Tag Archives: Penelope Roskell’s Advanced Piano Course

Penelope Roskell’s Piano Courses 2013

Announcing Penelope Roskell’s forthcoming piano courses and piano events in 2013

Advanced Piano Course

The next three-day advanced courses will take place on 26-28 April 2013, and 11-13 October 2013 (10am – 5pm).  Penelope is an inspiring and dedicated teacher, and the courses, which are open to all advanced pianists (Grade 8 – post-diploma), amateur, student or professional, offer a very supportive and stimulating learning environment.

Taking place over three days, the advanced course focuses on repertoire, technique, and yoga for pianists, and is ideal for pianists preparing for concerts, competitions, diplomas or auditions, or for anyone suffering from technical problems, physical tension, injuries or nerves. The course is run as a series of masterclasses with plenty of opportunities for discussion and exchange of ideas, and ends with an informal concert on the Sunday afternoon.

Limited to eight students per course for maximum participation – one student scholarship available.

Fee: £195 (ISM and EPTA members £185)  Students £120 

One-day Performance Workshop 23rd June 2013  

A relaxed, supportive opportunity for pianists Grade 7 and above to meet other pianists and work on own-choice repertoire.

Fee £70 (half day £40)

Workshop for Piano Teachers on Teaching Piano Technique 

Sunday  3rd March 2013.  This workshop is open to all piano teachers, who are interested in discussing aspects of teaching technique within an encouraging setting.  Each teacher will be invited to prepare one or two short students’ pieces, which will form the basis of discussion.

Fee £70, (EPTA and ISM members £65) 

New North London Piano Group

Regular monthly meetings in North East London, first Tuesday in the month, 7.30-9.30 (except during holiday times).

Fee: £180 for 8 sessions

Venue for all courses:

The Studio
66 Queen Elizabeth’s Walk
Stoke Newington

0208 802 6258


Private lessons also available – please contact Penelope for details.


Please note Penelope’s forthcoming London concerts this spring, at Sutton House, Hackney London E9 6JQ. Both concerts free to under 26s.

Sunday March 17th, 3pm 

Roskell Piano Trio

Shostakovich Trio No 1
Schumann Piano Trio No 2 in F
Beethoven “Archduke” Trio


Sunday May19th 7pm 

Fitzwilliam Quartet and Penelope Roskell, piano

Programme to include Schumann Piano Quartet Op 47.

Further information and tickets www.shms.org.uk

Bachtrack review

Some student comments on recent advanced piano courses:

“This was an Epiphany for me:  I felt so moved by my own playing”. S.D. (UK) 

“Thank you for another very inspirational course.  I came home on such a high!  Already looking forward to the course next year”  E.G-J (Eire) 

“I liked the course 100%. I achieved even more than I had hoped”  C.B (Romania) 

“I wanted to thank you again for this extremely rewarding day of masterclasses! Thanks a lot for your welcome, your generosity and your highly beneficial musical advice! M.E. (France) 


Penelope Roskell, short biography 

Penelope Roskell is an international concert pianist and Professor of Piano at Trinity College of Music. She has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level for over twenty five years and has a special expertise in the field of piano technique. She is the only piano teacher in England recommended for referrals for physical tension and injuries by the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine. Her DVD on Yoga for Musicians is recognised as a major contribution to research in this field, and she is currently preparing a DVD on Effortless Piano Technique.

As a performer, she has appeared as soloist at major concert halls throughout Britain, and in over thirty countries in Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, Africa, Asia, and the Middle and Far East. 


Autumn Piano Course

Stephen, one of the students on the course

Another excellent weekend on Penelope Roskell’s Advanced Piano course – my fifth course run by my teacher. Three friends were there, including Stephen Gott, who I met nearly three years ago on the first course we both attended. (Stephen has just entered his second year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.) With a total of just six students, instead of the more usual eight, there was plenty of time for discussion and appreciation of the repertoire we all brought to the course, to play and to share: it was supportive and inspiring. The standard of playing is usually pretty high, which means we get to enjoy quality music, every day.

I have blogged before about how useful I find my teacher’s courses: the small number of students (a maximum of eight to allow plenty of participation), the intimate setting (the course takes place in the spacious sitting room of Penelope’s home) and the (reasonably) relaxed end of course concert on the Sunday afternoon make for an atmosphere that is both stimulating, challenging and friendly. By Sunday, when we’ve all got to know each other better, the atmosphere is relaxed and we often spend the time simply playing music for one another. Sometimes all we need as pianists is to play for others. Helen Burford, a pianist based in Brighton, whom I’ve met a couple of times on these courses, and I even played a suite of tiny duets for beginner students, bringing a touch of elan to each miniature, to the accompaniment of laughter from our fellow students.

By the third day, people are transformed by the experience and someone who may have said at the outset that there is no way they are playing in the concert, feels secure enough to perform. And this, for me, is the major benefit of the course, to give confidence to nervous or shy performers, and to bring out the very best in people through gentle yet focused tutoring.
The course is organised as a series of masterclasses, and begins each morning with yoga-based exercises especially devised for pianists to help loosen shoulders and back, and warm up arms and hands, legs and feet. Everyone gets the chance to play at least once every day, and students can select when in the day they would like to play – some people prefer to play early on “to get it over with” and then sit back and enjoy others playing through the day. We take our lunch in the garden if the weather is fine, or in the conservatory, our musical conversations accompanied by the squeaking of the pet guinea pigs!

