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Graham WalkerThis is the website of Graham Walker, Dorset, UK who has had an interest in the early piano for over 30 years. He has undertaken the restoration of instruments for private collection and has also carried out research on early pianos and their makers over this period. This has been done alongside a career in management consultancy and performance management. Early retirement in 2007 enabled him to become more involved and he commissioned a cloth manufacturer to produce an authentic keyboard cloth. This cloth is the nearest match to an early 19th century piano cloth that can be made within modern manufacturing processes. It was initially produced for his requirements but it soon came in demand by others.  Further types of cloth have been replicated by request from makers and restorers.  These cloths can be purchased from the online shop on this website.  He has also undertaken some research into the leather used in early English pianos and is currently working in liaison with the Institute of Creative Leather Technology, Northampton University, UK with the objective of determining specifications. He is involved in supporting interest in the early piano and is passionate about ensuring that our heritage of early pianos collections in the UK can be maintained for the future.

Finchcocks – The tradition of music making continues



The closure of the Finchcocks Musical Museum, Goudhurst, Kent, England was reported on this website in November 2015. This came with much disappointment to people who visited the house and enjoyed music played on early Keyboard instruments.   It is good to know that the tradition of music making in this early Georgian Manor House continues under the direction of its new owners and the following article has been provided by Emma Williams.

“Many people, including myself, were influenced and enriched by listening and playing the wonderful collection of early keyboards and pianos.  Finchcocks, nestled in the Kent countryside in the picturesque village of Goudhurst, offered a tranquil respite from everyday stress.

It is with great pleasure, therefore, that I can announce that the new owners will be continuing the musical tradition by offering residential piano courses

Bosendorfer grand piano
A Bosendorfer grand piano is one of a number of grand pianos at Finchcocks.

Courses range from the beginner level to intermediate and advanced, and will be taught by Musical Director, Dave Hall. Dave studied the piano with Laura Cole and the organ with Anne Marsden Thomas at the Royal Academy of Music. Then in 1996 he was appointed organ scholar at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. David is now the Director of Music at Twyford School in Hampshire, a role he is combining with teaching piano at Finchcocks.

There’s a fabulous range of pianos for guests to play at Finchcocks. In their collection they have Steinway pianos, as well as quite a few grand pianos and Broadwoods. In the cellar, they have eight high-tech digital grand pianos – which have recently been craned in!

From the looks of things, Finchcocks is not your average piano school. The teachers are dedicated to making teaching fun and enjoyable, and guests can enjoy fine dining, luxury accommodation and a really welcoming and sociable environment.

The Coach House
The dining room in the Coach House

You can find out more about Finchcocks here:  ”

Read the original article on the closure of Finchcocks Musical Museum

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