Teaching Healthy Piano Technique with Penelope Roskell

A comprehensive course for piano teachers

Penelope Roskell credit John Batten

Penelope Roskell © John Batten

Following on from the success of her award-winning book, The Complete Pianist: from healthy technique to natural artistry (Peters Edition, 2020), renowned pedagogue Penelope Roskell has now produced a nine-hour series of videos which gives teachers, both new and experienced, an in-depth understanding of how to teach all aspects of piano technique to students of all levels.

Healthy piano technique not only avoids injury but also helps to achieve a more beautiful sound, greater artistic freedom and faster progress. This comprehensive course will help teachers to resolve common problems and instil a well-coordinated, confident approach to technique in their students, paving the way for a lifetime of fruitful, expressive and injury-free playing.

As someone who regularly works with injured pianists, Penelope Roskell sees a lot of people whose problems often arise as a direct result from the way they have been taught. Incorrect technique, and a lack of proper understanding of the bio-mechanics of not just the hand but the whole body, can lead to serious injury.

“If your body is in harmony, then there is less tension in your playing and you will create a richer, more varied sound.” – Penelope Roskell

A “whole body approach” leading to tension-free playing and performance lies at the heart of Penelope Roskell’s teaching ethos, from the simplest aspects such as correct posture at the piano and warm up exercises to fingering and touch and the principles of free, natural movement to create strong, foundations for beautiful, comfortable playing. Above all, it is about how to make piano playing feel easy and enjoyable.

Penelope Roskell demonstrating technique

Penelope Roskell demonstrating technique

The course is organised as a series of resources to allow users to access it in the way that suits them best – you might wish to follow it completely, dip in and out of it, or simply use specific sections to support your teaching.

The course offers thirty-one high-quality videos (approximately 9 hours in total) on all aspects of teaching technique with very clear multiple camera angles, complemented with copious notes and musical examples to illustrate a healthy, sustainable approach to technique. Each aspect of technique is presented in a practical step-by-step approach, starting with simple exercises which are then developed into more complex intermediate and advanced examples. Concepts are demonstrated in numerous repertoire examples from all levels, including several pieces written by Penelope for this purpose.

Teaching Healthy Expressive Piano Technique – Playing Fast Scales (Excerpt)

The course is suited to all teachers, both new and experienced, who wish to improve their teaching and learn how to teach all aspects of technique to students of all levels. This is a very comprehensive conservatoire-level course, which already forms the core of Penelope Roskell’s new Piano Pedagogy course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Students of the course will also be able to access feedback from Penelope herself and former students via follow-up Q&A sessions and the dedicated Roskell Academy support group on Facebook. They will also have the opportunity to work towards accreditation in the Roskell Method if they wish.

Penelope Roskell: Schubert Sonata in Bb major, D960, 1st movement

Penelope Roskell is a renowned international performer, inspirational teacher and professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and a visiting professor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She is the author of The Complete Pianist and the leading UK specialist in healthy piano playing.

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