Autumn Piano School 2024

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If you love the piano, Autumn Piano School is for you!

Piano+ and the New England Conservatorium of Music invite you to the inaugural Autumn Piano School. A five-day immersion in the joy of piano, Autumn Piano School is open to piano-lovers at all levels of expertise and takes place in beautiful Armidale from 17 – 21 April 2024.

There’s so much on offer in the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of The Autumn Piano School. From one-to-one-lessons to workshops and masterclasses, you’ll get to meet and work with some of the best teachers in Australia. They’ll be sharing their experience and expertise, as well as, no doubt, some great teaching moments from their international careers.

The Autumn Piano School is designed to accommodate every level of piano, from Beginner to Advanced, Amateur to Pedagogue.

Pedagogy Stream

Studio piano teachers are encouraged to join the Pedagogy stream. Learn from outstanding Australian pianists, piano pedagogues and music educators, and connect with colleagues to share teaching experiences and tips. Early career teachers and music students interested in becoming studio teachers are especially welcome.

Topics covered will include teaching beginner, junior, intermediate and advanced students, teaching children with learning difficulties, how to inspire and motivate, exploration of Australian repertoire, and guiding students to develop healthy technique. Classroom music teachers may also be interested in attending selected sessions.

Beginner and Junior Streams

The dedicated Beginner and Junior streams provide one-on-one and group classes led by specialist instructors. Classes in Kodaly and Dalcroze methods enhance the learning experience and accompanying parents and guardians are invited to attend all classes for free.

Intermediate and Advanced Streams

For pianists seeking to refine their skills and excel in examinations, the Intermediate and Advanced Streams will challenge and inspire. If you’re thinking of studying music at tertiary level, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from some of Australia’s leading tertiary piano teachers from the larger Conservatoriums.

NOTE: The advanced stream is now full. To join the wait list, complete the enrolment form selecting advanced stream. There will be no charge.

Adult Amateur Stream

For adult pianists who play for pure joy.

Enjoy high-quality instruction from supportive teachers in a relaxed and encouraging environment. Whether you’ve never pursued a professional musical career or are simply looking to reconnect with your love for the piano, daily workshops will cater to all levels of playing, and no question goes unanswered!

 

Concerts & Recitals

There will be entertaining afternoon blackboard soirees and three full-length evening concerts open to the public, all performed by our superb performer-teachers.

Enjoy the autumnal colours in Armidale, soak up the friendly, relaxed country atmosphere and be immersed in the piano-loving community, all united by a passion for this marvelously expressive instrument and its extraordinary repertoire.

Evening Concerts

Konstantin Shamray in Recital

An exhilarating performer with faultless technique and fearless command of the piano, Russian Australian pianist Konstantin Shamray enjoys performing on an international level with the world’s leading orchestras and concert presenters.

Performances

Armidale NSW
New England Conservatorium of Music
18 April 2024

Bernadette Harvey In Recital

An acclaimed international performer and teacher, she was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2000 by then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, for her contribution to Australian Music.

Performances

Armidale NSW
New England Conservatorium of Music
19 April 2024

 

Teachers and collaborating artists

Including:

With more to be announced………

Dr. Stephanie Neeman
Dr. Edward Neeman
Konstantin Shamray
Dr James Cuskelly OAM
Samantha Coates
Dr Bernadette Harvey

 

Streams:

Pedagogy:            Studio Teachers, Classroom Music Teachers

Designed to provide professional development for studio teachers, the Pedagogy Stream includes eight morning seminars presented by leading pedagogues. Topics include techniques and resources for teaching beginners, teaching neurodivergent children, developing student potential, teaching healthy piano technique, and using Kodaly methods in the studio. Samantha Coates (Blitz Books) will also present a seminar for parents and teachers.

In the afternoons, attend a daily 20-minute pedagogy presentation by a leading performer-teacher; then observe a masterclass of your choice, or participate in daily Kodaly workshops with Dr James Cuskelly.

 If you would like some pedagogical advice on specific repertoire, you can drop into the daily Adult Amateur workshops for a brief one-to-one discussion with one of our master teachers.

The School begins with an introductory forum, Teaching Piano in Regional Areas, then meet your tutors and colleagues while enjoying a home-baked country afternoon tea. 

