Education Overview

From the very first Australian Piano Duo Festival, it was the vision of the Artistic Director and Committee to foster the love of playing duets and duos in young piano students, and to witness the joy and enrichment in their musical lives which results from collaborative performance.

For most young pianists, long, solitary hours at a piano are customary, exploring all those scales and the rich catalogue of solo repertoire. However, it is just as vital for pianists to challenge their listening skills, learning the ability to negotiate and share interpretative ideas. The physical proximity of two (or more) players at one instrument requires understanding, as does the different roles of each player. The ensemble skills required in duets and duo playing are challenging for any pianist, let alone the young. By providing learning experiences that explore the students’ listening, musicianship and ensemble skills, alongside professionals, we aim to help develop the broader skillset that professional pianists must possess in the 21st Century.  

Thus far, the primary beneficiaries of the educational activities of the Australian Piano Duo Festival have been the students of the Queensland Conservatorium Tertiary and Young Conservatorium programs. They have benefitted from opportunities in all four festivals thus far, enabling performances to enthusiastic audiences of over 1000, and regular masterclass instruction from professional pianists and composers. 

In 2016, much fundraising took place to enable the students to record a CD of duets, duos and trios with their peers. In addition to their newfound musical skills, they were given the opportunity to take part in the fundraising, interviews and photoshoot, and learn about the recording process.  For most of the young pianists, it was their first ever experience of recording.  In late 2019, the students were given the opportunity to participate in a video recording project of the AMEB's new Collaborative Piano Syllabus with fellow students, siblings, often best friends, and their teachers. 

These varied opportunities have been steadfastly supported by the Young Conservatorium Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane City Hall, St Peter’s Lutheran College, and most significantly, the dedicated and enthusiastic piano staff at the Young Conservatorium, along with the student's families and friends. 

It is our hope in the future to work towards the necessary funds to create a Young Australian Piano Duo Festival/Competition, and to provide more opportunities, more broadly, for young Australian pianists interested in the art of piano duet and duo playing. 

If you are interested in supporting our educational activities, please contact the Australian Piano Duo Festival to discuss the possibilities.