EPTA Piano Teachers’ Course

I am delighted to tell readers that I have accepted an invitation to join the Principal Tutor team for the European Piano Teachers’ Association (EPTA) UK Piano Teachers’ Course.

I will be joining the esteemed colleagues that I am pictured with above (photo by Jennie Parke Matheson) – from the left, Ilga Pitkevica, Sally Cathcart, me, Lucinda Mackworth-Young, Graham Fitch and Heli Ignatius-Fleet.

The PTC is a part-time course, designed to suit those with other commitments, running with the academic year from October through to June. It consists of four residential weekends, two single Sundays and independent study and assignments spread throughout the year.

Who is the Course for?

The Piano Teachers’ Course is suitable for pianists and piano teachers who wish to enhance their professional teaching skills, come together for inspiration and become part of a motivated and supportive musical network.

The PTC also provides excellent preparation for all Piano Teaching Diplomas through exposure to the latest in piano teaching pedagogy.

And for those who are interested in obtaining the new CME Certificate of Music Education accredited qualification in addition to the PTC Diploma, there is an opportunity to do this as an extension to the course.

You can find out more here and the full prospectus and course dates for 2017-18 are online here.

An Introduction to the Course

Here is a video which briefly introduces the course:

Having attended several days as a visiting observer this year, I have been hugely impressed by the careful balance struck between the academic and practical elements of the course.

The former includes an introduction to educational psychology, up-to-date pedagogy, and the issues around running a private teaching business.

The latter incorporates hands-on playing sessions encompassing performance practices through the ages (including playing the wonderful harpsichords on site at the Purcell School), right through to learning to memorise, play by ear, improvise and develop strategies for teaching all of these important skills.

I have found there to be a wonderful sense of camaraderie between the tutors, who between them offer an outstanding depth and range of expertise to ensure that the course provides a thorough grounding for anyone who wishes to become a great teacher in the 21st century. In addition to delivering the course sessions, the tutors each look after a small group of about five students, ensuring everyone gets the attention and support throughout the course that they need.

To be joining this team is a fantastic honour, and I am very excited to get started!

The sense of camaraderie certainly extends to the students too, and they come away from the course not only with a qualification but also with a life-long professional support network of colleagues and friends.

The enthusiasm of the students, and the significant difference it makes to their teaching careers is clear both from talking to past and present course attendees.

Is the PTC for you?

The EPTA Piano Teachers’ Course is a unique opportunity. Certainly it requires a considerable investment of time and finance, but I really can’t think of a better way for a piano teacher to invest in their future, or to develop the range of skills needed to meet today’s professional challenges. And with all that the course provides, it certainly provides genuinely outstanding value.

There are currently places available for the 2017-18 academic year, and if you are interested in coming along, perhaps you would find it helpful to come to the Open Day on Sunday 29th May 2017 – full details here.

I will be around that day, and look forward to meeting you!

In the meantime, watch out for my interview with Course Director Lucinda Mackworth-Young, coming soon on Pianodao!

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Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is a pianist, writer and teacher based in Milton Keynes UK. He runs a successful independent teaching studio and music education business, Keyquest Music.

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