UpcomingPlaying by Ear with Stephen Marquiss

Details Price Qty
Attendee - Deposit £50.00 (GBP)  

  • September 23, 2022 - September 25, 2022
    6:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Jackdaws Piano Tutor Stephen MarquissNEW COURSE
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Fee: £320

Playing by Ear

with Stephen Marquiss

In a new and improved version of this course, you will learn:

  • tools for hearing recorded or live music and reproducing it on the piano
  • tools for taking notated music ‘off the page’ and into your ‘mind’s ear’ for fluent, expressive performance
  • tools for assured, stress-free memorising of notated music.

Playing by ear is the unsung hero of fluent technique. Those who play by ear – and the greatest players in all genres always do – play with direct, expressive coordination, without hesitation or excess tension, even if they learn from the score at the outset. Many of us who learn ‘symbol before sound’ can remain frustrated at the ease with which others dash off complex music by ear.

This course will empower you to break through this ceiling! This course will not follow a masterclass format, and there will be no one-to-one critique of musical interpretation. Everyone will share in all activities and access to the piano will be on a quick rotation. There will be opportunities to try out tasks in short bursts in pairs and small groups as well as whole-group sessions. You’ll be invited to submit suggestions of repertoire that you aspire to play more confidently, repertoire you may wish to memorise and genres of music that you’d love to play by ear. Suitable for players from Grades 1 to 8+. Knowing the notes of a range of scales (even a few) would be an advantage, as would be some aural experience of intervals (although this will be covered). Please note that we shan’t be focussing on learning keyboard harmony by rote. There’s a subtle difference between playing by ear (hearing sounds in your mind’s ear and reproducing them) and playing e.g. learnt melodies or chords by rote.

A £50 deposit is required to secure your place on this course. The balance of fees, including accommodation, is due 3 weeks before the course start date.


Venue Phone: 01373 812383

Jackdaws Music Education Trust, Great Elm, Frome, Somerset, BA11 3NY, United Kingdom


Course Information

Please see our General Course Information pages for further details and schedule information.

Our Courses are for adult musicians (except where stated) and take place at Jackdaws in Great Elm, near Frome in Somerset. The Course Fee includes all tuition, meals and refreshments at Jackdaws. Courses take place in the main studio, with Steinway piano, and generally follow a masterclass format. There are several practice rooms here, too.


For Voice, Piano & Wind courses; participants are usually requested to prepare 2 – 3 pieces in advance. We will ask you to provide a repertoire list for the tutor (& accompanist) ahead of the course.

For Ensemble courses; direction will be given by the course leaders.


If you require B&B, we can arrange that for you; accommodation fees are payable in addition to the course fee.

Meals and Refreshments

Lunch, Supper and morning/afternoon refreshments will be prepared on site by our dedicated Cooks.  If you are vegetarian/vegan, or have a food allergy, you must let us know in advance, so that our cooks can plan the meals for the weekend accordingly. We are ‘allergy aware’, but we rely on participants letting us know if they have specific food allergies. Please also let us know if you carry any emergency medication.

Please visit our Covid-19 Secure page for more information.

By booking onto a Jackdaws course you agree to abide by our Covid-19 risk mitigation measuresTerms and Conditions, and understand the Privacy Policy regarding our handling of your data.

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