3-Part Series with Melanie Spanswick: How to Develop Flexibility in your Piano Playing

Join best-selling piano writer, piano pedagogue and composer Melanie Spanswick for a three-part series on flexibility! Full details on each session can be found below.



SESSION 1: Flexibility, Tone Production, & Developing Finger Strength


Feb 5, 2024 07:00pm GMT LIVE on Zoom

◼️ Basic flexibility with the intention to help students learn to manage tension issues, avoiding injury and pain.

◼️ Examining the need for ‘tension and release’ during piano playing, and offering a highly beneficial method of developing this facet via a series of exercises.

◼️ Promoting the basis for finger strength and agility, without tension in the hand, wrist and arm, at the same time as producing a full sonority.

◼️ Looking at Czerny and Hanon exercises as well as Two-Part Invention by Bach (all musical examples will be provided).



SESSION 2: Scales, Arpeggios, Broken Chords, Articulation and Thumbs


Feb 26, 2024 07:00pm GMT LIVE on Zoom

◼️ Further development of the tools covered in workshop 1; flexibility and relaxation, but within the context of honing firm fingers via the use of scale patterns.

◼️ Examining ways of practising scales and arpeggios, which are paramount as part of virtually any piano exam, as well as in much repertoire.

◼️ Helpful thumb exercises are featured, as well as ways to improve movement whilst playing scales, and methods of practising scales for clearer rhythmic grasp, melodic shape, and evenness.



SESSION 3: Hand Flexibility, Double Notes, Ornaments, Cantabile, Octaves, Chords, and Chordal Balance


Mar 18, 2024 07:00pm GMT LIVE on Zoom

◼️ Hand flexibility, with an extremely useful set of exercises, allowing for the hand to be comfortable in the ‘out-stretched’ or octave position, in preparation for tackling extended hand movements such as octaves and chords.

◼️ The importance of the Bridge position and knuckles are examined along with exercises intended to develop the fourth and fifth fingers.

◼️ Detailed tools for practising ornaments, as well as a few ideas for double notes practice.

◼️ The illusion of legato is explored, as well as cantabile and how to voice inner parts.

◼️ Finishing off with some interesting and fun exercises for developing arm-weight and a powerful sound. Music examples will be provided.


Each masterclass is approx. 1 hour long and will include a live Q&A for you to ask any questions you may have. Attendees are not required to perform, but we highly recommend sitting at your piano during the session so that you can try out the exercises! Cameras and microphones will be turned OFF.

Tickets are £50 for the series. Sign up here.

The series is FREE for Pianist Prime members. Information on how to access the webinar as a Prime member will be emailed to you once you have become a member here: https://www.pianistmagazine.com/information/pianist-prime-membership/