ABRSM-EPTA Full Programme for the UK's leading Piano Teaching course

Post Date: 27 October 2018
Post Type: Piano Things


A series of six one day courses offering CPD, inspiration and
practical help at affordable costs for all piano teachers

Chetham’s School of Music Long Millgate Manchester M3 1SB
On 27 January, 24 February, 31 March, 2 June, 30 June and 21 July 2019 from 10am-5pm
• Early Years musicianship training (for children aged 4-7 years)
• Mentorship and practical advice for students and teachers new to the profession (for beginner pupils up to grade 3 level)
• Training and preparation for the CME (Certificate of Music educators) qualification, as well as teaching diplomas including Dip ABRSM and LRSM
• Training and preparation for the new EPTA diplomas- CertEPTA, Dip EPTA and LEPTA
Vibrant, practical and inspirational advice and mentorship on piano teaching at all levels

EPTA UK is thrilled to announce a fresh and exciting new course for all piano teachers based at Chetham’s School of Music in the heart of Manchester. The course is unique in that it is open to teachers at every stage of their careers. Aspiring teachers will find just as much of value as teachers with many years of professional activity already behind them. It offers outstanding value for money and will initially be held over six days (£100 for each day/£80 for EPTA members/Free admission for students at conservatoires).

Each day will include live teaching, with opportunities for participants to contribute to and observe teaching from a broad range of pupils. We are delighted that Helen Krizos from RNCM and Chetham’s will be available to provide invaluable feedback and commentary on approaches and styles of teaching. There will also be opportunities to watch and comment on videos of ABRSM examinations, with discussions over marking and approaches to teaching which could lead to directly to improvements in performance.

Each of the six days subdivides into four groups for intensive study on particular areas:

1. Musicianship training in the early years (4-7 years) with Karen Marshall
2. Training, mentorship and practical advice for students and teachers new to the profession. Focus will be primarily on how to teach from beginner level up to grade three, with guidance on repertoire, aural and supporting technical material as well as basic practising techniques and reading skills.
3. Training, mentorship and practical advice for candidates entering the DIP ABRSM
4. Training, mentorship and practical advice for candidates entering the LRSM

In addition to the four main areas of study and teaching demonstrations, all participants on the course will be given training in the pedagogical principles underlying the CME qualification (certificate for Music educators). Chris Walters has extensive knowledge and experience in delivering CME, and we are delighted to welcome him on each day of the course for presentations that will cover each of the six components required for the ABRSM CME.

There is a great deal of flexibility on the course. Participants can freely choose to move from one group to another as they choose.

As well as covering the knowledge and understanding required in order to pass diplomas, the sessions offer outstanding opportunities to focus on Simultaneous learning (with Paul Harris), technical development at all levels (Murray McLachlan) as well as guidance on how to teach grade examination repertoire in all periods (presenters will include Mark Tanner, Margaret Murray-McLeod, Melvyn Cooper and Nancy Litten).

The ABRSM Connection and Flexibility
In 2019, EPTA’s 40th Anniversary year, EPTA UK is delighted to announce a brand-new initiative of professional development training days and diplomas designed to help and support its growing membership. This wave of activity will begin in January and will doubtless be all the more attractive due to its recently more formalised collaboration with ABRSM. ABRSM’s long established Dip.ABRSM and LRSM Teaching Diplomas need little introduction, as these qualifications have for many years been recognised as among the leading diplomas worldwide. Successful recipients of these two diplomas can be confident they have demonstrated a bedrock of skills, knowledge and ambition to set them along a path of discovery and further enlightenment. It goes without saying that competent piano teachers will always amount to more than the sum of their qualifications, though having recognised letters after one’s name undoubtedly adds an important dimension to a teacher’s grounding and status within their immediate community, as well as further afield. Arguably, teaching qualifications are the proof, as far as can be realistically ascertained in an hour or so’s probing examination, of what has so far been absorbed regarding best practice.
Undoubtedly, the real challenge for teachers is the learning journey itself – how best to amass the confidence and expertise potential pupils rightly expect a teacher to have. And this is why it is imperative for EPTA to time the introduction of its diplomas with a suitably extensive, rigorous and sequential programme of training; fortuitously, this all ties in perfectly with ABRSM’s ambition to promote its own teaching diplomas. EPTA will, in effect, become ABRSM’s face-to-face connection. Good teaching is to some extent in the eye of the beholder, as anyone who has dipped into the various ‘schools’ of piano pedagogy will doubtless have spotted for themselves. But this does not mean there are no convenient points of intersection, generic tried-and tested models of learning about how to teach effectively. This explains why EPTA, drawing from its enviably panoramic vision for piano teaching, is the ideal body to help prospective ABRSM diploma candidates prepare for what lies ahead of them, and at the same time uphold its own values and ideas. In six separate CPD days running from January to July 2019, EPTA UK will be offering a comprehensive course of training for its members pitched at four distinct levels. The primary objective is to offer continued professional development for everyone interested in piano teaching. Students are welcome to attend free of charge. EPTA UK members attend at a reduced rate, and everyone else can enjoy remarkably all-encompassing days of inspiration and practical advice from some of the country’s leading experts in piano pedagogy at an extremely economical cost.

