Spring in my studio means that it’s time for my local association’s annual Spring Festival, an event we hold for teachers and students. We bring in a local/regional teacher at the university level who conducts teacher workshops, and also holds masterclasses for our students.
Even though the majority of my students have only had 2-3 years of piano (I teach group classes and move students to private teachers once they reach the intermediate level), I strongly encourage even my beginning students to participate in these classes. While the name itself — “masterclass” — and the idea of playing for another teacher can be intimidating, there are many benefits to be gained:
- Students become more confident in their performance capabilities.
- Students and teachers gain a fresh perspective on a piece they have been working on, looking at an “old” piece in a new way.
- Students learn new techniques to help overcome challenges.
- Students may hear your advice reiterated by another teacher.
These masterclasses don’t need to be held within the context of a teaching association or festival event. Is there another teacher you admire and respect in your area? Talk to him or her about coming to your studio on a Saturday and offering 15 minute masterclasses to your students at your home studio.
I absolutely love seeing the accomplishment that my students express and feel after their masterclass performances. And students aren’t the only ones who walk away with new ideas — I always learn so much from the techniques that another teacher implements to help them with rhythm and expression. Win-win.