The Piano Teachers’ Course Launches ‘PTC Online’

PTC Online is a brand-new initiative bringing you
easy-to-follow video tutorials and exclusive downloadable content from expert tutors Lucinda Mackworth-Young, Graham Fitch, Sally Cathcart and Ilga Pitkevica.

This series of in-depth online learning modules has been developed in partnership with the Practising the Piano Online Academy and is based on content from The Piano Teachers’ Course UK.

This series of in-depth online learning modules has been developed in partnership with the Practising the Piano Online Academy and is based on content from The Piano Teachers’ Course UK.

The tutorials bring you world-class guidance and handy teaching tips to view, download and use at your convenience!  There are 6 modules available, covering teaching beginners, practising, piano technique, improvisation and playing by ear, and psychology for teaching and learning.

If you have wondered how to instil a genuine and long-lasting love of music in your beginner pupils, or you’ve been baffled about how to teach good technique even at advanced level, help is now available all in one place! The videos with accompanying downloads allow you to progress through each module at your own pace, return to the materials as often as you like, and start using the information straight away in your teaching.

One particular topic that teachers often shy away from is playing by ear and improvising.  Wouldn’t it be great if it didn’t feel so intimidating, and if you could teach it to your own students?  In her tutorial, Anyone Can Improvise,  Lucinda Mackworth-Young will guide you through a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to harmonising familiar songs and giving you the tools and confidence to create music on the spot that makes people stop and ask, ‘What’s that wonderful piece you’re playing?’ 

To give a taste of what you can expect from the videos, the introductory sections of Anyone Can Improvise, and the first two videos of Graham Fitch’s Practice Tools and Piano Technique lecture series are freely available and can be viewed using the links below.

These modules are all included as part of an Online Academy subscription or can be purchased individually. A complete bundle of all six is also available and can be purchased at an additional 50% off (exclusive to PTC followers until 28th June 2019):

Click here to buy the complete bundle for £30.00, a saving of 50% or use voucher code UGAR9QRAF667 at our store (valid until 28th June 2019). Alternatively, if you’d like access to these modules along with a further 300 articles, hundreds of videos, musical examples and downloads then you may wish to subscribe to the Practising the Piano Online Academy. Click here to sign-up and save £20 on an annual subscription or click here to find out more about subscription options.

Posted in Finding a piano teaching course, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Tutors | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

An apposite endorsement…

This is a ringing endorsement from a member of the PTC Class of 2013-14. 

1512631_10152112285464019_1906314642_n“Three months after the end of the course I’m so glad that I did it, and although last year I wasn’t sure whether to apply, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Before the course, I was teaching a small number of students in the evenings after work, but I wouldn’t have called myself a piano teacher, even though I looked forward to my lessons and they were way more important to me then my ‘day job’.

All the hard work and lots of traveling for the course was well worth it because not only did I get an abundance of ideas and resources that will continue to keep me exploring and discovering new methods of teaching for years to come, I also got the confidence that I needed to call myself a piano teacher, get lots of new students and become self-employed full time! I’m really enjoying teaching all of my students, who have a wide variety of different interests and goals, because thanks to the PTC I feel equipped to make sure that they all progress and enjoy playing the piano. I still can’t quite believe how much things have changed in the last few months and I’ve never been happier, so I’m really grateful to the PTC tutors and organisers for giving me the confidence to do what I love.”

Posted in Concerts, Discussion Forums, Finding a piano teaching course, Performances, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Tutors | Comments closed

ANDREI GAVRILOV Masterclass and Concert


Andrei rarely performs in the UK, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to see one of the most experienced and individual pianists of our time sharing his musical ideas and words of wisdom.


Sunday 9th March at

Sheffield High School Hall
10 Rutland Park
S10 2PE

Spectator tickets for this are now on sale and are available solely from Christine Shaw. Please contact her to check availability:

Prices are per half-day (morning or afternoon) session:

  • Full/adult………… £15.00
  • Student/OAP…… £12.50
  • Under 18’s……..   £10.00


  • Morning session: 10.30am – 1.30pm
  • Afternoon session: 2pm – 5pm



Sunday 18th May at the Colston Hall in Bristol

Andrei plays Tchaikovsky’s 1st and Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concertos, conducting from the piano! He will also conduct the third item on the evening’s program: Mussorsgki’s ‘Night on the Bare Mountain’

For tickets and further information, please click here: Colston Hall



Posted in Concerts, Discussion Forums, Performances, Piano playing | Comments closed

What Resources and Materials do Piano Teachers really need for today’s pupils?


