Keyboard studies at the Guildhall School

Keyboard studies at the Guildhall School

What we’re looking for in the
Keyboard Department at Guildhall is pianists with the talent, the passion, the sense of need to
communicate through music, and our role is then offer the environment in which they can develop, they can grow, they can thrive. What is recognised in this environment is that in order to grow as an artist,
you need to grow as a human being and there is an enormous amount of respect between students and teachers and everyone, even the people at the front desk. I mean you can feel right away when you walk in the building that there’s a healthy environment. Right away I felt at home, and that there wasn’t a nasty feeling of harsh competition. You always end up learning something new
even if it’s not from your piano teacher because there is a whole range of things
happening around that kind of open up your mind and you kind of open up a bit
more to what music and art have to offer you, and I think you become more complete musician. We try to avoid the trap which is always there for all conservatories, even the most distinguished, which is becoming a world in themselves, separate
and exclusive from the professions that they are connecting to. So, it’s very very important that we are breathing the same air as the music profession, and I
think our collaboration of the Barbican plays a big part in helping us do that. I was lucky to be a Gold Medal finalist in 2016 to perform piano concerto in the
phenomenal Barbican Hall and it’s an unbelievable opportunity and
unbelievable feelings which you get from playing in that hall. I’d never played in such a big hall which was very exciting and also a very good learning experience to adapt to different acoustics, to different sizes of halls
and venues. In order to learn how to perform
you have to perform, so the course is very very highly performance centred, right from the first year there are many opportunities both in assessments, which
always take the form of recycles, to many performance projects. We do both, obviously solo and occasionally sometimes with duo with four hands, in addition of course to a very thriving
chamber music culture here where we work very closely with the
Chamber Music department, so we allow students to have
that opportunity to get to know themselves on stage, which is a vital
part of development for a performer, and how they learn to express and find out
who they really are musically. We have weekly performance platforms which is
really useful because as soon as you get something under your fingers you can just run it through, get feedback, it’s something really nice about this place. One of the most important elements
of the course, I think, is the masterclass programme we have. Just in the last few weeks we’ve had Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, Jeremy Denk, and these people bring into the building
a particular energy, a particular challenge and inspiration, and of course a healthy variety of
outlooks and demands which are very important for
students to interact with, and this is something that I think is very central to balancing the needs of the students to be getting a kind of consistency of
attention and care from the faculty with the constant stimulation of outside
additional input as well. To young pianists I’d recommend Guildhall, because
there is both structure and freedom. There’s lots of structure in classes and
in lessons and what they expect from you is a very very high standard but then
they also really focus on getting you out into London and performing like here
at Milton Court, which is a wonderful space, or in different churches, Barbican Hall,
Wigmore Hall, all of these things they’re very supportive in getting you to to begin a concert career To be in the centre of London with like three proper concert halls around yourself, having a
concerts which you can attend and you can perform, it’s something that you
can’t find in any part of the world, I think.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

1 Comment

  1. Я мечтаю учится там.
    I dream to learn there.
    Сейчас я учусь в 6 классе музыкальной школы (Россия, город Тольятти)
    Now I'm studies at 6th grade of Music school (Russia, city is Togliatti)

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