Tuesday, 4 August 2009

After a very long time

Hi, readers and mates,

After a long silence, due to practice and being out of home most of the time, I'm back at blogging. This post is to keep you updated about the first experience at the Delhi School of Music over the end of last week. Thanks to Jaspal Singh and Mr. Banerjee, we have implemented a workshop each Thursday and Friday, which I normally take because Hannah is at her school on those days, whereby students come for an open lesson, masterclass kind of thing. I must say that after the first week there, I feel that the experience has been very positive and never have I seen students and teachers so receptive and responsive.

As far as the students are concerned, I listened to a few of them playing exam and non exam pieces, and we worked on things like phrasing and quality of sound. They all seemed pretty familiar with the notes already. The security guard was having a bit of a laugh seeing me run from one piano to the other on the room to set examples during a class in which the student and I spent about twenty minutes in the first four bars of the Moonlight Sonata, but when he seemed really puzzled about the whole thing was when I hid behind a curtain and spoke covered by it, in order to explain to a third grade kid the difference between piano and pianissimo. This kid was actually amazing, I only had to explain to him what phrasing was and he did it at first go pretty well, all out of intuition.

With teachers, two of them decided to play and participate in the workshop. With them, I worked on things like posture in order to save oneself from backache or tendinitits, or tried to convince them of the fact that having no editorial marks in Bach's keyboard works does not grant you the right to play without them but gives you the responsibility of choosing them.

Apart from the classes, Jaspal Singh, Deputy Head of the school, and I had long talks about how to make the syllabus better. I suggested the obligation of an external set of pieces of varied styles apart from the exam pieces, because the exam pieces should not take longer than 3 months and it is the fact that they only do their exam pieces which causes lack of awareness about main stream composers and repertoire. I also talked to him about implementing some kind of system whereby students be assessed publicly in faculty classes at the end of each term, the importance of self-awareness, and he also asked me for advice on a system he had created to evaluate the progress of each student from class to class, which I thought was a fantastic idea, as it gives you concrete aims and objectives for your weekly practice.

All in all, I hope they let me work there after the concert on Saturday, for which I'm already praying, he he, because I feel that, with the responsive ability that they have shown ever since we first established contact with them, they will benefit a lot from this scheme.

I liked the idea so much that I am actually going to be conducting similar workshops in my school, where up until now I have only taught one to one, so I'll make sure I'll let you know how that goes.

Best wishes to everybody, and good luck for all WAMers, whether around Delhi or down south.


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