more importantly, honing your own interpretation of the music. <br><br>Finally, you will learn how to tailor your pedaling, trills, and rubato to the stylistic demands of this piece.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Nocturne Op. 27 No. 1 in C-sharp Minor

Taught by 

Rebecca Penneys

Eastman School of Music Professor Emeritus Rebecca Penneys guides you through Chopin's intimate and mysterious C-sharp minor Nocturne, Op. 27 No. 1.<br><br>A portrait of darkness transforming to light, this work is effective when paired with the second Nocturne from the same opus, set in the parallel major of D-flat. Penneys shares her personal insights into the C-sharp minor Nocturne, developed over many decades of experience teaching and performing the work. Topics include Chopin's extended left-hand positions, romantic rubato, voicing, and pedaling. She offers technical guidance and interpretive guidance on the turbulent and modulating B section, and challenges you to recompose the coda: not to improve Chopin, but to realize what made his compositional decisions so breathtaking.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Berceuse in D-flat Major Op. 57

Taught by 

Rebecca Penneys

Join noted American pianist Rebecca Penneys for a lesson on one of Chopin’s most bewitching pieces: his Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op. 57. Her insights into technique, physicality, and positioning give you the tools you need to master this work’s gentle but etude-like style.<br><br>In her walkthrough of the piece, Penneys draws attention to the work’s genre (lullaby, or cradle song), the role of the brief “vamp” that opens the piece, rich blending of harmonies in long pedals, as well as the unfolding variations of the Berceuse and their relation with many concepts Chopin explores more thoroughly in his 24 Etudes, Op. 10 and 25. She plays many examples from the etudes that are related to passages in the Berceuse, demonstrating the specific physical approaches required to play them fluently: not sitting too close, high wrist, rotation, pivot fingers, weight on the outer side of the hand, energy impulses, physical mapping, finger-pedaling, and more. This nuanced physical vocabulary will help you play the Berceuse with elegance and suppleness.<br><br>Penneys closes with her reflections on hands-separate and very slow practice.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

At the Bottom of the Key with Rebecca Penneys

Taught by 

Rebecca Penneys

Professor Emerita at the Eastman School of Music, Rebecca Penneys sits down with tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude for wide-ranging discussion on piano playing and artistry. Seated at her "Ferrari" Steinway in St. Pete Beach, FL, Penneys reveals her holistic philosophy of musicianship, integrating the mechanics of the finger, hand, and arm, with the awareness of the ear and mind, with a sensuous experience of your whole body living in the world. From Chopin and dance to dolphin cruises and chocolate, Penneys reveals the art of the piano as a force for good in the world, individually and socially. Recorded in July, 2019.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Practicing Hand and Finger Independence

Taught by 

Seymour Bernstein

In this segment from his lessons on Schumann's "Happy Farmer," Seymour Bernstein reveals an exercise he uses to help his students develop hand independence away from the piano. He then applies the sensations gained from this exercise to the Schumann example, showing how to achieve proper balance bewteen left and right hands. Schumann then presents a further challenge, requiring you to achieve independence between fingers within the same hand. Bernstein demonstrates how to differentiate the amount of weight between fingers, which alters your stroke and allows you to play both lighter and heavier notes in the same hand, simultaneously. Try this exercise yourself, and apply the feeling to your own pieces to achieve better balance between hands and fingers.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Practicing Chord Voicings

Taught by 

Jon Kimura Parker

In this segment from his lesson on the first movement of Grieg's Piano Concerto, Jon Kimura Parker demonstrates his chord voicing exercise. One of the things that separates professional pianists from students is the facility they have in voicing every chord they play to achieve more shades of color and gradations in sonority. The opening theme of the Grieg Concerto may sound easy enough, but there are countless ways of voicing the chords. Parker shows how voicing the tops of the chords produces the most lyical sound. He then demonstrates his voicing exercise, taking five consecutive notes of a scale and taking turns applying more weight to just one of the five notes. He furthers the challenge by applying weight to two of the five notes, and so on. Try this exercise yourself, picking any combination of one to four notes to apply weight to. Then, return to a chordal passage in your repertoire and try voicing specific notes to achieve more nuanced effects.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Practicing with Rhythms

Taught by 

Leann Osterkamp

In this segment from her lesson on Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu, Leann Osterkamp demonstrates one of the classic strategies for gaining speed and facility in rapid passagework: rhythmic drills. While many teachers advocate rhythmic drills, there are better and worse ways to practice them. After rehearsing the technique of alternating resting on each of the four sixteenths in a group of four, Osterkamp shows how students often tighten up while paused on a given note. The trick is to feel the utmost balance at each resting point, as if your finger is anchored in the key. This will increase your security at each of the smallest rhtyhmic moments in a fast passage. Try it on the fast passagework in your repertoire!

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

The Girl with the Flaxen Hair

Taught by 

Peter Dugan

Few pieces of piano music are so simple, yet so rich, as Debussy's beloved La fille aux cheveux de lin, "The girl with the flaxen hair." In this lesson, host of NPR's 'From the Top' Peter Dugan delves into the work's tenderness and warmth, offering advice for capturing the work's magic passage-by-passage. While the work's colors are intoxicating, students often get their feet stuck in Debussy's paint. Dugan shows you the power of observing the precise rhythms indicated in the score, shaping phrases, and generating movement towards the climax. At the same time, it is crucial to control the harmonic and melodic content of the work through careful voicing and pedal, and Dugan shows how to use finger substitution to create legato phrases and avoid over-blurring. Finally, Dugan basks in the Prelude's magic moments and shows you the technique required to capture its warmth and tranquility to deliver a beautiful performance of your own.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Three Preludes

Taught by 

Peter Dugan

Get in a Gershwin groove with Peter Dugan, host of NPR’s From The Top! Gershwin’s three preludes strike a great balance: they’re simple enough for amateurs to play, but also glitzy enough to wow an audience. <br><br>Dugan’s lesson on the first prelude tackles every aspect of how to play Gershwin with authentic style: how articulation and dynamics help make the rhythm pop; how to naturally play with a vibrant pulse; fingering to make it easy and punchy to play; tips on leaps and hand crossings; how to toss your hand at gestures instead of aiming for fiddly perfection; and most importantly, how to forge an authentic connection with the audience. He also includes tips on how to get in the right frame of mind by improvising a prelude to the prelude!

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Practicing Fingerwork

Taught by 

John O'Conor

In this segment from his lesson on the third movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," John O'Conor tells the story of his early training in Vienna. It was there, under the tutelage of Dieter Weber, that he first learned how to develop his fingerwork in learning some of Chopin's Etudes. Beginning with Hanon exercises, O'Conor demonstrates how to lift and drop each finger individually in order to develop a strong foundation before moving to faster passagework. After applying lifts and drops to individual notes in the "Moonlight," he shows how to begin combining notes. There are six combinations of rhythmic drills you should apply to each group of four sixteenth notes, up to tempo, before you are ready to combine groups of sixteenth notes, and ultimately build speed and power throughout the ascending passage. Try applying these strategies in your own rapid passagework!

