performance Tag

The purpose of a masterclass is to give students an opportunity to perform for and be critiqued by an esteemed artist. Performing for a master teacher is considered an honor and an educational opportunity. Observing a masterclass is a rare opportunity to see a great artist at work.

HistoryLiszt
The idea of a masterclass was first developed by Franz Liszt in the 19th century. Liszt was one of the most revered and sought after teachers of his generation. He is said to have more than 400 students; many of whom were famous such as Carl Tausig, Hans von Bülow and Emil von Sauer. At these early masterclasses, pianists as well as composers, violinists, cellists, singers, and even painters and poets would gather in Liszt’s home in Weimar to experience his teaching. A rather intimidating experience, it is said that students would enter the music room first and place their scores on the piano. Upon Liszt’s entrance, students would stand respectfully while Liszt went to the piano, leafed through the scores and chose the music to be performed.

charityThis month, I did something at my studio that I’ve never done before — I used my studio to raise money for a local charity.

We have a very beloved charity in our area that works with children with disabilities. Each summer, they host a camp for children undergoing cancer treatment, and invite those children and their families to spend a week in the mountains enjoying outdoor activities, musical therapy and fellowship with one another.

To make this recital unique and also get my students excited about the opportunity, I kept my expectations simple and let them have control. I gave them the option to play between one and five songs of their choice, and called the recital a “Play-a-thon”. Pieces didn’t have to be memorized, and they could be any pieces that they have learned in their time with me. Students LOVED this freedom, and even though we had a few random Christmas pieces thrown in the mix, it was fun for me to learn the pieces that they consider all-time favorites.

By Julia Kossuth As October wraps up and we further approach the holiday season, I want to incorporate celebration and festivity into my lessons, studio atmosphere, and music that my kids learn, of course. This will not only be enjoyable for me as I teach, but also keep piano lessons relevant to everything else going on in the students' lives. Here are a few of those ideas: 1....

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social-learning

“Give a person a fish, and he/she will eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and he/she will be satisfied for a lifetime.”

In my last blog, Igniting the Spark, I wrote about my goals for the year – empowering students to take responsibility for their own learning. Since then, I have experienced an amazing paradigm shift and as a result, am truly enjoying my teaching. I have always enjoyed teaching, but am easily frustrated when students arrive at lessons unprepared or “check out” in the lesson! The shift this year has been a conscious effort to give students the tools for independent learning, talking less and demonstrating more, and holding them accountable for each week’s assignments. I am feeling much more relaxed and students are working a lot harder, with less stress on my part. I have focused on three main areas:

quitterYou can pick out the family within a few minutes of conversation — the kind who tells you they’re looking to “give piano/violin/dance/etc. a try”. They don’t give the impression of being overly-committed, and within a few months — when repertoire starts to become more challenging or when the exciting “newness” wears off, the student lose interests and asks to quit, which his parents are all to ready to let him do. You cringe when this happens, thinking of the spot he has taken up while students on your wait list have likely found other teachers in the meantime.