1 week to go until Music Education Expo. Our TeachMeet session is on Saturday 8th @ 12.45 exploring: What Resources and Materials do Piano Teachers really need for today’s pupils! Facilitated by Lucinda and Sally. See you there…



Posted in Discussion Forums, Finding a piano teaching course, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Tutors | Comments closed

PTC at Music Education Expo 2014


We’re just a couple of weeks away from the 2014 Music Education Expo – held at The Barbican Exhibition Halls on Friday 7th & Saturday 8th February.

Lucinda-Mackworth-YoungPTC will be there on both days – we’re on stand S3.B.


On Saturday 8th at 12.45pm, Lucinda will be hosting another TeachMeet session



Sally Cathcart

On Friday 7th at 3.30pm,  Sally will be presenting a workshop entitled: Let’s play: songs and games for instrumental teachers.


See you there…




To find out more about what’s on – and register for free, go to: Music Education Expo



Posted in Concerts, Discussion Forums, Finding a piano teaching course, Performances, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Tutors | Comments closed

A Piano Curriculum for the future – by Sally Cathcart

sally-cathcartFor the last couple of years I have been working on developing a piano curriculum. Why – you might ask?

Well, we all need a map to guide our teaching, something that tells us where we are heading and gives the details of the stages by which we are going to get there. A CURRICULUM is just that and is an essential component of any effective teaching approach. It provides a strategy for knowing what pupils need to learn in order to make progress musically and technically.  In the UK we have never quite worked out what we need to teach, when and how – maybe it is time we should start!

Of course, what we do have is the instrumental exam system represented by ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall, London College of Music and others. What they provide us with is a SYLLABUS – a selection of pieces, technical exercises and supporting tests that represent a particular level of playing. Whilst instrumental exams don’t give us the map and all the details they do provide us with some stopping points on our journey. 

But, a teacher at the Oxford Piano Group once asked me, ‘how do I get pupils from Grade 1 to Grade 2?’ and this is a common query I believe.  It is this grey area, ‘between the grades’, that a curriculum will help to address. With a strategy for teaching firmly set out (WHAT I am going to teach) it is much easier to work out HOW to teach. I find that the more I plan, the more effective my teaching becomes. I look at my ‘map’ and from that work out the best, individual route for each pupil. 

It has been with all this in my mind that I started to put the Piano Curriculum together. I don’t pretend that it is perfect nor is it a complete document (I hope it never will be) but it does provide me with a starting point for planning my pupils’ journeys.

It isn’t all ready to be published yet but the time has come to share some of this with my fellow piano teachers!

So here is the Piano Curriculum for Grades 1 – 2When looking at this please keep in mind that a lot of skills and concepts will have already been covered in the Beginners and Pre-Grade 1 curriculum and that it is a guideline only not a fixed sequence of development!

I would love to hear from all of you who read this blog what you think about this. Is it helpful? Is it something that you will use? Would you like more?

Please email me directly with any comments

In my next blog I will show how ‘Messy Piano’ and ‘the Piano Curriculum’ can be used together to great effect.

Posted in Concerts, Discussion Forums, Finding a piano teaching course, Performances, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Tutors | Comments closed

The new Tutor line-up for PTC 2013-14

The core of any good course is the quality of the people who teach it. PTC has been blessed with a quartet of Principal Tutors for the past five years, who have – with insight, care and tenacity – forged the course into what it is now.

Therefore it is with great sadness that we say goodbye to one of that quartet – Cathy Riley. We wish her all the very best in her new ventures.

Roshan MagubDue to the heightened interest in the course, we have extended the number of students for 2013-14 – but to support that, it also requires additional tutelage.

Graham Fitch was appointed back in the summer to join the team, and we are delighted to announce our new principal tutor – Roshan Magub.

Roshan brings a wealth of different experience to the team, and both she and Graham were such a hit during PTC 2012-13, additional sessions were scheduled with them.

Joining the guest tutors this year is the Latvian pianist Ilga Pitkevica.

It’s going to be a great year….


Posted in Concerts, Finding a piano teaching course, Performances, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Tutors | Comments closed

The PTC September newsletter


Steinway PianoWelcome back after the summer holidays. We hope you enjoyed the lovely sunny weather. We would like to thank everyone for the excellent feedback we’ve received about our new website, The videos appear to have been most useful, and the online application & payment has proven a simple and highly effective way to apply for the course. 

To be even more helpful, we now have a new FAQ page: Frequently Asked Questions. Please let us know if we’ve missed anything. 

