August 6-14, 2020
Online Application – deadline June 26, 2020
“I had never before thought of how awful the relationship must be between the musician and his instrument. He has to fill it, this instrument, with the breath of life, his own. He has to make it do what he wants it to do. And a piano is just a piano. It’s made out of so much wood and wires and little hammers and big ones, and ivory. While there’s only so much you can do with it, the only way to find this out is to try; to try and make it do everything.”
― James Baldwin,
I often think the pianist needs only three things – to eat, to sleep and to practice.
Piano Works In Progress, Vermont was created to give the professional pianist time to practice – and lots of it. There are up to 20 pianists in residence, each having exclusive use of a practice studio. Around-the-clock studio time is assigned with a different studio each day. Most studios are free-standing cottages, with no shared walls. You will not hear other players, and they will not hear you.
Performance class takes place daily and is one of the few structured parts of the day. It gives the pianist the opportunity play for peers in an informal setting. Class is held in the performance space and pianists have the opportunity to play the Steinway Concert “D.” It is not handled masterclass-style, since there is not one master teacher but many pianist-teachers with whom one may consult. Piano Works In Progress, VT encourages learning to happen organically. One may arrange to play for a colleague during practice time or ask for feedback during performance class. During meals, conversation may lead to discussions on practice techniques, issues of performance or any number of musical topics.
The program culminates in three weekend recitals held in the performance space on the Steinway Concert “D.” These are traditional recitals, and members of the local community from nearby towns are invited to attend. It is recommended that repertoire be polished, although memorization is not required. Pianists are warmly encouraged to perform, as it is the ideal way to enliven and embolden the entire week’s work.
Farm to fork meals are prepared by Chef Mark, featuring Vermont’s regional ingredients sourced from local farms, fields and woods. Participants stay in private bedrooms with one or two community bathrooms/showers per floor. There is the option to bring a spouse/friend to share your room for a small fee.
To break up intense piano practice during the week, day excursions are planned to various local points of interest. This may include visits to wineries, farms, Cabot Creamery, Bread and Puppet museum, Vermont State House Capitol, the town of Burlington, Lake Champlain, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory, hiking, and many more choices for recreation. Day excursions are optional for participants of the program and their guests.