There will also be ample opportunity to meet with colleagues to exchange ideas and discuss experiences. 

All participants in the Pedagogy Stream are invited to perform in the daily Blackboard Soirees. Participants receive a discount when booking tickets to the formal evening concerts.

Beginner:             Pre-Preliminary AMEB (5+ years old)

The Beginner Stream welcomes primary-school aged students who have had less than three years of formal piano lessons. Each morning will start with two hours of group Kodaly and Dalcroze classes. Led by two of Australia’s most outstanding Kodaly and Dalcroze teachers, children will love the movement-based activities and musical games, while also developing their aural skills and rhythmic coordination.

In both private lessons and small-group classes, each child will receive one hour of one-to-one tuition with tutors who specialize in teaching young beginners. The small-group classes also explore topics such as improvisation for beginners, and music theory to develop literacy skills (these sound serious but include lots of musical games and fun activities). Every child will be invited to perform in the final concert, alongside other children of a similar age and stage of learning.

Group classes will run 9am to 1pm, with daily one-to-one piano lessons scheduled in the afternoon. Parents should plan to collect their child at 1pm, as supervision will not be provided in the afternoon.

Morning refreshments are included in the fee. A discount is available when purchasing tickets to the evening concerts. Students and families are welcome to attend the daily Blackboard Soirees, to hear older students perform in a relaxed atmosphere.

Junior:                    Preliminary to Grade 4 AMEB

The Junior Stream is designed for children and young teenagers who are working at AMEB Preliminary to Grade 4 level (or equivalent). Each morning will start with two hours of group Kodaly and Dalcroze classes. Led by some of Australia’s best Kodaly and Dalcroze teachers, these classes incorporate lots of movement-based activities and music games to develop aural skills and rhythmic coordination.

 In both private lessons and small-group classes, each child will receive one hour of one-to-one tuition. The small-group classes explore topics such as improvisation for beginners, and music theory to develop literacy skills (these sound serious but include musical games and fun activities).  Every child will be invited to perform in the final concert, alongside other children of a similar age and stage of learning.

Group classes will run 9am to 1pm, with daily one-to-one piano lessons scheduled in the afternoon. Parents should plan to collect their child at 1pm, as supervision will not be provided in the afternoon.

Morning refreshments are included in the fee. A discount is available when purchasing tickets to the evening concerts. Students and families are welcome to attend the daily Blackboard Soirees, to hear older students perform in a relaxed atmosphere.

Intermediate:      Grades 5 / 6 / 7 AMEB

The Intermediate Stream is for children and teenagers who are working at AMEB Grade 5 to 7 (or equivalent). Each participant receives a total of two hours individual piano tuition: 2 x 30 minutes individual lessons, plus 2 x 30 minutes tuition within the masterclasses.

 On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the day starts with one-to-one lessons. Masterclasses and workshops start at 11am. Students can observe the masterclasses, or elect to attend a variety of workshops, such as an Introduction to Jazz Piano with Sharny Russell, or musicianship skills with Samantha Coates (Blitz Books).

 After lunch, students attend a masterclass of choice, or participate in Kodaly classes with Dr James Cuskelly. Intermediate Stream participants can sign up to perform in the free daily Blackboard Soirees. If you’re thinking of studying music at tertiary level, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from some of Australia’s leading tertiary piano teachers from the larger Conservatoriums.

Morning and afternoon refreshments are included in the fee. A discount is available when purchasing tickets to the evening concerts. Parents, please note that supervision is only provided from 11am to 4.30pm. Students will need to bring their own lunch.

Advanced:            Grade 8+ AMEB, secondary students (Years 11-12) and Tertiary Music Students

The Advanced Stream is for teenagers and adults who are working at AMEB Grade 8 and above (or equivalent). Students in Years 11 or 12 preparing for an HSC/VCE Performance exam should enroll in this stream.

 Each day starts with one-to-one lessons, followed by masterclasses and workshops from 11am. Workshop topics include an Introduction to Jazz Piano with Sharny Russell, or musicianship skills with Samantha Coates (Blitz Books). 