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Practicing with Groupings

Taught by 

Henry Kramer

In this segment from his lesson on Chopin's Etude in A Minor, Op. 10 No. 2, Henry Kramer discusses the principle of grouping in practicing building speed and power in challenging passagework. The Etude in question is notorious for demanding the right hand to play a rapid chromatic scale with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th fingers whil the 1st and 2nd play chords on each beat. Kramer begins by turning your attention to the left hand, though, which will help fortify your rhythmic foundation. After learning how to spring from the key to achieve a lively sound in both hands, Kramer demosntrates how to practice grouping different combinations of sixteenth notes within the same rhythmic frame. It is crucial to choreograph your motions so they are compatible with your intended phrasing. These concepts apply equally well to different kinds of demanding passagework. Apply them to those nasty spots in your repertoire and you should soon develop the reflexes to execute them with brilliance and style.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Wrist Movement: A Pianist's Secret Weapon

Taught by 

Norman Krieger

What is it in a great pianist's technique that allows for such pristine control and refined artistry? Having witnessed performances by many of the legendary pianists of the 20th and 21st centuries up close and personal, Indiana University professor Norman Krieger has identified a secret weapon common to their technical arsenal: wrist movement. Krieger shows how through subtle, "electrical" wrist impulses, pianists the likes of Hofmann, Rubinstein, and Arrau have achieved exceptional facility and artistic control in diverse concert repertoire. While it is easy to characterize such artists as divinely gifted geniuses whose musicianship transcends technique, they nonetheless employ objective movements that we mere mortals can observe and attempt to reconstruct in our own playing. Drawing on famous repertoire passages from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin, Krieger demonstrates how to develop an agile wrist to use a secret weapon in voicing, sonority, style, and virtuosity.

Intermediate

 | 

Skills

Inside Mozart's Piano Sonatas

Taught by 

Orli Shaham

Mozart’s Piano Sonatas are workshops in compositional craftsmanship, studies in musicianship and technique, and miniature operatic dramas staged for keyboard. In this course, Juilliard professor and Mozart-specialist Orli Shaham takes you inside all 18 Sonatas, revealing their historical meanings and demonstrating their continued relevance for practicing musicians and listeners today. Intended for pianists interested in elevating their Mozart playing and deepening their knowledge of the Classical Style, the lessons herein are equally enlightening and entertaining for general music lovers.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Arabesque No. 1

Taught by 

Peter Dugan

Debussy is famous for the intoxicating color and imagery he could conjure at the piano, which is immediately evident in the opening bars of his Arabesque No. 1. One of the most popular introductions to Debussy among developing pianists, this gem of a piece is a study in fluidity and intertwining lines. Join pianist, improviser, and host of From the Top Peter Dugan as he walks you through the Arabesque passage by passage, revealing the piece's magic and teaching you the practical choreography required to realize it at the piano.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Etude Op. 25 No. 1 in A-flat Major

Taught by 

Norman Krieger

A masterpiece of texture and lyricism, Chopin's so-called "Aeolian Harp" Etude Op. 25 No. 1 is an approachable study in opposites: how to play lightly with the strong part of the hand, and boldly with the weak part of the hand. Join the Chair of the Piano Department at Indiana University, Norman Krieger, as he explores what he calls a "gift to the wrist." Focusing always on beauty and nuance of tone, Krieger identifies and analyzes the mechanical demands of the piece while offering creative practice techniques for making the physical act of playing subservient to the music.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Sonata in D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 "Tempest"

Taught by 

Norman Krieger

Beethoven's so-called "Tempest" Sonata, Op. 31 No. 2, is one of his most iconic and unusual works for piano. While all of Beethoven's mature sonatas are mini-universes in themselves, defying any conventional molds, the "Tempest" is an exception among exceptional works. The only piano sonata Beethoven composed in D minor, the piece emerges through harmonically ambiguous mists, and begins unfolding not unlike a work of Shakespearean drama – although the piece's nickname is only loosely attributed to the composer. Join Norman Krieger, Chair of the Piano Department at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, as he navigates through Beethoven's storm, revealing overlooked details in the score and coaching your physical movements, all in the service of capturing the character and drama of this terrifying and tragic piece.

Intermediate-Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Ravel Demystified

Taught by 

Noam Sivan

Take a deep dive into Ravel's Ondine from Gaspard de la nuit with improvisation master Noam Sivan. In this two-part series, Sivan first presents a performer's analysis, illuminating the work's melodies, harmonies, and form in relation to Bertrand's poem about a seductive and deadly water nymph. Sivan continues his exploration with a complete performance of Ondine followed by melodic and harmonic improvisation exercises and a complete improvisation in the style of Ravel.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 42 No. 5

Taught by 

Nicolas Namoradze

Gramophone magazine refers to Nicolas Namoradze as "the kind of musician whose artistry is like a compelling novel where you can hardly wait for what comes next." In this lesson on Scriabin's ominously heroic C-sharp minor Etude, Op. 42 No. 5, Namoradze brings his powers of communicating musical narratives with his analytic gifts, breaking down the work's phrase structure and pianistic challenges.<br><br>For Namoradze, this Etude is the center of gravity of Scriabin's Op. 42 set. The menacing character of its first theme gives way to one of the most soaring and jubilant melodies ever composed. The Etude presents many challenges of choreography and stamina, and Namoradze demonstrates how striving for clarity of texture can help bring more transparency and contour to the dramatic arc, while also fostering more facility in the physically demanding passagework.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Etude in F-sharp Major, Op. 42 No. 4

Taught by 

Nicolas Namoradze

In this lesson, Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze shares his insights into Scriabin’s meltingly beautiful Etude in F-sharp Major, Op. 42 No. 4. Namoradze’s remarks on style, variety of touch, rubato, and crafting eloquent phrases will lead you into Scriabin’s expressive universe.<br><br>Namoradze begins the lesson by placing this etude in the context of Scriabin’s increasingly pathbreaking style and its position as a lyrical respite from the other Op. 42 etudes which seem to whirl incessantly. The gentler waves of this piece still need careful attention: as part of his discussion of phrase structure, Namoradze explores “micro-dynamics” — little waves within the broader sweep of a phrase. He uses this example to show how to craft a beautiful phrase, describing the subtle relationship that must exist between dynamics and rhythm in order to maintain the musical flow.<br><br>To capture the sensuality of Scriabin’s music, Namoradze shows you how to cultivate a truly singing, even “slimy,” legato touch, as well as a contrasting bell-like sonority. For legato, Namoradze’s tips include overholding, slight “smudginess,” getting to the notes in advance, and finally, both pressing and releasing very slowly. This is a very clear, step-by-step explanation of one of the most important (and yet elusive) topics in piano playing.<br><br>Finally, Namoradze discusses the nature of rubato and lets us in on a little secret: when playing Scriabin, if the context demands a special degree of anticipation or hesitation, the hands needn’t always be synchronized!

