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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.

What We Offer

  • Intensive conservatoire level training
  • Two hours principal study tuition a week, plus a second study and chamber music coaching
  • Weekly performance classes following a wide curriculum including repertoire, technique, practice strategies, style and interpretation and sight-reading
  • Two masterclasses each term given by distinguished international performers and teachers
  • Twice yearly assessments with an external examiner
  • Timetabled practice periods within the school day supervised by our team of graduate music assistants
  • Numerous performance opportunities, both in this country and abroad
  • Preparation for national and international competitions
  • Lessons on Steinway and Yamaha grand pianos. We own several fine harpsichords and a two manual Peter Collins mechanical organ
  • For organists the unique link between the school and Wells Cathedral offers unrivalled opportunities for the study of choir training and involvement in cathedral services. Organists also have access to the Cathedral’s four manual instrument
  • A two-year organ scholarship is available for sixth form students.

Performance Opportunities

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.

Meet our Staff

Co-ordinator and Artistic Director of Keyboard
Staff Structure

John Byrne, Co-ordinator and Artistic Director of Keyboard

Anna Ashton
John Byrne
Hilary Coates
Dominic Hansom
Lily Hughes
Sophia McKett
David Secchi
Lena Shvetsova
Paul Skelton
Joe Tong
Frances Webb

Jazz Piano
Dhevdhas Nair


Alexander Hamilton

Dominic Hansom – Head of Accompaniment
Christopher Finch
Hazel Rigby
Emma Walker
Nick Lauemer

About some of our specialist staff

Masterclasses and Visiting Artists


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…

After Wells

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.

Latest News

International Piano Summer School

Sunday 4th August to Saturday 10th August 2024

Join us for an inspiring and fun week

Young pianists aged 10 – 18 will develop the skills required for the 21st century classical pianist and will explore a wide range of genres including piano duets, chamber music (advanced players), piano accompaniment and jazz. We would recommend that pianists have reached grade 5 standard, have a desire to try different areas of music making and are open to new ideas.

£995 Residential £795 Non-residential

Join our Keyboard Department

His Majesty King Charles III retains Patronage of Wells Cathedral School
We are delighted that His Majesty King Charles III will remain the Patron of Wells Cathedral School.

Find out more