The New ABRSM Piano Syllabus - A Guided Tour

13 Jul 2022 @ 15:00 BST (GMT +01:00)

The new ABRSM piano examination syllabus for 2023 & 24 is now available! As with previous syllabuses, we will be creating an extensive library of resources featuring walk-throughs of repertoire from all grades alongside materials on technical requirements and general preparation.

Workshop content

In this online workshop, Graham Fitch shares his thoughts on the new syllabus and gives a preview of our resources featuring tips on learning, interpreting and practising the following repertoire selections from elementary, intermediate and advanced grades (these works are all open domain and links to free scores will be provided):

  • Initial Grade - Heinrich Wohlfahrt: Patterns (No. 10 from Kinder-Klavierschule - This beginner’s piece beginner’s piece in a five-finger position throughout, making it easy from the perspective of reading and position shifts and yet challenging - as part of a foundation for skilful piano playing we must not fall into the trap of fixing the hand and playing from the fingers. More advanced players can use this piece for a variety of other purposes, as will be demonstrated in the workshop!
  • Grade 3 – Muzio Clementi: Vivace (3rd movt. From Sonatina in C,  Op. 36 No. 1) - Elementary players are bound to encounter Muzio Clementi on their musical path. His music is always beautifully written for the instrument; educational and fun to play as well as an audience favourite. Full of life, this charming Vivace calls for dexterity in the right hand as it moves across the keyboard, the left hand accompanying.
  • Grade 5 - Heinrich Hofmann: Minnelied (No. 7 from& Stimmungsbilder - We pianists need to mask the percussive nature of our instrument and learn how to make the piano sing. This miniature by German Romantic composer, Heinrich Hofmann is an excellent example of a piece written in the legato cantabile style. It calls for control of tonal balance between the hands as well as within the right hand, which not only has the main melodic line, but also shares some of the background accompaniment.
  • Grade 6 – Friedrich Kuhlau: Allegro (1st movt. From Sonatina in C, Op. 20 No. 1) - This movement is a clear example of sonata form, and excellent preparation for the music of Haydn, Mozart and other Classical masters. The writing is both brilliant and gently singing,  with fast passagework alternating with melody and accompaniment. There are some dramatic moments where we have the opportunity to open up our sound.
  • Grade 8 - PI Tchaikovsky: Barcarolle No. 6 from Les saisons (“June”), Op.37b - This lovely Tchaikovsky piece is a gift for the pianist, offering the player the opportunity to explore colourful sounds and textures with hints of virtuosity (the big spread chords at the end of the middle section being an obvious example). Thoughtful pedalling is essential here, as is the ability to tell a story in sound.

The event will be of particular interest to piano teachers and exam candidates. It will also be useful to you if you’re not taking an exam but are looking for exciting new repertoire and to use the syllabus as a guide.

As with all of our workshops, the sessions will be recorded. Therefore if you're not able to attend on the day, you will be able to watch the workshop in your own time.

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