Have you visited Finchcocks Musical Museum? It is a treasure trove of historic pianos, fortepianos, clavichords, organs, virginals, muselars, harpsichords and more. The collection is owned by Katrina and Richard Burnett and housed in a Georgian Manor House in Goudhurst, not far from Tunbridge Wells in Kent. The beauty of the collection is that anyone that is musically inclined can visit on an Open Day and play the instruments. In addition to this, the Museum offers two Open Days led by Gary Branch of the Educational Team in October. One day is for under 18s and many of our students have visited each year and have been delighted to be able to play their repertoire on the instruments for which it was originally written.
The day starts with coffee in the cellar restaurant and time to meet your fellow musicians. Then there is an introduction to the wide range of keyboard instruments in the collection and demonstrations from the Educational Team.
At the time of application, you choose two pieces that you would like to perform. The large group then separates into smaller numbers for masterclasses on instruments appropriate to your repertoire. The first year I attended, I brought a piece by Handel that I played to Jean Phillips on the Antunes harpsichord; followed by a piece by Haydn with Gary Branch on the fortepiano.
There is also the chance to observe one other masterclass as well as try out instruments in the house in your own time. A delicious lunch is also available to purchase in the Cellar Restaurant. The day concludes with an informal performance by selected participants. I can guarantee you will leave with a desire to return as soon as possible! Booking is now open for the October Open Days. Please visit the links below to book your place: