PIANO

 



Playing the piano has been a part of Christine's life from an early age; childhood lessons, requests to accompany friends and to play for school, church and community events throughout her teens were followed by keyboard harmony coaching, an invaluable choral accompanying 'apprenticeship', a varied university experience, including Alexander Technique, and post-graduate lessons at the Guildhall with Norman Beedie. 

CAG at the pianoCG playing piano at workshop


One of the most frequently asked questions is: 
"Is there only one piano?"

Well, the answer is usually "yes" (although we have managed occasional sessions here and there with 2 reasonably-in-tune pianos for ensemble work of one kind and another).   So here are a few more clues.....

What happens? In a friendly atmosphere, group members learn together sharing insights, fears, joys and discoveries. Each person is guided at their own level during the workshop sessions; group activities and class teaching on key topics are also included.

Who? Pianists with at least some, or sometimes considerable, experience who wish to develop skills for various types of music making and work alongside other pianists. 


Why?  Learning to listen and to observe are fundamental skills for every musician.  The advantage of the group experience is that we can all - tutor included! - learn to listen more clearly; to notice what will make a difference to the overall sound, or perhaps to a small detail; to be alert to  balance and colour within the different "voices" of solo as well as ensemble repertoire; to hear harmonies and bass lines - and all those things that are sometimes a little more difficult to observe when we are playing ourselves.  Additionally, we share lots of ideas from repertoire to news of concerts and other local musical events as well as the pleasure of meeting up with kindred spirits.

When? Christine is currently running weekly sessions on Monday mornings in Blackmore, Essex, in term time.  The spring term runs from Monday 7 January 2013. 

Where? The Priory Church of St Laurence  is in Blackmore, Essex CM4 0RN.   A beautiful church in a beautiful part of the world!

What else?  Plans for some one-off piano events are in the pipe-line, where pianists will have the opportuntiy to attend for a single day or weekend.  If you would like to receive information please  email Christine

The pianists who join these classes come with a wide range of skills, interests and ideas. 

Listed below are just some of the topics that have been explored and developed by members of various piano classes

  • accompanying singers
     
  • playing by ear and harmonizing

  • playing for a sing-song or dancing

  • exploring solo repertoire

  • duets and ensembles

  • interpretation and style

  • preparing for performance

  • leading a children's singing group

  • playing for a church service

  • sight-reading

  • using chord symbols

  • accompanying instrumentalists

MF at piano

Whether you would like to accompany a child or grandchild who is learning an instrument; help out at a school, church, youth or play group; improve or acquire some more advanced skills; branch out into a new area, or simply gain confidence in the company of kindred spirits, these workshops could be for you!

Here are some photos, from class sessions, from social events and fromother muscial occasions, that reflect various aspects of  Christine's adult piano groups. You can also see some of the things that we are interested in on the group blog

many hands make light work - 4 pairs 2 pianos

Some fun at our 2-piano sessions in Loughton and at lunch in Brentwood! 

"There were so many highlights.  I think one of the greatest things was to have the Piano Group playing all day for us." Comment from the organiser of the Flower Festival held in June 2008 at a Loughton church where group members performed.  

A visit to Finchcocks Keyboard Museum with class members from Loughton and Brentwood presented some wonderful opportunities.....

pianists at lunch
Finchcocks - harpsichiord playing