Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This was another workshop for private music teachers; I was pleased to find it immediately became an unofficial get-together for local teachers, some who hadn’t seen each other for some time, others who were meeting for the first time. The first three ladies to arrive were happy to get acquainted or get re-acquainted - they were surprised to find that they all taught other instruments besides piano – violin, recorder and clarinet…
The staff at City Music (who were great) and the teachers said it had been a very disappointing summer weather-wise and this was about the best day I could have picked to see Truro. Good to know..
Once again, teachers were very complimentary about the APP repertoire and very intrigued by the improvisation methodology. I used examples from three different Levels and I think began to sway the doubters!
The Microjazz-and-related-materials part of the presentation was notable for various things:
- Everyone knew Inter-city stomp!
- Joy to the world (Concert Collection 1) was a great hit
- The Preludes were new to the teachers – they were interested to hear that there are “concert” pieces in the repertoire
One teacher was keen on organising an in-service day for keyboard teachers. And there was an interest in my music for ensemble – Flexensembles and Microjazz for Ensemble..
There was also interest from the shop, a Roland dealer, in a return visit to talk about the Roland HPi-6 piano and the embedded Microjazz pieces in it. So I may yet get to have another of those pasties…
Another Truro teacher
This was once again a happy (and sunny) occasion and City Music are to be commended for arranging it – it was the first workshop for their sheet music manager. They said that they would like me to come back again, preferably when the weather is much worse (ie any time!)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Report on Christopher Norton workshop at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, UK, August 25th 2009With 290 or so students aged 8 - 18, Chetham’s is the largest specialist Music School in the UK and the only Music School based in the North of England. The annual Summer School for pianists is now in its ninth year. There is no other summer school that manages to cater for adult amateurs, promising children and observers! All are welcome on the course - concert pianists, international young artists preparing for top competitions, and professional music teachers. I was invited to do a presentation at the 2009 Summer School and, as I expected, I addressed an interesting mix of students, teachers and yes, observers! Here’s a cross-section of the audience:
One person I spoke to was from Phoenix. Arizona (second row up) another was not a specialist music teacher but interested in getting a Venezuelan-style scheme youth music scheme going in London. There were also a couple of teachers who played in a piano duo. And lots of students, perhaps happy to do something a little less intense than the practicing and performing they had been doing the rest of the time!
I soon realized that some of the audience didn't know who I was, let alone anything about Microjazz, so I began by giving a mini-historical overview, including my own classical piano background in New Zealand and how Microjazz came to be, so to speak. I played various pieces from Microjazz, Microstyles, the Concert Collection and Preludes and as always included some fun audience participation. Here’s one of my “students”, still looking cheerful after coming up on stage with me
Then I got onto American Popular Piano and went through the basics of this unique piano course. This always requires some audience participation, an entertaining element (particularly for the observers) Here’s a student who helped me out on the improvisation front: