Courses for Pianists 

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 are some of the best courses in the UK and Europe, many of which have been warmly endorsed by pianist friends and colleagues.

COURSES IN THE UK

Benslow Music Benslow. Residential and day music courses for students of all levels at a beautiful purpose-built campus in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Tutors include Nigel Clayton, Timothy Barratt, Caroline Clemmow and Heli Ignatius-Fleet. Further information

Chetham’s Summer School for Pianists. Known affectionately as “Chets”, this is the most famous UK piano summer school, and Europe’s largest summer school. Chets boasts a large faculty of international artists and renowned teachers. One-to-one tuition, masterclasses and workshops, concerts, ensembles and more. Further information

Finchcocks Piano Courses. Former Finchcocks Musical Museum in Kent has been given a new lease of life (under new owners) and is now offering courses for pianists and piano teachers throughout the year to suit pianists of all abilities. Tutors include Graham Fitch and Mark Polishook. Further information about Finchcocks residential piano courses

 

Hindhead Piano Course. Summer piano course for those who wish to further their pianistic knowledge and enjoy four days of intensive study with master-classes on technique, workshops, faculty lectures and recitals, and participants’ concerts, with particular accent on the music of Chopin. Faculty: James Lisney, Philip Fowke & Karl Lutchmayer. Lovely Victorian country house set in the Surrey Hills and homecooked food. Further information

Jackdaws Music Trust. Popular courses throughout the year for pianists, singers and other instrumentalists. Friendly supportive atmosphere. Piano tutors include Graham Fitch, Mark Polishook, Penelope Roskell, Timothy Barratt, Margaret Fingerhut, Philip Fowke, Elena Riu, and Mark Tanner. Courses to suit intermediate to advanced students, plus courses on jazz, accompanying and duets.  Further information

London Piano Meetup Group. Co-founded in 2013 by Frances Wilson (AKA The Cross-Eyed Pianist), the LPMG hosts regular informal performance platforms and social events for adult pianists in London, as well as one-day courses with visiting tutors, including the very popular Diploma Day with Graham Fitch and Frances Wilson. The group is run via an email mailing list (contact londonpianomeetup@gmail.com) and Facebook group

Lythe Chamber Music. Chamber music course for keyboard, string and wind players wishing to explore historical performance on modern or historical instruments in the beautiful setting of the North Yorkshire coastline and moors. Students, teachers and amateurs Grade 6 upwards. Faculty includes John Irving (historic keyboards). Further information

Penelope Roskell’s Advanced London Piano Courses. Inspiring and supportive weekend courses (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. Further information

Pianissimi  A three-day intensive piano course for advanced adult pianists (Grade 7 to post-diploma). The aim of the course is to meet other pianists, receive excellent tuition and be immersed in music. Tutors Penelope Roskell, Warren Mailley-Smith and Sanae Nakajima, plus yoga with Izzy Ixer.  Further information

Piano Week Run by pianist Samantha Ward, Piano Week offers classes for adults and children of all abilities, combined with an international piano festival.  Further information

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. Further information

Summer School for Pianists. This popular and long-standing summer school moves to Stowe School in Buckinghamshire for 2019, All-Steinway facilities with stunning architecture set in National Trust gardens. Friendly, supportive atmosphere, tutor recitals and many optional music activities, plus opportunities for accompanying. Faculty includes Graham Fitch, Ann Martin Davis, James Lisney and David Owen Norris (TBC) Further information

COURSES IN EUROPE

**New for 2019** Piano courses with James Lisney. A beautiful location in the heart of the Cahors wine region in France is the setting for new summer courses with British concert pianist James Lisney. Daily classes on a range of subjects, including effective practising, technique, pedalling etc; three masterclass sessions of minimum 30 minutes per student and individual tuition (3 x 45-minute sessions per student per week) plus over eleven hours of observable classes during the course; student performances and tutor recitals. Fine food and luxury accommodation. Further information

**New for 2019** Piano Workshop in Finnish Lapland. A new course with pianist and conductor Rudi Eastwood in a stunning location in northern Lapland. In addition to masterclasses and one-to-one lessons, participants will have the opportunity to sample exhilarating winter activities, including husky and reindeer safaris and snowmobiling. Students will stay at the luxurious Javri Lodge with exclusive use of facilities including ensuite rooms, shared sauna and heated swimming pool. Further information

Piano Pot-Pourri with Graham Fitch. 1st – 8th May 2019, France. Following Graham’s highly successful Piano Holiday at Saint Laurent in 2018, this new Spring Course will still be centered around the piano, but will now include master classes, workshops, individual tuition, a student concert and opportunities to play duets. In addition, Graham will give a short lecture recital. 10 participants, intermediate to advanced level. Further information

La Balie. Summer piano courses in a picturesque part of SW France. Luxurious accommodation and gourmet food. Daily masterclasses, faculty and student recitals, and more. Tutors for 2019 include Charles Owen, Noriko Ogawa and Martin Cousin. Further information

Lot Piano. A summer course for pianists in the picturesque Lot Valley of SW France, aimed at those who would like to join a group with a common musical interest in a convivial relaxed atmosphere. Ability level: Grade 8+ Further information

Music at Albignac. The latest incarnation of the renowned piano summer school Music at Ambialet founded in 1991 by the pianist Paul Roberts and arts journalist Jenny Gilbert. Over the years they have maintained and developed their original vision: to nurture the highest standards of music-making in tranquil and idyllic surroundings, bringing together teachers and pianists of international reputation with conservatoire students from around the globe; and to offer the same learning opportunities to amateur pianists, giving them a quality of teaching and insight. Further information

Music Holiday Italy. A series of one-week courses for pianists who love music, sunshine and Italy. Courses, including one-to-one bespoke tuition, run throughout the year at Montemuse in the heart of the Apennine mountains. The idea is simply to give amateur pianists a chance to learn from colleagues in an inspirational, relaxed setting. No set standard, maximum of 8 students per course. Further information