Notes from the Piano

Piano Masterclasses In London and Cambridge-why attend a masterclass?

There are so many benefits to be gained from attending a piano masterclass both as a performer and as an observer.

Performing in a masterclass gives pianists

an opportunity to perform to an audience and to someone who is not their regular teacher; a different pair of ears and perhaps a fresh perspective can be really insightful because there is no one way of playing a phrase, of breathing life into the music, nor of trying to get past nerves in order to play as beautifully and expressively as you possibly can.

A masterclass is not really the same as having a lesson with another teacher; you will arrive with a work already prepared, the tutors are not there to give conflicting advice or to poach students, they are there merely to offer a fresh pair of ears and perhaps an additional insight into the music being performed.

After all, we often listen to many different interpretations of our favourite music, there is no definitive interpretation, just one that speaks to us personally, one that we may prefer. It may be the touch and tone, it may be the way the phrase is articulated, the breath and the space between the phrases, the voicing; there are so many possibilities in each interpretation, and therefore attending a masterclass and having a new and perhaps slightly different perspective, rising to new possibilities and challenges in front of an audience, offers the performer an opportunity to give deeper consideration to the music.

It may be that as a performer, you decide after some thought, that actually you prefer your initial interpretation, however having the opportunity to hear, think about and work on your piece in a slightly different way will only inform your playing and perhaps stegthen your convictions regarding your interpretation and musical intentions.

In the hands of experienced and empathetic tutors, this can only be a wonderful shared learning experience.

For the observer a masterclass can be an equally rewarding experience experience. Perhaps on this occasion you are not feeling quite confident enough to perform, but you will learn so much from watching and listening to other performers giving their performances, receiving their feedback and watching them apply new ideas, hearing their performances come to life in new and different ways.

There may be many relatable ideas that you can think about in the music you are working on.

For parents who are observing, it will give great insight into how your child needs to be working on their music.

For the ‘rusty’ pianist observer in the audience who is thinking of returning to the piano after a break, we do hope to inspire your love of the piano again.

Other piano teachers are most welcome to come

and observe too, and we hope that with our combined experience of more than 60 years of teaching we will inspire and enthuse, we would love to have your feedback and will be very happy to talk to you during the breaks.

Most of all we hope to offer a joyful and inspiring experience to our performers and audience, one  which will leave you itching to get back to the piano and try out new ideas.

To book please click the link below:

Lorraine Augustine is a Pianist, teacher and adjudicator based in Bedfordshire, with over 40 years’ experience of teaching and performing she teaches piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and runs a busy private practice in Bedfordshire.