International Piano Academy

Rossall International Piano Academy is Rossall School’s unique and innovative programme for outstanding young pianists aged 11-18.

We recognise the importance of ensuring that young musicians benefit from inspirational coaching within a supportive school environment that engenders social, emotional, cultural and intellectual growth. 

The Rossall International Piano Academy is committed to providing world-class musical education, enabling our pianists to develop the skills, confidence and tenacity required to achieve their full musical potential. 

Bespoke programmes of study are designed in collaboration with our students to ensure that their own individual aspirations are supported to the highest possible level as they forge their path towards a career in music. The Piano Academy is equally suited to gifted pianists who wish to pursue a career away from the concert stage, but nonetheless, enjoy performing at the highest level.

Academic results at Rossall School are superb, with almost half of all A Level grades resulting in the award of an ‘A*’ or ‘A’ in 2020. Culturally and intellectually, the school provides excellent preparation for those wishing to study music at colleges and universities around the globe. The school enjoys strong links with a growing number of leading conservatories and musical organisations both within the UK and overseas. 

Twenty-first century musicians need to be accomplished and versatile practitioners, and many of the building blocks necessary for a successful career are provided here at Rossall. 

Teaching and coaching are delivered through weekly individual lessons and workshops with our distinguished faculty. Students also benefit from regular exposure to world-class performers such as Martin Roscoe (Associate Professor), in our masterclass and Signature concert series.

There are a wealth of performance opportunities available to our pianists, with regular lunchtime concerts and external performance opportunities throughout the region and further afield. Practice sessions are built into each student’s personal timetable, with expert staff on hand to supervise and help students to achieve their very best in between their lessons. 

Chamber music and other collaborative music-making opportunities are plentiful. Group classes in sight reading, performance skills, keyboard technique and music theory constitute key aspects of the programme.

Music at Rossall

Rossall School is a truly remarkable community and one which has inspired creativity for generations of musicians, artists and writers. Situated on the Lancashire coast, the drama of our natural landscape provides an environment which leaves a real impression upon the soul. 

Rossall’s most famous contribution to the music world thus far has been the illustrious conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, who founded the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, and went on to direct the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera in New York. Other Old Rossallians who have made an indelible impression in the world of music include the acclaimed jazz musician Bill Ashton and internationally renowned organist, Phil Kelsall.

More recently, the opera singer Lewis Raines and West End star Irvine Iqbal have both been making waves on the national stage. Rossallians have also found success in contemporary music, with recent leaver Tom Gregory achieving a Top 10 hit in Germany last summer. In the broader spectrum of the arts, Rossall has produced its fair share of actors and writers including J.G.Farrell, one of only five novelists to win the Booker Prize twice. 

The School has a Chapel Choir that sings weekly services in the School Chapel and undertakes residency in cathedrals across the UK, most recently in Westminster Abbey. 

Regular chamber concerts and weekly recitals provide regular performance opportunities for all of our musicians and we encourage all of our musicians to join regional ensembles or national ensembles such as the National Youth Choir, National Youth Wind Orchestra and National Youth Choir.

Staff

Adam Dobson

DIRECTOR OF MUSIC

Our music faculty is led by pianist Adam Dobson, an experienced recitalist and musical director. 

Following his graduation from Chetham’s School of Music, Adam went on to study at the Royal College of Music with Ruth Nye, a former student of the great Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau. Through her mentorship, Adam can lay claim to a place in a remarkable musical lineage that directly extends back through Liszt, Beethoven and Haydn. A major catalyst in his desire to become an educator was the opportunity to pass this musical heritage on to future generations of young musicians. 

BMus (Hons) from the Royal College of Music, PGCE, BMus

 

Martin Roscoe

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

With an extraordinary career spanning over five decades, Martin Roscoe is unarguably one of the UK’s best loved pianists. His enduring popularity and the respect in which he is universally held are built on a deeply thoughtful musicianship and his easy rapport with audiences and fellow musicians alike.

He is one of the most regularly played pianists on BBC Radio 3, having made over 600 broadcasts, including seven BBC Prom appearances and Martin works frequently with many of the UK’s leading orchestras. A prolific recitalist and chamber musician, Martin seasonally tours the UK in addition to performing in Europe, Canada, Australia and the Far East.

Teaching forms an important part of his life and the development of young talent helps Martin to constantly re-examine and re-evaluate his own playing. Throughout the school year, Martin will be visiting the school every half term to deliver one-to-one lessons, masterclasses and concerts, giving our young pianists an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the very best concert artists and teachers. 

 

Victor Lim

HEAD OF KEYBOARD

Mr Lim comes from an exceptional lineage of teachers and has played all over the world. Described as a pianist with ‘with great possibilities of nuance and perfect flexibility’ (Revista Arta), South Korean-British pianist Victor Lim is establishing himself as one of the most versatile and creative musicians of his generation.

Victor is a City Music Foundation Artist, Making Music UK’s Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist and the winner of the 2021 RNCM Gold Medal.

Victor trained at Wells Cathedral School with John Byrne and Richard Ormrod, then at the Royal Northern College of Music with Graham Scott, Jeremy Young and Murray McLachlan as an ABRSM scholar. 

 

Music Teachers & peripatetic teachers

The broad array of talent and expertise within the music faculty is one of our most unique features, giving our young musicians access to a wealth of support across a broad spectrum of music.

All Steinway School

Building on our already rich musical heritage, Rossall School proudly joined the exclusive ranks of All-Steinway Schools in September 2021, with the delivery of twelve new Steinway & Sons grand and upright pianos.

This exciting new chapter in the school’s musical history provides our students with access to the best possible pianos for practise, lessons and performances.

The opportunity to study on world-class instruments is a hugely exciting prospect for pianists, one which will motivate and challenge them to reach their fullest potential.

