Playing to each other
Part of learning to play an instrument is learning how to play in front of other people. Performing is rather different from playing alone at home and it can be a little daunting. So it should be done regularly, and prepared for well. Preparing for a performance at whatever level can give focus to practice and lead to exceptional results.
We run three kinds of performance opportunities:
- Family concerts Many pupils of primary school age enjoy putting on a family concert. The occasion is held in our teaching room, relatives (especially doting grandparents!) and friends come along and the pupil plays for 10–15 minutes. The format is up to each family, but usually the pupil writes out a programme of the pieces to be played and plays around 12 pieces from memory. Particularly with very young children, performing so many pieces from memory greatly impresses the grandparents!
- Music groups Occasional Music Groups also take place in our house. Around 10 pupils attend and play one or two pieces to each other and listen to the performances of the other performers. These sessions are the training ground for larger performance occasions such as concerts and exams.
- Public concerts There are two Saturday afternoon concert days (with 2 concerts on each day!) in each school year when about 30 pupils of school age perform. The concerts are held in an attractive venue which has a splendid Steinway grand piano. They are popular occasions for families to hear their own child and others playing. However small or large the piece, audiences enjoy the performances of all our pupils as they demonstrate their confidence in performing at all levels. There is much to aspire to for the younger children and an opportunity to appreciate fine piano music played with conviction and musicality by our advanced pupils. You can see a playlist of performances from the two concerts on our last pupils’ concert day here.
[We have relocated to the Medway area only recently. It will be some time before we can run the performance occasions described above!]