Summer Piano Festival (Ages 8-18)

Monday, July 8, 2019
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Friday, July 12, 2019

Open to pianists ages 8-18. 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
  • Classes in musical style, two levels of improv, and three levels of music theory
  • Coached practice sessions
  • Special workshops: Pipe Organ Performance and Latin Music
  • New this year: Field trip to see the original Hammond pipe organ at Hammond Castle, Gloucester, MA

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 a broad study of Dalcroze Eurhythmics.

All participants receive a t-shirt commemorating the week-long Festival

Performance for family and friends at the end of the program!

Dates: July 8 - 12, 2019 (Monday - Friday)
with final concert on Friday, July 12 at 4:00 PM
Times: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM daily
With extension to 6:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for Master Class Track and field trip.
Program Director: Heather Bissell

Instructors: Vartan Aghababian, Heather Bissell, Kaeza Fearn, Jorge Ibanez, John Kramer, Asako Shibata, Rieko Tanaka, Sarah Tocco, Elyse Wilson, and Laura Ziegler

Course Descriptions:

Piano Ensemble (Ages 8-18) Limited to 24 participants

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, a "hands-on" music theory class, and two levels of improvisation:

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 compositions.

The Well-Rounded Pianist (Ages 10-18) Limited to 8 participants

This course is designed for intermediate to advanced pianists and provides classes in musical style, the history of the piano/piano mechanics, improvisation, and music theory. This year, students will focus on pipe organ performance as part of their applied technique with John Kramer.

Master Class Track (Ages 10-18) Limited to 8 participants

This is an optional track for the Well-Rounded Pianist or more advanced Piano Ensemble 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 4:00 to 5:00 pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

To participate: All participants (Piano Ensemble or Well-Rounded) should prepare a piece to play for the Program Director to assess each student's level and to assign music. There are 24 spaces in the Piano Ensemble program and 8 spaces in the Well-Rounded program.

AUDITIONS: Please sign up for one of our April audition dates:

Friday, April 5, 7:30 - 8:30 PM
Saturday, April 6, 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Sunday, April 7, 9:00 AM - 12:00 noon