There are lots of courses around the country dedicated to music education. Many are held during the Summer time and particularly the school holidays, but Jackdaws Music Education Trust run educational programmes throughout the year, which come complete with spectacular scenery and superb tutors. According to their website , “Jackdaws is dedicated to improving participation in and enjoyment of music through weekend courses, Education projects, a Young Artists Programme and performances by world-class musicians.” Based in Somerset, Vallis Vale in Great Elm, courses and retreats are residential with accommodation and food provided.
During 2013, Jackdaws delivered over 5,000 musical interactions between international musicians and school children through Education projects such as ‘Year of the String Quartet’, ‘Song Story’ and ‘OperaPLUS’. The Jackdaws mission is indeed ‘To enable creative expression by bringing music to life!’
Amongst the courses on offer are a plethora of piano activities, including a piano club, which meets every few weeks for a couple of hours allowing piano lovers to get together to play on a Steinway model B and chat about piano music. Tutors on the residential courses (which are usually run during weekends), include Philip Fowke, Graham Fitch, Elena Riu, Margaret Fingerhut and Mark Tanner.
Pianist Julian Jacobson, who is Professor of piano and chamber music at the Royal College of Music in London, is the tutor for the Advanced Piano Workshop which is being held from June 20th – 22nd 2014. Julian is a regular at Jackdaws and is a highly experienced teacher. His busy career combines international appearances as soloist, and chamber musician (with a long line of distinguished instrumentalists), as well as recording for a variety of labels including Meridian, Hyperion, Chandos and Decca Argo. Last year he performed the complete Beethoven piano sonatas in one day at St. Martin-in-the-Fields (yes all 32!) for charity, and he particularly enjoys performing Contemporary repertoire. You can find out much more about Julian here. To book a place on his course and glance at all that Jackdaws has to offer click here.