2023 Silent Film Piano Festival Registration

Registration for Dublin’s first ever Silent Film Piano Festival is now open!

This is a fantastic opportunity for students to experience a different kind of piano performance. We will be screening several short comedy silent films from the 1920s and students will be providing the incidental (accompaniment) music. Each student will be assigned a certain scene of a film to accompany. They will then work with their teacher to select appropriate music to match the mood of the scene. We will have 2 digital pianos set up on the day so that there’s no break in the music as students get set up to play.

When is it?

The Silent Film Piano Festival is on Sunday, November 12th. Doors will open at 10:00 am and the first film will begin at 10:30 am.

Where is it?

The festival will be held in the stunning Stella Cinema in Rathmines. If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat! This cinema was done up a few years ago and it’s the perfect example of old world glamour with luxurious armchairs.

How much?

The fee is €40 per performer. This includes a ticket for the performer and one guest.

We will be putting extra guest tickets up for sale once we have the final number of performers. These will be subject to availability.

There will be a donation jar on the day as well and if there are any profits, they will be donated to Unicef.

How do we prepare?

Once each student has been assigned their scene they will choose the music with their teacher. I will send each teacher a copy of incidental music at the intermediate level that we have license to use at this event. For students below this level, they can select any other music that fits the theme, as long as they have permission to perform it in public. All public domain music (e.g. anything from IMSLP) is fine to use for the event. I have also received permission from June Armstrong and Jennifer Eklund to use any of their music. I’m happy to help if anyone is unsure about their music selection.

I will also send more tips about performance preparation in the lead up to the event. The main thing is to practise with the film many times. Students need to be ready to cut off early if their scene ends before the piece is over, or repeat a section if they play too fast and their scene is still running.

Why Silent Film?

The tradition of playing incidental music for silent films is one that students may have some idea of but most children (and even most adults) have never experienced it first hand. It’s a wonderful thing to be in the audience and have live music to accompany a film.

For the students, it provides a completely different type of performance opportunity. Unlike an exam or a concert, the spotlight is not really on them. They get to share their music without being the centre of attention.

They also are motivated to learn their piece thoroughly and fine tune their timing. They’ll have to keep going no matter what so there’s no break in the sound. Mistakes won’t be noticed, but silence will!


Ready to enter? Fill in the form below to register. If you have more than 10 students who want to perform, feel free to complete the form multiple times.

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