Is your practising getting you down? Do you need inspiration and encouragement? Would you like to meet other pianists and learn from the professionals? Then why not try a piano course or summer school this coming year…..
There are courses and summer schools for pianists of all levels, from single days and “taster” courses to piano weekends and whole weeks of piano goodness in the company of some of the finest pianists and teachers from around the world. Courses are a great way to connect with other pianists and like-minded people and are brilliant for improving skills such as technique and performance, and inspiring productive practising. Here is my round up of some of the best courses in the UK and beyond:
Jackdaws Music Trust. Courses throughout the year for pianists, singers and other instrumentalists. Piano tutors for 2014/15 include Graham Fitch, Penelope Roskell, Margaret Fingerhut, Philip Fowke, Elena Riu, Julian Jacobson and Mark Tanner. Courses to suit intermediate to advanced students, plus courses on Jazz and duets. Full details here
Chethams Summer School for Pianists. Known affectionately as “Chets”, this is probably the most famous UK piano summer school and boasts a fantastic faculty of international artists and teachers. Masterclasses, concerts, ensembles and more. Course dates: 14 – 20 and 20-26 August 2015. Faculty still all to be confirmed but new for next year include Dimitri Alexeev, Matthias Kirschnereit, Catherine Vickers, Fali Pavri, John Byrne and Alicja Fiderkiewicz. Further details here
Piano Week Run by pianist Samantha Ward and now in its third year, Piano Week offers classes for adults and children of all abilities, combined with an international piano festival, all based at Bangor University, North Wales. Course dates: 31 July – 5 August 2015. Full details here
Penelope Roskell’s Advanced London Piano Courses. An inspiring and supportive weekend course (3 full days) focussing on repertoire, technique, and yoga for pianists. 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 a concert on the Sunday afternoon. Ability level: post-Grade 8 to post-diploma. Course dates: April 24th to 26th and October 16th to 18th 2015, 22nd to 24th April 2016. Fee £195 (EPTA and ISM members £185); students £120. One scholarship available on application. Full details here.
Penelope also runs one-day performance and teaching workshops (next teaching workshop 8th May 2016, fee £70, EPTA and ISM members £65).
La Balie. **NEW** FOR 2015. Piano courses in July and August run by pianist James Lisney in the beautiful Lot-et-Garonne region of France. Luxury accommodation and three different courses to choose from – Piano Foundations, Advanced Masterclasses and Interpretation – to suit pianists of all levels. Full details here
Lot Piano. FULLY BOOKED Now in its eighteenth year Lot Music is a summer course for pianists which takes place in the very picturesque Lot Valley. It is aimed at those who would like to join a group with a common musical interest in a convivial relaxed atmosphere in South West France with all it has to offer. More information here
London Piano Meetup Group. Not strictly a course, the LMPG, run by myself and Lorraine Liyanage, offers monthly performance platforms, informal concerts, visits to museums with musical connections and masterclasses with visiting tutors for adult amateur pianists of all levels in a friendly and supportive environment. Full details of all our events here
Walsall Summer School for Pianists. Formerly located in Hereford, this popular and long-standing summer school offers courses for pianists taught in mixed ability groups. Friendly atmosphere, tutor recitals, and opportunities for accompanying and duet playing. More information here
Pro Corda. Adult courses designed to serve both the keen amateur musician who has little time in a hectic lifestyle to further skills and indulge their musical passion and excitement, along with those who have never had the chance to develop musical skills but have always longed to do so. The unique setting of Leiston Abbey is the perfect place to enjoy music along with great food and wine, while getting to know other like minded people in a warm and sociable environment. Details here
Benslow Music offers residential and day music courses, and a series of chamber concerts at its beautiful purpose-built campus in Hitchin, Herts. Courses with a special focus on aspects such as sight-reading and song accompanying, plus a special session on harpsichord tuning. Tutors include Timothy Barratt and Heli Ignatius-Fleet. Full details here
This blog post is regularly updated and reposted around my networks – please feel free to contact me if you would like me to include details of your courses
Read my Summer Schools & Piano Courses article for Pianist magazine’s e-newsletter