Masterclasses are valuable experiences

Susan Tomes, pianist and writer, mused on masterclasses on her blog yesterday. The anecdote that inspired the post makes for a depressing read.

I commented on her post. I’ve shared the same comment below.

“There is something remarkable to be observed in a masterclass.

First, you hear a complete performance of a movement from a work you may not have heard before.

You think you’ve heard something amazing – a moment where the performer has tried to create a magical moment. We’ve all willed them on. We’ve all experienced something.

Then you hear someone with more experience encourage that same performer to look at the work from a different perspective.

Then we hear the resulting performance.

In the moment, the transformation itself is amazing.

The performer gets something rare and incredibly valuable. The audience gets the best of both worlds.

I’ve always felt incredibly humble in a masterclass. I don’t understand why anyone would consider participating in one an onerous task.”

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