The youngest and least experienced participants have three hours worth of lessons a day, the rest of the children have four hours of classes and optional extra classes for those wishing to have a five hour day. These lessons are spread throughout the day with plenty of time off to practice or to enjoy the outstanding facilities that Bryanston School has to offer.

All students have an individual lesson within a masterclass format as well as a Suzuki style group lesson. The group lessons are arranged by level and ability.

The least experienced children have a musicianship class and for the rest there are five orchestras streamed by ability for string players from Suzuki Book 2 and above. It is possible for string playing pianists to take part in orchestra as one of their classes and for non string playing pianists to play percussion in one of the orchestras.

For the intermediate players the fourth hour is made up of classes which develop musicality and musicianship away from their specific instruments. In previous years  the children have had the tremendous experience of African drumming and “Garbage percussion”. This year we are thrilled that Tamashii have agreed to come and will be teaching Taiko, a Japanese drumming art form. The Fabulous Andrew Stamatakis-Brown is leading the pianists through journey of jazz and latin in his multi-keyboard workshop.

The more advanced players can choose between chamber music or improvisation/jazz classes.

Extra classes such as Viola for Violinists and Music Theory are also available making a fifth hour in some children’s timetables, These classes incur an extra charge.

Students travelling from abroad can hire instruments for the week to avoid complications when flying with certain airlines. Please contact the Bristol Violin Shop directly in advance of the course to arrange instrument hire.

Private lessons

Every child will have a daily private lesson in a master class setting of three to four children of similar ability and age. Our experienced teachers often like to choose a particular technical point to work on throughout the week which will improve the students overall  playing. Friendships often begin in this class as the children are likely to have very similar timetables. These friendships can often be useful to parents with more than one child on the course.

Group lessons

Children will be assigned to a group for group lessons which are based on Suzuki repertoire up to Grade 5 standard. Ex-Suzuki and non-Suzuki trained children are welcome above Grade 6 level. There are around 20 students per group and are led by some of the most experienced, lively and engaging Suzuki group teachers from across the World. These group lessons are working towards the String Groups Concert on the Saturday of the course.

Multi-keyboard Workshop

This workshop leads to a performance in the piano concert on the Saturday of the Course. The keyboard class is an opportunity for pianists to make music in a larger group (typically of between 6 and 10), with every child given their own keyboard for the class. The main aim is that children experience and develop ensemble skills, working together to perform different roles within a piece. Repertoire is based on jazz and latin music, along with specially composed pieces by Andrew, with occasional reference to Suzuki repertoire. Children will learn new music by ear and will build skills in improvising, pitch, rhythmic and harmonic recognition.


There is a chamber orchestra and five string orchestras catering for every level of playing from Suzuki Book 2. The Chamber orchestra will be performing Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with 3 soloists chosen by audition, as well as other music. Our experienced conductors choose exciting repertoire to enhance the students orchestral development. Don’t worry if your child isn’t yet a fluent note reader, or if they have never played in an orchestra before as they are guided through their orchestral experience with Helen Butterworth’s expertise. She has composed many wonderful pieces and arranged music especially for Suzuki taught children. Pianists also have the opportunity to play percussion in one of the orchestras giving them an orchestral experience . All orchestras perform in the Orchestra Concert on the Friday evening of the course.

Chamber music or Improvisation & Jazz

Chamber Music is available for advanced players who are prepared to learn their parts during the summer in advance of the course.  There are two concerts on the Saturday of the course.

Improvisation & Jazz New for 2017, . These classes are for upper level students wishing to enhance their playing through a completely new idiom. In these classes students will develop self expression through many musical genres.

Musicianship at all levels and for all

Musicianship classes are provided for Pre-Twinkle and Book 1 students, developing the child’s musicianship and note reading away from their instruments.

Dalcroze classes enable the Book 2 and 3 child to experience the freedom and joy of musical training through the whole body.

Percussion classes for the older students. This year we have Tamashii who are coming to teach Taiko, a Japanese drumming art form which is physically challenging, mentally stimulating and immensely fun.

Extra Classes 

Theory classes working towards grade 5 ABRSM are available at an extra cost.

Viola for violinists is a class giving violinists the opportunity to experience the viola. Students who wish to attend these classes should either bring a viola with them or arrange to hire a viola from Bristol Violins for the duration of the course. The LSG also has some violas which are available for loan. These classes incur an extra cost.

Choirs for the whole family and leading to a concert on the Friday evening. 2017 sees the return of choir master extraordinaire Pete Mitchell, back by popular demand!

Parents’ Orchestra (New for 2017!) For the first time we  are running a parents’ orchestra. Please register your interest with Emma Butterworth All standards are welcome, just Let Emma know what instrument you are planning to bring and your standard.

Handbell sessions can be found in the foyer and is great fun for all the family. this develops  musicianship and co-ordination. Music reading is not necessary.