After lunch, students can attend a masterclass of their choice, or participate in Kodaly classes with Dr James Cuskelly. Advanced Stream participants can sign up to perform in the free daily Blackboard Soirees. If you’re thinking of studying music at tertiary level, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from some of Australia’s leading tertiary piano teachers from the larger Conservatoriums.

Morning and afternoon refreshments are included in the fee. A discount is available when purchasing tickets to the evening concerts. Adults working on advanced repertoire can choose to enroll in either the Advanced Stream or the Adult Amateur Stream. 

Parents, please note that supervision is only provided from 11am to 4.30pm. Students will need to bring their own lunch.

NOTE: The advanced stream is now full. To join the wait list, complete the enrolment form selecting advanced stream. There will be no charge.

Adult Amateur:    Any grade 

Designed for those who play for the sheer joy of music-making, older teenagers and adults playing at any level can choose to enroll in the Adult Amateur Stream. Enjoy high-quality instruction from supportive teachers in a relaxed and encouraging environment. Studio teachers who would like some one-to-one lesson time should also enroll in this stream.

Participants receive two 30-minute lessons during the school. You can also participate in the daily drop-in workshops: feel free to bring a whole piece or just a few bars. Participants can also attend the afternoon Kodaly workshops with Dr James Cuskelly, and sign up to perform in the free daily Blackboard Soirees. Participants in the Adult Amateur Stream are free to observe any of the pedagogy seminars or masterclasses.

Adults preparing advanced repertoire may prefer to enrol in the Advanced stream, and studio teachers may nominate to have one-to-one lessons or attend the Adult Amateur workshops in addition to the Pedagogy stream.

Morning and afternoon refreshments are included in the fee, although participants will need to bring their own lunch. A discount is available when purchasing tickets to the evening concerts.

 

Enrol

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where is Autumn Piano School Located?

Autumn Piano School will take place at the New England Conservatorium of Music, located in Armidale, NSW, 6 hours north of Sydney.

Is accommodation provided for the school period?

No, here are some options for accommodation in the Armidale Region: https://www.visitarmidale.com.au/stay

Is catering provided while attending Autumn Piano School?

No, participants will need to provide their own lunch while attending the school however a morning and afternoon tea will be provided to participants while on site.

Are bursaries or scholarships available to subsidise the cost of the school?

No, we are unable to offer scholarships or bursaries in 2024.

We hope for the Autumn Piano School to become an annual event, in future years we aim to seek philanthropic or funding support to enable us to be able to offer scholarships or bursaries.

Are concession prices available for school enrolments?

No, as courses are streamed into skill and age level groups, prices have been set with consideration toward concession and kept simple as a flat fee for each individual course.

Can I choose my one-to-one lesson teacher?

We hope to invite you to nominate your preferred teachers and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Can I attend multiple streams at the same time?

You can only enrol in a single stream, if you are unsure which stream will be best suited to your needs please contact Jen Cramer, E: jen@pianoplus.com.au T: (02) 9241 3291

Does my enrolment guarantee me a place in the school program?

Yes, until the stream is full. Once a stream is full, you will be placed on a waiting list and notified if a place becomes available.

Can I participate in individual master classes but not enrol in the full three-day school program?

Unfortunately, due to the limited capacity of the master classes, they will be only open to participants who have enrolled in the full Autumn Piano School program.

When do enrolments close?

Enrolments close on 31 March unless streams capacities are reached before this date.

I have paid the 20% deposit of my fees, when is the full amount required to be paid?

The full enrolment fee must be paid no later than Friday 1 March 2024.

Will Autumn Piano School cater to people with access needs?

Yes, the Armidale Teachers’ College has disability access at the back of the building (South-East corner), and a disability toilet, both on the ground floor. There is also a stair lift to access the Auditorium and first-floor rooms. We ask that people let us know in advance if they will need assistance with accessibility and that they arrived at least 30 minutes before an event.

A collage of three image - on the top left is a young personplaying the piano, the bottom left there is an older person having a piano less and on the right hand side are two sets of hands, younger and adult, playing the piano

Armidale Teachers’ College, home of the New England Conservatorium (Photo: Terry Cooke)

Contact

For all questions about the Autumn Piano School please phone Piano+ 0412 827 672 or email jen@pianoplus.com.au

 

The logo for the New England Conservatorium of Music