Practise for, refine and perform a selection of three graded pieces* in the inspiring setting of “paradise for pianists”, Finchcocks.
As adults learning the piano, without a fearsome teacher making us do exams and a deadline looming, it is all too easy to fall short of a really polished performance.
The joy of playing as an adult is that we’re not playing to pass exams, but most of us would admit, we’d do a bit more if we knew someone was going to take the time to listen to us and give us some feedback!
So that’s why we’ve created our own performance-only version of the exams!
Bring with you any three graded pieces of your choosing* and immerse yourself in the Finchcocks piano bubble for the launch of our Finchcocks exams! Give yourself the time and space to polish your repertoire, perform a mock performance to fellow guests, and take a final scored exam in front of a Finchcocks examiner in a warm, encouraging atmosphere and on our Steinway model B grand piano. Receive a final mark, written feedback and certificate from the UK’s most luxurious piano retreat.
Pieces will be marked out of 10 with grade boundaries 7+ Secure, 8+ Proficient, 9+ Outstanding, and followed with constructive feedback to take the player onto the next level.
This three-day course will include:
- Early Friday check-in from 1pm to spend the afternoon practising on any of our 9 grand pianos
- Performing one piece on the Friday night to a few fellow guests, mastering any nerves!
- Sitting a mock exam on Saturday, receiving verbal feedback afterwards
- Playing all three pieces on Saturday to the group in an encouraging performance class
- Enjoying the opportunity to practise and refine your performance
- Sitting a formal exam on Sunday and receiving a score, grade and certificate to round off your stay
No supplementary tests are required, our exams are purely performance based! We’ve packed in a lot of performance opportunities, starting small with an audience of only one or two, so that by the time it comes to the exam, your hands won’t be shaking and you’ll have the wind in your sails!
We’re incredibly lucky to have secured the services of Florian Mitrea for the launch of our Finchcocks Exams. A very popular member of the Finchcocks team, phenomenal international concert pianist and experienced teacher and examiner, guests always leave truly inspired from their stay on one Florian’s courses.
Florian will offer gentle and sympathetic encouragement throughout, with a strong emphasis on the positives!
On the Saturday night, to give everyone time to relax and take some time off, Florian will put himself in the hotseat and perform a private recital for course guests, which is an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and be inspired with a glass of wine in the magical setting of the main hall of Finchcocks.
We have one grand piano available for every guest in our vaulted cellars, including our new Steinway. Piano conversation will flow freely over coffee and home made biscuits and cakes in between bouts of practice! Sharing the frustrations, challenges and joys of playing the piano is as therapeutic as it is enjoyable!
And of course, as with every course, guests will also enjoy:
- Joining and socialising with a group of up to 8 fellow piano enthusiasts during lunch and dinner.
- Dining in style with lunches and three course dinners prepared by our fabulous chef.
- Experiencing the Finchcocks bubble, hailed as a “paradise for pianists” by BBC Music Magazine and stay in a grade 1 listed country manor.
We’re really excited about the next step in the foundation of Finchcocks Exams and the provision of an encouraging, constructive environment to grow musicianship. But we appreciate this requires some bravery! If it sounds of interest, please drop Jenny a line using the form below, or give her a ring on 01580 428080.
*Pieces accepted from any grade equivalent selection of published pieces. If there is a particular piece that you’d like to perform, we can help you assess what level it would be equivalent to.