Workshop and Course Participants

‘A fabulous course. It has been such an inspiring and incredibly valuable week. You have taken us on such an inspirational and motivating journey at the Chetham’s Piano Teachers’ Course! Teaching at its best! Many thanks for all your hard work and dedication!’

Maria Kesiak: piano teacher (Poland/UK) and participant on the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

‘You have been such a fantastic professor/lecturer/facilitator, and I feel really lucky to have been able to take part. Thank you once again for the whole experience. It has been of such benefit to me and I’m truly grateful.’

Jack Ronayne: piano teacher (Ireland) and participant on the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

Thank you so much for the teaching course, I learned a lot from it, and it was also very inspirational!’

Jacob Philip: piano teacher (UK) and participant on the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

‘Thank you so much for a brilliant course. It has been such good fun and I have learnt so much.’

Karen Wall: piano teacher (UK) piano teacher and participant on the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

‘Thank you so much for putting together the teachers course. It has been very helpful and inspiring, especially after spending the last year and a bit away from the piano.’

Rupert Trace: piano teacher (UK) and participant on the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

‘Many thanks for your excellent presentations from Chets. You have given me many things to explore for the rest of my life.’

Adrian Kitchen: piano teacher (UK) and participant on the Piano Teachers’ Course at Chetham’s International Piano Summer School

‘Just to thank you very much for an excellent weekend.  I enjoyed a very positive experience of my first ‘on line’ course.  I know that I certainly need to do lots of work on technique etc. so must now start putting some of your advice into practice.  I will certainly look out for your future courses.’

Marion Blake: participant on the Jackdaws Music Education Trust ‘Online’ Piano Course (U.K.)

‘Thank you very much for a splendid weekend! It might seem strange to an outside observer to have a piano course at which not a single piece was played but your suggestion at the start that our time would be best spent following your four piano technique workshop notes was an excellent one. I’ve been through the first two workshop examples again during my practice and I’m optimistic that as they and the later two become routine I will see significant benefits.’

Aidan Rose: participant on the Jackdaws Music Education Trust ‘Online’ Piano Course (U.K.)

Thank you so much for brilliant workshop yesterday. It was absolutely wonderful! I was very impressed with your method and how you developed the Russian piano school’s basic postulates. I  have found out a lot of very important things and remembered some things that I previously used but had forgotten! Also, you created very friendly, amazing atmosphere – I love how you were working with all the teachers. Everything was just wonderful, and I really enjoyed it very much and especially looking through your amazing Play it Again: PIANO Book 3. Marvellous job! I wish you many new horizons in your passionate mission.’

Alla Levit: Russian Pianist and Piano Teacher, and Workshop participant at Banks Music Shop in York (U.K.)

‘Thank you so much for your technique workshops and the masterclasses. Your handouts are very helpful in understanding how to practise that deep touch feel at home.  It was clear that your students were able to feel the contact with the key more readily than others and (perhaps because of that) there was a confidence in their playing that was quite admirable.’

Janet Gilman: Participant on the Jackdaws Music Education Trust Piano Course (UK.)

‘I wanted to thank you for your patience and encouragement. I really enjoyed the weekend and came away feeling inspired. Above all I learned some very useful tips which hopefully will help me to take my playing onto the next stage – particularly the importance of positional playing.’

Jocelyn Dawson-Wood: Participant on a Finchcocks Intermediate Piano Course (U.K.)

‘Melanie Spanswick came to Manchester on January 26th (2019) to do a workshop at Forsyths music shop and what a treat it was! Nobody was disappointed and any reader who gets the opportunity  should go to one of those workshops. We can’t wait for her to return. Having retired and taken up the piano I became despondent with the teachers I had. I was about to give up when I discovered Pianist (Magazine) and Melanie’s books’.

Michael Owen: Audience member at a Forsyths Music Shop Workshop, printed in the ‘letters’ section of Pianist Magazine (U.K.)

‘I learnt so much from you in the past 48 hours, and really enjoyed myself too. A brilliant teacher, luxury accommodation and all those pianos is a perfect combination. Thank you again for your wisdom and patience.’

Judith Serota: Participant on the Finchcocks Intermediate Piano Course (U.K.)

‘Many thanks to Melanie, the most inspiring teacher, helpful, patient, understanding and full of advice for us all. A weekend which is forever in my precious memories.

Sylvie Volve: Participant on the Finchcocks Intermediate Piano Course (U.K.)

‘That was a really good weekend, Melanie. As an adult beginner I leant an awful lot and it was inspirational seeing the others play their pieces. I move forward now with renewed optimism and a new teacher. Thanks for your patience!’

Andrew Carr: Participant on the Jackdaws Music Education Trust Course (U.K.)

‘A very enjoyable course, Melanie. A lot of information was covered. Really appreciated the technical help and also watching your approach to teaching the other students. Alex’s food was indeed wonderful, catering for so many varied food requirements. Such a high standard of skills from the variety of participants. Very enjoyable indeed. Looking forward to another course in the future – can’t have too much knowledge, always willing to learn more. Thanks again Melanie. Highly recommended!’

