Piano students are more familiarized with the set up of weekly one-to-one lessons with their teacher but in addition to these individual lessons, there is another form of teaching which is also a very common component of the education of performing musicians within the Western classical music tradition, namely the master class. But what is it?
This is a more “public” teaching and learning to set, as teaching and learning take place in full view of an audience comprising other students, and/or a more general audience.
Many people don’t know that one of the most famous concert pianists and composers, Franz Liszt was one of the first piano teachers to deliver masterclasses, although he didn’t coin the term. It was mainly a platform for teaching and sharing ideas with a group of students. So in a nutshell, is our main goal this month to offer to all WKMT students the core of what has been such an important aspect of musical learning: acknowledging and sharing with the audience. In this opportunity, the Director of the Studio will be in charge of imparting the Scaramuzza Technique, working with the students the pieces that they bring to this event with the goal to perfect them and enrich them to the maximum level of detail.
Benefits of a Masterclass
The purpose of a masterclass is to encourage students to share in public what they have been working to other students who can find themselves reflected and connected with the same technical issues in their own pieces. The word “benefit” refers to how the master class can serve to improve or promote the experience on the students who either attend actively (the ones that present the pieces) or the ones who attend passively, that means the students that will benefit from gaining clarity from several examples presented during the session.
So what kind of student is likely to find the master class beneficial? Those who are performing and those who are in the audience. The Maestro delivering the class may have different goals for its teaching; with some students the focus will be primarily on the students performing, helping them to improve their performance. With other students, the focus primarily will be on conveying knowledge and ideas to the listeners, using the students’ performances more as triggers or illustrations of different issues to be discussed. It could be argued that, ideally, both parties should benefit from taking part in a master class.