blast from past: masterclasses ~ 回忆: 大师班

i like going to the masterclasses at the conservatory. masterclasses are special extra classes organised where the experienced musicians stimulate the brains to think, to decipher, to bubble over with ideas. i like. and they are free.

snippets from two masterclasses i had attended last year. hopefully attending one more soon…


piano. music. – image from NUS conservatory

Messages from Hong Kong

“where do you want the music to go? which direction??”

“When you play the key on the piano, you should make the sound travel. do you hear that, the sound you produce just now is dropped.”

“When you are playing this piece (Haydn, Sonata in Eb Major, Hob. XVI:52), perhaps you might want to think of longer phrases, longer lines.”

“because you are playing the piano, you are able to do a clearer compare and contrast. this compare and contrast is different from what the string players could achieve. do you play a string instrument?? no??? neither do i!!”

“Relax!!! you get more power to play the piano when you relax!”

“You can sing very well. But you cant seemed to hear yourself very well. stop singing so well & start hearing yourself play. you didnt realised you did not play as well as you sing. you did not play what you sing.”

“use the accents to create the tension and power. you cant play every note as long. our human ear cannot take it. you have to use the accents.”

“think of the notes before you actually play them. this gives you more power.”

“when you want to play loud, its not how hard you hit the keys but how fast you hit the keys.”

“Think of the mood, feel the rhythm when you play.”

“could i get you to stand up so that i could try this out??……..oh good, i am going to play all the wrong notes!!”

“oh…. double piano, how should i do this…. where should i stand….. you know, there was once, in my own school, we had a masterclass by twin pianists. so each of them teach a student!”

“this part….. you two should play it like you are quarrelling with each other. you know, like one is saying ‘i think it should be this’, and the other butt in and say, ‘no, it should be like tat!!’ put in more agitation….. like….. how you are so angry with the other person that you want to fight with him….. do you all ever quarrel with anyone?? …..no??? oh, you are just too nice!!”

“you are quarrelling with each other…. you looked too…… CALM!!!!”

“when you are playing in a double piano duet, it would be a good idea not to use too much pedal… because you do not know when the other person is going to use the pedal. the audience would end up hearing too much pedalling….”

“try to move your body a little to give the audience the visual cue to enjoy themselves…”

i went to another masterclass @ the conservatory yesterday by Hong Kong Academy for performing Arts, head of keyboard studies Gabriel Kwok. perhaps, this is my second last masterclass, last one being the T’ang Quartet one. perhaps. after which if the M company is still hiring, i would be back, working. then it would not be possible for me to go for such afternoon masterclasses. i think i would miss the mental stimulation. i would really miss it…… :’(

snippets of masterclass juices

in a Marian Hahn masterclass

“Just because we can’t control it doesn’t mean we are not responsible for it!! As pianists, we cant control the sound after we produced them, so we need to control them before we produce them…..”

“there is a disease in this room, and it is spreading fast. whenever teachers talk to us, we lose our tongues and we do not speak at all.”– conservatory piano lecturer

“whenever you approach a piece that has harmony in it, block ‘em! you block the chords so tat you could hear the harmony better!!”

“think phrases, not the individual words!! think in sentences & adding meanings to the sentences. i don’t see any meaning in playing the individual words! or even worse, spelling the words out in letters!! think your music as sentences!!”

“dont just play the notes. Live ‘em!!”

“think of a direction for your phrases, where does it go???”

“Piano phrases go somewhere. Push your phrases.”

“wat images are you thinking of them you are playing this piece? wat comes to your mind? sparkling snow?? bubbly champagne? think images. wat tones??”

“sometimes, its amazing that art & music uses the same terms of expression. they talk abt tones, warmth, colour, shades, composition, etc.”

“think of your notes before you play them.”

“we need to think of which fingers would be using to play the notes before we actually play them. this is to get the fingers activated.”

“you mean, none of you heard any differences?? that the experiment is an entire flop??”

“count rhythmically. it would help in the music. and always use your native language to count. which count should the emphasis be on??”

i went for my first masterclasses. love it. love the stimulation. love the liberation. love the exchange. i seriously envy all these people. & i missed duet piaying. or any form of chamber music!! :'(

isnt it surprising tat although there are so many music students in singapore, my own siblings are music students, i am still not able to find any dueting partners?!?!?! : sad…… :(

我喜欢到音乐学院去参加大师班。所谓的大师班,就是有大师级的人物会到学院里去教1到2小时的短性班,目的在于引导学生的思考与见识,而且还是免费的。

从去年我去过的大师班回忆:


钢琴。音乐。- 印象原自国大音乐学院

香港来的讯息

“试想想,你要你的音乐往哪个方向走?”

