Every instrumentalist from S1 upward is assigned an accompanist to take care of all the performance requirements of studying at St Mary’s Music School.

From performance classes to auditions, assessments and exams, even televised broadcasts, your accompanist will follow your progress throughout. In addition, weekly coaching sessions are timetabled throughout the school year where this performing relationship can be nurtured.  Simply put, coaching is the supportive guidance of a pupil toward a performance, fostering a partnership where ideas flow back and forward with a view to creating a performance state where freedoms are encouraged. The aim is to help clarify and strengthen the pupils’ musical vision. On the way we work on rehearsal techniques, establishing tempi, leading and a fuller understanding of the score and the others’ parts.  Our highly experienced coaches also act as an extra set of ears alert to blemish, inaccuracy and uncertainty. 

The sessions boost confidence and work to give a more rounded version of a chosen work which in isolation can be confusing.  Through discussion, observation and musical response, a pupil will, with the aid of an experienced coach, be able to fashion a complete performance that is entirely their ‘own’. 

John Cameron, Head of Keyboard