I took Liszt’s Sonetto 104 del Petrarca and Mozart’s Rondo in A minor to the course. Both pieces form part of my LTCL Recital programme and I really just wanted to put them before a small audience for some feedback. The Mozart in particular was very well-received, which was most gratifying since I’ve spent such a long time with this piece – playing it, studying it and reading about it. I also played it in the end of course concert.

Another lovely aspect of these courses is the great variety of repertoire one can encounter. Helen always brings interesting pieces, this time ranging from Bach to Chick Corea. On Saturday afternoon, at the very end of the day, she played the evocative Lotus Land by Cyril Scott, a piece we had both, coincidentally, heard, and liked, on the Radio Three recently. It has echoes of Delius, Debussy and Satie. We also enjoyed music by Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy, Haydn, Schumann, Shostakovich, Brubeck, and Vask. Hear a selection of the music we played here:

Autumn Piano Course (a Spotify playlist)

Live performances:

For more information about Penelope Roskell’s advanced piano courses and workshops for pianists and piano teachers, please visit http://www.peneloperoskell.co.uk/

Penelope Roskell’s Advanced Piano Course

My apologies, but the wrong dates for this course were given in my earlier blog post about courses for pianists. The correct dates of Penelope Roskell’s next course are:

October 5th to 7th 2012

The course runs for three days, and is open to all advanced pianists (post-Grade 8) – professional, student or amateur. It is particularly helpful for those studying for diplomas or preparing for auditions, competitions or concerts, and for those who suffer from physical tension or performance anxiety.

Cost: £195 (EPTA and ISM members £185).

The course takes place in Penelope’s home in north London.

Further details: peneloperoskell@blueyonder.co.uk

Piano Course – March 2012

Another excellent three days in the company of other advanced pianists – some students, some piano teachers like me, and some professional pianists – on the piano course run by my teacher, Penelope Roskell. We enjoyed a wide range of repertoire, from Scarlatti to Stephen Montague, and discussed and practiced aspects of technique such as soft hands and forearms, ‘Mozartian’ staccato (what Penelope descibes as “detached legato”), ‘orchestrating’ sonatas and piano works by Haydn and Mozart, and how to achieve a beautiful cantabile sound in Schubert’s Impromptu in G flat (D899 No. 3) and Chopin’s ‘Aeolian Harp’ Etude (Opus 25, No. 1). And much more besides….. Our coffee and lunch breaks were full of interesting ‘piano chat’ and it was both instructive and enjoyable to exchange ideas with other pianists and teachers. The next course is on September – details at the end of the post.

Despite finding the first course (in April 2009) very daunting, because of the very high standard of the other participants, I have always gained a huge amount from these courses: they are instructional, inspiring, very supportive, and non-competitive. Everyone comes to the course with different needs and interests, from help with tension or performance anxiety, or simply a desire to play through some repertoire to other people in a relaxed setting. The course always ends with a concert, to which friends and family are welcome. The performance aspect of these courses has done wonders for my confidence and I have lost any shyness I had about performing, and now actively enjoy it. The 30 seconds of contemplative silence which greeted my performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in E, Opus 62, No. 2 was the ultimate compliment at the concert yesterday afternoon, and I was flattered and touched by some of the comments I received afterwards.

What we played during the course:

Debussy – Preludes Book I: ‘La fille aux cheveux de lin’

Villa-Lobos – Prole de bebe No. 1: ‘O Polochinello’

Bach – Prelude & Fugue in F minor, XII, WTC Book 2

Chopin – Nocturne in E, Op. 62, No. 2 (me)

Mendelssohn – Variations Serieuses, Op. 54

Chopin – Berceuse, Op. 57

Scriabin – Piano Sonata No. 4, in F sharp major, Op. 30

Mozart – Piano Sonata in A minor, K 310 (1st & 2nd movements)

Haydn – Piano Sonata in E flat, No. 59, Hob. XVI:49 (1st movement)

Mozart – Piano Sonata in D, K 576

Chopin – Waltz in E minor, No. 14

Beethoven – Piano Sonata in F major, Op. 10 No. 2

Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 5 (1st movement)

Dave Brubeck – ‘Dad Plays the Harmonica’

Henry Cowell – ‘Exultation’

Stephen Montague – ‘The Headless Horseman’

Bach – Concerto in D minor after Marcello BWV 974 (me)

Chopin – Etude, Opus 25 No. 1 ‘Aeolian Harp’

Mozart – Rondo in A minor, K511 (me)

Scarlatti – Sonata K.215

Martin Butler – ‘After Concord’

Joanna MacGregor – Lowside Blues

Diana Burrell – ‘Constellations’

Schubert – Impromptu in G flat, D899 no. 3

Chopin – Nocturne, Op. 48 No. 1

Bach – Prelude & Fugue in C-sharp major, WTC Book 2, III

Prokfiev – Piano Sonata No. 3 (1st movement)

Liszt – Concert Study: ‘Un Sospiro’

Charles Tebbs – ‘Moonlight from Sunlight’ (Charles is a pianist and composer who attended the course and performed some of his own pieces for us)

You can hear most of the pieces via this Spotify playlist

‘Moonlight from Sunlight’ by Charles Tebbs

More on piano courses here (includes details of Penelope Roskell’s September course)