September was a busy month for piano at NECOM, with two fine pianists visiting Armidale. In early September, Australian concert pianist Simon Tedeschi presented a stimulating master class advanced students preparing for HSC and Diploma performance exams. The repertoire included pieces by Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Chopin.
Mr Tedeschi was touring with John Bell to present their ‘Bright Star’ concert in the Armidale Town Hall presented by NECOM and Musica Viva Armidale. They had given a stunning recital of music by Schubert and poetry by Keats the night before the master class. Because of his busy schedule as a performer, Mr Tedeschi rarely teaches, so we were especially fortunate that he made time to share his musical insights and experience with students at NECOM. The master class concluded with a short Q&A discussion. One student asked Simon how he warms up before a concert? Playing scales in all keys using C major fingering!
Just a week later, Dr Edward Neeman, from the Australian National University, gave a series of lessons over three days. Dr Neeman holds a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from The Juilliard School, and regularly gives master classes around the world. Students and teachers warmly appreciated Dr Neeman’s positive approach as he patiently guided students to integrate his suggestions, and help them develop their technique to achieve more refined, nuanced interpretations.
During his weekend visit, a group of local piano teachers met with Dr Neeman for dinner, kindly hosted by Robyn and Bill Driscoll. It was a very enjoyable evening where colleagues could not only to chat informally with Dr Neeman, but also swap teaching tips, and brainstorm ideas for supporting Armidale’s piano students.
All Educator Members who teach a keyboard instrument (piano, organ, harpsichord) are always very welcome to attend NECOM’s keyboard events, and to suggest ideas for future events. These opportunities are often free to NECOM Educator Members and their students.