Fierce Fingers Piano Workshop

The Fierce Fingers Piano Workshop is an intensive one or two week workshop for piano students aged 8 -18, within a late beginner to intermediate/early advanced level. The workshop takes place during the summer.

Recommended Ages: 8 – 18

The next Fierce Fingers Piano Workshop is scheduled for Summer 2021.

Contact us to be placed on the mailing list for the workshop.

Held at the beautiful West Center Church in Bronxville, NY, the workshop is privileged to have access to several pianos including a 9’ Steinway concert grand. Master classes are held in the sanctuary, a space that provides resonant acoustics and stained glass window light.

The workshop is taught by pianist David Allen Nichols, a passionate and dedicated teacher who has been recognized for his creative approach to private instruction and his innovative master classes for students of all ages and levels.  Incorporating elements of his popular “Fierce Fingers” piano intensive, the workshop will provide pathways to the achievement of technical proficiency, and musical skill, guiding young students to the enjoyment of disciplined technical work in a fun and encouraging setting.

The workshop runs Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, with an extended day option that ends at 2:00 PM. Students may register for Week 1 or Weeks 1-2.

Students will participate in a variety of rewarding activities that foster improvement in  technique, interpretation, aural & theoretical skills and performance.

A sample day’s schedule would be as follows:

9:30 - 10:20

Ear Training, Rhythm Training, Solfége



10:30 - 11:20

Master Class: Performance & Interpretation



11:30 - 12:25

Practicum: Technique, History, Theory/Analysis, Sight Reading
Group activities including 4 & 8 hands pieces.


Standard Day Pickup

12:30 - 1:00

Extended Day Lunch

1:00 - 2:00

Counterpoint, Composition,Improvisation


Extended Day Pickup

Level Information

The program is open to students with between 1 - 5 years of lessons.
The following represent suitable levels, listed by standardized methods:   


RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music)

Preparatory - Level 6

Suzuki Piano

Volume 1 - 5

Piano Adventures

Level 2A - 4

Thompson (Red Book)

Grade 2 & Up

About The Instructor

New York-based performer/composer David Allen Nichols is a uniquely versatile aritst whose reputation as an improvisational pianist has led to an array of collaborative works for dance, film, theater and television. His projects have included American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem and Twyla Tharp, as well as jazz at Manhattan’s “Eighty-Eights.” His music was featured in the soundtrack of Corsair Pictures "Miss Firecracker” (1989) in which he performs for actress Holly Hunter's dance routines, and in a 1995 CBS "Eye on America” documentary with choreographer Eliot Feld. His music was also heard in the 2009 documentary film “Dancing Across Borders.”

New York’s “Creations Magazine” describes Mr. Nichols’ playing as “powerful” and “soul searching.” “He beckons you enter within,” reports the magazine, describing his performance of the chant-inspired “Evidence.” His “masterful piano artistry leads the listener to a place deep within,” writes “Metaphysical Reviews.” Mr. Nichols' ambient music CD productions for Burning Water Rebellion label have been featured on nationally syndicated NPR and PRI radio programs “Hearts of Space” and “Echoes,” and have been heard on Radio Italy, Pacifica Radio Network, and PBS Television.

Born in Nashville Tennessee, Mr. Nichols was trained as a classical pianist and received his Bachelor of Music degree from University of Texas at Austin, where he later pursued graduate studies in both piano performance and composition. He has lectured on topics of musical analysis including Messiaen's modes of limited transposition and tonal symmetry in the late works of Franz Liszt. Since 2002, he has been Music Director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Ballet and Pianist for the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College. An artist/ composer member of BMI, his compositions and recordings are distributed in 37 countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.

In addition to performing and composing, Mr. Nichols is a passionate and dedicated teacher, recognized for his creative approach to private instruction and his innovative master classes for students of all ages and levels. His popular “Fierce Fingers” piano intensive offers a pathway to the achievement of technical proficiency, guiding young students to the enjoyment of disciplined technical work in a fun and encouraging setting. Mr. Nichols maintains a private teaching studio in Bronxville, New York.

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