There will be those who come on the course primarily because they wish to pass a teaching diploma- whether an ABRSM one, or perhaps one of EPTA’s new diplomas. There will be others who are interested in the CME qualification. Yet another group of people may prefer to focus on early years teaching, whilst others will be there to benefit from particular presenters on particular days. We welcome teachers and those interested in piano teaching but who have no desire to enter a diploma: EPTA’s overarching remit, after all, is to support its members with appropriate training and expertise, and it will be for each member to decide whether a qualification constitutes a suitable culmination of such training. In this important anniversary year, EPTA wishes to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to betterment with an impressive array of opportunities within each CPD day; these are designed to help members to learn and rejuvenate, but also an opportunity for some to add a further qualification. All of the training days will take place in Manchester; five of these will be hosted by Chetham’s School of Music and the other most probably at the RNCM. Though it is entirely possible to attend one or more individual days, undoubtedly the full benefit will be gained from those undertaking all six.

Three New EPTA Diplomas: Cert.EPTA, Dip. EPTA and LEPTA
In addition to lending its standing within the piano teaching fraternity to assist ABRSM candidates taking the Dip.ABRSM and LRSM diplomas, EPTA will be simultaneously launching three bespoke diplomas of its own: Cert.EPTA, Dip. EPTA and LEPTA. The first opportunity to enter for one of these looks likely to be summer or autumn 2019. These diplomas will dovetail, to an appreciable extent, with the aforementioned ABRSM diplomas, and yet there will be an opportunity to explore a more individual route through to becoming a robust teacher at each of these three levels. Importantly, built into the certificate will be a familiarity with the principles underlying the Certificate for Music Educators, or CME (ABRSM). While it cannot of course be possible in a brief examination setting to probe into the furthest corners of this challenging and time-consuming stand-alone qualification, the Cert.EPTA exam presents an opportunity to home in on a few of the key areas it covers. Naturally, EPTA wishes to include elements and approaches which have emerged in more recent times, and also to diversify the range of repertoire that can be used for demonstration purposes within the exam setting itself. In practical terms, this will mean candidates for the three EPTA diplomas will be encouraged to call upon piano pieces from the current ABRSM, TCL and LCM syllabi to demonstrate the skills anticipated when teaching at each level. This reflects the fact that EPTA’s membership comprises avid proponents of all three leading UK exam boards’ materials. There will also be an element of personal choice to be focused upon within the exam, and this should encourage candidates to have an element of freedom from which to reveal an even deeper awareness and familiarity. Topics from which candidates will be free to choose are likely to include memorising, Alexander Technique, app-based teaching, improvisation, mindfulness, the subtleties of pedalling, how to teach analysis, style and interpretation, choosing repertoire appropriately, how to build a foundation of technique, how to avoid tension and to listen attentively, how to prepare pupils for an exam, how to encourage pupils to practise and how to sustain inspiration over the longer term. These topics, and many more besides, each present a profitable route into discussion with a highly respected EPTA appointed examiner whose task will be to discover what the candidate knows, not to expose what they have yet to learn.