We believe that becoming an All-Steinway School is the natural step forward in firmly establishing Rossall School as one of the top destinations for 11 to 18-year-old pianists from around the world. 

Rossall School is now home to:

  • One Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand Piano, the gold standard in pianos that graces the most famous concert stages around the world
  • One Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano, often referred to by pianists as ‘the perfect piano’ 
  • Two Steinway & Sons Model A Grand Pianos, used for individual lessons and practice
  • Two Steinway designed Boston Grand Pianos
  • Six Steinway designed Boston Upright Pianos
  • Nine Steinway designed Essex Upright Pianos

Students receive all their lessons and give performances exclusively on Steinway & Sons grand pianos. They practice on these pianos as well as the Steinway designed pianos (Boston and Essex) that are situated in the departmental practice rooms and in each individual boarding house.

With Steinway designed pianos situated throughout the campus, the impact of music within our school community will continue to flourish for pianists, instrumentalists and vocalists alike. 

 

*Rossall is also home to a century-old Steinway & Sons grand piano undergoing meticulous restoration, we hope to be able to restore some of its former glory and retain a beautiful piece of Rossall and Steinway & Sons history!

Facilities

Students will have access to the the following facilities:

  • 2 x Piano Studios with Steinway & Sons Model A Grand Pianos.
  • 7 x Individual Practice Rooms.
  • A practice Room in each of the 8 boarding houses featuring a Steinway & Sons Piano.
  • Multiple performance spaces including:
    • The Performing Arts Studio featuring a Steinway & Sons Model D Grand Piano.
    • The more intimate Museum Theatre featuring a Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano.

The Programme

The programme provides an excellent balance between academic studies and music education. The ambition and 

scope of the programme is reflected in the diversity of activities that are on offer for all members of the International 

Piano Academy and this includes the following:

  • 1 to 1 Lessons
  • 90 Minutes
  • Students will receive weekly one to one lessons with one of our distinguished faculty members. 
  • Performance Class
  • 90 minutes

A weekly opportunity for students to perform the repertoire they are working on and receive constructive feedback from their peers in a supportive, positive and informal environment. Piano workshops also include group discussion of composers, pianists, piano repertoire and performance techniques. 

 

Aural Skills

30 minutes

These classes help to develop student’s aural awareness, which is key to becoming an all-round musician. Developing a student’s musical ear helps them to assess their own playing more effectively, raising their awareness of balance, timing and musical shaping whilst improving their musical memory. 

 

Technique

30 minutes

Students will receive support to develop their technical skill and virtuosity. They will look into various schools of thought on piano technique and have the opportunity to share tips and tricks to overcome difficulties in the repertoire they are studying. 

 

Sight Reading

30 minutes

Weekly classes will help students to build their confidence and level of sight reading ability. Students will learn how to spot key features and patterns that will help them to sight read increasingly difficult pieces quickly and effectively, skills that are vital for learning repertoire. Students will be placed into small groups according to their initial sight reading ability. 

 

Musical Wellbeing

30 minutes

Alexander Technique is proven to help musicians to improve their movement and posture whilst playing, as well as helping to eliminate tension and anxiety. Coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise through Rossall School’s innovative physical fitness programme, our young musicians are well equipped to meet the demands of performing at the highest level. 

 

Practice time

Up to 10 hours per week, this will vary depending upon factors such as age and level.

Opportunities to receive all lessons and give performances on pianos by one of the world’s finest piano makers Steinway & Sons pianos located in each boarding house Half-termly masterclasses with world-renowned Steinway Artists, such as Martin Roscoe Coaching and preparation for music college auditions and ABRSM exams up to diploma level.

Additionally, members of the Academy will benefit from:

  • Half-termly masterclasses with world-renowned Steinway Artists, such as Martin Roscoe
  • Regular performance opportunities across the school and in conjunction with our local and international partnerships
  • Regularly attending classical music performances in Manchester and Liverpool
  • Receiving support for entering competitions such as the BBC Young Musician, EPTA Piano Competition,
  • Rossall International Piano Competition and Anton Rubinstein Junior Piano Competition
  • Coaching and preparation for music college auditions and ABRSM practical exams/diplomas
  • Scholarship opportunities to support tuition.

In addition, securing All-Steinway School accreditation brings incredible opportunities for Rossall School and members of the International Piano Academy: 

  • Access to 1700 Steinway Artists
  • Use of Steinway Hall in London as a performance venue and, by extension, the possible use of Steinway locations across the globe
  • An annual masterclass at Steinway Hall in London with a renowned Steinway Artist.

Music in the North

The classical music sector in the UK is diverse and exciting. Music conservatoires such as the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama are world-class and have trained generations of outstanding performers. 

The UK enjoys a huge variety of professional orchestras and ensembles that differ in terms of size, style, repertoire, location and funding. 

Here in the North West, we are fortunate to be within easy reach of the following ensembles:

  • The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • The Halle Orchestra
  • The Manchester Camerata
  • The BBC Philharmonic 

Performance venues in the region include Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, The Lowry and Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

The Leeds International Piano Competition is a feature of the cultural landscape in the North and pianists such as Martin Roscoe and Peter Donohoe have made this part of the world their home. 

The Junior Department of the Royal Northern College of Music is just one hour away from the Fylde Coast, providing ambitious young musicians with the opportunity to complement their learning within the International Piano Academy and build valuable connections with one of the world’s most pioneering conservatoires.

APPLY & AUDITION

Applicants for Rossall International Piano Academy should initially apply to the School via our Admissions Department:

[email protected]

Upon registration, applicants will be invited to audition with Mr Adam Dobson.

Students should prepare two contrasting pieces to perform with a maximum time limit of 12 minutes.

Open Days

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