PTC is on the final run up to the 2013-14 course. Booking closes at the end of September, and we have just a handful of places available. To check availability before applying, please contact our Administrator, Jennie Parke Matheson on 07831 164430 or 

The 2013-14 Course
Full details are available in The Prospectus, either in printed version and available by post – or on-line at:
To download, please click here: 2013-14 Prospectus  and Application Form

Course Dates

  • October           25th, 26th and 27th                                                                    
  • December        1st 


  • February          21st, 22nd and 23rd                                                                  
  • April                 4th, 5th and 6th 
  • May/June         31st and 1st
  • June                 22nd

The fee for the course, including accommodation and meals, is £1,999 – or £1,800 for members of EPTA or the ISM

Application criteria
Students must be at least 18 years of age, and have:

  • Passed Grade 8 piano, or higher
  • At least one piano pupil for the duration of the course
  • Word processing (IT) skills and email access

If you have any queries or would like a printed copy of The Prospectus, please contact Jennie on or 07831 164430

All our tutors give workshops independently. A comprehensive list of upcoming workshops, seminars and courses can be found on our website at: PTC Events 

Coming up in September – some dates for your diary:-

  • 7th September – Effective Piano Practice with Graham Fitch. At Peregrine’s Pianos from 3pm. For more info, please go to: Effective Piano Practice
  • 9th September – Lucinda Mackworth-Young presents the keynote speech to the Derbyshire Instrumental MusicTeachers. For further info please contact:
  • 24th September – Heli Ignatius-Fleet presents “The Time between Lessons – the Key to Success” the next in the EPTA UK workshop series at Chappells of Bond Street – now at 152-160 Wardour Street. At 12 noon, this is a free event. 

Here are some thoughts and observations from past students. There are many more on the website…

“The tutors are great, extremely knowledgeable and experienced, as well as being very supportive. I took the course in 2008-9, thoroughly enjoyed it and got lots of ideas to try out on my pupils! Wish there’d been even more time to play all those lovely pianos – it was fun playing duets and trios. It can definitely be a challenge being the “one in the middle” of a trio!”

I took the PTC course recently and loved it! The tutors are wonderful and so helpful when you need advice and support – it was absolutely brilliant”

“It is by far the best and most practical qualification I have ever done. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone”

If you would like to link-up with us on Social Media, please “follow” us on our new Twitter account, “connect” to our LinkedIn profile and “like” our Facebook page. Our Facebook page has lots of interesting video clips to watch…

Our very best wishes

Sally Cathcart, Lucinda Mackworth-Young, Cathy Riley and Heli Ignatius-Fleet

The Tutor Team at The Piano Teachers’ Course EPTA UK


Posted in Concerts, Discussion Forums, Finding a piano teaching course, Performances, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Uncategorized | Comments closed

Piano Duets with Cathy Riley and Graham Fitch – Wednesday 31st July

TGraham Fitch and Cathy Rileyhe Bosendorfer Concert Series

Wednesday 31st July at 7pm -St Mary Magdalene Church, NW1

Tickets £6, concessions £3

Graham Fitch and Cathy Riley perform a programme of piano duets – by Faure, Poulenc, Schumann, Brahms and Debussy

Cathy and Graham first met as students at the Royal College of Music, where they both studied with the pianist Peter Wallfisch. It was not until 2011 after a spontaneous and very enjoyable duet session that they decided to form a piano duo. They have since given a number of concerts, which have been very well received

For further info and to book, go to: Marksons Concert Series

Posted in Concerts, Discussion Forums, Finding a piano teaching course, Performances, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano, Uncategorized | Comments closed

The new PTC Discussion Forum

epta-facebook-logoBased on conversations with fellow piano teachers during recent workshops, seminars and exhibitions, it has become clear that people are looking for an open and active discussion group where thoughts can be aired.

To that end we have created a discussion group on Facebook.

To join, please click on: The Piano Teachers’ Course EPTA UK Discussion Forum

If you have anything you wish to share or enquire about – please join our group! 

Posted in Discussion Forums, Finding a piano teaching course, Piano playing, Piano Teaching, Teaching Piano | Comments closed
  • PTC 2020-21

    Dates released! Enrolment now open for PTC 2020-21, with 10% off course fees.

    Click here for more information.

  • Taster Days 2019-20

    2019-20 Taster Day dates are now available!
    Click HERE for more info…

  • The Teaching LRSM

    Brand new this year: a course now available for preparation towards your Teaching LRSM.

    Click here for more information.

  • The Teaching DipABRSM

    Running alongside the PTC and sharing dates, full preparation for this qualification, including Grade 6 theory, is now available.
    For more info go to: The Teaching DipABRSM

  • CPD Workshops 2019-20

    Beginning in October 2019, the PTC has a whole new programme of CPD workshops this year! Booking is now open.

    Click here for the full timetable

  • Sign up for our mailing list.

  • Twitter @PianoTCUK