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 2 No. 1

Taught by 

Nicolas Namoradze

Join prizewinning pianist Nicolas Namoradze for an insightful lesson on one of Scriabin’s earliest works, the famous Etude in C-sharp minor, Op. 2 No. 1. Namoradze’s meticulous attention to every element of this work will help you capture its somber and emotionally wrenching atmosphere.<br><br>After a brief account of this etude’s history, Namoradze looks closely at what makes this piece tick. Its phrase structure holds some surprises, in addition to the typical two- and four-bar phrases, it also has some with five bars! These often include unexpected, mercurial modulations. Use these twists and turns in asymmetrical phrases to your advantage, as well as their insistence.<br><br>This leads Namoradze to a striking observation: good rubato should reveal structure, not obscure it. For this reason, make sure that little eddies in the musical flow don’t disrupt the trajectory of the phrase. He also suggests other strategies, such as making your rubati more gradual and smooth in execution, and also to keep your voicing and expression in sharp focus so you can maintain the tension even if you take time.<br><br>To maximize the emotional impact of this brief but poignant work, you’ll need some other means as well: a legato melody despite the thick texture, richness in the harmony and layers of counterpoint, and carefully structured choice of dynamics. Namoradze has answers for all of these: exercises to properly exaggerate voicing the melody, maintaining the illusion of legato with a sonorous, pressure-filled touch and keeping the hands close to the keys, nuanced pedaling to connect and show the harmony (even holding your foot off the ground at times!), and using silent playing to carefully train your touch. Through close attention to the dynamic markings, Namoradze shows that you must regulate your dynamics, saving your supply of magic for the absolute softest moment, marked pianississimo. This comparative approach helps interpret Scriabin’s expressive surprises in the recapitulation so you know exactly where to give your all and when to die away.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Ballade No. 3 in A-flat, Op. 47

Taught by 

Michelle Cann

Join Michelle Cann, Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies at the Curtis Institute, for a deep dive into one of Chopin’s most beautiful concert works, the Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major, Op. 47. While the other Ballades boast flashy codas, the Third is most notable for its radiant beauty and lyricism. Cann shares her insights into music and the challenges it presents to the pianist, drawing from decades of intimate experience with Chopin's score.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Arabeske in C Major, Op. 18

Taught by 

Nicolas Namoradze

In this lesson, Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze guides you through Schumann’s Arabeske in C Major, Op. 18, which he dubs one of the most “charmingly beautiful pieces of the piano repertoire.” <br><br>Namoradze breaks down the work’s rondo form and offers you strategies for highlighting the “logic, coherence, and organicism” within its contrasting sections. You will also explore ways of varying the repeated A section so that it always sounds fresh. <br><br>In addition to honing your interpretive skills, Namoradze shares with you his technical insights into voicing and legato. When you practice passages that require you to play multiple voices in rhythmic unison, Namoradze suggests that you practice arpeggiating them slowly. “Breaking” the voices in this way will allow you to focus your attention on each one. He encourages you to apply a similar attention to detail to your legato as well. He advises you to practice depressing the keys silently, gradually adding pressure until you start to perceive a sound. This exercise, if performed with a consistently slow attack, will attune you to the innerworkings of the piano’s action mechanism and reveal the infinite gradations of touch that are available to you.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Inside Florence Price's Piano Sonata

Taught by 

Michelle Cann

Florence Price's Piano Sonata in E minor is a work of craftsmanship, virtuosity, and originality, featuring musical material derived from African American folk traditions set within a conventional sonata form. But, as Michelle Cann demonstrates, Price is far from conventional. Join Cann as she journeys inside the music to reveal what makes it seem both familiar and new, and to demonstrate the ingenious compositional devices Price uses to weave together the sounds of struggle, spirituality, and salvation in this monumental Sonata.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Chopin Étude Training

Taught by 

Marina Lomazov

Chopin Études are the pinnacle of virtuosity, inspiring awe and fear in pianists for two centuries. While few manage to conquer all 24, legions of intermediate to advanced pianists have utilized these studies to elevate their technique and musicianship. In this series of videos, Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music Marina Lomazov takes you on a journey from the simplest Czerny studies to the most challenging Chopin Études, showing you a straight-line path to realizing your loftiest goals at the piano.

Advanced

 | 

Skills

Étude in F minor, Op. 25 No. 2

Taught by 

Marina Lomazov

In this lesson, Marina Lomazov teaches you one of Chopin’s most irresistible pieces, the Étude in F minor, Op. 25 No. 2. Part of the piece’s appeal lies in the metrical ambiguity between right and left hands, so it is as much a study in mental focus as it is right hand fluidity. Lomazov demonsrates practice strategies that will train your hands to flow at different speeds, helping you to realize the music’s alluring lilt. Lomazov walks you through slowly the work, listening carefully as dissonances resolves into consonances and drawing a single line from the first note to the last.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

"Black Key" Étude, Op. 10 No. 5

Taught by 

Marina Lomazov

The so-called "Black Key" Etude is one of the jewels of Chopin's Op. 10. There's something magical about how Chopin manages to compose a piece of such beauty and intrigue using almost exclusively black keys in the right hand. In this lesson, Marina Lomazov demonstrates how to adapt to the higher terrain of the black keys, and apply practice strategies such as grouping, plucking, and rhythms to the dazzling triplet patterns. Ultimately, the musical substance of this piece is found in the left hand, and Lomazov shows you the value of practicing at a moderate tempo and listening to the phrasing and voicing in your bassline and tenor.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Étude in F major, Op. 10 No. 8

Taught by 

Marina Lomazov

In this lesson, Marina Lomazov breaks down one of Chopin's most popular and charming virtuoso works, the Étude in F major, Op. 10 No. 8. This is a study in flexibility and suppleness of touch, two characteristic aspects of Chopin's own technique. Lomazov reveals how the character of the main theme is determined by the left hand, and applies grouping strategies to mastering the rising and falling figurations in the right. The development and coda feature a new obstacle every few bars, but Lomazov shows you how to reduce them to simple pieces that you can stitch together like an intricate quilt.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Étude in C-sharp minor, Op. 10 No. 4

Taught by 

Marina Lomazov

One of those most thrilling pieces in the entire piano repertoire, Chopin’s Étude in C-sharp minor, Op. 10 No. 4 is a fast and furious obstacle course. One of Chopin's rare ambidextrous etudes, it offers the ideal training grounds for developing evenness and precision in rapid passagework in both hands. Marina Lomazov breaks down the piece's twists and turns, zeroing in on the most notorious spots that often deter otherwise capable students from attempting the work. Her creative practice strategies will help you to build agility and control, and ultimately shift gears from an ebbing and flowing moderato practice tempo to a torrential Presto.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

5 Little Epiphanies at the Piano

Taught by 

Marc-André Hamelin

A titan of the piano known for scaling the longest and most challenging works, Marc-André Hamelin was once a student struggling to achieve finger independence in a Bach Sinfonia. In this collection of videos, Hamelin reflects on revelations he’s had at the keyboard throughout his piano life that have piqued his curiosity and made him into a multifaceted maverick. Features commentary and performances of the music of JS Bach, CPE Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, and Hamelin himself.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire,Skills

Exercises for the Mind & Fingers

Taught by 

Marc-André Hamelin

Rediscover your technique with the help of one of the greatest living pianists, Marc-André Hamelin. In this mini-course, Hamelin shares special exercises that helped him develop one of the most formidable techniques in history. But “technique” is much more than mechanics. As the great Italian pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni once wrote, “technique in its truer sense has its seat in the brain. It is composed of geometry—an estimation of distance—and wise co-ordination.” It is in this spirit that Hamelin demonstrates special warm-up patterns and practice devices he has adapted and developed from lesser-known piano manuals written by great pianists and composers of the past. Suitable for pianists across ability levels, these exercises are sure to stimulate your mind as well your fingers, and elevate your technique to new heights.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Sinfonia in F minor, BWV 795

Taught by 

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska

One of the greatest milestones in a pianist's development is the progression from playing Bach's Two-Part Inventions to his Three-Part Inventions, also called "Sinfonias." The reason is rather simple: humans have two hands, not three, so the work of cultivating hand independence transforms into more granular finger independence. As a third voice travels between hands, the task of coordinating all three voices becomes significantly more challenging. In the Sinfonia No. 9 in F minor, BWV 795 – which Sir Andras Schiff calls the greatest of all the Inventions – Bach delivers a master class in three-voice polyphony.<br><br>As your instructor Magdalena Stern-Baczewska points out, most of the core devices used in Bach's fugues are already found here. She demonstrates the subtle physical movements that will allow you to balance two voices in the same hand while preserving the independent character of each motive. In doing so, she gives you the tools to realize the work's musical message, which is a profound one. Combining a descending lament, a sighing motive, and a jarring countersubject, Bach infuses this work with religious symbolism – culminating with the transformation from darkness to light in the final cadence.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Invention in F major, BWV 779

