Learning and Participation

At Hastings International Piano we passionately believe that we have a responsibility to reach out beyond the competition itself through our Learning & Participation programme, which we aim to develop over the next few years.

We believe that there is no better way to engage children and young people in music than by involving them in the activity itself, and so we have worked hard to create a programme that aims to take high-quality music into local schools. The gradual sidelining of creative subjects in the national curriculum and wholesale cuts in arts funding have left many children unable to access music at all – and so we are attempting to fill the gap not only by bringing the best young pianists to Hastings, but also by developing the passion and musical talent of children and young people who live in the town by involving them directly in co-creating their own music. In this way, they can develop their appreciation for the wonder of classical music and their musical creativity and skills.

Schools’ Workshops

We believe that there is no better way to engage students in the processes and energy of music than by involving them in the activity itself.

Last month, we were delighted to be able to provide high-quality musical experiences for primary school pupils (Key Stage 2). Groups of 9 – 11 year olds from three schools – Christ Church CE Academy, Silverdale Primary Academy and St Leonards CE Primary Academy – took part in workshops with a musician leader Sam Glazer and a previous Hastings International Piano competitor, Gabriele Sutkute. The students composed their own original music from scratch, using keyboard instruments, which they then rehearsed and performed with Gabriele at a special showcase assembly at the end of the school day.

Future plans for our Learning & Participation programme include working with Create Music to deliver a legacy project with some of the children who took part in the schools project. Children who showed particular interest and aptitude will be chosen to take free weekly group lessons to learn the electric keyboard for a period of 30 weeks, culminating with the children and their families being invited to a Hastings International Piano concert.

Plans are also afoot for another workshop project in primary schools, specifically designed for SEND children and those eligible for Pupil Premium. We plan to mix the group with mainstream students, as this will produce better outcomes for engagement and progression, building on peer encouragement and support.

Once again our ‘Music in the Meadow’ project will see a piano placed in the Priory Meadow Shopping Centre at the start of the competition, with teachers and their pupils, as well as the general public, invited to play the piano and entertain the public. We hope this will inspire and promote an interest in classical music and the arts.

Our free ticket programme has enabled us to offer tickets for performances in rounds one and two of the 2024 competition completely free of charge, targeting young people at school and teachers as well as those within the local community who might not be able to afford a ticket, or those suffering from social isolation.

Hastings International Piano’s community engagement projects would not be possible without the vital support of charitable trusts and foundations, as well as local charitable organisations. We are incredibly grateful for their support.

Learning & Participation programme supported by:

Arts Council England
Garfield Weston Foundation
Kowitz Family Foundation
Spencer Wills Trust
Hollick Family Foundation
Chalk Cliff Trust
Isabel Blackman Foundation
Hastings Winkle Club
Hastings Rotary Club
Mrs A Lacy Tate Trust


Primary resources – KS2 / 2nd Level

Explore the stories and secrets hidden in these classical pieces of music. For each piece, you will find free teaching resources, exciting short films, lesson plans, arrangements, and more.