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Who will teach the piano teachers?


Based in Manchester, Chetham’s International Summer School and Festival for Pianists has grown into the largest summer school in Europe devoted exclusively to piano courses and students.

The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, with attendees returning year after year, especially for its renowned adult amateur course where lasting friendships are forged among the music making.

This year, for the first time, Chet’s is offering a course for piano teachers of all levels. The aim is to encourage teachers, who can then go on to inspire their own pupils: we all know what a life-changing difference a good teacher can make.

The course will begin with a day of Simultaneous Learning from the composer, performer, writer and educator Paul Harris. Margaret Murray McLeod will be responsible for sessions dealing with teaching Baroque, Classical, Romantic and modern repertoire at every level from beginner to Grade 8 and beyond. Artistic director Murray McLachlan, pictured, offers clinics in piano technique (‘Speed, Security, Stamina and Strength’ certainly sounds exhilarating!) based on his Piano Technique books published by Faber.

There are sessions on Dalcroze, Alexander technique, Dance, Improvisation, Keyboard Harmony (a valuable skill most pianists try to avoid) and Composition, plus a progressive daily series of sessions on Kodály technique.

We especially like the sound of Sharon Goodey’s session Playing with Colour (handy for this Debussy anniversary year), Beginner Piano (subtitled ‘different approaches to the first important lessons’), Liz Dewhurst’s Running Your Own Teaching Practice, and Karen Marshall’s Accessible Beginner Piano Teaching, which gives advice and support to teachers who have pupils with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. William Westney, author of The Perfect Wrong Note, will give presentations, lectures and general advice.

Come prepared! Participants are encouraged to bring a portfolio of their teaching career and experiences to date. Upon arrival, they will receive a bundle of teaching aids and books. There will be daily opportunities for participants to refine and develop their own teaching experience and they will be able to watch experienced tutors in action. Participants will be set daily assignments (written and verbal) which will be assessed and marked by tutors on the course. On the final morning, participants will be invited to teach a pupil under observation, after which they will receive detailed feedback.

Intimidated? Don’t be! If you’re passionate about your teaching, it’s well worth a try.


The Piano Teacher Course runs 17-23 August 2018. A further Piano Teacher Performance course runs 23-29 August.


Don't forget to check out our 12-page 2018 Courses & Festivals Guide inside the current issue 101




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