“当你把手弹在键上,你应该让那声音到处游走。你听到吗?你刚弹出来的声音是断落的。”

“当你弹这首曲子的时候(Haydn, Sonata in Eb Major, Hob. XVI:52), 或许你应该常识想一想长一点的句子。”

“就因为你是弹钢琴,所以那落差得更明确一点、更分明一点。这种落差是和拉提琴所能做到的落差不同的。你有拉提琴吗?没有?我也一样!”

“放松!!!这样才有更大的力量来弹钢琴!!”

“你能唱得很好。但是你似乎不能仔细听自己弹的。别唱了,开始听听你所弹得吧!你没察觉你没弹得如你唱的那么好。你没把所唱得弹出来。”

“用重音把那气氛带出来。你不能把每一个音符都弹得一样大声。我们人类的耳朵是受不了的。你得用轻与重音。”

“在你还没把那音符弹出来时,先想一想它。这样一来弹出来的效果会更有力量。”

“当你要弹大声时,你需要注意得不是你用了多大的力量而是你触键的速度有多快。”

“想想那气氛。感觉那节奏。”

“你能否站起来,让我弹这一段??。。。。。。。。哦!太好了!我可要把全部的音符都弹错了!!”

“喔。。。 双琴合奏,我该怎么样做呢。。。我该站那里呢。。。你们知道吗,有一回我所任教的学院来了一对孪生的钢琴家。所以在双钢琴合奏时,他们就一人教一个!”

“这一段。。。你们应该把它表达为一个争吵。。。有如你们两人在吵架,一个说得这样,另一个却有自己的想法,硬是说要那样才正确。。。有点激动。。。就好想你好生气一个人,好想过去揍他。。。你们有跟人吵架过吗??。。。没有?? 啊,你们太好了!”

“你们是在吵架啊!!怎么看起来那么。。。镇定!!!!”

“当你们在弹合奏时,最好是别用踏板了。。。因为你无法知道对方会不会用踏板。结果观众听到的,全是踏板的声音在嗡嗡响。。。”

“移动一下身子,让观众有一点视觉效果好享受。。。”

我昨天又去了音乐学院的大师班,讲师是来自香港的Gabriel Kwok。或许这是我最后第二次来大师班了。如果那份工作真的通过的话,我就不能在周日下午去参加大师班了。我想我会想念那精神粮食。:’(

大师班的笔记

在Marian Hahn的大师班

“就因为我们无法控制它并不代表我们不需要对它付责任!!身为钢琴家,我们在发出声音后无法控制音色,所以我们必须在发出声音之前就先控制它了。。。”

“这房间里有一种细菌,而它蔓延得很快。每当教师队伍和我们说话时,我们就会失去我们的舌头而无法说话。”– 学院讲师。

“每当你们碰到有合声部分的曲子,请把它合起来弹。这样你们才能听到它真正的效果。”

“想段落,别想字!!想象句子而在句子里加入意思。不能在一个孤立的字里找到意思。。。我看不道它的意思!!把你的音乐想象成句子!!”

“别就只弹音符。活在音符里!!”

“想一想你的段落所该走的方向。它得走向那里?”

“音乐句子是往某个方向走的。把你的句子往那个方向推。”

“你在弹这曲子的时候在想什么??脑袋里浮现什么影响?亮晶晶的飘雪??香宾泡沫??想象图画。什么色调??”

“有时侯,真的很让人惊奇,美术和音乐居然用同样的词汇。色调、温和度、色彩、深浅、构图、等等。”

“在你还没弹出声音,你得先想象那声音。”

“我们在还没真正用那手指弹奏时,我们得先想到要用那只手指来弹。这是为了要启发那手指的灵活。”

“你们是说,你们没一个人听的出不同??那实验不就彻底失败了??”

“打拍子时,要有节奏感。这会让你的音乐有帮助。而且得用你的母语来算节奏。。。重拍在那里??”

我去我生平第一次的大师班。喜欢。喜欢对思维的那种激发。喜欢那种自由与解脱。喜欢那交流。真羡慕这些人。我好想念合奏的机会。又或者任何室内乐的交流机会。。。:'(

很惊奇吧。。。新加坡有那么多音乐学生,我家的几姐弟都有学音乐,我却连一个合奏的伙伴都没有!蛮可悲的。。。 :(

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