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The Piano Teachers' Course UK

16 years of leading professional development for piano teachers worldwide

Cert PTC


Do any of these sound at all like you?

  • Feeling stuck in a rut?

  • Suffering from imposter syndrome?

  • Brand new to piano teaching?

  • Wondering how to take things to the next level for your students?


With an incredible team of Principal Tutors and guest lecturers, and what always seems to be an unlimited font of knowledge and experience, it actually doesn't matter whether you've been teaching for two months or 20 years. You'll take from the course the things that are most relevant to you and your pupils at the time, and your course Handbook will be an invaluable resource for years and pupils to come.

At the heart of our mission is a desire to offer an inspirational and holistic musical education. As Sally Cathcart says, we are musicians first and pianists second. We work with teachers to instil a deep-rooted love of music that goes beyond the pages of a tutor book and tackles the perception that achieving Grade 8 means they've 'completed piano'!

Cert PTC graduates frequently go on to obtain school teaching jobs, set up piano schools and employ other teachers, and found music resource businesses. Others find themselves with long waiting lists being so much in-demand!

You can read about two previous students' experiences on our blog.

The course is run with a hybrid combination of in-person and online learning, or you can choose to attend entirely online. Our venue is The Purcell School of Music, which you can find out more about here.

Final date for applications for 2023-24: Sunday 15th October, 2023

For more course information, please contact the course Manager, Rhiana:

Course Dates: 2023-24

If enrolling as an online participant, all dates below can be attended virtually or you may watch recordings of the sessions later on. If enrolling to attend in person with single days online, please note the information below.

Saturday 23rd September 2023 - Orientation Day, in person/online

Saturday 21st - Tuesday 24th October 2023 - Residential Weekend (3 nights), in person/online

Sunday 19th November 2023 - Single Study Day, online

Sunday 21st January 2024 - Single Study Day, online

Sunday 18th February 2024 - Single Study Day, online

Sunday 17th March 2024 - Single Study Day, online

Thursday 11th - Saturday 14th April 2024 - Residential Weekend (3 nights), in person/online

Sunday 19th May 2024 - Single Study Day, online

Saturday 22nd June 2024 - Final Performance Day, in person/online

September 2024 - Awards Ceremony

Minimum Requirements
  • Aged 18 or over

  • Passed Grade 8 piano or equivalent. We will need to see a copy of the certificate;

  • At least two piano pupils throughout the course;

  • Proficient Word-processing skills, email and internet access.

  • You will also need to know how to use an online meeting platform; this year, we are using Zoom. We can provide support with this if necessary.

NB: If you have yet to pass your Grade 8 piano, one of the PTC Tutors may be able to help you with pre-course preparation. Just contact the Administrator via the contact page for further advice.

We recommend all students take piano lessons from a teacher who is experienced in preparing students for diplomas in performance. All PTC Tutors can offer such lessons, as required.

Course Content

The Piano Teachers’ Course UK is holistic in its approach, and is delivered in two modules: Practical Piano Teaching (September-February course days), followed by Pianism and the Piano Teacher (April-June course days).

For a full overview of topics and assignments and to discuss your requirements, please contact Rhiana:


Where have we come from and where are we going?

- A look at the history of the piano and piano teaching in relation to your own philosophy, principles and practice for teaching in the 21st century

First years at the piano

- Inspiring and creative approaches

- Recommended tutor books

Resources and repertoire

- Beginner, intermediate and advanced pupils, including those with special needs

Multi-sensory teaching methods

- Imagery and imagination

- Dance and Dalcroze

Playing by ear and improvising

- Simple steps

- How to teach both regularly, so your pupils can play with and without notation

Style and interpretation

- Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, 20th Century, Jazz and Contemporary music

Practice tools and techniques

- Beginner, intermediate and advanced pupils

Preparing for performances

- Safe Circle duet, trio and solo performance opportunities

Musical moments

- Inspired and informative performances from the tutors

Practical psychology

- Promoting a positive atmosphere in teaching, learning and performing

Running a teaching practice

- Developing studio policies

- Dealing with difficulty

- Promoting your business

Course Aims

Through a comprehensive programme of lectures, workshops, tutorials, independent study, and practical and written assignments, course students will be guided to:

  • Become self-reflective, and deepen and develop your piano teaching and performing skills

  • Absorb current ideas about good practice in piano teaching from a wide range of music educators and specialists

  • Read, listen to and appraise recommended reading and listening materials

  • Create realistic and well-structured learning programmes

  • Develop your ability to communicate with and assist a wide range of pupils

  • Recognise the value of the teacher’s own experiences as a performer

  • Enhance your pianistic and performing skills, both technical and artistic

  • Understand and develop strategies for dealing with performance tension

  • Develop both general musicianship and study skills

Course Dates
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