Principal Pianist, Marina Surgan at the piano surrounded by musicians.

Canada’s National Ballet School’s (NBS) Musicians' Mentoring Program is a five-day intensive program designed to hone the musician's skills as a dance accompanist. To be a successful dance accompanist requires special skills and qualities. The pianist must not only understand ballet terminology, but must also be proficient at improvisation and be willing to "feel" the class and "move" along with the dancers. The ultimate goal: a beautiful and creative experience every time.

Musicians will experience a variety of dance classes, including professional, recreational and adult ballet, modern/contemporary and creative dance. The flexible program is designed to meet the needs of every pianist, from the emerging musician to those with considerable experience. Areas of specific interest to individual participants can be highlighted. Each day will include a mix of observation and hands-on participation, plus a one-hour discussion with our musicians. All participants will have a final review session with Marina Surgan, Principal Pianist.

The program is offered each year in either the last week of September or the first week of October, though in special circumstances, alternative dates can be arranged. Participants may choose a Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday block. For eligible participants there is also the opportunity to play for a class alongside the NBS mentoring musician.

During the week-long program you will:

  • Discover the secrets to developing your craft

  • Enjoy one-on-one guidance from our highly skilled and experienced musicians

  • Learn to choose the most appropriate accompaniment for each section of the dance class

  • Enhance your communication and collaboration skills by working alongside developing teachers in our Teacher Training Program

  • Tap into our network of dance studios seeking accompanists

How to Apply

The Musicians' Mentoring Program will resume in the fall during the following dates:

October 3-7, 2022
October 10-14, 2022

Please send the following information:

  • Letter of application detailing current accompaniment work, if any
  • Copy of your resume/CV
  • Date(s) requested for the program

Registrar’s Office, Musician’s Mentoring Program 
Canada's National Ballet School
400 Jarvis Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G6 CAN

Tel: 416-964-3780
Toll-free: 1-800-387-0785
Fax: 416-964-5133

The deadline for receipt of applications is September 25, 2022.
Space is limited and applicants will be considered on a first-come basis.