At the time of writing (November 2020) there is hope that by Spring 2021 life in the UK will be returning to something of a more ‘normal’ situation. Chetham’s Piano summer school will constantly review all government guidance in consultation with the safeguarding committee at the school. All measures needed to ensure the safety and well-being of participants, faculty and staff will be put in place to ensure a safe and happy course for everyone.

A COVID policy statement will be issued to everyone prior to the start of the course outlining all of the safety measures in place, reflecting the situation in August 2021. We will review and update information on the website as necessary.

Registration is in the Oglesby Atrium on the following dates:

Junior Academy
Friday 13th August 12.00 – 13.30

CIPSS Part 1
Monday 16th August 13.30 – 16.00

CIPSS Part 2
Saturday 21st August 13.30 – 16.00

If you are travelling from abroad and need to arrive a day early, there are many local hotels in the vicinity. The closest is the Premier Inn on Deansgate

Junior Academy
The course ends after morning recitals by all of the participants on the 16th August around 11am.

CIPSS Part 1 will end by 11.30am on the 21st August after morning participant recitals.

CIPSS Part 2 will end by 11.30am on the 26th August after morning participant recitals.

NB If you are taking a Trinity Performance Diploma you may need to stay into the afternoon depending on the number of entries.

The main difference is the much more informal performance opportunities to participants on the Adult course. There are daily discussions about subjects that are of particular interest to this course e.g performance anxiety, memory, how to practice, suitable repertoire. All of this happens in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. Participants on this course are allocated the teacher by the summer school administration.

Participants on the piano course can select up to 4 teachers with whom they are interested in studying with. We will do our very best to accommodate your preferences. 

With such a large and inspirational faculty, many participants take advantage and study with several teachers during their stay. For one course of piano (three hours) one teacher is usually allocated. If more than one course of piano is booked the lessons will most likely be with two teachers. It is also possible to request individual lessons with a different teacher each time. On the piano course it is possible to choose 4 names that you are interested in studying with. If possible we try to allocate your preferences, but it is not always possible. As everything is open to observe it is always possible to learn from every teacher working on the course.

All information regarding allocation of teacher, concerts, extra classes etc will be given at registration. We will do our best to accommodate your preferences.

All  individual lessons will be timetabled with your teacher and sent to you in advance, taking into account any time zone constraints. Your teacher will contact you and organise your links.

It is possible to be very flexible with the online course and times can be organised to suit the individual. The availability of individual faculty may vary and lessons may take place throughout the dates of the summer school, from 7 – 25 August. When applying online please email the administratorif you have any restrictions on your availability.

All live stream event details will be emailed to partiicpants on a daily basis.

The teachers will use different platforms including Zoom, Skype and facetime. In advance of the lesson contact will be made to check that the connection is working.

The administrator will send out information confirming what platform you will be using for your lessons well in advance of the course.


Every day participants will receive an email with all of the daily activities with easy to use links to simply click on. 

Junior Academy

The standard course fee includes three hours of individual piano lessons, plus daily group classes with the course leader. Please look at the full course details here.

Extra piano lessons can be booked in addition to the many other courses including theory, aural, sightreading, jazz, composition etc. Have a look at the options here.


The standard course fee includes three hours of individual piano lessons, plus opportunities to play in classes with your teacher, as well as drop in performance classes and practise clinics.

Extra piano lessons can be booked in addition to the many other courses available including theory, aural, sightreading, jazz, organ, harpsichord, composition etc. Have a look at the options here.

Of course all lessons are open to watch, offering 6 hours of tuition every day from all of the incredible faculty. 

Junior Academy

Extra piano lessons can be booked in addition the many other courses including theory, aural, sightreading, jazz, composition etc. Have a look at the options here.


Many people do 2 or 3 courses. Each course gives you 3 hours of individual lessons therefore if you did 3 courses you would have 9 hours in one part plus up to 7 hours of additional workshops. 

Have a look at all the course options here.

Scholarships are available for talented young pianists in financial need.

To apply please email a link to a representative recording of your playing, 2 references (one from your teacher) and evidence of finances. 

