My Upcoming Piano Courses – Practising the Piano

I am pleased to be able to give you a rundown of the piano courses I shall be tutoring on during 2018, and there are quite a few. Hoping to see some of you there, whether in the UK or in France!

Piano Holiday, Saint Laurent, France – July

I shall be leading a brand new piano holiday in July in the beautiful surroundings of Saint Laurent, France. It will be tutored by myself, and hosted by Geoff and Penny Douglas.

Saint Laurent is situated on 27 hectares (66 acres) of land, with breathtaking views of the countryside and the Pyrenees. The fully refurbished 600 sq metre farmhouse boasts 4 apartments and extensive common space. The apartments at Saint Laurent have kitchens. There is a performance area, which can accommodate up to 60 people, with a Kawai RX2 grand piano. There is also a small swimming pool. For those not staying in the main venue, Le Bernet is 2km away. Perched on one of the slopes of the Volvestre, this former sheepfold awaits you at the end of a small path, and offers another breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside and the Pyrenees. This accommodation has a beautiful swimming pool, and includes a grand piano.

This course will be centred around the piano, but our aim is to also enjoy what the local area has to offer – its cuisine and wine, as well as the beautiful countryside (there will be the opportunity for walking or resting as desired). Numbers will be restricted to 10 participants, with classes focussed on performance and practising skills. Participants should be of intermediate to advanced level, and will need to bring three pieces from the classical repertoire that they have prepared to a fluent level (memorisation is not required). The daily classes will be conducted in a pleasant, friendly, supportive and non-competitive atmosphere. Digital practice pianos will be available.

For full details and to register, please follow this link. But hurry, there are only a few places remaining!

Finchcocks – June and November

Another brand new venture – a series of weekend piano courses from Finchcocks. What I like about this series is there is something for everyone. If you are an intermediate player and feel a little intimidated about going to some of the other piano courses on offer, then you will find what you’re looking for here. Finchcocks are running courses from the beginner level to the advanced in the comfortable surroundings of this beautiful and historic estate.

The first course took place a few months ago and it was a huge success. The instruments and practice space worked really well and the food and accommodation got good reviews too. You can read about it in this blog post.

I am much looking forward to the two courses I shall be running this year. The first one, in June, is targeted at upper intermediate level – for people who have reached a good (grade 4 -8) standard, but perhaps don’t practise as much as they would like. Equally, current intermediates would benefit from this course. I shall be giving lots of advice and tips for getting the most out of your daily practice sessions.

For details, and to book, click here

The second course is also targeted at the upper intermediate level but is more of a performance workshop. It will focus on developing performance skills, including memorisation, practising towards a performance, aspects of style (Baroque and Classical styles expecially), technique and overcoming nerves and anxiety. In advance of the course, each student is encouraged to practise a few pieces so that, over the course of the weekend session, they begin to feel happy performing in front of the group.

For details, and to book, click here

Do check out the courses on offer and book your places soon to avoid disappointment. I look forward to seeing you there.

The Summer School for Pianists, Walsall – August

I have been tutoring on this wonderful piano course for the past few years and it is now a highlight of the year for me. The Summer School for Pianists has been running for the last 40 years, and has established a central and unique position in the field.

Combining a friendly atmosphere with musical expertise, the Summer School for Pianists has become an essential annual event for pianists of all levels. The superb facilities of the All Steinway Performance Hub ensure that music takes centre stage for a week, with top class concert instruments and plenty of practice rooms. The master classes, lecture presentations, tutor and student concerts, good food and accommodation, create an event that is informative, stimulating and sociable for all pianists – and music lovers who simply wish to observe.

My class is unfortunately full, but there are still places left in some other tutors’ classes. Click here for all the details .

Jackdaws – November

Have you ever sat at the piano, uncertain as to what you should be doing in your practice time or wondered why it takes you so long to learn pieces? Would you like to eliminate mistakes and find a level of consistency and greater ease in your playing?

I run an annual weekend course at Jackdaws in November, focussed on the art of practising. We look at what we should be doing in our daily practice to reach our musical goals, working either on whole pieces, sections of pieces or even just questions that people bring.

We are looked after amazingly well – cordon bleu food is freshly prepared for us at each meal, and there are homemade cakes and biscuits during the breaks. All this in the beautiful surroundings of the English countryside! Because the course is limited to 10, there is a friendly and supportive group dynamic and you will leave refreshed and inspired. I always do!

Courses from September are not yet open for booking, but you can put yourself on the mailing list and receive full details as soon as they become available (follow this link). My course will be November 16-18.

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