All Chetham’s students, other than pianists, are assigned an individual accompanist with whom they will usually work throughout their School career. This long-term partnership enables students to build a strong relationship with their accompanist, strengthening and challenging their solo performance skills. Frequently, students, instrumental tutors and accompanists will come together to work on specific pieces in preparation for performance.

The team of five accompanists play a central part in maintaining Chetham’s active programme of free Lunchtime Concerts in School, and regular performances across the region and further afield. The programmes for these concerts are planned to enable students to continue playing with an accompanist with whom they are familiar, giving them the confidence to play to the very best of their ability. Accompanists’ dedication to their students is demonstrated by their willingness to travel with them to external competitions and performances, to work with them towards ABRSM exams and diplomas, and to encourage them to share their repertoire with peers and public audiences.

All five members of the accompaniment team are recognised performers in their own right, and perform regularly with professional artists as well as students during masterclass-recitals in School. At the beginning of their Chetham’s career, students sit down with members of the accompaniment team to discuss their needs and musical interests, and are assigned to a specific accompanist accordingly. This level of individual attention means that many students value their accompanist relationship extremely highly, and that the level of individual attention offered to students at the times when it is most needed is unparalleled across music teaching establishments.

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