Our Keyboard Department offers training at the highest international level combined with a flexible programme of study tailored to individual needs; all this takes place in a happy, vibrant, stimulating and balanced environment.
Many Wells pianists have been prize winners in national and international competitions and the department has a particularly distinguished record in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.
Pupils have won organ scholarships at Oxbridge Colleges, conservatoires in the UK and abroad, and cathedrals (including St. Paul’s, London).
John Byrne, Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music in London, heads a distinguished faculty and the department has close links with many leading conservatoires in this country and abroad. Specialist schemes of study are available on piano, organ harpsichord and jazz piano; electronic keyboard lessons are also available.
We offer numerous performance opportunities, both in this country and abroad, and intensive preparation for national and international competitions. In recent years, Wells pianists have performed in the UK, USA, China, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and across Europe.
Dominic Hansom – Head of Accompaniment
We enjoy close relationships with many leading performers and distinguished teachers from conservatoires across the world. Here are some of their reflections on their visits to our school…
I so look forward to my visits to Wells, not only because the exceptional talent on display never fails to impress, but also because the beautiful surroundings are so conducive to artistic endeavour. It is a very special place.
I always look forward so much to my Wells visit and am never disappointed. The students are so “alive” and so prepared to take risks and try out new suggestions. It is especially rewarding to see the extraordinary progress most students make over their years at Wells, and how some who initially were perhaps a little overawed, blossom into accomplished and assured performers with their own real personality. On this visit. we had some very fine concerto playing, including Liszt No 2, Saint -Saens No 2 and Prokofiev 3rd Concertos. Impressive repertoire!
Wells Cathedral School, its programme, its faculty and its students are an inspiring model. I felt right at home in the school, and I found the piano level to be unusually high and the students to be very motivated, accomplished in their piano playing and navigating very successfully through the advanced and demanding piano repertoire. This was a strong testament to the high-quality and sophisticated instruction the students were receiving.
Walking about the hallowed grounds at Wells in itself is a moment worth experiencing, but I was even more honoured and delighted to hear the piano students of your storied institution. It’s always a pleasure to hear young musicians soundly trained in musical and pianistic fundamentals — so that we can dig deeper in these concentrated sessions of exploration, and I found that was certainly the case at Wells. The students were uniformly well-prepared, responsive, inquisitive and full of potential. And, I was especially excited on two separate occasions to hear, with a little coaxing, very scintillating and commanding music making take place. Bravo to the students, their teacher and the school!
It has been a great pleasure to come back to Wells and hear such fine playing, with real individuality and artistry evident in the young pianists. It is a fine testament to the excellent work going on at the school.
I was very impressed and delighted to teach the piano students at Wells Cathedral School. The level was very high, not only pianistically but highly sophisticated on an artistic level as well. This is a huge achievement especially considering their young ages. Obviously they have been exposed to high quality guidance as well as intelligent thinking. I was also very impressed with their highly concentrated attitude and well-mannered behaviour. Bravo to the students and teachers at Wells Cathedral School!
I would like to express my immense gratitude for the opportunity to give a masterclass in a school as wonderful as Wells Cathedral School. I have been very impressed by highly professional standards of the students’ performances and would like to praise their teachers for the all the excellent work they have put in. All pupils were well prepared, reacted quickly to my suggestions and we shared a strong musical bond within the sessions, from which I received great satisfaction.
I was very happy to be invited to give a masterclass at Wells and was hugely impressed by the standard and enthusiasm of the students with whom I worked. The facilities and location of the school ought to be the envy of any other and, speaking as a local resident, it’s a source of great pride to the area.
I was delighted to get to work with pupils from Wells for my third consecutive year. Each one had been excellently prepared and exhibited a genuine interest, musical curiosity, maturity and enthusiasm for the repertoire they were playing. I found them all to be both very receptive and willing. It comes as no surprise to learn that recently all seven that had applied to the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition passed to the next round. This outstanding achievement is surely testament to the excellent teaching at Wells, exacting standards and an impressive level of commitment exhibited by the pupils. I wish them all every success in their future studies.
It is always a delight to return to Wells. The keyboard department continues to flourish and is deservedly renowned in pianistic circles throughout the world as an outstanding training ground for young professionals. Each time I visit there seems to be a plethora of new talent from many different countries, many of whom go on the achieve success in major competitions. Long may it continue!
It was a great pleasure and privilege to come again to Wells Cathedral School and teach some of the piano students. I was very impressed by the standard of playing and the overall musicality of the children, but first and foremost it was great to experience their openness towards my suggestions and willingness to try out new ideas. Thanks to everyone for a wonderful afternoon!
Exceptional audition results have seen no less than sixteen scholarships being awarded to five Wells pianists by British conservatoires in 2015/2016. The institutions are the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity Laban College of Music, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Birmingham Conservatoire.