November 23rd is the date of our next festival at WKMT. The ABRSM examination dates are also round the corner. For that reason, we are organising a Masterclass for students preparing for either the festival or the ABRSM exam.
The Piano Masterclass
Training our students to perform in front of an audience lays in the core of our piano tuition approach. We believe in stimulating our students with regular public performance challenges.
The idea behind a masterclass is to allow students to access a different type of learning mode. They need to watch from a third party position the reaction of their pairs to instructions given by the Maestro.
The fact that the learning set up is unusual encourages students to ignite their learning-imagination. For example, one of their colleagues pass to the stage:
The student plays a passage
The student receives one indication from the Maestro
Then the student tries to execute what the Meastro instructed to do
The student in the audience can then imagine how differently or similarly he or she would have responded to the same instruction
This very last step is what makes a Masterclass so useful; the fact of allowing the students to gain more in-depth on what their teachers expect from them.
Type of advice given in the Piano Masterclasses
During WKMT Masterclasses, Juan Rezzuto will focus on spotting issues or advise on general musical and piano-technical matters. The teacher's objective is to allow students to learn when they are playing and when they are listening.
Juan Rezzuto specialises in Scaramuzza technique. Therefore, he will focus on helping students to apply Scaramuzza movements successfully to their performances. Sometimes the piece will demand one "movement" to be used at a time or sometimes a combination of different ones.
The piano-teacher interaction
When we take one to one piano lessons, we are set up into one specific type of communication; the teacher-student type. In this relation, the student tends to be open to the advice of the teacher. The latter works like a gnoseological-feeding exchange. The later means the students will tend not to question what the teacher says that often and will try and execute the instructions directly. The attitude, as mentioned earlier, guarantees the efficiency of the interaction.
Learning while performing in front of an audience
Another big learning-facility proposed by the "masterclass" approach is the double opportunity of taking a lesson and playing in front of an audience at the same time. To exercise the delivery of a work of art, we need the full set in place: performer, environment and audience. The audience of a masterclass is the most specialised possible; it is made up of piano students dedicated to learning the piano under the Scaramuzza piano technique.
Analysing technique to improve confidence
The main goal of masterclasses is to help the students gaining confidence while playing in front of a musically-sensitive audience. The fact that:
The student will perform the piece from the beginning to the end
The student will play some sections under the request of the Maestro
The Maestro will prompt the student to apply some changes to his/her performance on the spot
The student will have to play the piece implementing the changes suggested
The last step will collaborate with exercising the ability to play while being observed. Getting used to being listened-to while playing plays a fundamental role in developing the kind of concentration required to deliver continuous and smooth performances.
The logistics of WKMT Piano Masterclasses
The piano student selection process
The teachers should propose to the WKMT team, which of their students might benefit pro participating at the Masterclass. The Juan Rezzuto, the director, will commit to making the final decision of which students will participate in the Masterclass based on their skills, level, age and record of achievements.
Time available and the number of students participating
The idea is to start the Masterclass at 18.30 on Saturday, October 26th and finish at 20.30. This schedule will also affect the age range of the students participating in the Masterclass -younger children might not be eligible due to the evening timing-.
The number of students participating in the Masterclass will depend on the number of students ready to perform at the moment of the teachers' proposals. The idea is to host one masterclass for either children or adults. On the other hand, if we notice that there are too many students, we will assess the chance of organising two masterclasses.
Active students and listeners
You can either participate in the Masterclass by playing for the Maestro or just by listening. We differentiate these two roles into active student and listener student. The best way to know how you could become a part of this event is to ask your teacher during your next lesson.
If you have something very well prepared, or you are ready to sit for an exam, then you will most probably jump to the front of the queue.
Masterclass yearly calendar
We will commit to sending a Masterclass-calendar for the remaining months of 2019 and 2020. Each Masterclass will be specified to be open either for adults or children.
The venue of our choice is St. Cuthbert's Philbeach Gardens. Our beautiful concert venue is the perfect and most inspiring environment to develop the sort of insight that students need to get the most out of this kind of events.
We count with a beautiful Yamaha CFIII provided by Markson's pianos. WKMT through "Markson's pianos" commit to keeping the instrument in optimum playing conditions. Playing at WKMT masterclasses is an ideal opportunity for hard-working piano students in London to deploy their skills and enjoy playing in a magnificent instrument.
The decision of making WKMT masterclasses more regular during the educational period of 2019/2020 will increment the efficiency with which we propagate the Scaramuzza piano technique amongst WKMT piano students. These events will also bring our director, Juan Rezzuto, closer to our piano students. We hope this opportunity will translate into more motivation for every musician at WKMT. WKMT Piano Masterclasses will encourage both teachers and students to invest every spare minute in preparing to become the pianists they always dreamt of being.