Taught by 

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska

While we most often associate virtuosity with the likes of Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff, Bach was no stranger to fast, brilliant, and technically demanding passagework at the keyboard – the "Chromatic Fantaisie and Fugue" and "Goldberg Variations" being among the pinnacles of baroque keyboard virtuosity. Already in the Inventions, Bach challenges the developing pianist with dazzling contrapuntal writing, most notably in Invention No. 8 in F Major, BWV 779. Magdalena Stern-Baczewska shows how the key to mastering the piece's athletic obstacles lies in the cultivation of independence between hands. This physical independence corresponds with the independence of the two moving parts, so that the technical achievement of coordinating the two hands is at once a musical achievement. Through insightful demonstrations, Stern-Baczewska presents you with a regimen for developing your fingers and your ear, and – as always – playing with distinction and good taste.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Intro to J. S. Bach’s Keyboard Music

Taught by 

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska

Over the course of six progressive lessons, Columbia University Professor of Music and Bach specialist Magdalena Stern-Baczewska takes you on a journey through a series of exemplary works from the keyboard music of J.S. Bach, one of the most influential musicians in history. From simple minuets and preludes, through the Two and Three-Part Inventions, you will not only feel how elegant, dramatic, and dazzling Baroque music falls under your fingers, but build a foundation of musicianship that will serve you in all of your musical pursuits.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Invention in C major, BWV 772

Taught by 

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska

You've arrived at Bach's First Invention, one of the landmark pieces in a pianist's development. According to Bach's own hand-written preface to the Two and Three-Part Inventions, these pieces were meant for music lovers interested in improving their keyboard technique and compositional understanding. Invention No. 1 in C major, BWV 772, is the first of fifteen written in two-parts. Bach encourages you to study them carefully and develop a facile, cantabile playing style, at which point you're ready to graduate to the Three-Part Inventions, or "Sinfonias."<br><br>It is in this spirit that Magdalenz Stern-Baczewska approaches this lesson, guiding you through the First Invention, introducing you to the main concepts of advanced, two-part counterpoint – including motives, imitation, inversion, augmentation, modulation, and sequence – while demonstrating how to approach the piece technically so as to realize two, independent singing "voices." The lesson also serves to orient you to the principles of Baroque performance practice, and teach you how to apply them on the modern piano, with a focus on articulation, phrasing, and ornamentation.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Invention in D minor, BWV 775

Taught by 

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska

While Bach's 15 Two-Part Inventions were composed with the larger purpose of providing intellectual and spiritual nourishment, they're practically speaking studies in physical coordination – obstacle courses intended to help you gain self-mastery over complex physical tasks. Invention No. 4 in D minor, BWV 775 is a prime example, posing a series of challenges to the player, including fingering puzzles, awkward leaps, extended trills in both hands, alternating stepwise and arpeggiated motion, legato and staccato articulations, and hemiola. In this lesson, Magdalena Stern-Baczewska will serve as your personal trainer, ready to help you surmount each obstacle in turn while applying the style and nuance this dramatic work demands.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Minuets in G major & G minor, BWV Anh. 114-115

Taught by 

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska

There is no better place to begin your Bach journey than with the famous "Minuet in G," and its counterpart in G minor. Long attributed to Bach himself, scholars have now shown that the Minuets were composed by Christian Petzold, one of many friends of Bach who would compose short pieces for his family upon visiting. Bach was fond enough of the works to include them in a notebook of simple pieces given to his wife Anna Magdalena. Despite its authorship, the piece is composed in a simple, two-part contrapuntal style that provides an ideal entryway into Bach's more mature works of counterpoint.<br><br>This lesson is meant for students of all ages with at least some exposure to the keyboard and staff notation. Magdalena Stern-Baczewska provides step-by-step guidance for understanding the musical patterns and translating them into graceful physical actions at the keyboard. More than just a repertoire lesson, she introduces you to many basic concepts in music theory, piano technique, and Baroque style, laying a musicianship foundation for you to continue building upon in subsequent lessons.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Little Prelude in C minor, BWV 999

Taught by 

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska

Whereas a piece like the Minuet in G trains the hands and the mind to play varied, mostly scalar patterns in two-part counterpoint, Bach's Little Prelude in C minor trains you to think in terms of vertical harmonies, which Bach unfolds up from the bass line in the form of broken chords. In this lesson, Magdalena Stern-Baczewska reveals how Bach conceived of preludes like this one in terms of shorthand notation known as "figured bass." Understanding this compositional design will give you a strong framework for learning the notes of the work and executing it physically. Stern-Baczewska walks you through the brief, yet dramatic, prelude, giving both musical and technical insights that will help you control the arpeggiated right-hand figurations and deliver a breathtaking performance.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Rhapsody in G Minor Op. 79 No. 2

Taught by 

Louis Schwizgebel

Join Louis Schwizgebel in exploring Brahms' Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79, which are among his most passionate, yet approachable works. The second, in G Minor, is more compact than the first, and more coloristic, featuring an inexorable momentum from start to finish.<br><br>Schwizgebel looks for musical solutions to technical problems, such as the opening hand crossings. These needn't feel rushed, but instead benefit from the natural time it takes to execute them, as the slight agogic accents resulting from the left hand crossings help articulate and shape the rising phrase. In the staccato chords, it is best to practice in groups to avoid clumsiness, and Schwizgebel shows how to avoid arm tension in executions.<br><br>The ensuing polyphonic passage comprises a tapestry of layers, and Schwizgebel walks you through the process of taking them apart, practicing them each in isolation, and reassembling them to ensure clarity and confidence in performance. The relentless motion of the repeating triplet march also benefits from practicing the chords alone before adding the smaller elements.<br><br>The work features magical, surreal moments not often associated with Brahms, and Schwizgebel encourages you to explore other-worldly sounds at the instrument.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Rhapsody in B Minor Op. 79 No. 1

Taught by 

Louis Schwizgebel

Join Louis Schwizgebel in exploring Brahms' Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79, which are among his most passionate, yet approachable works. The first, in B Minor, is the grander of the two, featuring an undercurrent of restlessness throughout most of the work, except one memorable, tender middle section.<br><br>Schwizgebel approaches this lesson by pinpointing a handful of principal challenges and techniques that recur throughout the work, and targeting them one-by-one. One of the main techniques you must develop is the application of arm weight, which is required in both octaves and chordal textures as well as the triplet figures found throughout the work. Schwizgebel shows how to properly carry your weight so that your fingers are supported by your whole arm, and how to take time both to aid in physical execution and to capture a feeling of resistance in the music.<br><br>The work is marked "agitato," but this does not refer to a fast tempo. Instead, Schwizgebel shows how emphasizing rests and syncopations will give the opening an ideal restless character at a slightly slower tempo than is often favored by students. This has its benefits, as it allows for more tempo continuity with subsequent themes, which serves Brahms's architectural goals.<br><br>Finally, Schwizgebel examines the special tender theme in the middle of the work, revealing the duet between right and left hand, as well as the mysterious coda.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

