What to expect at a masterclass?

July 4, 2019, 12:19 AM · I'm having my first violin masterclass today and I don't really know what to expect, so I'm quite scared. Does anyone have any tips and insights so I wouldn't feel very stressed.
Also, what are the best questions to ask at the masterclass, regarding mostly technique and performance?

Replies (7)

July 4, 2019, 6:33 AM · The concept of a masterclass is to take something you do good and make it great. The idea is to perform a polished piece. You will then have a short lesson focusing on one or two points throughout the piece. This is usually done with other attendees watching and perhaps a few other musicians performing and having lessons as well. You will benefit from watching the instructor teach other lessons as you can then take and apply those ideas to your playing as well. Most instructors who do masterclasses usually have it figured it out in that they will help you feel comfortable and will present plenty ideas so preparing questions isn't that important. Typical etiquette is to listen and explore the ideas presented with out argument or long discussion and a later you can decide to take or leave some of the ideas presented. Have fun!!
July 4, 2019, 6:39 AM · Have you never attended one? There are plenty to watch on YouTube. From what I've seen, you should expect a mix of encouragement and constructive criticism.
July 4, 2019, 8:14 AM · Most people get nervous about master class. Some of them share that with master, who is more than willing to make student as relaxed as possible. Perhaps you could approach this as a great opportunity and a privilege to work with a teacher you otherwise do not study with. It is still a violin lesson, although a public one. Paradoxically, just everyone in the audience and your master genuinely wish you well. Enjoy your lesson and open yourself for new insights.
July 4, 2019, 10:45 AM · The most important thing is to listen and try out what the teacher says -- that doesn't necessarily mean you will use or do everything he/she says, but a masterclass is for getting new ideas or new ways to approach things.

Once you get through playing the piece, usually you won't be so nervous, because the teacher will be asking you to try things out, and nobody in the audience is expecting immediate perfection.

If your teacher isn't going to be there, try to record it and then discuss it afterwards in detail. Your teacher may agree with the masterclass person or may not, but it will be nonetheless thought-provoking for both of you.

July 4, 2019, 10:46 AM · Oh, and you don't usually ask questions in a masterclass. Usually you just do a whole lot of listening to what the teacher is saying.
July 7, 2019, 12:33 PM · Thank you all for the replies, they really helped!!
July 7, 2019, 1:57 PM · I'm glad you had a pleasant experience!

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