What is a the ESTA Foundation certificate for Teachers?

This course is currently available for teachers based in North America, China, Hong Kong and South East Asia, who teach piano or strings.

It is designed by Bill Thomson (distinguished musician, teacher and former ABRSM Hong Kong and Singapore Development Executive) and Professor Laura Ritchie (Professor of Learning and Teaching at University of Chichester) and taught face-to-face by experienced mentors.

The course covers the principles of teaching and is suitable for new, aspiring teachers of piano and strings, as well as those experienced teachers who work in isolation and who would benefit from interacting with colleagues. If required, the course can be delivered bi-lingually (with resident experienced musician interpreters).

The course consists of 6 full study days (0900-1800hrs) delivered in-person with the Course Leader over 2 separate visits. Minimum requirements for enrolment are a pass in Grade 8 Piano from ABRSM or another recognised examination board and minimum age is 18 years of age.

This course will provide skills and knowledge, as well as a stepping stone for those with plans to take teaching diplomas. Equally, it will provide refreshment and new approaches for experienced teachers. The Course Leaders are British trained, western music educators with many years’ experience in supporting music teachers across South East Asia and North America.

Study topics such as: creative teaching processes; methodology; psychology of teaching; examination preparation, improvisation, repertoire and ensemble playing are all included in this unique course.

Course Assessment


Students are required to submit video recordings of two lessons for assessment and critical feedback. Each recording should be of a typical lesson and be a maximum of 30 minutes long. If a 30 minute recording cannot be submitted, a maximum of three (3) x 5 minute recordings from the same lesson should be substituted. Students may video record pupils at any stage of development and of any age. It is not mandatory to video the same pupil for both recordings. Students may teach in their own language. The second video only will be graded


Students are required to submit one 1,500 word written assignment. The title for this work will be set by the Course Leader during the first three days of the course. Students may submit their written assignment in their own language

The course is validated by University of Chichester.

For further information please contact:

Jessica Yuen

Director of Development
North America

Madeline Kam

Director of Development
China & South East Asia

WeChat: MadelineKam
WeChat: MadelineKam