Learning & Engagement
We champion the piano in surprising ways, helping to reach new audiences – locally, nationally, internationally and digitally.
Our Learning & Engagement programme is at the very heart of everything we do. Fun, inclusive and accessible programmes which have pianos at their core, help us to share our passion with the widest audience possible.
We champion the special role the piano can play in inspiring and connecting audiences, enabling people to discover and enjoy the piano and experience world class performance.
At The Leeds our community programmes are fun, diverse and inclusive and are designed to enable more people to discover and enjoy the piano.
We take our music out of the concert hall into all areas of our community. Visitors and residents of Leeds have recently enjoyed performances in the World’s Smallest Concert Hall, a shipping container complete with baby grand piano in the city centre which hosted concerts, participatory activities and even piano lessons.
The Leeds Piano Trail is an imaginatively decorated series of pianos placed in urban spaces which are available for public to play and enjoy. With our colleagues at Leeds BID and the University of Leeds, we were honoured to be shortlisted for a CIPR Excellence Award: Arts, Sport and Culture – in 2019.
In Autumn 2019 we launched ‘Stories from M&S Sheet Music – Leeds’ Piano History’ in partnership with Marks & Spencer Company Archive. We delved into their amazing collection of historic sheet music to unearth a series of stories to share Leeds’ unique piano heritage with a group of people living with dementia.
Working with Leeds City Council Complex Needs provision, practitioners and participants explored pieces of music from the collection, and created their own accessible programme notes including creative responses to the music.
An exhibition at the M&S archive will be in place until December 2020 and resources and performances have been shared with three care/community settings in Leeds. We are very grateful for the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in making this project happen.
Our creative projects are designed with teachers to enhance the curriculum whilst introducing children to the magic of the piano.
Piano Fantasia: Discover the Piano
Thousands of Leeds school children aged 8-9 have experienced Piano Fantasia – discovering the piano for the first time within the walls of the exquisite Leeds Town Hall.
This unique performance forges music, storytelling and audience participation into a fun and educational performance led by pianist Will Pickvance and the talented Young Scholars of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation.
We explore this exotic instrument inside-out, as our livestream camera shows kids every detail close up. We follow the piano’s ancestry,
meet some of its most famous (and infamous!) composers, and experience amazing playing and pieces along the way.
Piano Fantasia has been developed with teachers and musicians, and school resources feature both the National Curriculum objectives for Music and Science.
This project is made possible by the generous support of the Royal Philharmonic Society, Sir George Martin Trust, Wade’s Charity and Leeds City Council.
Skylar’s Missing Note
Skylar’s Missing Note is a magical performance created by Manic Chord Theatre, telling the story of a girl’s adventure to find her beloved piano’s missing note. This innovative performance has been specially designed for Key Stage 1 (5 – 7 year olds), and blends immersive storytelling with live piano performance to introduce pupils to the piano in a fun and engaging way. The project aims to fuel student’s imagination and curiosity and is underpinned with a set of curriculum resources devised with music education experts and teachers.
We are very grateful to the Emerald Foundation, Leeds Music Education Partnership and Arts Council England for their support of this project which will reach over 1200 pupils in Leeds and Bradford.
We aim to reveal the hidden insights and stories behind our musicians and their music. Piano + enhances and enriches audiences knowledge and understanding of the instrument by offering talks, exhibitions, Masterclasses and more.
We host events which inform, entertain and enlighten audiences as we continue to bring new perspective to the piano.