View of Finchcocks Manor

The new owners of Kent’s famous piano museum are continuing the musical heritage at Finchcocks, the 300 year old manor house which is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the UK.

There's a never ending list of things to do in Tunbridge Wells, with some of the most rewarding experiences to be found when you step out of the well-trodden tourist paths of the city centre and into the countryside…

If you’re musical, or you fancy learning or mastering the piano, there’s a brand new attraction in town which is definitely worth a visit.

Finchcocks, set in picturesque rolling fields, is a stunning Georgian manor house in Kent, which has recently reopened after a careful renovation. The new owners, Neil and Harriet Nichols, have transformed part of the historic manor into an atmospheric piano school, offering weekend piano courses for adults of all abilities.

Interestingly, Neil Nichols grew up in Kent and visited the famous Finchcocks Piano Museum 25 years ago on a school trip. He said was inspired to keep the music alive when he saw the sales brochure for Finchcocks on the lid of his tutor’s piano.

Inside the newly renovated Finchcocks piano school
Inside the newly renovated Finchcocks piano school

Make sure to keep your eyes on our ‘What’s On’ section, as Finchcocks will also be hosting regular musical concerts, giving locals or visitors the opportunity to listen to some inspiring classical music in a breath-taking setting.

What goes on at a piano course at Finchcocks?

The intensive weekend or week-long piano courses at Finchcocks include workshop sessions, masterclasses and private tuition. There’s also lots of time for personal practice too. In the evenings, there is a recital that typically explores the work of a particular composer or genre, followed by wine and a social three-course meal dinner cooked by Finchcocks’ private chef.

Guests can either book a course with David Hall, a versatile musician who is equally at home playing cathedral evensong, running a children’s choir or directing a big band, or Graham Fitch, who has an international reputation as a skilled pianist, teacher, adjudicator and writer.

Finchcocks offer guests the chance to play some truly amazing grand pianos; in their collection they have some famous German names, as well as quite a few Broadwoods.

As well as inspiring tuition, accommodation and all food is provided. The historic venue – which has previously housed World War II soldiers, a ballet school, and an internationally renowned piano museum – is steeped in history. Guests of the piano courses will be able to enjoy luxury accommodation in Finchcocks’ Coach House, which can be described as a blend between Soho House and Country House hotel.

Bedroom Accommodation at Finchcocks
Bedroom Accommodation at Finchcocks

Finchcocks has already run a few courses, which have been a major success.

Emma, who attended an intermediate course at Finchcocks said, “Dave’s recital on Saturday evening was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend for me. I especially enjoyed the music theory about the circle of fifths, which was very insightful and a great way to memorise scales. A great balance was struck between free time to play and practice and workshops and learning, and I came away from the weekend feeling inspired to dust off my old sheet music!”

Finchcocks will be offering courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Courses are limited in availability, with only eight students at a time and one course per month.

For intermediate courses, it is really useful to bring a piece that you’ve started, or used to play well.

For more information, head to the Finchcocks website or give the friendly team a call on 01580 428080. www.Finchcocks.com

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