The Three Tiers of EPTA Teaching Diploma: Cert.EPTA, Dip. EPTA and LEPTA
The Cert.EPTA qualification is an entry-level certificate designed to showcase an initial level of competency in piano teaching. While there will be no formal expectation of time so far accrued in teaching, or indeed a minimum level of piano playing ability, it will quickly be seen that prospective candidates need to be able to demonstrate how to teach pupils from beginner through to grade 3 level. This will involve repertoire as well as supporting material, e.g. scales and exercises, aural, improvisation, musical knowledge and sight-reading. Furthermore, this implies a capacity to think on one’s feet, to adapt to different scenarios in a willing, spontaneous and flexible way, rather than to reveal polished performances per se. A variety of interesting and relevant hands-on subject areas will be included to illuminate and stimulate the candidate at this foundation level. There will be no written requirements for the qualification at all; rather, EPTA’s ambition is explore the qualities of communication and resourcefulness likely to play themselves out in the context of a typical piano lesson.
The Dip. EPTA is a second-tier diploma, roughly aligned with the Dip.ABRSM in piano teaching. Hence it anticipates a more grounded and confident level of expertise, which targets the demonstration and discussion of repertoire and supporting materials from beginner through to grade 6 level. As is the case with Cert.EPTA, this repertoire need not hold firm to the syllabus requirements of any particular UK based examination board. Nor is there any written component to the exam. Though there is no prescribed level of playing ability, candidates will need to be able to demonstrate key teaching skills and to show adaptability in their approach to communicating these at the appropriate level. As with the higher-level LEPTA diploma, discussion in the exam will also make use of a more in-depth topic chosen in advance by the candidate. This may or may not dovetail conveniently with other areas to be covered, and hence provides the candidate with a variety of inroads from which to augment the discussion on the day. Upon gaining the Dip. EPTA, candidates immediately qualify to become full Professional Members of EPTA.
The LEPTA diploma is designed to attract the more seasoned piano teacher – Professional members will be ideal – who may be looking to evolve their skills to the next level. It is not uncommon to come across teachers who, for whatever reason, have been unable to keep pace with more contemporary ways of teaching, or perhaps feel they have relaxed their grip on best practice as time has gone by. The LEPTA diploma will also suit the returning teacher, whose break from piano teaching can benefit from up-to-date refreshment in the form of a new qualification. Roughly equivalent to LRSM in its ambitions and expectations, the new LEPTA diploma anticipates more than a passing awareness of members’ pupils’ needs, and this in turn should enable them to pass on their passion and drive for piano playing even more effectively. Demonstrations in the exam will target repertoire as well as other relevant materials, such as studies or customised approaches to teaching from beginner through to grade 8 level, once again harnessing the current syllabi of the three UK based exam boards. Candidates will be required to bring along with them a portfolio of their teaching to date; this will provide suitable entry points for discussion as well as broaden its overall context. Candidates will also need to bring a series of short videos showing themselves in teaching mode, recorded over a prescribed period of time and supported by a brief commentary of what was taught, how challenges were addressed and subsequently overcome.
Early Years Musicianship Training
For children aged 4-7 music training can and should always be inspirational and vibrant. We are delighted that renowned piano teacher, author and educator Karen Marshall will be presenting a special ‘early years’ programme of study for teachers in parallel to the diploma and Foundation sections of the ABRSM-EPTA course. Though these sessions may in particular be of help to individuals interested in preparing for the London College of Music DIP LCM Early Years Diplomas, the course content is of great relevance to everyone who has an interest in the musical education of young children. Karen Marshall’s presentations offer a structured approach toward teaching music to children at a young age. Singing and Kodaly training is emphasised alongside the need for a constant development of rhythmic confidence. The use of Ukuleles and percussion instruments adds further inspiration in an approach to learning that is always stimulating, inspiring and fun for the children. They can then approach lessons on the piano and other instruments with confidence and strong awareness of musical rudiments.
The Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators (CME)
In all six days of the course Chris Walters will give presentations to all participants at midday. These are designed to train and facilitate those interested in obtaining the Certificate for Music Educators (ABRSM CME). The CME is a qualification for all music educators working in England with children and young people, whether they work privately, in music hubs, orchestras, community music organisations or other settings. It has been designed to improve the knowledge and skills of music educators and raise the quality of the experience for children and young people wherever they encounter musical learning.
Developed by the music education sector, led by Arts Council England and Creative and Cultural Skills, the CME is designed to support inspiring, motivational learning and to be relevant to all music educators, regardless of the musical genre they work in or the stage of their career.
The CME has been developed by representatives from the music education sector for musicians who are involved in musical learning activities for children and young people. It is designed to encourage all music educators, from those who are new to the workforce to those who are highly experienced, to develop new skills, consolidate their understanding of the purposes of music education, and encourage best practice in their contribution to children and young people’s knowledge, skills and understanding of music. The ABRSM CME has been developed for anyone who works as a music educator with children and young people.
Frequently Asked Questions: The EPTA/ABRSM Piano Teaching Course 2019

