Adult Piano Retreats

May 6-10, 2019   •   September 8-12, 2019   •   October 6-10, 2019

    (Mon-Fri)                 (SOLD OUT! Sun-Thu)          (SOLD OUT! Sun-Thu)

World-class instruction for adult amateur pianists

Icicle Creek Center for the Arts offers adult, amateur pianists an exciting opportunity to experience four memorable days of world-class instruction and performance in a spectacular retreat setting in the Cascade Mountains near Leavenworth, Washington. The program is designed to include scheduled private lessons, private practice, master classes, individualized movement assessments, group Alexander Technique sessions, special topics, gourmet dining, optional outdoor activities and a faculty concert in Snowy Owl Theater.

No audition necessary. Limited to 12 participants.

$650 per person per retreat registration fee (includes 3 private lessons, 1 ticket to faculty concert, 2 master classes, 3 special topic sessions, individualized physical assessments and optional sessions with on-site , licensed massage therapist (by appointment only))

Registration requires a $325 deposit.  See cancellation pollicy below for details.

First come, first served basis. Once cabins are filled, alternate lodging in the area is available to you at your own expense.

$120/night single occupancy, $60/night double occupancy in cabins at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. Limited spaces – first come first served basis.

$250 (includes tax and gratuity) for two breakfasts and one dinner at Sleeping Lady’s Kingfisher Restaurant; three, exclusive, catered candlelight dinners.

Other no-host options include conveniently located O’Grady’s Pantry and numerous restaurants/delicatessens in nearby downtown Leavenworth. Sleeping Lady’s Grotto bar available for cocktail hour and evening festivities (no host) and is within walking distance.

  • Steinway L
  • Steinway B
  • Kawai concert grand
  • Kawai grand
  • Kimball grand
  • Steinway upright
  • Chickering spinet

Check in at 3 PM on day one, check out by 2 PM on day five. Retreat includes a final, participant’s private sharing of music followed by box lunch on day five.

  • $325 deposit required with registration.
  • Full refund less $50 processing fee 8 days or more before the session start date.
  • Balance due one week prior to the session, after which no refund is given.


May retreat includes new-music pianist Jesse Myers with his expert guidance on exploring the piano with a fresh perspective; learn to deconstruct music to see it in a new light, enliven music by alluding to imaginative sounds and textures, discover a brand-new you by letting go of apprehensions and surrendering to the music.

September retreat will include expert assistance and workshop with specialist Lynette Westendorf on improvisation for pianists; explore a hands-on lessons in listening, abandon self-conscious criticism, let fingers explore the keys, open the door to basics of beginning jazz and improvisation.

October retreat includes William Chapman Nyaho who brings a fresh view to the standard keyboard repertoire with works influenced by Africa, South America and the Caribbean with workshops advocating music by composers of the African heritage.  He has compiled and edited a five-volume graded anthology Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, published by Oxford University Press to expand pianists’ repertoire.

All retreats:  Director and piano faculty member Lisa Bergman enjoys exploring humor and enjoyment at the keyboard as a welcome balance to the demands of practice and the challenge of learning processes.   She advocates playing “for fun” whenever possible and encourages involvement with other musicians.  She focuses on expediting learning by embracing mindful, thorough practice.

All retreats:  Movement and wellness coach Gayle Holeton encourages mindful exploration into optimal use of the body’s design for more ease, agility, strength and balance for pianists. An experienced private piano teacher, she embraces a teaching philosophy filled with humor and the joy of learning which she describes as “exploring a person’s boundaries to expand and live fully.”

Lisa B SOMA photo

Lisa Bergman

Program Director, All Sessions
A passionate promoter of classical music, Lisa Bergman is a national Gracie Award-winning radio announcer on Classic KING-FM streaming worldwide. A concert pianist specializing in collaborative piano and chamber music she is a graduate of the Juilliard School, Stony Brook University and the University of Washington, cum laude. A former member of the University of Washington Music Faculty, her discography includes six CDs.

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Jesse Myers 2

Jesse Myers

May Session
Jesse Myers is a Seattle-based concert pianist and teacher who strives to join education with performance. He is a lifetime student of the piano and tireless teacher of its techniques and repertoire. His focus spans the gamut from understanding rhythm and meter, creative thinking, and one of the most important of all – listening. He is on the faculty at Holy Names Academy and teaches privately. He is active adjudicating competitions,

leading masterclasses, and concertizing as a guest artist at universities throughout the United States. Jesse Myers has a Master of Music degree from the University of Washington in piano performance. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. His important teachers have been Robin McCabe (piano, UW 2004-2006), Virginia Marks (piano, BGSU 1999-2003), Valrie Kantorski and Frances Burnett (Piano, Bowling Green Creative Arts, 1995-1999), and Marylin Shrude (composition, Bowling Green Creative Arts and Interlochen).

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Lynette Westendorf

September Session
Emmy-award winning composer and pianist Lynette Westendorf has been a dedicated composer, educator and musician of diverse interests her entire life. She has performed myriad styles from traditional folk to avant guard jazz, church music to rock and roll; she has composed film scores, music for modern dance, solo and ensemble pieces, and award winning symphonic works. She has taught both privately and in the classroom, focusing on piano and music theory.

She currently leads a progressive jazz trio, and is in the process of composing an entire set of Preludes and Fugues for solo piano. She can play Bach in swing style, and recently performed the continuo part for selections from Handel’s Messiah. When not at the piano, Lynette is an avid outdoor enthusiast. In 2016 she took a solo pilgrimage on bicycle through J.S Bach’s region in Germany, and this past fall biked through Ireland’s County Kerry. Lynette is also an art quilter. Her degrees are from the University of New Mexico and the University of Washington. She lives in Winthrop with her husband, the writer/historian E. Richard Hart.

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William Chapman Nyaho

October Session
William Chapman Nyaho, a Ghanaian American and resident of Seattle, studied at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University (UK), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Honour School of Music. He continued his piano studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, Switzerland, the Eastman School of Music where he graduated with his Master of Music degree, and at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Chapman Nyaho is the recipient of prizes from international piano competitions. As a regular guest clinician, Chapman Nyaho gives lecture-recitals and workshops advocating music by composers of the African heritage. He has compiled and edited a five-volume graded anthology Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora, published by Oxford University Press. A first of its kind, this is intended to expand the performing repertoire of students and concert pianists, and also to supplement college keyboard literature courses.

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Gayle Holeton

All Sessions
An educator, private piano studio professional and Nia Black Belt teacher. She practices in Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Yoga, Martial Arts and Dance. Retreat focus will be mindful exploration into optimal use of the body’s design, for more ease, agility, strength and balance for pianists.

Sponsored by

Mimi & Chris Stahler