Summer School Testimonial


We  have received  a wonderful testimonial for our Summer School from one of the course members, Ron Walton. He writes:

‘If you want to recharge your pianistic and musical batteries there is no more enjoyable way to do it than to join the August Summer School for Pianists, now held at Wolverhampton University’s Walsall Campus. Throughout the week course members receive excellent tutoring and guidance on pieces they have prepared from a great team of accomplished recitalists and teachers. In the evenings the tutors give a splendid series of recitals.


I have been coming to the Summer School for many years and for me there are a number of distinctive features. It is a community of pianists of all ages with a core aim of developing their performance and interpretation of a wide range of piano repertoire. It is not competitive and I have never known a tutor who does not blend expert guidance with positive encouragement and a lively sense of humour. For course members who wish to gain experience of playing in public, there is the opportunity to participate in one of the three student concerts.

in-the-hub-1 Friendliness is the hallmark of the course and I enjoy chatting to other course members and tutors at coffee breaks and mealtimes or in the bar after dinner. After a hardworking but pleasurable week the final dinner and barn dance make an experience not to be missed.

Canteen - the Hub




The campus has en suite rooms which are comfortable, there are good meals, and coffee breaks are in an open plan concourse which encourages conversation and getting to know other course members. The practice pianos are of a high quality and I had no difficulty in booking a practice session each day.


Walsall Art GalleryAlso, I particularly appreciated the campus swimming pool, and for the even more active there is the campus gymnasium. In between pianistic exertions I managed brief visits to Walsall’s beautiful park/arboretum, the modernistic art gallery (with some fascinating Damien Hirst works) and the fine Leather Museum.

There are moments of sheer magic – I have never forgotten my first hearing of Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor in a course recital or participating in the male chorus in Busoni’s Concerto for Piano. Perhaps for non-pianists a summer school might seem a week of purgatory, but for me it gives a fresh spur to try new pieces, improve pieces I am familiar with, and a greater appreciation of works that I know I will never play but want to understand what the composer was saying.’


Thank you, Ron – we look forward to seeing you again in August 2015!

Come and join us – contact us via . Apply here and read about the course here.



Welcome to the Summer School for Pianists 2015!

Wendy Wyatt

James Lisney
Christine Stevenson
Karl Lutchmayer

Guest tutors:
Lauretta Bloomer
Graham Fitch

Gina Biggs

2015 will again see this renowned course taking up residence in the stunning new Performance Hub at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus. With a strong team of tutors, fine Steinway pianos and plenty of rooms/instruments for private practice, the course offers pianists the chance to improve their skills, socialise and be inspired by a week of music-making among friends. Book your place now!

Read about 2015′s new features on the About page.

Summer School Success

2014 has been a vintage year for the Summer School for Pianists. with over 60 participants and observers in 5 classes led by tutors James Lisney, Karl Lutchmayer, Lauretta Bloomer, Graham Fitch and Christine Stevenson.

Participants have performed three times in their masterclasses, with private lessons, duets and accompaniment on offer as well, plus three student concerts, including the popular ‘Informal concert’ for those new to performing. Pianos at the state-of-the-art Performance Hub (above) are excellent – as an all-Steinway institution we benefitted from a range of Steinway and Boston Grand pianos for the masterclasses, and plenty of uprights for individual practice and for two piano works.

The tutors have given us five wonderful recitals of repertoire ranging from Bach to Bartok and beyond, as well as an hilarious ‘Encore’ evening – party pieces, duets and musical humour.

Then there were the Presentations – James spoke of the teaching legacy of Phyllis Sellick, Graham presented a session on ‘Practice – The Three S’s’. Karl spoke of ‘ The shock of the Old; Interpretation and the Horizon of Expectation’ and Christine presented ‘The Amazing Mr Smith ; Ronald Smith, Performer, Teacher and Mentor.’

Lauretta gave two masterclasses on duets and one on song accompaniment with baritone Brian White, Hazel James did a session on 17th and 18th Century dances, Pam Clements ran a choir – and each evening in the Bar the talented jazz pianists amongst us entertained all and sundry.

Our friendly, supportive and welcoming atmosphere rekindled old friendships and made our many newcomers soon feel at home.

Here’s to 2015!

Summer School Countdown

Less than 48 hours to go now… then the Summer School for Pianists 2014 will be underway!

We’re looking forward to an action-packed week of classes, recitals, private lessons, and concerts both formal and informal. This year sees a number of innovations: tutors James Lisney, Graham Fitch, Karl Lutchmayer and Christine Stevenson are each hosting a session named ‘Piano Matters’, discussing various aspects of being a pianist. Due to popular demand, Lauretta Bloomer will be running two classes for duets, as well as a masterclass for song accompaniment with our resident baritone, Brian White.

And all the tutors are joining together for a Gala Concert – ‘Encore’!

It will be great to see old friends and to make new ones, to hear well-loved favourites from the piano repertoire and to make new discoveries.

Safe travel, everyone, and see you soon!

Now where did I put my metronome …