* What is the ABRSM/EPTA Piano Teaching Course? It is a freshly designed course for piano teachers beginning in January 2019, EPTA’s 40th Anniversary Year. It will comprise six training days, all 10 am to 5 pm:
1. Sunday 27 January
2. Sunday 24 February
3. Sunday 31 March
4. Sunday 2 June
5. Sunday 30 June
6. Sunday 21 July
Teachers are encouraged to attend all six training days if they intend to take advantage of the EPTA diplomas (pitched at three levels, Cert.EPTA, Dip.EPTA and LEPTA). Teachers may also aspire to take an ABRSM teaching diploma, having attended the whole course, whether at Dip.ABRSM or LRSM level, according to their current qualifications and experience. There is also the possibility of assisting those interested in targeting the FRSM qualification; this rather more sharply focussed exam is likely to require longer-term mentoring and supervision for which appropriately specialised assistance is advised. Prospective candidates for all of these exams will of course need to pay the additional ABRSM current entry fees and must also demonstrate the prerequisite qualifications/experience as laid out in their publicity material. Alternatively, teachers may wish to attend on a more occasional basis, perhaps by selecting one or two days for CPD purposes, e.g. to boost or retrain in an area of their teaching they feel needs refreshing. The ABRSM/EPTA course has the advantage of several experienced ABRSM diploma examiners who, through their collective expertise in conducting exams worldwide, will guide candidates through the process step by step.
* Why choose the ABRSM/EPTA course? Thanks to EPTA’s long-standing status, the Association is able to draw upon the skills and resources of highly qualified professionals from the world of piano teaching.
* What is the cost? The cost is £500 for all 6 days (if all days are enrolled on) or £100 for any single day. EPTA members get a 20% reduction on fees. Students currently studying at a British Conservatoire can attend all sessions absolutely free of charge.
* Who is the course aimed at? The course is aimed at all piano teachers, regardless of their current level of qualifications or experience. EPTA wishes to help and support teachers from whichever point in their career they may currently find themselves.
* Do I need Grade 8 piano in order to do the course? No – however, Grade 8 Piano and Grade 6 Theory are currently prerequisites for taking the Dip.ABRSM teaching diploma.

* The EPTA Mentoring Scheme: EPTA is currently in the process of putting together a teacher mentor scheme. This will give you access to a teacher in your location who is able to help you study towards Grade 8 piano. Alternatively, your mentor may able to help prepare you to take a teaching diploma; in the first instance this might be an ABRSM, TCL or LCM qualification according to the knowledge and background of your mentor, though the launch of EPTA’s new exciting suite of teaching diploma examinations is anticipated during the second half of 2019. Students interested in the EPTA Mentoring Scheme should e-mail Carole Booth (see below).
* Which EPTA qualifications can I hope to achieve having undertaken the course? If you attend all six days you will be in a position to enter yourself for either the Cert.EPTA, Dip.EPTA or LEPTA as relevant. While these qualifications have yet to become accredited, in due course they look set to emerge robustly and become accepted within the field of music education. The training given during the course will stand you in good stead to enter for an ABRSM and/or EPTA qualification.
* Do I have to take an ABRSM teaching diploma after the course, and what is the additional cost in doing so? No – you don’t have to take an ABRSM, EPTA or indeed any other diploma upon completing the course; however, it is anticipated that many participants will wish to consider taking advantage of the opportunity the course provides.

