Piano lessons in Bath

Tag: piano recital

Lunchtime Recital Thursday 11 May St Mary’s Bathwick


I will be performing a lunchtime piano recital on Thursday 11 May 2017 at St Mary’s Church, Bathwick, Bath. This recital is part of a series of lunchtime recitals arranged to raise funds for the restoration of the 1878 Father Willis organ at St Mary’s Church.

The music will start at 12:30pm and will include the following works:

Chopin: Nocturnes

Schumann: selections from Kinderscenen

Schoenberg: first movement from Klavierstucke

Other works to be played will be announced on the day. Entry is free but the audience are encouraged to give generously to support the organ restoration fund.

The 19th century organ was last restored in 1980 but is now in need of further restoration work. As well as being an example of a well respected British organ manufacturer, Henry Willis & Sons, the organ also boasts another famous connection. In 2001 the rock group Muse recorded the organ for the song Megalomania for their second studio album, Origin of Symmetry.

St Mary’s Church

Darlington Street

Bath BA2 4EB

Piano Concerts in Bath

In preparation for my upcoming diploma exam, I will be performing in a few piano recitals in Bath to road test my program to audiences. This is a vital component of any exam preparation, as you really find out what works under pressure, and what doesn’t! Sections of music that you may think you know inside out in the comfort of your rehearsal studio, may suddenly become more tricky. Technically demanding passages (for which there are a few on this program) require a degree of stamina, and a practise recital gives you the chance to see how well you are pacing yourself over the program.

Most importantly, you get the chance to see how well you can sustain the levels of concentration required to execute piece after piece. That in itself is not just a technical exercise, but an emotional one too, where you need to be in that mental space to shape something musically interesting and personal. It is no good simply playing the right notes at the right time, that is the job of a computer!

My program is a musically diverse program spanning some 300 years of writing for the piano, and earlier keyboard instruments. This is also a chance to convey some of the musical developments that have been made over the centuries, from Bach’s highly ordered fugal exercises, to Schoenberg’s atonal soundscapes. And don’t worry if you are clueless who those composers are; I will be there as your guide to introduce each piece and give some background to its composition. There will be something new for everyone, so come along!

The Program

Chopin: 2 études from Op. 10, No.1 in C major and No.3 in E major

JS Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C sharp major, BWV 872

Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G minor, Op. 23 no.5

Schoenberg: Drei Klavierstucke, Op.11

Chopin: Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27 no.2

Ginastera: Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2

The Venues

Thursday 5 May @ Manvers Street Baptist Church, 12:30pm

Wednesday 15 June @ St Swithin’s Church, 7:30pm

More dates to be added.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch via my contact page.

Student Recital at The Piano Shop Bath

I recently teamed up with fellow piano teacher Susanna Downes to hold a piano recital for our students. Susanna and I talked about the possibility of combining our students for recitals, as it provides a greater opportunity for interaction and helps to boost numbers at times of the year when not everyone can participate. Our main issue was finding a reasonably priced venue and piano for hire, taking into consideration that it would be a small number of students.

I work weekend shifts at The Piano Shop Bath, and I had been trying to see if there was a way we could hold some kind of interactive event at the showroom. The basement of the shop had recently be opened and refurbished into a showroom, and I started to think of it as a possible venue for the recital. It has the advantage of being well located on the London Road into Bath and of course, having a piano for performance is no issue! My manager Jon was on board from the start and provided full support with tuning, moving pianos to make space, and canapés! I should also give a very notable mention to Father Peter Edwards from nearby St John’s Church, who allowed us to borrow some chairs for the recital.

Once the chairs were set up we knew that the basement showroom would have the right kind of intimate yet supportive atmosphere needed for the students. As some of my younger students arrived I could see there were a few nerves, but having family there for support undoubtedly gave them the courage they needed to play their pieces. We had eight students in all between us, playing a range of pieces from beginner to intermediate levels. All of the students made parents and teachers proud, excelling in understandably nerve racking conditions, and putting in some really musical performances. At the end all the students were presented with a certificate for their excellent efforts.

Student Recital 30/11/2013

Student Recital 30/11/2013

The evening was a thorough success. Susanna and I look forward to continuing the collaboration with The Piano Shop Bath, providing more regular opportunities for students to perform their music. Student recitals tend to fall at the end of the Summer school term, being a natural point in the academic year to have a concert. Many students will also have recently taken their music exam around this time. And yet for the rest of the year, performance opportunities are few in number.

The logistics of setting up an environment where students can play to a willing audience, are more difficult than one initially assumes. Simply finding a reasonable-sized space with a decent piano can be challenging, and then organising the various friends and family to turn up can be a huge task in itself! So the opportunity The Piano Shop Bath provides for Susanna and me is of immeasurable help. Performance skills can seldom be taught; you have to gain experience and learn to work with the natural reactions your body and mind go through. Ironically there is little guidance from exam boards on how to approach a musical performance, yet an exam will allocate nearly two thirds of the marks precisely on performance. The best way is through regular performances, with support from teacher, family and friends.

If you know you have an exam coming up it is highly advisable to have at least two or three practice runs with an audience. Even if you make mistakes, you will be preparing your mind and body for how to deal with them and keep going unaffected. You will also get better at acclimatizing yourself for being under observation. Remember, there are very few audiences that will be looking for mistakes, they are always willing you to play at your best. So relax (as much as possible!) and give yourself to the instrument and the music: the rest will fall in to place.

Click here for a link to The Piano Shop Bath

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