Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Sydenham? 

Sydenham is situated in South East London, close to Dulwich and Crystal Palace. Trains run on the East London Line to Sydenham, connecting up with Central London at Whitechapel, Canada Water and Highbury and Islington. You can also reach Sydenham from London Bridge, Clapham Junction or Victoria.


My child is 16, and doesn’t think a holiday course is what he wants to do this summer, will he still find it fun?

One of the main reasons that I became a professional musician was because it was such fun. I attended many summer courses when I was young, and I have tried to combine the best elements of each, to mix in as much fun as possible, to go alongside the hard work.

Students get different things out of the course at different stages of their career. A younger student will have a wonderful time, experiencing for themselves (probably for the first time) the delights of playing chamber music, and how much they can achieve in a very short space of time. Older pupils will get to play much more advanced repertoire – previous years courses have included Dohnanyi’s serenade for string trio, Borodin’s piano quintet, Brahm’s sextet in B flat Major, Schubert’s cello quintet and a Mendelssohn piano trio. Opportunities like this to play such wonderful repertoire, are rare. Every pupil works hard, but combined with the fun of meeting new friends, the pupils all seem to thrive on the challenge.


My child is about to take grade 5, should she be on the senior course or the junior course?

If your child is still young (primary school age) you might find that there are more people of similar age on the junior course, and they might prefer to be with pupils of similar ages. Similarly if your child is at secondary school, they might find prefer to be on the senior course, with pupils of similar age. I always make sure that what ever repertoire they are learning is appropriate for their ability.


My daughter has not yet done grade 1 will she be ready?

If she is a good sightreader and is confident with playing in a few different keys, then she will be fine. The coaches are always very understanding and helpful, and we always make sure that pupils are put in appropriate groups with other pupils of similar ages and abilities.


What facilities for pianists are there?

We have a well stocked library of music for piano trio, piano quartet, and piano quintet. Each room in our new venue (Sydenham High School) has a piano, and the recital hall has a grand piano for the final concert. Pianists need to be happy to sight read, however, they will be sent most of their music in advance.


How do we apply for scholarships?

If you do need assistance to attend, we will always do what we can to help. We would be very happy to hear from you and will  do what we can to help with the fees. Scholarships are offered on a discretionary basis according to need. Whilst we do a lot of fundraising throughout the year, to enable a scholarship fund to exist, please do inquire also with your school first to see if they can offer any financial assistance. Many schools do offer such help to enhance a student’s interest in music or sport, outside of term time.


What parking facilities are there at Sydenham High School?

There is free parking on the near-by residential roads.


What are the best transport facilities?

Sydenham rail station has connections to London Bridge, Clapham Junction and London Victoria mainline stations, and the East London line connects up to the tube network at Canada Water, Whitechapel and Highbury and Islington. This makes it very accessible for students from across London. The fast train from London Victoria on the Bromley lines goes to Penge East and a number 227 bus can be taken to close by the school.

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