* What is the cost of taking an ABRSM teaching diploma? Current diploma fees can be found on the ABRSM website.
* What is the CME, and how much will this qualification cost after doing the study days? The CME is a qualification for all music educators working in England with children and young people, whether they work privately, in music hubs, orchestras, community music organisations or other settings. It has been designed to improve the knowledge and skills of music educators and raise the quality of the experience for children and young people wherever they encounter musical learning. The CME has been developed by representatives from the music education sector for musicians who are involved in musical learning activities for children and young people. It is designed to encourage all music educators, from those who are new to the workforce to those who are highly experienced, to develop new skills, consolidate their understanding of the purposes of music education, and encourage best practice in their contribution to children and young people’s knowledge, skills and understanding of music. The ABRSM CME has been developed for anyone who works as a music educator with children and young people.
* Can I attend the course just for CPD refreshers and simply do the days with content I’m particularly interested in? Yes, absolutely, as detailed above, you can do this at a cost of £100 for the day. Early enquiries are advised.
* Where can I find the course time-table? The outline content and timetable for each day can be found at the end of this document. It should be stressed that this timetable remains provisional; EPTA may need to alter the schedule, or indeed make changes to tutors at any time prior to the dates advertised.
* Who is presenting on the course? All tutors and presenters are acknowledged experts in their fields – please see the section marked ‘Tutors and Presenters’ for biographies and photos
Melvyn Cooper
Paul Harris
Helen Krizos
Nancy Litten
Karen Marshall
Murray McLachlan
Margaret Murray-McLeod
Mark Tanner
Chris Walters

* Might it be possible to arrange one-to-one lessons while doing the course? How much will this cost? Yes, subject to availability and scheduling commitments, your tutors may be available to provide up to six lessons (at £60 per lesson) at the training days. Do book early to make sure you secure your slot.
* Where will the course be held? It is anticipated that five days will take place at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, with one of the days being at the RNCM. Chetham’s School of Music is located in the heart of Manchester next to the Cathedral. It is the largest specialist music school in the UK. www.chethams.com

* If you have any further questions about the course, tutors, diplomas, finding accommodation in Manchester or other related matters, please contact the EPTA UK Administrator, Carole Booth at admin@epta-uk.org telephone 08456 581054 (4p per min + your phone co. charge) or 07510 379286 (normal mobile rates apply)

Reading List (ongoing!)

CPE Bach, Essay on the true Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments, translated and edited by William J. Mitchell

Banowetz J, The Pianist’s Guide to Pedalling, Indiana Press 1985

Bruser M, The Art of Practicing 1999

Ferguson H, Keyboard Interpretation From the 14th to the 19th Century: An introduction (1975)

Harris P, The Virtuoso Teacher (Improve Your Teaching), Faber 2012

Harris P, Simultaneous Learning (Improve Your Teaching) Faber 2014

Hinson M, Guide to the Pianist’s Repertoire, second revised edition, Indiana Press 1994

Lasserson N, The Piano Needn’t be Lonely 2000

Last J, The Young Pianist: A New qpproach for Teachers and Students (1972)

Mackworth Young L, Playing by Ear Faber (2015)

Marshall K and Stirling P, How to teach Instrumental and Singing Lessons, Collins (2017)

McLachlan M, The Foundations of Technique, Faber-EPTA Piano Professional Series (2014)

McLachlan M, Piano Technique in Practice, Faber-EPTA Piano Professional Series (2015)

McLachlan M, The Psychology of Piano Technique, Faber-EPTA Piano Professional Series, (2017)

Neuhaus H, The Art of Piano Playing (1998)

Tanner M, Know the Score (Dip.ABRSM Quick Studies – 10 practice examples plus detailed study notes), Spartan Press SP1180, (2012)

