The youngest and least experienced participants have three hours worth of lessons a day, the rest of the children have four hours of classes. There are optional extra classes for those wishing to have a five hour day however these cannot be guaranteed due to timetabling. 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.

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, “Garbage percussion” and Taiko, a Japanese drumming art form. This year we are thrilled that Ollie Tunmer has a greed to come and teach Body Percussion. The Fabulous Andrew Stamatakis-Brown is leading the pianists through journey of jazz and latin in his multi-keyboard workshop.

There is a Chamber Music Programme for the most advanced players. For those not yet at the required level or not wishing to partake in Chamber Music we have the wonderful Dan Swana, an expert in developing the playing and musicianship of the upper level string students through our improvisation and Jazz programme

Daily 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 and are subject to timetabling.

For students wishing to participate on the course on two instruments, for timetabling reasons it is necessary to choose one instrument as a first study.  Masterclasses and group lessons will be on the chosen first study and if applying to play a solo this should also be performed on this first study instrument. It is possible to take part in other classes such as Orchestra on the second study instrument.

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 8 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 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. 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 Mary Howles‘s expertise. She has composed many wonderful pieces and arranged music especially for Suzuki taught children. Pianists who also play string instruments to the required level may also have to opportunity to play in an Orchestra, this is subject to timetabling. All orchestras perform in the Orchestra Concert on the Friday evening of the course.

Chamber music 

The Bryanston Course Faculty will choose the students for the Chamber Music program from the most advanced students who are in the Chamber Orchestra, however, outstanding students from less advanced levels will be asked if there is space in the program.

The previous system of requesting inclusion in the Chamber Music programme has therefore ceased and the Faculty will not enter into correspondence concerning this element of the programme.

Students are expected to prepare their music in advance of the course so that the Chamber Groups can work on the music at Bryanston.

Students who do not prepare their music may not be asked again.

Piano students will receive their music as close to the beginning of the Summer Term as possible and String players before the end of the school year.

Students applying after the deadline for applications will not be considered for the Chamber Music Programme.

Students not playing Chamber Music will have the wonderful opportunity to enrich their playing with an alternative course, such as Improvisation and Jazz skills.

There are two concerts on the Saturday of the course.

Improvisation & Jazz

By popular demand Dan Swana will be back to teach jazz and improvisation to the piano players, and we are pleased to welcome Rick O’Connor who will teach improvisation to our strings students. 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 body percussion.

Extra Classes 

Theory classes Daily classes working towards grade 5 ABRSM are available at an extra cost, subject to timetabling.

Viola for violinists and Bass for cellists are daily classes giving violinists the opportunity to experience the viola and cellists the opportunity to experience the bass. Students who wish to attend these classes should either bring the relevant instrument with them or arrange to hire one from The Bristol Violin Shop for the duration of the course. These classes are subject to timetabling.

Choirs for the whole family and lead to a concert on the Saturday evening.

Parents’ Orchestra – Please provide information on your instrument and standard via the Application Form. All instruments welcome.

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.

Lunchtime Solo Concerts

For those wishing to perform a solo in one of the lunchtime concerts, a video must be sent through the online booking form by 1st July. This video should be of your child performing with an accompanist (where appropriate) on their first study instrument, from memory. This should be the piece that they would like perform at Bryanston. Any videos that we receive after the deadline will only be considered if there is still space available in the concerts. Audition pieces must be no longer than eight minutes. The solo form can be found in your Application pages.