Summer School 2016 – ‘… the best course ever…’ Book now for 2017!

Compliments poured in after our fantastic week at Summer School 2016. Participants came from throughout the UK as well as from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Australia and the USA.  And now it’s time to book for 2017 – don’t miss it! Find the application form here.

‘Everyone said it was the best course ever. Long may it continue!…’

‘Thank you so much for such a successful course…’

‘What a lovely, inspiring , busy week we have had in Walsall this year. So many different ideas from the tutors…’

‘It was so very good this year (again) and thank you! …’
‘I thought the summer school was a great success again – it seems to go from strength to strength …’ 
after-the-joint-concert2017’s course promises to give the same wealth of experience and musical inspiration. Tutors’ recitals will include works by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Franck, Debussy, Rachmaninoff , Shostakovich and Kapustin, among others. The popular Aperitifs – pre-concert talks – will return, and the tutor presentations, Piano Matters,  are on the theme of A Musical Toolkit – ‘Blueprint ‘- Reading the score; ‘Nuts and Bolts’ – How music is made; ‘Diagnostics’ – Analysis, and ‘Road-testing’ – Preparing for Performance. There will be sessions on technique, too.
2016’s optional repertoire theme was Song. In 2017 we are exploring ‘Music that Speaks’, remembering Paul Tortelier, who said that ‘Music should dance, sing and speak’. As a non-obligatory option, you are invited to bring music with literary, poetic or dramatic associations, music that tells a story, or music that speaks to you …
There will be classes for duets and song accompaniment, and our Platform series – thirty-minute recitals – will again be available, for a modest charge. The student concerts also give an opportunity to showcase your skills. Practice facilities are great.  And as ever, there’s plenty of time to relax and socialise.
Places are already filling fast, so don’t wait! Dates are Saturday 12th August to Friday 18th August. Contact for details. See you next year!

Late Availability! One place left … 43 days to go …

The countdown to Summer School has begun; pieces are being practised and polished, duets rehearsed, travel plans discussed. We’ve just heard that one place has become available at our Summer School. Don’t wait – contact Gina now to snap it up! Scroll down to the contact details  at the foot of the page.

performance-hub2Following 2015’s successful theme of  ‘Dance’, this year’s theme is ‘Song’, and participants are invited to explore repertoire with song connections as an optional choice.  Each course member has three half-hour slots in our masterclasses. The tutors’ recitals will feature wide-ranging repertoire, the presentations will cover topics including memorisation, effective study, Busoni and Chopin. The Aperitifs – pre-concert talks – will introduce recital repertoire, and a new series of Platforms will showcase our participants in public performances. As ever there will be time to socialise, relax and venture further afield. And don’t forget the swimming pool and gym …


Join us for an inspirational and unforgettable week of music-making. Book now!

Meet the 2016 Summer School Team!

Booking is open for our 2016 Summer School – don’t miss the opportunity to have an inspiring week of music-making next August!

Tutors above are, from left to right – Christine Stevenson, Graham Fitch, James Lisney and Karl Lutchmayer, photographed while rehearsing Richard Nye’s ‘This Marvellous Machine’ for 8 hands at one piano.

ann-martin-davisAnd we welcome newcomer Ann Martin Davis  – read about her here.

The course will again return to the All Steinway Performance Hub in the West Midlands, with masterclasses, tutor recitals, student concerts, and presentations on offer, plus a lively social scene. There are classes for accompaniment, and for duets. Private lessons can be booked, and there is a swimming pool and gym on the campus.

For more details, visit the About page, and the application form can be downloaded here.



Pianist Magazine features our Summer School!

Read all about it – the Summer School for Pianists is featured in the latest issue of Pianist Magazine. Editor Erica Worth describes the many attractions of the Course: ‘This friendly one-week-long summer school offers lessons, masterclasses, wide-ranging talks – and Steinways for all’.

She goes on to speak to James Lisney, one of the Directors, who tells her proudly that ‘it’s an all-Steinway course  … It’s also about friendliness. And I’ve found that there are so many people turning to music in the middle part of their lives. They want to do it at quite a high level, too. They learned when they were young. They’re returners.’

Also mentioned are the masterclasses, recitals, concerts, the Piano Matters presentations, the pre-concert Aperitifs – which are brief  ‘tasting notes’ for the tutor recitals, Words and Music  – a late night performance of Strauss’ melodrama Enoch Arden, and Piano Now – an evening’s event/discussion exploring modern music for two to eight hands.

Another highlight this year will be a presentation on the subject of Baroque Dance, given by Ruth Waterman, a dance expert and and niece of Leeds Piano Competition founder Dame Fanny Waterman.


Places on the course are going fast, so don’t delay! An Application form can be found here. Enquiries welcome – email us here or telephone Gina, our Administrator, on 0117 9852 726.


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.