Summer Repertoire Challenge

The Summer Repertoire Challenge is ideal for young players (and their teachers!) embarking on the long school holidays, and offers a great starting point for developing an Active Repertoire at the piano!


Getting Started

Piano teachers and students will no doubt be breathing tired sighs of relief at the prospect that they will soon be “on holiday” … a time not just for sandy beaches, but for taking a break from the routines and responsibilities that can crowd our lives throughout most of the year.

We all need a break. But I noticed early in my teaching career that come September, returning students had often all but forgotten how to play the piano!

Is there any way that as teachers (and parents) we can address this common problem? Happily the answer is YES!

Have you heard of the Active Repertoire Challenge?

Feedback from pianists and teachers suggests that around the world there are now many whose piano playing has been transformed, who can now play with greater engagement, musicality and confidence.

And if you’ve not tried the Challenge yet, the Summer Holiday is a great time to take the plunge!

The Active What?

I have written here before about the need for pianists to take the time to enjoy playing the piano, not just working at it. 

And I am on a mission to enthuse players everywhere to develop an Active Repertoire. The Summer Repertoire Challenge is rooted in this vision.

There are two parts to the challenge:

Firstly, the Challenge encourage players to list three pieces that are performance-ready and, rather than dropping them as soon as school’s out for summer, commit to:

  1. Play the three pieces regularly – if possible, daily. For most players this should only take a few minutes.
  2. Try to memorise them. Without a specific performance deadline, the memorisation process can be as natural and unforced as possible over the summer months.
  3. Play the pieces to others – performing to family and friends as much as possible this summer.

And perhaps while on holiday, on a course or at a summer camp, there will be an opportunity to play to a brand new audience, whether on stage, or even on the piano in a hotel lobby or on a station platform.

Secondly, the Challenge encourages players to independently learn a selection of brand new pieces over the summer months.

The Summer Repertoire Challenge Sheet includes spaces to list a new set of pieces to tackle. The holidays can be a great time to crack open a host of new pieces, which can later be honed and polished for performance as required.

Use the sheet to hold yourself and your students to account:
Making a written list makes it official!

You can download your FREE Summer Repertoire Challenge Sheet here, and distribute the sheets to other players and students:

pdf-logo  Summer Repertoire Challenge

What’s Next?

If you are a teacher, set up the first lesson of next term as a performace at which your students will play you their Active Repertoire, and show you their list of new pieces.

If you are a player, why not surprise your teacher by showing up to the first lesson of the Autumn/Fall Term with three beautifully learnt and memorised pieces?

And if you enjoy the Summer Repertoire Challenge, perhaps it’s time to develop your Active Repertoire all the year around.

You can keep track of your ongoing Active Repertoire using the free download sheets available on Pianodao, including full instructions:

Active Repertoire: Getting Started Guide


I hope that you found this article helpful.
Pianodao is FREE to all, but funded with the help of reader donations.


Published by

Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is a pianist, writer and teacher based in Milton Keynes UK, where he runs Keyquest Music - his successful independent music education business, private teaching practice and creative outlet.

2 thoughts on “Summer Repertoire Challenge”

  1. Thank you for this Andrew! I use your active repertoire sheets and have my own summer activity sheets to hand out but this will be ideal for my teens and adults. Encouraging pupils to maintain an active repertoire is so important. The focus is often very much on the new and moving forward, sometimes a little too fast!

    Liked by 1 person

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