SOLD OUT – Classical Guitar Immersion 10th Anniversary – June 12th-19th 2015

UPDATE: CGI ’15 is sold out before the open registration date of September 1st! Cancellations do happen so those who would like to be put on a waiting list can send a refundable deposit of $395 to the address listed below. You’ll be notified by April 5th (after final payment is due) if there is a spot available. If there are no spots available for you you’ll be refunded your deposit by April 10th. The good news is that with your deposit you’ll get the preparation benefits of my online practice plan and introduction to my Practice Directives in preparation of your potential pieces at CGI.

The 10th Annual Classical Guitar Immersion will take place June 12th-19th, 2015 at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center located on the beautiful Columbia River Gorge 20 minutes east of Portland, Oregon. CGI 2015 marks the 10th Anniversary of this annual workshop led by international touring classical guitarist Scott Kritzer. With the picturesque Columbia River Gorge as a backdrop Mr. Kritzer shares 35 years of performing and teaching experience in a friendly and engaging manner. Mr. Kritzer leads a handful of students through practice concepts, technical exercises and the philosophy behind his performance skills. The week ends with two informal student recitals.

CGI ’15 Highlights

  • Week-long series of master classes and lectures
  • Ensemble Rehearsals
  • Supervised Practice Sessions
  • Filming of each lesson available for immediate review
  • Private opening night concert by Scott Kritzer in Creevey Hall
  • The preparation of two informal public performances
  • Bi weekly video and written practice directive instructions beginning in April, 2015
  • Registrants will receive the Scott Kritzer Practice Plan (an online automated practice plan that will allow you to organize your practice leading up to CGI ’15)

“Scott’s coaching at CGI provides the ‘missing link of knowledge’ for going from the practice room to the performance stage”.  Teresa Jaworski – 2012, 2014 participant

The CGI immersion process takes place through a week-long series of master classes, lectures, supervised practice sessions and ensemble rehearsals (see CGI ’15 Schedule below). CGI participants prepare two performances. The first recital is an informal performance for the Menucha Retreat Community and special guests. The second performance is a private performance for CGI participants.

How is CGI Different from other Guitar Events? CGI is unlike most other week-long guitar events. Often guitar festivals or workshops include a series of performances and different teachers from which the student draws a diverse and often diffused message. At CGI students are immersed in a single effective approach to repertoire choice, practice techniques and performing skills that are tailored to each player’s needs. The student develops and grows tremendously throughout the week. The transformed player can take these learned skills and continue to apply them to his or her practice and performing.

To aid in the immersion process, beginning in April 2015, each participant will receive biweekly practice directive assignments in written and video form. Registrants will also be given the Scott Kritzer Practice Plan; a tool of immense value for managing your practice sessions. In addition each master class lesson at CGI is recorded for the student’s immediate review.

One final bonus, to mark CGI’s 10th Anniversary I’ll be performing a private opening night concert in Creevey Hall for CGI Participants.

Beginners through Advanced Players Welcome! CGI accepts beginners through advanced players. The only requirement is that you agree to have 10 minutes of memorized repertoire ready by
June, 2015.

Registration The fee for CGI ’15 is $1895 and includes entrance to all classes and workshops, lodging and meals. To register for CGI ’15 send a non-refundable deposit of $395. Registration is on a first come first served basis. Students from the previous year’s CGI have first options until September 1st, 2015 at which time registration opens to the general public. Final payment is due April 3rd, 2015.

Send payment to:
8285 Sw Canyon Lane
Portland, Or 97225

Morning Walks at Menucha

CGI ’14 Schedule
The Schedule at CGI is optimized for the CGI Recital with intense work early followed by more practice and reflective time. Most people arrive late morning to early afternoon of the first day. Airport pick-ups, and drop-offs, will be provided by our generous local students.