If you are a full time music student at university or conservatoire, please send in proof of your student status.

Other evidence of financial circumstances could include the latest household tax statement, benefit statement etc.

All timetables will be emailed to participants in advance of the course taking place.

Under 18’s are very welcome on CIPSS, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Family rooms are available in the school for any children wishing to stay as residents with their family.

Each year there are many under 18’s and we are renowned for being an incredibly friendly summer school. One year a rather shy teenager said that he couldn’t believe how friendly we all were and couldn’t wait to come back. We always try to team up children with others that have been on the course before to help them settle in quickly.

Junior Academy

A large team of residential house parents will be the point of contact for participants and parents throughout the week. The team meet everyone on the opening night reception and a mobile telephone number will be given to all participants and parents. The number can be called 24 hours a day. Parents are welcome to come on the academy as non residents observers with their own child. They must stay with their child throughout the day.


Under 18’s are welcome on CIPSS but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Children are welcome to board in the school with their family.

Chetham’s is a boarding school and it is possible to have a very large number of participants staying at the school. All residential participants sleep in the school.  Accommodation is in single, double or dormitory style rooms and many rooms have en suite facilities.  Together with a 24 hour security guards this ensures a safe and happy environment. This fantastic social atmosphere ensures that the summer school will provide many happy memories. Many regulars say it is the highlight of their year!

The Chetham’s Summer School is not competitive in any way and the artistic Director, Murray McLachlan, thinks of it as one big happy piano family. There are always a wide range of abilities, but the atmosphere is one of support and encouragement. We welcome everyone who loves the piano and no audition is required.

With over 100 new practice rooms everyone is given a room for the week and they are open from 6am to 11pm. Everyone shares a room and sorts out when to practise with each other. There is no additional cost for the use of the room. There is also a resident piano tuner who can sort out any problems that may arise.

We very much hope that the onsite course will take place in August, inline with the latest guidance from the government.

However if it becomes impossible to continue onsite the participants will be moved to the online course. The live stream recitals from Chetham’s wonderful Stoller Hall, lectures, socials and much more will enhance this course hugely, following on from the  success of the 2020 course.

We will update all participants if the situation changes and would like to thank everyone for their continued support of the summer school in these unprecedented times.

This is absolutely fine and there will always be someone keen to take up the place.

Junior Academy

The course programmes have been designed to stimulate the young pianists throughout the day. The onsite course is action packed and intensive. In just a few days we hope that all young pianists will leave Chetham’s inspired and eager to develop everything they have discovered on the course. 

Ofcourse if the younger pianists are too tired to attend the concerts in the evening they can enjoy some social time in their houses, but we would encourage everyone to try and attend everything – it will be an excpetional few days of extraordinary music making!


The schedule of lessons and evening recitals is very stimulating and exciting. All events are included in the course fees. Some participants do attend everything, but of course you are free to choose to only go to some of the lectures and recitals.

As a participant on the course (resident AND Non-resident)  tickets for ALL recitals are included in your fees.

At the time of writing (November 2020) we are not certain if the recitals will be open to the general public. However as all events are live streamed it will still be possible for non participants to buy tickets and enjoy the wonderful series of events from the comfort of their home.

A bath and hand towel are provided, as is all bed linen. Dress code is informal, although if you are playing in an evening concert, you might like to bring something suitably smart.

Junior Academy

Please do bring at least 2 pieces on the elementary and intermediate course for your individual piano lessons. It is a good idea to bring along some pieces that you know very well, and also some pieces that are newer and less secure.

On the Advanced and Young Artists course please bring as many pieces as you wish.


You can choose to bring several works/pieces for your lessons or just one. You can decide if you want to work in great detail on a small repertoire or get lots of ideas on many pieces to take away with you to work in detail after the course. It is entirely up to individuals how much they want to get through in the lessons. Obviously the more prepared the pieces are, the deeper the voyage of discovery can be!

The deposit for securing your place is non-refundable.

If the onsite course in Manchester is cancelled participants will be moved across to the online course.

If a participant is unable to take part in the online course the deposit will be carried over to the following year.

If a place cannot be offered due to the course being full, the deposit will be refunded.