‘Patricia’s Pen’ has something for everyone. Today brings a press release from Procorda’s Piano Sanctuary.
New ‘Piano Sanctuary’ for adult learners
of all ages and abilities from Pro Corda
Covid-19 has prompted invention and innovation at Pro Corda, the music school and charity based at Leiston Abbey in Suffolk. Inspired by the success of a lockdown podcast, Pro Corda has realised long-held ambitions for adult piano leaners with a relaunched learning and lifestyle offer named ‘Piano Sanctuary’.
At the end of March, wanting to connect through lockdown with staff and students, Pro Corda Chief Executive Andrew Quartermain took to the school piano and recorded his first-ever podcast which he dubbed ‘Piano Sanctuary’. It was a decisive moment, crystallising years of thinking and experience.
Andrew Quartermain said: “My idea was always that there was such a need out there for busy adult learners to get an exciting and fulfilling relationship with the piano that wasn’t stuck in a score based approach. The other thing I learnt from years running adult piano weekends is that the social aspect is so important. How people who have the piano at the centre of their lives want to come together and share that love with like-minded people. Recording the podcast, I slowly but surely realised how Pro Corda could bring all of these things together.”
Taking the podcast’s name as its overall brand, ‘Piano Sanctuary’ has been conceived to offer the widest possible welcome – or welcome back – to adults of all ages and abilities wanting to study the piano in an enjoyable and creative way that also offers community spirit and connection.
With lockdown still a fact of life for many, two digital courses have been created to enable home study. Piano Sanctuary Starter caters to adult beginners, while Piano Sanctuary Adventure is for more advanced students interested to fast-track progress through a creative, score-free approach.
Full-board piano retreats at Leiston Abbey were successfully trialled over the weekend of 4-5 July, with specially reduced group sizes and distanced teaching in line with regulations.
One adult student commented: “It was very special to be playing together again but also felt very normal. I feel optimistic that the measures needed for safety can be lived with.” As regulations hopefully relax into the Autumn, Pro Corda aim to further add to the lifestyle-social element of Piano Sanctuary with concert meet-ups and social gatherings.
As for the original Piano Sanctuary podcast, it continues to broadcast weekly and has also spawned a weekly offshoot, Piano Sanctuary Spa. The shows have drawn nearly 20,000 listens from pianophiles around the world, and fan-mail from as far afield as Estonia, the USA and Brazil.
Pro Corda are offering a 15% discount on their new online Piano Sanctuary Adventure and Piano Sanctuary Starter courses. Please quote SANCTUARY15 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01728 831 354. Offer valid until end of September 2020.
The above photo is an old one of me being instructed in a piano workshop at Procorda – Leiston Abbey.
Andrew Quartermain, director of Procorda will be featured on ‘Patricia’s Pen’ later this month. Don’t miss out – sign up to keep in touch.