L'isle Joyeuse

Taught by 

Louis Schwizgebel

Join Louis Schwizgebel for a lesson on Debussy's exotic and breathtaking L'isle Joyeuse, a portrait of color, contrast, and texture that culminates in pure exaltation.<br><br>The lesson is geared towards the late intermediate and early advanced pianists, trying to take their techniques to the next level to gain command of one of Debussy's most effective stand-alone works for solo piano. Schwizgebel takes a practical approach to the work, offering fingering tips as well as technical guidance on touch, voicing, and pedaling, so you can create the kinds of rich and varied sonorities that the work demands.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Concerto No. 1, Op. 15

Taught by 

Louis Schwizgebel

In this lesson, Swiss pianist Louis Schwizgebel guides you through the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15. In his discussion of the movement’s playful exposition section, Schwizgebel attunes you to the ways in which Beethoven broke from the conventions of his time through unusual modulations and thematic introductions. <br><br>Schwizgebel also teaches you how you should approach concerti differently than solo and chamber repertoire: you must learn to project by exaggerating your articulation and phrasing and maintaining a strong inner pulse so that you stay together with the orchestra. Schwizgebel encourages you to study the orchestra’s part, so that you know when you're the soloist, when you're the accompanist, and when you're conversing with the orchestra. <br><br>Finally, you learn tips on how to tackle particularly different passages by maintaining flexible wrists and rotating your forearms.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Waldstein Sonata – 1st Mvt Exposition

Taught by 

Leon Fleisher

The late Leon Fleisher, one of the great American pianists of the 20th century, presents a short master class on the iconic exposition of Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata with Ben Laude at the piano. Fleisher brings his characteristic conviction to matters of phrasing, voicing, rhythm, and pedal, in an effort to elevate Laude's playing and achieve a level of drama and excitement worthy of Beethoven's score.

Advanced

 | 

Skills

Fleisher on Schubert and Brahms

Taught by 

Leon Fleisher

A student of Arthur Schnabel, one of the great Schubert revivalists of the 20th-century, the late Leon Fleisher presents a master class on the exposition of Schubert's heavenly G Major Sonata, D. 894 with Rachel Naomi Kudo at the piano. Kudo's playing is so refined and elegant that Fleisher is at times at a loss for criticism, though he digs deeper and offers strategies to help Kudo achieve more of a lilt in the pervasive rocking rhythm, and encourages her to explore even more characters and colors in her voicing and phrasing.

Advanced

 | 

Skills

Fleisher in Conversation

Taught by 

Leon Fleisher

One of the all-time great American pianists, the late Leon Fleisher is joined in his home by tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude for a series of conversations reflecting on his life and work. In 'Reminiscences', Parts I and II, Fleisher delves into his musical past, commenting on some of the great musicians he encountered during his life, from Arthur Schnabel and Vladimir Horowitz to Otto Klemperer and George Szell. In a third interview, Fleisher delves into his studies with Schnabel, sharing never-heard-before stories and reflecting on the aesthetics and teaching style of his famous mentor. In all three interviews, Fleisher listens to and comments on excerpts from some of his and Schnabel's legendary recordings. Filmed in January 2020, just months before Fleisher's passing.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Sonatina in C Major, Op. 20 No. 1

Taught by 

Leann Osterkamp

In this lesson, American pianist Leann Osterkamp teaches Kuhlau's Sonata in C Major, Op. 20 No. 1. A popular piece with early intermediate players, the piece offers many opportunities to develop one's fundamental skills at the instrument, ultimately laying the groundwork for tackling more challenging classical sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.<br><br>Osterkamp breaks down the work into its component technical and musical challenges. She focuses first on the catchy main theme, revealing its structural role and providing insights into shaping and interpreting the theme as it recurs throughout the work.<br><br>Next, Osterkamp delves into the always important subject of hand coordination, giving tips on how to control the left hands' Albertis bass and employing subdivisions in practice to achieve more security in your mechanics and to prepare for faster playing.<br><br>For the remainder of the lesson, Osterkamp delves into questions of fingering, memorization, articulation, and pedal, while tackling specific technical challenges in all three movements.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36 No. 1

Taught by 

Leann Osterkamp

In this lesson, American pianist Leann Osterkamp shares her technical insights into Clementi’s Sonatina No. 1 in C Major, Op. 36. <br><br> She encourages you to keep your hands moving during moments of rest in order to release tension, reinforce your sense of rhythm, and prepare for changes in hand position. <br><br>Osterkamp also teaches you to avoid rushing through fast runs by dropping your arm weight in-time with the music. You learn to use this gesture not as a means of accenting notes but rather as a way to ground yourself. Furthermore, when you're practicing fast runs, Osterkamp encourages you to use the fingerings that you know well – fingerings that you use to play scales and arpeggios. <br><br>Finally, Osterkamp shows you how to play a quick Alberti bass in a legato style without sacrificing clarity and comfort. You learn that you don’t have to hold onto notes to create a connected sound. Rather, you can play each note with a staccato-like bounce. At a fast tempo, your notes will still sound connected, especially if you incorporate light touches of the pedal.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Common Beginner Challenges

Taught by 

Juliana Han

In her Juilliard doctoral dissertation, Juliana Han tackles problems with beginner piano pedagogy from the perspective of brain science. She identifies three common challenges faced by beginners in attempting to choreograph patterns and pieces at the keyboard – "multitasking," chiral hands, and visual field issues – and offers insights from the neuroscience literature to help surmount them.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14

Taught by 

Leann Osterkamp

In this lesson, American pianist Leann Osterkamp guides you through Felix Mendelssohn’s Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14. <br><br>You will learn to refine your melodies and articulations through singing and verbalizations. By singing along with your melodies, you will discover their natural phrasing and learn where to crescendo or diminuendo, where to take a “breath,” and which melodic leaps benefit from a slight ritardando. By assigning words (e.g. “strong” and “weak”) to your articulations and speaking them out loud, you will learn to execute them efficiently and expressively. <br><br>Osterkamp also suggests assigning descriptive adjectives to each section of this piece. She invites you to imagine yourself as an actor and reflect on how you would interpret these adjectives as character changes. What kinds of experiences or events might trigger these shifts? This mental exercise, Osterkamp tells you, will imbue your playing with a greater sense of storytelling and drama. <br><br>Throughout this lesson, you will learn various strategies for tackling this piece’s technical challenges, such as fast staccato playing, octave work, and oscillating double thirds.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Sonatina in G Major

Taught by 

Leann Osterkamp

In this lesson, American pianist Leann Osterkamp teaches Beethoven's Sonatina in G Major. <br><br>Starting first with hands separated, Leann breaks down each challenge into small, easy steps. She then moves on to combining the hands, and dealing with issues of balance between the different voices. She provides a number of tips, tools, and suggestions to help learn this staple of the beginner repertoire. One such tool is to approach the piece as an orchestrator, assigning imagined instrumentation to each voice to gain new musical insights. <br><br>Whether or not this sonatina was composed by Beethoven, it remains a valuable part of every pianist's growth and development.

