any advice regarding organizing a masterclass?

Posted by: Overexposed

any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 12/03/12 10:27 AM

Our local MTA will be holding a masterclass with a professor who has agreed to do it. It will be an hour long program.

Classes I've observed had up to 5 student participants. I'm wondering if we should set a limit on how many can sign up for this. And if you want 5 students, do you allow 8 or 10 to sign up to allow for no-shows? What info do we gather from teachers entering kids: name of student, name of piece and/or level of student?

So far we have decided to accept differing levels. We have the professor and the location secured.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 12/03/12 11:09 AM

Are you taking all comers? Perhaps you should have a screening mechanism of some sort. Many groups putting together a master class hold auditions just to make sure the "class" will be productive both to the student and to the audience. If you have more applicants than spots, you must have some mechanism for making choices.

No-shows? That should be unheard of. This class should be publicized as a special event of some importance, not a take-it-or-leave-it recital.
Posted by: dumdumdiddle

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 12/03/12 11:10 AM

Our branch did this recently and we planned for 15-20 minutes per student. Students auditioned to be a part of the master class. If they are serious enough to audition they probably won't no-show.

Also, in some master classes I've attended the students have paid a fee for the privilege of participating in the master class (particularly if it's a well-known teacher).
Posted by: Minniemay

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 12/03/12 12:19 PM

You have to consider the literature being performed. If it is an elementary student playing a 36-measure piece, 15 minutes for that student is sufficient. However, if you have an advanced student playing a sonata movement or a larger Chopin work, that student shouldn't get less than 30 minutes with the teacher.

Remember, there is also the introduction and conclusion time. That eats up more minutes than you think.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 12/03/12 12:25 PM

Many thanks for the responses! It wouldn't be all-comers, but would be students whose names are submitted by club members.

It does help to think of allowing at least 15 minutes per student, and that we can expect a degree of commitment from teacher/student that the student will show up.

I like the idea of a screening mechanism for making choices if we get too many applicants. And I'll float out the idea of an audition.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 12/03/12 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Minniemay
You have to consider the literature being performed. If it is an elementary student playing a 36-measure piece, 15 minutes for that student is sufficient. However, if you have an advanced student playing a sonata movement or a larger Chopin work, that student shouldn't get less than 30 minutes with the teacher.

Remember, there is also the introduction and conclusion time. That eats up more minutes than you think.


Thanks for your input. We can take into consideration allowing more time for advanced pieces. And now I'm realizing we could extend the program to 1.5 hour length if needed.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/19/13 07:55 PM

Thought I'd give an update. The masterclass was held today and was a great experience. There were six performers and everyone was there on time ready to go.

I cancelled the business meeting that is usually held after the program, and allowed 2 hours for the program. (Our space was reserved for 2 hours, but no one was scheduled after us.) Mainly I wanted to let the clinician have some freedom, and not be rushed. The class lasted 2 hrs and 15 minutes. (Such better use of time than a business meeting!!)

As it turned out, attending this class motivated me to get back to lessons myself. And it's all been confirmed by email--I start with a former professor on Tuesday. Yikes!

Edit: I am finding that 2013 is off to a good start. And this is especially exciting after the shock of turning 50 in October. smile
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/20/13 02:00 AM

Woot on all accounts Ann! And well done on getting back on lessons. I've had a masterclass myself last Wed and it went great! Revisited some thoughts that I hadn't had for a long long time...
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/20/13 08:28 AM

Thanks Nikolas!

I asked myself why I post these personal details. And realized I was hoping someone would say "Well done". smile

I had been waiting for someone to email me saying that as club president I didn't have the authority to cancel a business meeting. But no one did. I suppose others were relieved not to fool with it.
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/20/13 09:39 AM

Ann, I would think your fellow local chapter teachers are so relieved at your cancelling a business meeting that they might want to make you president for life!

I'm glad the master class was so successful. How old were the participants (assuming they were kids)? And do you wish to tell us a little about the teacher who led the master class? Maybe a name, and why he or she was good at the tricky job of conducting such an event?
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/20/13 12:36 PM

LOL about being made president for life.

The participants were from age 8 to 16. The clinician was Dr. Bernardo Scarambone from Eastern Kentucky University. It's difficult to explain what an engaging and fabulous class he led. It was interesting and also humorous.

Lots of useful advice...ideas for enhancing the accents...ideas for helping kids with balance etc. He demonstrated 2 ways to end a certain Level 2 piece and had the kid say which one was better. He was showing the mistake of slouching off at the end of a piece letting the pedal hold the last chord vs. staying with the piece to the end. It was funny to see and he very good at demonstrating a point.

Then for a more advanced student, Dr. Scarambone explained how a trill is part of the melody. And he verbally demonstrated what you DON'T want to do by singing a few notes and then delivering a loud machine gun like trill, then back to the softer melody. Again it was hilarious, but made the point well. And his description of how in speech we don't emphasize the last worD. (He emphasized the D to demonstrate how at the end phrases the kid had played with the last note sticking out. Again, very effective and funny.)

He just has a wonderful way with students, and a generous spirit, and explains things so well. One idea about helping kids to hear the harmonic progression in a Bach prelude, was to play the chords blocked, listening to it as a hymn and listening for the progression, listening for tension and release. I thought it was great.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/20/13 02:24 PM

deleted
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/21/13 11:32 AM

Thanks for taking us into that event, Ann. Bernardo Scarambone sounds like a gem. I see that he is a younger fellow who hails originally from Brazil. We'll take note of his name and teaching abilities. (And your organizing abilities!)
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/21/13 12:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Thanks for taking us into that event, Ann. Bernardo Scarambone sounds like a gem. I see that he is a younger fellow who hails originally from Brazil. We'll take note of his name and teaching abilities. (And your organizing abilities!)


smile
Posted by: Lollipop

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/22/13 09:50 AM

Good job! I love your enthusiasm.
Posted by: Overexposed

Re: any advice regarding organizing a masterclass? - 01/22/13 10:41 AM

Thanks Lollipop!