Sunday, September 16, 2012

Christopher Norton workshop in Nottingham, UK

Christopher Norton workshop in Nottingham, UK, 9th September 2012

I recently did a workshop in York at The Musicroom – it went well and led to an invitation to present a workshop in Musicroom’s Nottingham store, a smart and modern store in the Victoria Centre in the centre of Nottingham. It was their first workshop and they had set up a splendid display of music and a brand-new Roland HPi-7 piano ( has a “Christopher Norton” button.

The teachers who came to this workshop could well be described as hard-core Christopher Norton fans (yes, there are some!) One of the teachers was pleased to find Levels 6 to 8 of American Popular Piano displayed, a series only just becoming known in the UK ( He had already been using all of the earlier Levels for some years now, as well as the Connections series (, which is technically not available in the UK at all! He had students with him at the workshop. Another teacher was very familiar with Microjazz and uses it with her 50 or so pupils on a regular basis. She was so taken with the workshop she immediately set about arranging another, larger event in Nottingham, probably an official Christopher Norton Piano Festival.

Here’s a group photo:

Most striking of all perhaps was the presence of Rachel Jennings, who is primarily a violinist, with publications with Faber Music (Red Hot Violin) and has her own website ( She was a fanatical player of Microjazz piano pieces as a child (and still is) and we decided to try a couple out on the spot, spontaneously arranged for violin and piano. As a result, she is going to do a number of arrangements of Microjazz piano pieces for violin and piano, which will be available through Microjazz Plus ( Here’s Rachel, holding a postcard of a drawing she did as a child inspired by the original  Microjazz art-work.

My presentation was in 2 parts – an introduction to American Popular Piano with an emphasis on improvisation, then Microjazz and Beyond, which gave the teachers and students a quick overview of the series, including the recent books like MicroRock, MicroSwing and MicroChristmas.

I do hope to be back to do a large event in Nottingham in the new year. Thanks to Musicroom Nottingham for putting on this very enjoyable event.

CN London 16th September 2012