Tanner M, The Mindful Pianist, Faber–EPTA Piano Professional Series, (2016)

Tanner M, Mindfulness in Music: Notes on finding Life’s Rhythm, Leaping Hare Press, (2018)

A Common Approach: An Instrumental/Vocal Curriculum. UK: Faber Music Limited (2002)

Baker-Jordan, M. Practical Piano Pedagogy. UK: International Music Publications (2003)

Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G. and Williams, J. M. The Craft of Research. London: University of Chicago Press (2008)

Burnard, P. and Hennessy, S. Reflective Practices in Arts Education. The Netherlands: Springer (2009)

Dryden, G. and Vos, J. The Learning Revolution. USA: Jalmar Press (1999)

English Maris, B. Making Music at the Piano: Learning Strategies for Adult Students. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2000)

Gilbert, I. Essential Motivation in the Classroom. London: Routledge (2002)

Gordon, S. Etudes for Piano Teachers. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1995)

Green, L. How Popular Musicians Learn: A Way Ahead for Music Education. UK: Ashgate Publishing (2002)

Hallam, S. Instrumental Teaching: A Practical Guide to Better Teaching and Learning. Oxford: Heinemann Educational Publishers (1998)

Harris, P. Improve Your Teaching: An Essential Handbook for Instrumental and Singing Teachers. UK: Faber Music Limited (2006)

Harris, P. Improve Your Teaching: Teaching Beginners: A New Approach for Instrumental and Singing Teachers. UK: Faber Music Limited (2006)

Harris, P. and Crozier, R. The Music Teacher’s Companion: A Practical Guide. UK: ABRSM Publishing (2000)

Herbert, T. Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing About Music. UK: ABRSM Publishing (2003)

Holt, J. How Children Learn. USA: Perseus Books (1995)

Jensen, E. P. Super Learning. USA: Corwin Press (1998)

Lehmann, A.C., Sloboda, J.A. and Woody, R.H. Psychology for Musicians: Understanding and Acquiring the Skills. New York: Oxford University Press (2007)

Lyke, J., Enoch, Y. and Haydon, G. Creative Piano Teaching. Illinois: Stipes Publishing (1996)

Magrath, J. The Pianist’s Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature. USA: Alfred Publishing Company (1995)

McPherson, G.E. The Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2008)

Mills, J. Instrumental Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2007)

O’Connor, J. Not Pulling Strings: A Book About Instrumental Teaching and Music Education. London: Lambent Books (1999)

Odam, G. The Sounding Symbol. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Limited (1995)

Salzberger-Wittenberg, I. Henry, G. and Osborne, E. The Emotional Experience of Learning and Teaching. Thetford: The Thetford Press Ltd. (1983)

Smith, I. Assessment and Learning Pocketbook. Hampshire: Teachers’ Pocketbook (2007)

Swanwick, K. Teaching Music Musically. London: Routledge (1999)

The Music Teacher’s Handbook. UK: Faber Music Limited (2005)

Uszler, M., Gordon, S. and McBride-Smith, S. The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher. USA: Schirmer Books (2000)

Varro, M. Dynamic Piano Teaching. Germany: Simrock Publishing (1966)

Melvyn Cooper
Melvyn Cooper was co-ordinator of advanced piano studies and senior piano tutor at the University of Warwick and he founded EPTA West Midlands and Warwick Piano Circle. He is a pianist, piano teacher and adjudicator and is Vice Chair of the European Piano Teachers Association UK (EPTA UK), Vice Chair of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, and Vice Chair of the Piano Trio Society. He is on the executive council of the Liszt Society and a member of the Chopin and Alkan societies. Melvyn has given many masterclasses, workshops and lecture recitals, and has been a jury member on National and International piano competitions. He was external piano examiner at the University of Reading on their post graduate diploma course and post graduate MA degree in instrumental teaching. Melvyn is now a freelance pianist, teacher and adjudicator and Lives in London.

Paul Harris is one of the UK’s most influential music educationalists. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music (taking piano lessons with Graeme Humphrey) and is now on their teaching staff. He is in great demand as a teacher, composer, and writer (he has written over 600 music books); and his inspirational masterclasses and workshops continue to influence thousands of young musicians and teachers all over the world in both the principles and practice of musical performance and education.

