Master Classes in Gelsenkirchen

I had the pleasure of giving master classes and workshops recently in Germany. The town of Gelsenkirchen, which is around a forty minute drive from Düsseldorf, provided the backdrop for a weekend of intensive piano playing. Seven students had signed up for coaching over a period of two days which culminated in a little concert late Sunday afternoon. The classes were held at the Grillo-Gymnasium, although the pupils came from various schools in Gelsenkirchen. I also taught a further six students towards the end of my visit who were all pupils at this particular school.

Our venue, the school hall, housed a large Yamaha grand piano. A small audience was present during each class, which grew substantially for the concert, perhaps indicating the interest and demand for piano classes within this area. You can see us in action by clicking on the video link below, which shows short excerpts of a few classes.

I was invited to be involved in this venture by Kery Felske, a singer, who works tirelessly promoting and organising artistic events in Gelsenkirchen and beyond. This concept is very much a community project; many of these students are self-taught or have occasional piano lessons. With this in mind, it’s quite an achievement to play at all, especially after such little preparation and practical help.

We worked on many different aspects of piano playing from the pupil’s chosen pieces, which included everything from pop tunes to a Chopin Waltz, to exercises and scales. Each student had two individual lessons albeit in public and in English, followed by several opportunities to practice in between lessons in the practice rooms provided. This was all quite a challenge for the pupils, and one which they met beautifully. There is no doubt that everyone had improved considerably from the first lesson to the concert performance, but sadly you will have to take my word on this, as the film doesn’t include any concert clips.


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Efrat says:

    It was really great watching all the students getting much better thanks to your guidence:) now i want to participate in one of your masterclasses, if you ever come to Israel….

    1. Hi Efrat, Thank you…..will let you know if I’m ever in Israel! 🙂

  2. Steve says:

    Awesome video! Do you ever come to the US? Would love to participate in a master class one day if you do.

    1. Hi Steve, Thanks so much – glad you enjoyed the video and my lessons. Yes, I may be coming to the US in December – I’m going to Chicago – I don’t know if that is anywhere near you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.