Chetham’s Piano Summer School and Junior Academy goes ahead online for August 2020!

With so many musical events cancelling in recent weeks and the prospect of universities and conservatoires remaining shut until the Autumn, we have decided to be positive and continue with the 2020 Chetham’s Summer School and Junior Academy as what could be the world’s first online Summer School!

In view of the current worldwide crisis we are thrilled to announce our radical, imaginative and innovative online restructuring as an alternative format for what will be the twentieth summer school at Chetham’s.  We will continue to be positive, remain, as our strapline says ‘The friendliest piano summer school in the world’, and look forward to welcoming every one onboard (or at least online) who has a passion for piano, whatever age, level or stage they find themselves at.

 Though we have already had several hundred applications for the 2020 course, in recent weeks as Covid-19 wreaked havoc on planet Earth, these had all but come to a stop. As a new, concerned stream of emails and phone calls came in for Kathryn asking about cancellations, she suddenly had a brain wave: Chetham’s will not surrender! The summer school will support the music profession and all the magnificently talented freelance pianists who now find themselves completely out of work. We will go online and offer wonderful opportunities to the piano loving community on an international scale- just as in the previous 19 years of our existence!

Murray was immediately thrilled and enthusiastic and determined to move forward with the plan online as soon as possible.  Soon it became evident that most of our illustrious faculty of teachers and performers were completely supportive, positive and enthusiastic too, and after only a few tentative phone calls and e mails, the response from participants already enrolled on the course was fabulous.

 Already by close of play on 27th March we have had over 50 participants enrolled on our new online summer course with 20 and rising fast for the junior online academy.  The goodwill and positive spirit from participants give us strength and energy to continue the Herculean task of reformatting the entire project.   We have been especially touched by a number of our regular participants who find themselves unable to take part online, but who have been extremely generous in offering donations to the course to ensure its survival.

Is an online summer school a world’s first? Are we breaking records? Whatever the truth, we really want to keep going and to ensure that the momentum of the course is not lost after so many years.  We are committed to try and help everyone still enjoy the very special qualities of the Chetham’s summer school.  Dates remain the same as before Coronavirus started to cause international havoc:

Junior Academy: 8-13 August

CIPPS PART ONE: 14-20 August

CIPPS PART TWO: 20-26 August

The online summer school will provide the following, exclusively for participants:

●Timetabled individual online lessons with the faculty. These could be through skype, facetime, zoom or other platforms.

● Daily ‘live’ stream welcome and news.

● Daily live coffee mornings and announcements (CIPSS)

● Daily live stream technique tips from the faculty.

● Daily practise advice sessions

● A combination of live stream and recorded performances every evening (CIPSS)

● Evening online bar (CIPSS)

● Online Resources and videos

In addition, we are looking into putting on group performance workshops with active ‘live’ participation.

Fees are dramatically reduced to £250 per participant for one part of the course.

We fervently hope that in these uncertain times the continuation of our summer school, in this new format, will provide inspiration, guidance, support and a real sense of solidarity and camaraderie amongst everyone on the planet who is passionate about the piano.

With warmest wishes, and hoping everyone stays safe Kathryn and Murray