All-Levels

 | 

Repertoire

Fantaisie Impromptu, Op. 66

Taught by 

Leann Osterkamp

In this lesson, American pianist Leann Osterkamp breaks down the technical and musical obstacles of Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu, and devises practice strategies to help you overcome them. Rather than walking through the piece from beginning to end, she selects passages that best represent a certain kind of obstacle and uses them as models applicable to related passages. <br><br>Osterkamp first focuses on fingering and compares finding the best fingering to solving a crossword puzzle. She then applies this method to a tricky run in the right hand and shows how finding the right fingering solution can decrease its difficulty substantially. Secondly, she targets a pervasive polyrhythm in the piece where the right hand plays four notes against the left hand's three. She demonstrates how polyrhythms can also be determined precisely by visualizing where the notes of each rhythm fall, and using this spatial representation of the rhythm as a guide for executing them at the keyboard. <br><br>To help you develop a natural feeling of rubato, Osterkamp focuses on the lyrical middle section. To do that, Osterkamp recommends you try putting words to the melody and singing it, keeping track of the natural variation in stress and duration in your voice. She encourages you to develop a conscious stylistic approach to Chopin, choosing between different valid approaches. <br><br>Finally, Osterkamp focuses on applying pedal, likening the process of trying out extremes (too wet or too dry) to determining just the right prescription at the eye doctor.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Liebestraum No. 3

Taught by 

Leann Osterkamp

In this lesson, American pianist Leann Osterkamp guides you through Franz Liszt's Liebestraum No. 3. <br><br>You will learn how best to determine fingerings through a process Osterkamp refers to as "blocking." Depending on your music theory background, she gives both technical and non-technical ways of understanding of grouping notes under the hand in blocks. Once determined, these blocks serve as comfortable positions through which you can more easily learn the piece. <br><br>She then discusses the origins of the work as a song without words and explores the meanings expressed in the original poem as a basis for developing a nuanced conception of the piece and as a guide for shaping the melodic lines. Osterkamp introduces and demonstrates the concept of "ghosting" as a technique for balancing the layers of the piece in order to create a balanced texture. <br><br>You will learn concrete ways to form your own artistic interpretation, paying attention to combining melody and accompaniment and finding rational uses of dynamics and timing for expressive effect. Osterkamp then helps you map out the piece in order to develop a larger scale, structural interpretation by picking adjectives to describe sections and using them to form a larger narrative. <br><br>Finally, she tackles the challenging faster passages and cadenzas, giving specific practice strategies for developing facilitiy.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23

Taught by 

Jon Kimura Parker

Join acclaimed Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker for a lesson on one of the most popular piano concertos ever written: Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1. This video covers the epic first movement, where Parker clearly lays out the movement’s cinematic, blockbuster-like qualities.<br><br>From the famous introduction to the triumphant ending, Parker’s advice is highly practical: he presents straightforward, intuitive solutions for all the tricky passages, and never fails to single out the truly essential features of each section. For Parker, technical details of hand position, wrist angle, and psychology are closely tied to musical and coloristic matters (articulation, balance, and phrasing). His interpretation sketches out possible paths for making this movement as dramatically effective as possible.<br><br>Informed his vast performance experience, Parker also offers insider tips on how to play with orchestra or with second piano. From signaling new tempos to watching to conductor at key moments, every detail will make your interpretation more collaboratively-minded and performance-ready. Parker also contextualizes the style of this work, particularly in relation to the rest of the concerto repertoire.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Rhapsody in Blue

Taught by 

Jon Kimura Parker

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is an icon of American culture and one of the most ingenious musical creations of the 20th century. From the opening clarinet glissando to the final flourish between piano and orchestra, the piece is filled with colorful orchestration and dynamic rhythms depicting the hustle and bustle of 1920s urban life, as well as countless memorable motives and melodies capturing the passion and yearning of the era. Join concert pianist and professor at Rice University Jon Kimura Parker as he shares his insights on the piece after decades of performing it in both pops and classical arrangements.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16

Taught by 

Jon Kimura Parker

In this lesson, Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker guides you through the first movement of Grieg's iconic Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16. The work has been a crowd favorite and a staple of symphony programming for over a century, Parker explains, yet its virtuosity and grand piano writing is more approachable than that of Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff.<br><br>Having performed the works countless dozens of times, Parker shares special insights he's gained from his experienc collaborating with different conductors and orchestras. While few are lucky enough to not only master the piece and perform with orcehstra, Parker shows how thinking in terms of the full score can help anybody clarify and simplify the interpretive demands of the solo part.<br><br>Equipped with an arsenal of technical advice and practice tips for every passage, tricks for memorization, and a rich understanding of the work's history, Parker delivers a comprehensive workshop on this first movement that will inspire you to tackle its challenges head on—not least the monumental cadenza.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Taught by 

Jon Kimura Parker

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is a concerto in variation form. Although shorter than its traditional 3-movement brethren, the Paganini Rhapsody is as enduring as his 2nd and 3rd concerti and a favorite among virtuoso pianists. Join Rice University professor and concerto guru Jon Kimura Parker as he takes you on a tour of the variations, analyzing Rachmaninoff’s clever compositional devices, breaking down complex passagework, and revealing the magic of this one-of-a-kind piece.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

The Piano Concerto from Mozart to the 20th Century

Taught by 

Jon Kimura Parker

Acclaimed concert pianist Jon Kimura Parker sits down with tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude for a wide-ranging discussion on piano concertos. Drawing on his more than four decades of experience studying and performing concertos, Parker discusses the features of the genre he finds most compelling before chronicling its evolution from Mozart to the 20th Century, with excerpts from Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and more.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Harmonic Formulas of the Great Composers

Taught by 

Johnandrew Slominski

We often hear about the importance of analyzing our pieces when preparing for performance. But what does this mean in practice? In this lesson, music theorist and concert pianist Johnandrew Slominski demonstrates how to approach repertoire with an analytical lens that can actually inform interpretative decisions, with examples from Chopin, Schubert, and Brahms. This lesson also serves as a preface to Slominski's extended case study in music analysis, concentrating on Franck's Prelude, Chorale and Fugue.

Intermediate

 | 

Skills

John O'Conor: 250 Years of Beethoven

Taught by 

John O'Conor

Join famed Beethoven interpreter John O’Conor for a wide-ranging interview about perhaps the most famous composer in the world, celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday in December 2020.<br><br>O'Conor takes a close look at who Beethoven really was: the man and the music, both the composer’s arrogant, fiercely independent personality and his gift of genius to the world. This vivid and lively sketch of Beethoven’s personality is necessary to really understand his pathbreaking music: Beethoven’s musical innovations are inextricably linked with his outlook on life.<br><br>Beethoven lived during the time of the French Revolution and later the Napoleonic Wars, and the ramifications of these world-historical events had a real impact on his compositions. Beethoven also had a great deal of personal struggle — not only his premature deafness, but deep issues related to love and family.<br><br>Knowing this history is a key to play the music of great composers with true understanding, and O’Conor also believes it is essential to know their other works: the lieder of Schubert and Schumann; Beethoven’s string quartets, trios, and symphonies. O’Conor speaks from experience, having spent his early years playing a great deal of chamber and vocal music — including entire operas!<br><br>This interview also includes an engaging overview of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, showing the shifts in style and personality from the beginning to the end of his life, as well as charming anecdotes about O’Conor’s life and studies. The lesson closes with a classic Irish limerick.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

