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Festival for Pianists

"My playing improved and I really enjoyed playing piano with other people" - Collaborative Piano program participant 2012

Open to pianists aged 9-18.  Join us for five days of activities designed to bring pianists together in a fun, interactive program.
  • Open to any pianist (you do not need to study at WCMS to participate)
  • Make new friends, share music together
  • Build musicianship skills that go far beyond what is taught in your weekly piano lesson
  • Performance for family and friends at the end of the program!
Dates:  June 26 - July 1  (Thur, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tues)
Time:  9 AM to 2:45 PM daily (with optional Master Class Track extension to 4:00 PM on Friday and Monday)
Program Director:  Heather Bissell
Instructors:  Heather Bissell, Kaeza Fearn, Jorge Ibanez, Jinie Kim-Han, Yoshiko Kline, Barbara Lieurance, Norina Rowen, Rieko Tanaka, Sarah Tocco, Aimee Tsuchiya

New for 2014!
  • All participants will receive a T-shirt commemorating the week-long Festival! 
  • Classes on musical style - focusing on folk music and its influence on classical piano repertoire.
  • Two levels of "Creative Piano" for Collaborative Students:
    • Music Discoveries:  Using imagination to explore the instrument in terms of rhythm and sound in order to create a story using music.
    • Piano Creations:  Taking exploration at the piano a bit further, to include variation, musical form and harmony.  Students will also start to gather and notate their ideas for creating their own composition!
  • Piano Ensemble class for Well-Rounded students to develop accompaniment techniques and lead sheet reading. 
  • New workshop on piano mechanics!
  • New jazz workshop with live jam session!  In this session conducted by professional bassist and WCMS faculty member Mark Pucci, participating pianists will learn how to improvise and jam on two jazz classics: “Swinging Shepherd Blues" and “Take the A Train."  Please click here to download and print materials for the workshop. 
  • All Festival participants receive coaching in full body relaxation techniques and strengthening exercises to improve posture and sound production at the piano.  This will include the best combination of exercises derived from Alexander Technique, The Kovacs Method, Pilates, and yoga.  In addition, students will learn how to plan a balanced practice session and explore the 3 basic types of touch at the piano.   

Course Descriptions:

  • Collaborative Piano (Ages 9-18) FULL  4-hands, 6-hands, the more the merrier!  This course is geared toward later beginners and intermediate students and provides an opportunity for duet playing, ensembles, and a "hands-on" music theory class designed to help students learn and practice their intervals, scales, and chords.  Limited to 24 participants.
  • The Well-Rounded Pianist (Ages 11-18)  This course is designed for intermediate to advanced pianists and provides classes in musical style, the history of the piano/piano mechanics, applied keyboard techniques, improvisation, and music theory.  Limited to 8 participants.
  • Master Class Track (Ages 11-18)  This is an optional track for the Well-Rounded Pianist or more advanced Collaborative participants.  (Audition/Interview and discretion of the Program Director are required.)  It offers two performance master classes in which participants will prepare one or two solo pieces for performance on the final concert.  This component of the program meets from 2:45 to 4 PM on Friday and Monday.  Limited to 8 participants.
To participate:  All participants (Collaborative or Well-Rounded) should prepare a piece to play for the Program Director to assess each student's level and to assign music.  Please contact WCMS to arrange to speak with the Program Director. Teachers should also fill out a teacher recommendation form and send it with the students to audition. There are 16 spaces in the Collaborative program and 8 spaces in the Well-Rounded.

Once the audition process has been completed and you have been notified of acceptance into the program, submit a Summer Registration Form within 72 hours to enroll.  Summer Registration Forms are available online here or at the school.  Registrations can be submitted by mail, fax, or in person; registration can also be made by telephone if paying with a credit card. Please call 781-721-2950 for more information.

Auditions:  Limited space remaining, please email the school or call 781-721-2950.

  • $550 for either the Collaborative or Well-Rounded sections
  • Master Class Track:  $125 additional

Daily Schedule:

Time Collaborative
9:00 AM
Group Warm-up
9:45 AM Individual Coaching
Music Theory
10:20 AM
Snack Break
10:30 AM
Concept Class/
Applied Theory
11:15 AM
Ensemble Coaching/
Performance Etiquette
Individual Practice/
Playing the Blues
12:00 PM
1:00 PM
Elective Class
Musical Styles
2:00 PM
Festival Choir
2:45 PM
Finish Master Class
(2 days only - TBD)
4:00 PM



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