Helen Krizos
Helen Krizos has recently stepped down as Deputy Head of Keyboard Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, a position she held for 14 years. She will be enjoying her teaching at both the RNCM and Chetham's School of Music as well as pursuing many other musical interests including a particular passion for piano pedagogy.
As a performer Helen formed a Piano Duo with Peter Noke which established itself as one of the foremost ensembles in England. They made regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, appeared on BBC and Australian television and performed throughout the UK, both as recitalists and with many of the leading orchestras including; Philharmonia, English chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Concert orchestras. Their highly acclaimed recordings of Schubert and Dvorak on the Hyperion Label led to a direct invitation to perform in Prague at the famous ‘Hall of Artists’.
More recently Helen recorded the title track for the award-winning film ‘Of Time and the City’ directed by Terrence Davies.

Success as a teacher has led to Helen’s students achieving prizes and performance opportunities both nationally and internationally.
Highlights include: 1st prize winner in X1 Competition ‘Arjau’ leading to performances throughout Spain and a recording contract with Solfa; Ist prize winners of Manchester International Concerto Competition, both junior and senior sections; category finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, winner of the Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artists’ Award offering promotion of concerts throughout the UK; 2nd prize winner in Porto International competition; finalist in the Royal Overseas League Competition, Jacques Samuel Competition London, and Ettlingen Piano Competition, Germany.
Students have performed in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Carnegie Hall and the Bridgewater Hall.

She has been Artistic Director of the ‘Ravel Portrait’ a major public keyboard festival held at the Royal Northern College of Music and the ‘Scarlatti Day’ project, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Scarlatti’s death. This, a daring undertaking to perform all 550 keyboard sonatas in one day created major interest both nationally and internationally.

Helen’s interest in teaching and professional development has included being the major contributor in devising material for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools’ of Music Professional Development course, and working as a Mentor within this programme. She has devised educational programmes for children including a commission from Manchester City Art Gallery to create ‘Sound Pictures’ for young children aged 6-8 years. She has established and delivers the practical course of pedagogy for Under-graduate piano students and recently devised and co- ordinates the new cross- school Practical Pedagogy Course for Post – Graduate students.

As a teacher who has gained international recognition Helen has given master classes in UK, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Germany, Spain and Austria. She has adjudicated extensively in UK and abroad. Overseas engagements have included an invitation to give master classes in Barcelona as part of the ‘Centre for Piano Studies’, at Vienna State University and being a jury member on the Taranto International Competition in Italy.

Nancy Litten

Performer, teacher, composer, conductor, writer and speaker, Nancy studied at the RAM on a piano scholarship. Her musical career has been one of great diversity, including violin, singing and electronic keyboard, in addition to piano teaching and performing. She is Regional Organiser for Kent, an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals (serving on the Adjudicators’ Council), and an ABRSM examiner. Alfred have published ten of her books, including Choral & Vocal Warm-Ups for pianists, Choral and Vocal Sight Reading for Pianists to Accompany, keyboard tutors Keyed Up, and together with Sharon Goodey, violin tutors Playing with Colour.

Karen Marshall

Karen Marshall, BA (Hons), Dip ABRSM, ALCM, LLCM (TD)

Karen Marshall first started teaching musicianship to early years children as a 16 year old A’ level music volunteer. With over 30 years practice Karen currently works with over 100 children weekly from age 4 to 7 years using Kodály, Orff and other approaches. With a qualification in Kodály practice, Karen is also a training associate in music teaching for The British Dyslexia Association. She teaches piano as a peripatetic and in private practice with pupils from beginner to diploma stages (age 5 to 73 years).

An award winning author Karen has 17 publications to date including Collins Music, Get Set! Piano series and Teaching Instrumental and Singing lessons, 100 Ideas (with Penny Stirling). The Piano Trainer series with (Faber Music) includes The Intermediate Pianist (with Heather Hammond) and The Foundation Pianist (with David Blackwell). A consultant pedagogue on the ABRSM Piano Star Series, she also edited and compiled Piano Star Grade 1 with David Blackwell. She is the sole author of the ABRSM Encore series. Karen runs a school choir and co runs the orchestra along with being on the management committee of EPTA UK. She is a mother of three who is passionate about bringing the joy of music to all her students. She has previously worked in Public Relations and marketing where she also delivered management training.

