FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions for General information, Cassa Piano information and Cassa Adult Piano information.

General information

How do I register?

You can register online and pay by credit card or you can download a form, fill it out and send it in with your cheque.

How do I contact Cassa?

CASSA Contact information: CASSA office telephone or fax 403.271.0418, or use the  CASSA Information Contact Page

Where are programs held?

Our summer programs are held in Calgary Alberta, Canada, mostly at St. Vladimir’s Cultural Centre near Edmonton Trail and Memorial Drive N.E. Cassa Musical is held at a site that has more appropriate stage facilities for a musical production. See the Musical page for specifics.

How old do I have to be?

Each program has its own age guidelines. Ages range from 4 to adult. We have programs for youths 8 to 12 and for teenagers. See Programs Classified by Age for a summary.

What is an Early Bird Deadline?

The Early Bird deadline is a date we use to encourage you to register early. By doing this, you pay less than you would later. Most importantly by registering early, you increase the likelihood that the camp you want will not yet be full. The dates for reduced fees for most programs is May 15th; the deadline for Piano Pedagogy Workshop is June 15th. 

Is there a residence for those who are coming from far away?

No, we do not offer a residence but there are several accommodations available reasonably close to our venue. Although we have a page with information on accommodations, you may also like to look at reservation sites such as Booking.com as a way to find B&Bs or hotels that you would find suitable.

Does Cassa accept money from the public?

Yes, you can donate directly to us (Cassa Contact information: Cassa office telephone 403.271.0418, Cassa fax 403.278.3236, by using our Donation Request Form and mailing it with your donation to Calgary Arts Summer School  Association,  201 11420  27th Street SE, Calgary Alberta  T2Z 3R6, or you can donate by clicking on the CanadaHelps icon:

You may also make a donation to Cassa by giving your donation any of our Directors. For additional information, visit our Donors and Sponsors page.

Cassa Piano and Cassa Adult Piano Information

What level of piano do I need to have for Piano Programs?

Cassa Piano, Cassa Adult Piano and Cassa Jazz do require some background knowledge and skill. 

Cassa Piano is designed for ages ten to adult. Most ten-year-old piano students already have about three or four years of playing experience so a playing level equivalent to Level 3 Royal Conservatory of Music or Conservatory Canada or equivalent would be a reasonable starting place for Cassa Piano. We want students to feel so successful at the end of the week that they can hardly wait to come back and we have found that students with this or a higher level of playing will have had such an experience. We take all levels from this up to and beyond ARCT. (If you need more information or if you have special circumstances, please contact us.)

How skilled to I have to be to attend Cassa Adult Piano or Cassa Jazz?

For Cassa Adult Piano, the level of playing is varied; many participants play at mid grade level, some are recent beginners and there are some who are piano teachers, so it is very mixed group. We will help you progress no matter what your skill level. 

For Cassa Jazz, a minimum grade six Royal Conservatory of Music level or Conservatory Canada or equivalent experience is preferred.

What music do I have to know for Cassa Piano?

Experienced prticipants will tell you that you should have learned a piece solidly prior to coming. You want to use the time at Cassa Piano to improve your performance and you don’t get the same value from the session if you are still learning notes. You also should learn a piece by the Composer of the Year (this is not applicable to Cassa Adult Piano) for the year and an ensemble piece that you will perform with one or more other campers. The list of pieces for the composer of choice is on the Cassa Piano page so you can start learning it right away. Any grade levels shown will match the Royal Conservatory of Music grading. 

Do I have to learn a piece for the Featured Composer for Cassa Piano?  (The Featured Composer is for Cassa Piano only. There is no Featured Composer for Cassa Adult Piano.)

The best answer for this question is that you should learn a Featured Composer piece as well as you can given the time you have. Even if you have not learned it to a standard where you would play it to friends, you will still be in a good position to learn more about the composer’s styles than you would if you didn’t know the music at all. If you’ve made a good attempt to learn it, you will get more out of a clinician’s class when the clinician talks about style and interpretation.

It pays to register early to give you an incentive to start learning early. The list of pieces (if needed) for the Featured Composer is on the Piano Camp page and the pieces conform closely to the Royal Conservatory of Music choices for the grade level appropriate to your skills. 

How soon should I register?

The sooner you register, the earlier you will receive the ensemble piece earlier so that you have more time to learn it. 

Wait, what’s this ensemble piece you just mentioned?

One of the absolutely best fun things you get to do at Cassa Piano is learn and perform a piece with another student or with other students. Pieces may be one-piano-four hands, two-pianos-four hands, two-pianos-eight hands, or some version that those brilliant composers have written that allow piano students to play something with someone else. This is the one thing that piano students almost never get to do. Teachers and students all agree that it's a superb learning experience and it’s great fun!

I’m worried about playing in front of others. Do I have to?

A major part of Cassa Piano is getting a performer (that’s you) more comfortable with performing. Many (most — possibly nearly all — ) performers (including performing artists)  have some level of performance anxiety so we work very hard on helping every performer relax to enjoy performing. One of our goals is to have every performer finish feeling more confident about performing and we always succeed in improving each performer’s confidence.

What is a day like at the Cassa Adult Piano?

Each day will have master classes on solo and ensemble music, some lecture time, some practise, and lunch time. There are about 12 upright pianos, 12 digital pianos and 2 grand pianos on site. We have up to 24 participants with 4 or 5 teachers and one assistant on site. 

What is the difference between Cassa Piano and Cassa Adult Piano? 

This might best be described by a former Cassa Adult Piano participant:

"I’m an adult who had gone to regular Cassa Piano before there was an Adult Piano session. Although Cassa Piano is primarily aimed at the teen-and-younger age group, it is also suitable for adults. The additional days of Cassa Piano give a bit more time to improve performance levels and you get more exposure to instruction and clinicians and those extra days allow participation in activities that can't be fit into Cassa Adult Piano.

If you choose to attend Cassa Piano, there are some portions of it that you may feel are more appropriate to teenage and younger students (e.g. designing and producing a poster for the ensembles for the concert) but even those portions are beneficial because everyone needs a bit of a break from the intensity of the main focus of the rest of the day. 

I was initially apprehensive about being among young students, knowing that many of them performed at a more advanced level than I, but I was surprised to find that younger students are very supportive of adults who are learning to play piano. They accept you as you are and it's really a very positive experience for all. 

Cassa Piano provides what is perhaps an easier pace than Cassa Adult Piano because it isn't quite as compressed but either way, you can't go wrong.”

What Else?

I want to say nice things about this excellent web site. How do I do that? 😉

If you want to get the web master’s attention to correct an error, use the tech contact form

How do I get my questions answered if I can’t find information on the web site?

Contact Cassa using one of the methods shown here:

Cassa Contact information: Cassa office telephone and fax: 403.271.0418, or Cassa Information

Contact Cassa

Register early for your favourite program

Registered Charity 88490 6249 RR0001. Donations are always welcome. Contents, logo and images © Cassa 2019-2020 except where noted.