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What's typically in the forefront of top-ranking concert-pianists' mind as they perform a technically daunting piece? Do top-level performers and gifted students practise in ways that differ from most learners? What aptitudes and mental abilities account for why gifted learners manage to acquire technical expertise without trouble while most learners struggle and fail to? Are these qualities entirely genetically predetermined and unique to gifted musicians, or do all humans have them and the potential to cultivate professional-level technical expertise? And what exactly is piano-technique, anyhow? Is technique something distinct and separable from strictly musical abilities? In what ways does it tie in with different aspects of piano-playing, like learning new pieces, sight-reading or performing from memory? To what extent is the content and style of technical training one receives likely to affect one's all-round progress? What accounts for the plethora of differing pedagogical opinions on technical matters that has characterized the piano-teaching profession throughout most of its history? And why, over all that time, have the profession's recommendations in general failed to dramatically raise the average learners' level of attainment? What gains in understanding might other fields' insights offer pianists, and what fields in particular?

Questions like these, on what underlies high technical expertise, are of keen interest to many piano-students and teachers, yet they're scarcely if ever raised within the pianist's literature or on piano-playing websites. Understanding Piano (, for short) has been created to provide a community website especially catering for people wishing to extensively explore and deepen their understanding of such matters - and, indeed, of altogether commonplace aspects of technique. offers its members a wide variety of facilities for obtaining and bringing together published information shedding light on technical expertise and on cultivating it, most of it unnoticed within the sphere of piano-playing itself. Alongside its substantial reference library, containing renowned and less well-known pedagogical methods and treatises on keyboard-technique dating back to before the piano's invention, as well as numerous sources documenting the words of famous pianists themselves on matters of technique, the site maintains a large database providing direct online access to especially valuable scientific research literature relatable to questions of the above kind, offering insights from many different branches of cognitive science investigating aspects of expert performance, its acquisition and its mental and neurological underpinnings. The site offers areas for accommodating original work contributed by members, including a wiki and a growing series of essays and practical tutorials written by the site's founder, designed to help members get to grips with the foremost ideas emerging in the cognitive and performance sciences.  A variety of forums are provided for members to share their insights and questions and obtain help from's staff on unfamiliar and difficult-to-grasp material from the scientific literature, and a special area of the site includes additional facilities (including private chatrooms) for creating and managing research projects that members might wish to pursue collaboratively. Other designated areas enable members to upload, view and download media files and documents, and to set up their own blog on piano-playing matters.

For more detailed information on what offers, please click here, or the "About" link on the menu to the left.

Full access to  the site can be obtained by way of a modestly priced 12-month membership subscription (around the cost of three hour-length piano lessons with a professionally qualified piano-teacher at today's average price.) If you'd like a free preview of the site, to ask for further information about it, and to participate in our open (public) forums, please register via any Log-in link. And, if you like what you find, please consider leaving a comment in our guestbook and recommending to others!