Friday, June 12th
1:00-3:00 Portland Airport Arrivals and Pick-ups
4:00-5:00 Check-in
5:00-5:30 Orientation
7:00-8:00 Dinner
8:30-10:00 Scott Kritzer, Concert

Saturday, June 13th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Master Class
3:30-6:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30-9:00 Ensemble Rehearsal

Sunday, June 14th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Master Class
3:30-6:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30-9:00 Ensemble Rehearsal

Monday, June 15th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Master Class
3:30-6:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30-9:00 Ensemble Rehearsal

Tuesday, June 16th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Master Class
3:30-6:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30-9:00 Ensemble Rehearsal

Wednesday, June 17th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Ensemble Rehearsal & Performance Staging
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Open
3:30-4:00 Ensemble Rehearsal
4:30-5:45 CGI Recital in Creevey
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30-9:00 Performance Reviews & Goals

Thursday, June 18th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:30-10:30 Open
10:30-11:30 Private CGI Student Recital
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-3:30 Master Class (New Works)
4:30-5:30 How to Practice
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:30:00-10:00 Outdoor Fireplace

Friday, June 19th
7:30-8:00 Check-out
8:00-9:00 Breakfast

Schedule subject to change

At work @ CGI ’13

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Kritzer Studio Student Features

YouTube Video of Saturday Morning Technique and Repertoire Work

Its great to see the function in the young hands of Ibrahim, Ogden and Michael Hermes. These players have worked hard on positioning and the concepts of alternation and sympathetic motion – important movement forms found in the classical guitarists’ repertoire. These movement forms, when mastered in technique, are bridged into repertoire through right hand mapping. (Covered in Chapter 5 of my upcoming book on classical guitar technique)

Thanks to students Ibrahim, Ogden and Michael Hermes. Notice Ogden’s ‘groan’ as we begin as well as Ibrahim and Ogden’s exasperating photo after we finished.

Ibrahim and Ogden Show Their Excitement for Technique Work


Michael Hermes also demonstrates some slow practice work on the Bach Chaconne. Michael also just added his second masterclass appearance, this time for Manuel Barruceo. His first masterclass was for Pepe Romero. Keep up the good work boys!

 

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Classical Guitar Immersion 2014 Preparation

Classical Guitar Immersion – 2014
June 13th-20th, 2014
Menucha Retreat and Conference Center
38711 East Historic Columbia River Hwy
Corbett, OR 97019-0008
Phone: 503-695-2243 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm PST, weekdays)
Fax: 503-695-2223

CGI is an immersion experience where 7 guitarists join me for a week of classical guitar study on the historic Columbia River Gorge at the Menucha Retreat and Conference Center. Our emphasis is on preparation for performance.

Seven seems to be the perfect number of participants; everyone gets more individual lesson time in masterclasses, we have more free time built into the schedule and each performer gets the opportunity to perform two pieces.

All classes take place in Creevey Hall. This is a great facility; large and comfortable.

A detailed schedule for the week can be found by going to the link above and scrolling down to the schedule.

Repertoire
Each student should submit 2 prepared pieces of any difficulty level, in the range of 2-5 minutes per piece for our final concert on Thursday, June 19th at the Community Music Center located at 3350 SE Francis in Portland, Oregon.

In addition, one of your works will be performed on Wednesday, June 18th, in Creevey Hall on the grounds of Menucha. This is an informal dress rehearsal. I will tape this performance and we’ll review your performance that evening.

An alternate piece of 2-5 minutes should also be prepared.

In addition we will be working on ensemble music, some of which will be part of our final concert.

CGI Format Changes
All remains the same as on the schedule this year with the addition of pre-CGI preparation, new learning tools and simple stretches and movements that will enhance our learning experience.

First, we’ll be choosing our repertoire ahead of CGI, (I’ll help you with this over the next few weeks). Once the repertoire is chosen we will begin working on practice directives that I provide every two weeks leading up to CGI. These practice directives are part of my upcoming book Phase III Practice Directives and will focus on the areas of memory, technical advancement and musicianship. This will prepare each student for the week of immersion where we will tighten up any loose ends and begin working on performance practice directives.

Each student should bring an SD Card and a device, (tablet or laptop) with an SD card slot or configuration.

I will video tape each lesson, on your SD card, and make that available to you after each lesson. You can watch or download the video.

In an effort to combat muscle and mental fatigue I’ll be teaching you hand and arm stretches. We’ll also learn a series of short functional movements that will not only help revitalize the back and shoulders but also reset the negative affects of sitting.

Every year at CGI we cover a slightly different overall subject. This year we’re going to be talking about Function and Demand as it relates to practice. More on that later…

Housing and Meals
Each participant will have a private room and bathroom/shower and a shared small living room area. In addition we have private access to a large kitchen complete with microwave, coffee machine and refrigerator. Participants can bring snacks and drinks and store them in Creevey which is locked each night.

