The first edition of the Collaborative Piano Institute is over, and it was quite the ride! For three weeks, the Shattuck- St. Mary’s School hosted sixteen faculty members, twenty two Collaborative Piano Institute participants, two partner festivals for strings and young opera singers, and eight professional partners! Our participants attended more than two hundred lessons, in addition to over fifty classes, lectures, group classes and masterclasses. And now the testimonials are in!

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 8 reviews
by Debbie Robertson on The Collaborative Piano Institute
My Happiest of Summers

I have completed a semester of school since attending CPI, and I have applied lessons learned every day, in all I do. The institute is everything a collaborative pianist dreams of. All of the people you want to know are there, giving you all the information you need. At the institute, you get to perform with professional singers and instrumentalists. Performing with such excellent musicians taught me more than all of the lessons could have. They live what they teach, and teach what they live. The lessons and classes were eye opening, and the taught me how to approach collaboration and an art, and not just as a job. In addition to the wonderful learning, the atmosphere of friendship is amazing. I have never been with a group of people so similar to me. I still talk to lots of the people I met there. It was the perfect summer festival.

Unique , Exciting and supportive program!

I was honored to be part of the Collaborative Piano Institute's inaugural season. In my career I've seen nothing like this-- a complete three week intensive program geared specifically to the needs of the collaborative pianist who involved in so many areas of musical production and performance. The excellent faculty introduced them to many of these areas including art song, recitative and opera,Chamber music, orchestral music, rehearsal techniques, Career strategy, health considerations, diction, Instrumental music , vocal coaching techniques and more! The Institute also provided many performance opportunities for each pianist. The faculty tried to accommodate each student's needs and requests whenever possible. CPI Is enthusiastically headed by Ana María and Elena. who were always working to provide a challenging and supportive learning environment . I know this team will continue to produce an original, exciting and much-needed program in upcoming seasons!

Wonderfully positive and exciting environment!

I was extremely happy to be invited to teach at CPI this Summer. It was very exciting to see the talented and dedicated young pianists who participated this year. I enjoyed working individually with each student in private lessons, as well as in master class settings. Nice positive and encouraging energy throughout. Great work by CPI Directors Ana Maria and Elena, who tirelessly worked to put together a much needed and successful Summer Festival for Collaborative Pianists! Fantastic work congratulations!

The fastest way to learn and grow

The Collaborative Piano Institute was an immensely enriching experience, both as a musician and as a person. The Institute took many of my favorite things - travel, music, learning, and meeting wonderful people - and brought them together into an unforgettable three-week intensive. The directors, faculty, and students created an exciting environment that was at once encouraging and supportive, as well as incredibly demanding, with very high standards.The program directors worked very hard to ensure that CPI had something to offer for everyone. Each student was given significant one-on-one time with world-class faculty members, who were generous and kind, and who were also very specific and direct in providing critical feedback. The workshops, masterclasses, and discussions were wide-ranging and included everything from more traditional pianistic concerns, to how to prepare Italian secco recitative, and even to a discussion of hand/forearm anatomy, led by an orthopedic surgeon. In addition, each of us pianists had solo time to deliberately practice the growth and learning that came to us in lessons and workshops, and then we were given several performance opportunities to "lock-in" the changes we had made. Perhaps the most impactful aspect of CPI was simply being surrounded by other young pianists who take their goals seriously enough to attend a program such as this. As collaborative people, they were each friendly and welcoming, and we all learned from each others' strengths and weaknesses. Since returning home, I've overcome roadblocks that had been troubling my piano playing and mindset for years, and my progress is absolutely thanks to the focused, driven, and supportive environment at CPI.

A great start to a much needed program

I wish there would have been a program focused on pianists when I was studying! Many wonderful programs incorporate pianists, and can offer some training for them even as the bulk of their work is supporting singers or instrumentalists. Ana Maria and Elena have identified a real need in our profession, high level training focused on the needs of the collaborative pianists themselves. I was proud to be part of the initial faculty, and hope to see this program grow from its strong start. Thanks to the inaugural group of students, who worked so well together and individually to make these three weeks a success!

A fabulous opportunity for collaborative pianists

The Collaborative Piano Institute is an amazing opportunity for pianists interested in collaborative work. The faculty is incredible and varied, the professionals with which the participants work are top-notch, and many aspects of a collaborative career are addressed, including both vocal and instrumental work, opera and art song, and a variety of professional topics.

Thank you!

The environment of the Collaborative Piano Institute was rigorous, well-organized, and brimming with positive energy. As an undergrad with limited experience in collaborative piano, the Institute was the perfect way for me to become exposed to everything that the field has to offer. I had several lessons each week with faculty members from a wide range of backgrounds, as well as the opportunity to rehearse and perform with professional singers and instrumentalists. There were a myriad of workshops and classes devoted to topics such as singers' diction, conducting, vocal coaching, reduced-score reading, effective practice and rehearsal techniques, entrepreneurship, and physical health. This is all in addition to plenty of practice time, informative masterclasses, and recital performance opportunities for every student. The faculty had high expectations but maintained a spirit of genuine warmth and welcoming. They were more than happy to make extra time to answer questions about schools and building a career path. I couldn't have asked for a better way to kick-start my collaborative piano studies, and I am so grateful to have spent these three weeks with a such talented and beautiful human beings.

Just in time...

I couldn't have spent three weeks of my summer more wisely! As someone who just finished an undergraduate degree, the Collaborative Piano Institute went above and beyond to fill in the gaps and prepare me for a Masters in Collaborative Piano. The knowledge and experience of the faculty was so impressive, and that combined with their warm, amicable personalities really made the institute an exceptional experience.Although it sounds cheesy, the Collaborative Piano Institue was a god-send for me! As I was applying for graduate programs, I wanted to find something to do in the summer that could sharpen my collaborative skills . To be frank, I was feeling insecure in my training compared to others, and I needed to find something that could benefit me and boost my confidence. The CPI was exactly what I needed - plus some. The most effective thing about the institute was the circulation of faculty. I was always in a private lesson or masterclass with someone new, and I gained some much insight musically and technically from the knowledge of several, brilliant musicians. Not only are the good at what they do, they have wonderful personalities that brought a warm, inviting energy to the institute. Most of all, I am thankful for the selfless, talented directors of the institute. One of my best memories was a special coaching I received from Ana María. I had to perform a piece the next day and it wasn't coming together. Ana María, without me suggesting anything, volunteered her time after an event late one evening. Her words and ideas transformed the piece into a wonderful performance the next day, and I owe her so much for that incredible feeling of success. I could write a novel about what I gained from the experience, and needless to say, the CPI provided me the confidence I was searching for. I received invaluable information that will help me succeed as I begin my Masters in Collaborative Piano this Fall.