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

**New for 2018** An all-encompassing Piano Teachers’ Course on the Chetham’s International Summer School and Festival for Pianists. This exciting new course for teachers promises to offer inspiration to everyone. The emphasis will be on positive encouragement, with a realisation that principles of teaching can and indeed should be applied for every level of student, whether they be beginners or advanced players at conservatoire. Tutors include Paul Harris, Murray McLachlan, William Westney (author of ‘The Perfect Wrong Note’), and Margaret Murray McLeod. £ Further information

**New** Finchcocks Piano Courses. It’s very gratifying to see the former Finchcocks Musucal Museum in Kent given a new lease of life (under new owners) and offering piano courses throughout the year to suit pianists of all abilities. Tutors include Graham Fitch and Mark Polishook. ££ Further information

Chetham’s Summer School for Pianists. Known affectionately as “Chets”, this is the most famous UK piano summer school and boasts a fantastic faculty of international artists and teachers. Masterclasses, concerts, ensembles and more. £ 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, 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 include Penelope Roskell and Warren Mailley-Smith. £  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 offers courses for pianists taught in mixed ability groups. All-Steinway facilities at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall campus. Friendly atmosphere, tutor recitals and pre-concert talks, plus opportunities for accompanying and duet playing . Faculty includes Graham Fitch and David Owen Norris. £ Further information

COURSES IN EUROPE

**New for 2018** Piano holiday in France with Graham Fitch. The course will be centred around the piano but participants can also enjoy the beauty of the local area, its cuisine and wine. Guidance on practising and performance with a very popular and inspirational tutor. Ability level: Intermediate to advanced. Limited to 10 students.  ££ 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+. Tutors for 2018 Leon McCawley & Graham Scott. ££ 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. Plenty for families too, including walking and Italian cookery classes. Article about Music Holiday Italy in International Piano magazine (Jan/Feb 2018 issue). £  Further information