Maggie George: Participant on the Jackdaws Music Education Trust Course (U.K.)

‘The guest speaker for the April 2016 guitar workshop was the fabulous Melanie Spanswick (pianist). She gave a brilliant workshop about sight-reading and memorisation and everyone took away a lot of ideas. Coupled with my talk on fretboard knowledge and strategies to learn the fretboard more thoroughly, everyone felt more comfortable with the prospect of sight-reading by the end! Hugely enjoyable.’

Fiona Harrison: Guitarist, teacher and educator (U.K.)

‘I had not been to this kind of master class for a little while and the one that you held was an update for me. And it was superb.’

Maria Yau: Piano Teacher (Hong Kong)

‘Thank you for your passion and hard work. You are very detailed in your teaching and persistently expect students to meet your standard. We appreciate you taking the time and effort to give us insights about technical exercises that will benefit many. Such detailed technical studies bring us basic knowledge of how to use our hands and fingers effectively, yet they all are rich in knowledge. We hope you don’t give up on us because we still have so much to learn and absorb from an experienced expert like you.’

Febe Warman: Director of the I-MEC and Cantata Music School (Indonesia)

Books, Articles and Blog

‘Melanie, I’d like to thank you for your piano methods, without them I wouldn’t be playing piano to the standard I am. A few years ago I looked into your methods as I felt many piano teachers don’t have the best techniques to show! However yours has helped me so much and has helped with my piano exam work too I will be taking grade 5 next month then going on to grade 7. My piano teacher is also a big fan of yours! Dr Antonina Lax, she also showed me the music you have written for her and her duet partner, which was beautiful to play! I really appreciate any of your help and advice as piano is my passion! I couldn’t be more grateful! Thank you!!’

Adam Harle: Pianist and Piano Teacher (U.K.)

‘Just a very brief note to say thanks for your comments on fingering in Pianist Magazine. It was the best summary of fingering strategy I’ve ever read!’

Gabe Litvin: (U.S.A.)

‘What do I love about Melanie’s blog? Want practice motivation?  It’s there.  Want advice on some aspect of piano playing? It’s there.  Want to research Melanie’s many compositions?  You’ll find them there.  And the best part?  Every article is written in a friendly, direct way that invites readers to be part of a communal piano adventure.’

Rhonda Rizzo: Pianist, Recording Artist, and Writer (U.S.A.)

EPTA Workshops and Classes

‘HUGE thanks to Melanie for her thoughtful and inspiring coaching this afternoon at EPTA Brighton’s first ‘Young Pianists Performance Day’. It was lovely to watch the instant rapport Melanie developed with each performer throughout the workshops, and great to hear such varied repertoire in all performance categories. Melanie’s coaching on rhythmic discipline and encouraging a greater sense of freedom in the performers’ shoulders/arms/wrists was really valuable to all. I’m sure all performers came away with very constructive and helpful advice to take into the new year.’

Helen Wilson: EPTA (European Piano Teacher’s Association), Brighton

‘Many thanks to Melanie for super ideas on tone production. A really good afternoon!’

Beate Wilmshurst: EPTA, Derby

‘Learnt such a lot from Melanie, we can all use her tips in our teaching and own playing.’

Kath Hoblyn: Piano Teacher and EPTA master class audience member in Derby

‘An enjoyable afternoon indeed, a very positive workshop – and further workshops hopefully will ensue. Thanks a lot Melanie, you were excellent.’

Liz Dewhurst: EPTA, Swansea

Private Students

‘I would like to thank Melanie for helping me to get a Scholarship to study the piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During my early years of piano studies, I encountered regular stiffness and strain in my  hands. After starting taking lessons from Melanie, she taught me how to be flexible with the hands, wrists and arms and the importance of maintaining a good posture, which are crucial elements to making a good sound. She had been working extremely hard and carefully with me towards my college entrance audition in a very detailed way, and thanks to her sheer dedication and a great focus on technical foundation and precision, my playing progressed immensely in a very short period of time.

It was daunting when I first heard that we had to work remotely, but Melanie has made it work through her clear explanation of each movement and description of sound. She has always shown great patience and never forgot to bring me encouragement. In the last stage of preparing my audition, she asked me to record my myself two to three times each week to be more confident with this new audition method. She continues to inspire me with her passion for music and dedication to teaching.’

Violet Zhou

‘I was completely blown away; in eight months of having lessons with Melanie, I had taken my diploma and received offers from six conservatories. I know that there was no way I could’ve done it without her, or without my own determination, and I’m also on the way to building a secure technique free of any pain, discomfort or tension.’ 

Amy Reynolds

‘Thanks so much for your help. I already feel with the daily exercises and slow methodical practice my technique has improved. Only yesterday I tackled a piece of Bach that has evaded me for years and it clicked.’

Nick Wallis