What is something you make sure to do before every masterclass?
Depends. Are you watching or participating?
I will be playing.
Make sure your hands are clean and dry.
Make sure you know the meaning of every term in the piece, and study it to make sure you know where and what the dynamic markings are. Also, know a little about the history of the piece and composer.
Watch as many masterclasses as possible on Youtube. You'll begin to recognize a pattern of what those masters are all about.
Master teachers often have a schtick that works into each presentation.
@Jim I've seen plenty of master classes where the student was counseled on matters of intonation or timing. Often "expressive" intonation and the same with timing, but still, these are tools. A good example of someone who might include this kind of advice is Benjamin Zander or Maxim Vengerov.
Stephen, re: the schtick and cynicism and criticism, I remember fondly my daughter working a few times with a really fantastic but unknown soloist here who had some pretty incisive and negative comments about master classes. Was happy to hear someone actually calling BS on this. Working with the master 1-1 over a couple of weeks is when the real learning happens.
As much as it may be a pantomime of a lesson at times, it IS a performance opportunity, and then a student can also lard their bio with a new name.
It is a collection of insights and instruction that can bear fruit in all sorts of ways. Not the same as a summer's worth of lessons, but it is over in a few hours.
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