Murray McLachlan
Pianist, teacher, writer Murray McLachlan is Chair of EPTA, Head of Keyboard at Chetham’s School of Music and tutor at RNCM in Manchester. He has made over 40 commercial recordings which have consistently received outstanding reviews, including ‘key recording’ and ‘rosette’ status in the Penguin Guide to CDs. He has performed on all five continents and also serves regularly on juries of international piano competitions.

Murray McLachlan is founder/artistic Director of the world famous Chetham’s International Summer school and festival for Pianists. In 2012 the University of Dundee awarded him an honorary Doctorate for outstanding services to music and education.

Margaret Murray McLeod

Margaret Murray McLeod trained at the Royal Academy of Music, studying piano with Frederic Jackson. During her student years she was in demand as an accompanist and chamber music player, and was awarded the Scott Huxley Prize for piano accompaniment.
As a performer she appeared regularly in concerts throughout the U.K. and recorded for B.B.C. Scotland and South German Radio. She has played piano and harpsichord with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and accompanied many well-known singers and instrumentalists.
During her twenty-five years in the Music School at Napier University, Margaret founded the Summer School for Piano Teachers that very soon gained an international reputation, and until 1997 was Senior Lecturer for Performance Studies. In addition to examining for the Associated Board for many years, she has lectured and conducted workshops extensively both at home and abroad. She is also a contributor to the Associated Board’s Teaching Notes for the piano graded examinations.

Mark Tanner PhD Hon.RBC MA FRSA FTCL

Mark Tanner is a concert pianist, composer, adjudicator, teacher and writer. Solo appearances include London’s Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, St John’s Smith Square and St George’s Bristol. He has given over 300 recitals on luxury cruise liners. World première broadcasts include BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

Mark is an honorary member of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of Mensa. He has given masterclasses across the UK, Europe and Asia; in 2018 he was a keyboard judge for the BBC Young Musician and Composer-in-Residence at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School. For ABRSM, Mark co-authored Teaching Notes in 2017 and has undertaken 38international examining tours; he is also a Moderator, Trainer, Reader and Presenter.

“Magnificent playing”

Mark has published 70volumes of compositions, editions and arrangements for Spartan Press, ABRSM Publishing, TCLP and Edition Peters. Thirty of Mark’s compositions and transcriptions have appeared in recent examination syllabuses.

“Mark Tanner is a modern day polymath”
International Piano Magazine

Mark’s books, The Mindful Pianist (Faber, 2016) and Mindfulness in Music (Quarto, 2018) are highly acclaimed.

“A fascinating read on many levels”
Julian Lloyd Webber

“Mark Tanner has written a mindfulness manifesto for music”
Tom Service, BBC Radio 3 ‘Music Matters’

Mark has written 30 feature-length ‘Masterclass’ articles for Pianist Magazine and published several hundred articles and reviews for the prominent music press.

“…invigorating and thought provoking” Martino Tirimo

Chris Walters
Chris Walters is a musician and teacher with diverse experience in performing and music education. Trained as a clarinettist and pianist, he has performed professionally with symphony orchestras around the UK and in London's West End. He has taught woodwind in schools around London and extra-curricular music on a 18-month placement at Starehe Boys' Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Chris is also a writer and editor and spent four years as editor of Music Teacher magazine, in which role he was responsible for the launch of the Music Education Expo. He followed this with a period at Trinity College London, developing and rolling out the first iteration of the Certificate for Music Educators qualification. He now has a portfolio career, working with the Musicians' Union on music education initiatives, editing a quarterly magazine for the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain, and providing consultancy for various arts organisations, most recently to Trinity College London on their graded Rock & Pop syllabus. Chris is a keen runner and is currently exploring the repertoire for clarinet and string quartet with his ensemble the Arnold Cooke Quintet.