We were delighted to host visiting artist Mr. James Brawn for a piano masterclass for Junior and Senior School students on Tuesday 13 October. Mr. Brawn worked with musicians from Year 4 to Year 10, giving many insights into the pieces they are working on, and advice on piano technique. The music ranged from Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms to Chopin, Scriabin and Debussy. Mr. Brawn enlightened students about the stories behind many of the piano pieces, and encouraged everyone to play with the utmost expression.

The masterclass was enjoyed by piano students, teachers from our Instrumental Tuition Programme, and academic music teachers. The student performers showed a lot of sophistication in their playing, and were able to make immediate improvements with advice from our visiting expert. Wide-ranging musical topics were covered, including breathing for piano players, use of the whole body, learning to make the piano sing, pedaling technique, knowledge of the composer, and the musical meaning.

Everyone in attendance received many ideas to take away, and the principles will be used to guide piano teaching in the department throughout the year. Many thanks to Mr. James Brawn for joining us for the afternoon, and we look forward to inviting our next prestigious musical guests to add further value to our music programme.