"Appassionata" Sonata, Op. 57

Taught by 

John O'Conor

Join famed Beethoven interpreter John O’Conor for an in-depth lesson on one of the greatest sonatas ever written: the mighty “Appassionata.” In this video, O’Conor shares his insights for every bar of the dramatic first movement.<br><br>He introduces this sonata as one of Beethoven’s personal favorites, and often relates the musical content to the composer’s personality and personal struggles.<br><br>Throughout the lesson, O’Conor brings close attention to the beauty and variety of the harmony, finds meaning in expressive indications, shares tips for reliable and powerful fingering as well as redistribution between the hands (even in trills!), sheds light on the taut rhythmic framework, and attends to Beethoven’s long and coloristic pedal markings. Most importantly, every detail helps communicate the drama of this work and empowers you to find an interpretation and a narrative that you find meaningful.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI:50

Taught by 

John O'Conor

In this lesson, Irish pianist John O'Conor guides you through the first movement of Haydn's C Major Sonata, Hob.XVI:50. O'Conor begins with an overview of Haydn's piano sonatas in the context of his larger output. An "underestimated" composer, Haydn—O'Conor insists—should be appreciated for the depth and variety of his work. <br><br> Diving into the exposition of the Sonata, O'Conor advises against playing the staccato notes to short. Turning to phrasing, he demonstrates how capturing the character of the music allows you to express the shape of the phrase much more easily. In the technically challenging passagework, O'Conor describes precisely how to hold the hand and arm, and how to shape the fingers, to achieve effects with facility. <br><br> Moving to the development, O'Conor stresses the important of expressing different key areas, as Haydn ventures away from the tonality of the piece. Dynamic contrast is also crucial to the development, and O'Conor shows how to achieve a proper fortissimo in the context of the character of the passage. In the famous open pedal passage, O'Conor makes the point that—depending on the room or hall—you may consider different strategies for collecting and releasing some of the acculumated sound. What matters is the effect, Haydn is getting across. <br><br> In the recapitulation, O'Conor focuses on balancing different voices and stresses finger strength. "Every pianist needs to get to know their body very well." O'Conor brings together the technique and character of the work, ensuring that your approach to the work will be without strain, and full of life.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Invitation to Historical Improvisation

Taught by 

John Mortensen

What if I told you that, with a little practice, you could improvise pieces that sound like Bach, Mozart, and other greats? The first building blocks are right here in this course. You'll learn the basic harmonic techniques that every aspiring musician learned in the 18th century, and in the same way they did: hands-on, at the keyboard.<br><br>Internationally acclaimed historical improviser John Mortensen is your guide to the lost art of partimento: shorthand compositions that challenge you to creatively realize a figured bass line. To do this, Mortensen teaches the "Rule of the Octave" and other common and useful progressions that was the foundation of Western musical practice for two centuries – and the first step towards your seamless improvisations.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

"Pathétique" Sonata, Op. 13

Taught by 

John O'Conor

In this lesson, renowned Beethoven interpreter John O’Conor guides you through the dramatic first movement of Beethoven’s famous “Pathétique” Sonata. Popular since the day it was written, this powerfully expressive sonata was unlike any piano work that came before. O’Conor’s engaging and multifaceted teaching style will help you learn how to bring out the wide-ranging emotions of this extraordinary piece.<br><br>The lesson is full of clear yet detailed comments on how to shape phrases expressively but without exaggeration, the importance of body language, on how pedal makes the sound of even a single note more colorful, that we should make big melodic leaps as passionate as a singer would, and a comprehensive look at the remarkable structure Beethoven devised.<br><br>O’Conor often describes passages as if they were a dialogue between different characters — and often a conflict! He encourages you to describe the music using words that mean something to you, and shows how beautiful it sounds when we phrase music as meaningfully as we say “I love you.”<br><br>O’Conor offers very practical technical advice, including solutions for keeping the wrist loose during the tiring left-hand broken octaves, chromatic scale fingerings for speed and reliability, building accuracy by thinking of smaller groups (and imagining a tiny gap between them), redistributing notes from one hand to the other, and how to look before you leap. To get a deep, rich sonority on the powerful first chord (and many other places), O’Conor recommends follow-through — the motion of the arm continues even after the note sounds, like swinging a golf club.<br><br>He also offers insights regarding how to interpret Beethoven’s dynamic markings: to treat pianissimos as fairly extreme and repeated fortissimos as powerfully insistent — and also a discussion of sforzandos, rinforzandos, and staccato dots (which sometimes mean more than just detaching the note!).

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

The Art of Pedaling

Taught by 

Jerome Lowenthal

Join esteemed Juilliard professor Jerome Lowenthal for a deep dive into the art of pedaling. His vast experience and immersion in the 20th-century Golden Age of piano playing are on full display: this lesson is full of vibrant, nuanced ideas that give you the keys to expressive pedaling. Witty anecdotes abound: Lowenthal’s profound understanding of culture – music, French poetry, history, and more besides – gives this lesson a charming, convivial atmosphere, as if you were invited to an evening of conversation with a master.<br><br>The lesson starts with the basics: what part of your foot do you pedal with? where should you keep your left foot? how can you pedal with subtle control rather than stomping? Lowenthal’s demonstrations reveal that using the pedal is as essential and natural as breathing.<br><br>The bulk of the lesson is devoted to musical examples representing a wide range of composers –– ranging from Bach, Haydn, and Liszt to 20th-century masters like Bártok, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Debussy, as well as a particular emphasis on Beethoven and Chopin. Each example reveals the expressive possibilities of nuanced pedaling: long pedals to sustain bass notes without muddling the rest of the texture, slow releases and half-pedaling for softening the piano’s percussive edge, and Chopin’s "breathing pedal" –– all of which play a part in crafting idiomatic and beautiful phrases.<br><br>Lowenthal closes the lesson with remarks on how best to use the left and middle pedals –– the una corda and sostenuto, respectively. With his insights, you’ll find that the soles of your feet will help you play with soul!

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Jerome Lowenthal: Pupil of Cortot and Kapell

Taught by 

Jerome Lowenthal

Esteemed Juilliard professor Jerome Lowenthal sits down with tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude to discuss the rise of Schubert in the 20th Century, what Lowenthal learned from Kapell and Cortot, performing Rachmaninoff with Stokowski, and what to make of composers' recordings of their own music.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Jerome Lowenthal on Narrative & Personality

Taught by 

Jerome Lowenthal

Do you play the beginning of Beethoven's Hammerklavier with one hand or two?<br><br>In this lesson, Ben Laude sits down with esteemed Juilliard professor Jerome Lowenthal to discuss this debated topic, along with general ideas on narrative and personality in performance.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Intro to Jazz

Taught by 

Jeremy Siskind

Ever wanted to learn to play jazz but felt stuck in your classical training? Join award-winning jazz pianist and acclaimed pedagogue Jeremy Siskind for an introduction to playing jazz at the piano. From decoding chord symbols, to cultivating a swing rhythm, to practicing scales and figurations within common chord progressions, Siskind will show you the path towards developing basic competency in jazz at the keyboard. Intended especially for classically trained pianists of any level, Siskind offers a structured, step-by-step program for developing your chops and finding your voice in a new idiom.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

Etude Op. 25 No. 6 in G-sharp Minor

Taught by 

Jeffrey Biegel

In this lesson, American pianist Jeffrey Biegel shares with you his strategies for practicing Chopin’s Étude No. 6 in G-sharp Minor, Op. 25. <br><br>While fingerings vary according to the edition that you choose to use, you will likely be forced to use your weakest fingers (your pinky and ring fingers) to play the top notes of the double-third figures that dominate this piece. To make the top notes sing, Biegel advises you to practice playing them legato while playing the bottom notes staccato. He also explains the “add-a-note” practice technique, which he encourages you to use to reinforce your double-third runs. While you’ll want your runs to sound even and seamless, they should still sound musical. To give your runs a sense of shape and direction, you can sing along with them – Biegel imagines that your vocalizations will inform your playing. <br><br>Finally, you will learn to tackle the runs of broken seventh chords that appear throughout this piece. Biegel invites you to practice playing these runs beyond their notated ending point. When you go back to playing the runs as they’re written, they won’t seem so daunting anymore!

