In August, I will participate in a small, week-long masterclass recommended by my teacher. The course is to be led by my teacher's former teacher - hence her recommendation.
I am unfamiliar with the concept of such a course! We will meet Monday through Friday from 10am-6pm. It is, as far as I know, a small group of about 12 students. There isn't much specific info on the website regarding, for example, a sample day's schedule.
Is anyone familiar with this type of a course and able to give me an idea of what to expect? I like to mentally prepare myself for new experiences!
Thank you for your thoughts :)
First you have to figure out if it really is a 'masterclass' or a summer course! Masterclasses usually have the same format of a student performing a (well studied) piece in front of an audience and then a pro critiquing it and using it as a teaching tool. I suppose the 'course' could be each student doing one masterclass (if so they would have asked for your piece so that a pianist could prepare).
I would second the above suggestion. Masterclasses (generally) last a day, maybe even only an afternoon I believe. I have a friend who goes away on week long courses regualarly and have never heard him refer to one as a masterclass
There are a handful of teachers that do private summer courses where students typically live together in a house, cook and eat together, practice, and have lessons with that teacher that all participating students observe. I think Dylana Jensen's course is of that nature.
Thanks for the replies, everyone!
That's interesting. I can readily imagine every-other-day lessons, which for a group of 12 would be 6 hours a day of teaching -- that's pretty manageable, I think. Breakfast, 3 hours of lessons, lunch, another 3 hours, brief break, dinner, 3 hours of practice. Or maybe more efficiently, breakfast, 2 hours of lessons, lunch plus two hours of practice, 2 hours of lessons, 2 hours of practice, dinner, 2 hours of lessons, some free time (or more practice).
ANOTHER question: (I am low-level anxious about this upcoming experience, and my teacher is currently away, so I can't ask her. :)
Generally speaking the point of a masterclass is for the teacher to help you move the boundary of your best playing. If they don't hear your best playing, they can't do that. This is the same thing I tell graduate students about oral exams -- give your very best presentation because you want high-level criticism from your professors; you don't want them finding typos on your slides. Put another way, you don't need a "master" violin teacher to tell you your thirds are out of tune.
I participated in a 2-week violin masterclass in 1973. The master-teacher was Claire Hodgkins, who at the time was assistant to Heifetz at his USC masterclass (made famous by the the 1962 video, in which Hodgkins was one of the students). This master class was associated with the (then) annual Herbert Blomstedt conducting masterclass held at Loma Linda University, Redlands, CA (now La Sierra University) in early summer. It was recommended to me by one of my musical colleagues. The violinists were really there to play in the evening orchestra that served the conducting masterclass.
So...in case anyone is interested, what this masterclass ended up being/meaning is a week of lessons with the master teacher and his assistant teacher (a lesson with each every day), and a concert for all the students at the end. The rest of the time was used for practicing. We didn't attend each other's lessons.
Sounds okay. It would have been more enriching if you could have seen at least a few of the other students' lessons. Hopefully the fee was not too punitive.
Thanks for the followup - its a new format for me. I can see that it could be very useful if you have a specific piece you are trying to finish.
Thanks for the update. The format of a "Meisterkurs" as you describe it is very common in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries, usually during the winter and summer semester breaks. Glad to hear it was a good experience for you!
Thanks, Katarina, that’s a helpful clarification! :)
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