At this time of year, countless piano courses are being held all around the world. The Summer provides the perfect time for such an event; young piano students are generally on school holiday, and older students can finally use that last bit of holiday time from work. There are courses to suit every level and budget. So whether you are serious about your piano playing, or perhaps just want to enjoy some concentrated time with a group of like-minded individuals working at a much-loved past time, here are five reasons why taking a course can be useful:
You will have the opportunity to play to an expert teacher. It’s always a good idea to work with many teachers, because each one will shed new light on different aspects of your playing; many music conservatoires are now making this practice a rule, so advanced students can benefit from the teaching of several professors.
You will have the chance to meet pianists who are in the same situation as yourself, and who will possibly have similar interests. There will be time to chat, establish friendships and even piano playing partnerships.
You’ll hear and become acquainted with an assortment of repertoire, as participants will probably all play different pieces from various historical periods, providing inspiration for future practice.
One of the most important elements when attending a course, is learning from other players. As your fellow course participants take their turn to play, you can really ingest what the teacher is saying, and you can also ask them to show or help you with those particular elements too.
Piano courses are great for performance practice. It can be a challenge to play for others, but particularly in front of classmates, so such an opportunity will definitely encourage more confidence and help your overall development as a pianist.
Piano Courses don’t always take place in the Summer! They happen throughout the year. For readers based in Germany, I’m also holding a course at the IKM Gelsenkirchen (in Gelsenkirchen, near Düsseldorf) on the 3rd & 4th October; the photo above is from one of my German courses. It’s a bilingual course (in English), which runs over the weekend; consisting of a two-day workshop, which will be held at the historic IKM practice centre (which is an old mine), on a beautiful Bechstein grand piano. The course always includes a Sunday afternoon concert for all participants. Both workshop and concert are open to the public. For more information, please send me an e-mail via the contact form on this blog.
Image: Kery Felske
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.