Advanced

 | 

Skills,Repertoire

Toccata in C Major, Op. 7

Taught by 

Jeffrey Biegel

In this lesson, American pianist Jeffrey Biegel guides you through the technical challenges of Schumann’s Toccata in C Major, Op. 7. <br><br>First, you learn how to tackle double notes. Biegel advises you to loosen up your wrist and practice playing the top notes of these figures in a legato style and the bottom notes with a light, staccato touch. This will help you to ensure that your top notes, which are the most audible to the listener, sing. Biegel also challenges you to practice accenting the weak beats of double-note runs to ensure that they will not be lost in performance. To smooth out your runs, Biegel encourages you to use the “add a note” practice technique, which he demonstrates in detail. <br><br>You will also learn strategies for practicing the toccata’s contrapuntal passages. To strengthen the integrity of each voice, Biegel advises you to play them (especially the top voice) as legato as possible, so that they sound cohesive and independent. He also invites you to play through these dense, contrapuntal passages very slowly so that you can appreciate each voice, even singing along with those that you wish to bring out – your fingers, Biegel assures you, will listen!

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

Prelude Op. 23 No. 9 in E-flat Minor

Taught by 

Jeffrey Biegel

In this brief lesson, American pianist Jeffrey Biegel applies the practice techniques he learned from famed Juilliard teacher Adele Marcus to Rachmaninoff's Prelude in E-flat Minor, Op. 23 No. 9, a mesmerizing study in double-notes.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire

9 Practice Tips on Liszt's Feux Follets

Taught by 

Jeffrey Biegel

In this bite-sized lesson, American pianist Jeffrey Biegel shares nine concise and practical tips on Liszt’s fiendishly difficult etude “Feux Follets,” or “will-o’-the-wisp.” These essential practice methods make studying this piece far less daunting and lead to fluid and crystal-clear playing.<br><br>Biegel's advice focuses on the infamous double notes that resurface throughout the piece, offering many insights from his studies with Adele Marcus, famous Juilliard professor of the late 20th century and herself a student of the legendary Josef Lhevinne.<br><br>In addition to remarks on fingering and use of the wrist, Biegel comes up with many ways to create variety in your double-note practice: keeping the upper voice legato while playing the lower voice staccato; shifting the accent pattern to emphasize the second note of each group; and, importantly, playing in many different rhythms – Biegel shares eight options!<br><br>Other key insights include exaggerating left-hand leaps, Josef Lhevinne’s sparkling pedaling and “4 Speeds” concept, strongly emphasizing the upper voice in slow practice, stopping after landing a jump, and the powerful add-a-note method.

Advanced

 | 

Repertoire,Skills

Advanced Double-Note Training

Taught by 

Jeffrey Biegel

Join American virtuoso and Brooklyn College Professor of Piano Jeffrey Biegel for a clinic on double-note technique – how to play especially rapid thirds and sixths with speed and facility. After pinpointing the specific physical challenges of rapid double-note playing and demonstrating the practice techniques he learned from famed Juilliard teacher Adele Marcus, Biegel applies the principles to notorious case studies from Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff.

Advanced

 | 

Skills,Repertoire

The Girl with the Flaxen Hair

Taught by 

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

In this lesson Jean-Yves Thibaudet explores the most beloved prelude Debussy composed, the "Girl with the Flaxen Hair." Audiences instantly recognize the soft, caressing opening theme, which requires exquisite touch and sensitivity. Timing is crucial to this music, and as Thibaudet demonstrates, one must careful observe the durations Debussy wrote – even when they are counterintuitive – to achieve the most sublime effects. Thibaudet shows how he uses all three pedals and controls his dynamics to create an intimate portrait of innocence and beauty.

Intermediate

 | 

Repertoire

Garrick Ohlsson: The Formative Years

Taught by 

Garrick Ohlsson

One of the towering figures of concert pianism, and one of the greatest living American pianists, Garrick Ohlsson is featured here in conversation at the piano for an intimate look back on his formative years.<br><br>Hosted by tonebase Head of Piano Ben Laude, the conversation starts on an oft-trodden topic: piano competitions. Ohlsson won several as a young man, most famously the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1970 – a competition to which he would return as a judge in 2015. Ohlsson then discusses his mammoth discography, reflecting on the experience of listening to his own recordings. For Ohlsson, piano is both a profession and a pleasure, and he shares his ideal morning routine at the instrument.<br><br>Like most great pianists, Ohlsson's artistry bears the imprint of his mentors. Ohlsson reminisces on two of them in particular, telling stories of playing Beethoven and Brahms for Rosina Lhevinne and Claudio Arrau.

All-Levels

 | 

Skills

No results found.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Finally play the pieces you love.

Learn new techniques and repertoire from award-winning artists and renowned instructors like Emanuel Ax, Simone Dinnerstein, and Garrick Ohlsson.

Meet iconic artists in weekly LIVE workshops.

Learn how your favorite world-class artists approach music and ask them all your burning questions – in real time.

Interact with a vibrant community.

Engage with fellow learners from around the world and take part in community Intensives, Mentorships, and Challenges to get feedback on your playing and improve.

Build your musical skills at home or on the go.

Whether you're in your practice room or on a bus, you can access tonebase 24/7 from any device. Take tonebase wherever you go by downloading our new app for iOS and Android.

See what fellow pianists are saying.

Our members rate us at 4.8/5 stars. Here’s how a few of them transformed their piano skills since joining tonebase.  

“Instead of scouring the internet for hours for performance tips and tricks, I now have access to a wealth of high-quality content from renowned artists at my fingertips!“

Omid S.

joined Sep. 2022

“Sincerely speaking, a few months with tonebase help me solve many issues I have had with my fingers for years if not decades.“

Giao P.

joined Mar. 2021

“We [in the community] all give each other wonderful, positive feedback. The teachers also give incredibly detailed ways that we can improve our playing."

Eric P.

joined Apr. 2020

Ready to start learning?

Get started for free with a 14-day trial.

All plans include:
  • Unlimited access for 14-day free trial
  • Full 90-day satisfaction guarantee
  • Access to 500+ video lessons & courses
  • Structured & guided course content
  • Free PDF workbooks & annotated scores
  • Feedback from our active Community
  • The Ultimate Practice Toolkit ($100 Value)

Monthly

$
75
49.95
/mo
Billed monthly
Give tonebase a try with our Monthly plan. Cancel anytime or upgrade your plan later when you find it’s a good fit.
Select Monthly
Best Value - Only $0.82 per day

Yearly

$
30
24.95
/mo
Billed at $299 yearly
Make music your priority for the next 365 days and save BIG with our most popular plan. You’ll be amazed what a year with tonebase can do…
Select Yearly

Lifetime

$
995
695
/once
Billed just once
Ready to invest in your future education? Get our Lifetime plan and gain full, unlimited access to tonebase for life!
Select Lifetime

"I don't regret for a minute having spent the money on the membership. There's something for every musician on tonebase – I recommend you give it a try."

Photo of Dave
Dave McLellan

Concert & Chamber Musician

Join over 10,000 fellow musicians improving every day on tonebase.