We will meet in Wright Hall each day for meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered each day except for Friday, June 13th (dinner only), Thursday, June 19th, (breakfast and lunch only) and Friday, June 20th (breakfast only).

We will sign up for servers (each meal needs to have one of us be at the dining hall in Wright Hall 10 minutes prior to each meal) and assign rooms on the afternoon of Friday, June 13th.

Alternate diets can be accommodated at an additional cost of $38.00 (payable to me). An extensive list of options are available. For more information, and to request an alternate diet, go to Alternate Diet Online Form. (Deadline is May 16th).

General Info
Menucha is a great place for doing some simple hiking. The hiking trails are relatively flat but you can find some hills. There are tennis and basketball courts as well as an outdoor (unheated) swimming pool.

The weather can be a little rainy, usually some nice weather but of course dress in layers. Bug repellant is not a bad idea for our annual outdoor fireplace night.

There are no phones or TVs in the rooms and wifi is rather slow but available.

Getting to Menucha
I want everyone to arrive no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, June 13th. We will form a carpool made of up local students who can pick-up and drop off those flying into Portland International Airport.

Students should plan on staying through Friday morning if possible.

Please send me the following to help coordinate your arrival:
Projected arrival time (local or remote students)
Cell phone number
Air travelers should also send your itinerary including arrival and departure times and flight numbers. (I’ll coordinate pick-ups and get everyone in contact with each other the week before)

Deadlines
Final Fee for CGI Due: April 2nd
Repertoire Due April 10th
Ensemble Piece to be Sent April 10th
Alternate Dietary Requests Due: May 16th
Travel Itineraries Due: June 1st

Post your thoughts below!!

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Classical Guitar Immersion 2014 – Performance Anxiety Rehab

The 9th Annual Classical Guitar Immersion is almost sold out! If you want to learn to overcome performance anxiety then I hope you’ll join me for a wonderful week, a guitar ‘immersion’ on the beautiful Columbia River Gorge outside Portland, Oregon!

My performances in Carnegie Recital Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts concerts were wrought with performance anxiety. But the most debilitating moment for me came when I returned from those monumental performances and played a concert in a small Oregon town. I was dismayed to find that performance anxiety, and it’s debilitating affects, still had its grip on me. I decided then and there to find a cure, and I did! At CGI you’ll learn these tools and in so doing learn how to bring your pieces up to their highest level and how to help eliminate the effects of performance anxiety.

At work @ CGI ’13

Classical Guitar Immersion is a unique learning experience of the preparation and performance of two pieces from your repertoire. Working in master class and workshops settings a small number of students learn how to prepare for performance honing technical skills, practice habits and performance skills.

Imagine being able to learn to prepare for that upcoming guitar society meeting or masterclass with the confidence that you’ll play your best! In addition to our master classes and workshops (see the schedule on the link provided above), we’ll have ensemble rehearsals for a work to also be included on our final program.

All you need is to have two pieces of any level, 2-5 min in length, memorized by June!

Price for CGI is $1785 and includes:

  • All Masterclass, Workshops, Rehearsals and supervised practice sessions
  • Morning Walks at Menucha

  • Private Room
  • Meals
  • Taped master class (you’ll need to bring a sim card and computer)
  • Taped informal performance review
  • Use of walking trails, swimming pool, basketball court, outdoor fireplace and tennis courts

New This Year
New this year is the pre-CGI work I’ll do with each student. We’re going to pick your pieces early and work through my Practice Directives. By so doing you’ll get a peek at my upcoming book Phase III, Practice Directives for the Classical Guitarist. 

Also new this year to CGI is the recording of each lesson. This will made immediately available for viewing for those who bring their own Sim Card. Students have found a great increase in understanding when their lessons are reviewed. (We tested this last year)

Contact me if you have any questions.

CGI ’14 Schedule
The Schedule at CGI is optimized for the CGI Recital with intense work early followed by more practice and reflective time. Most people arrive the morning or early the early afternoon of the 15th. Airport pick-ups, and drop-offs, will be provided by our generous local students.

Friday, June 13th
1:00-4:00 Early Check-in
4:00-5:00 Late Check-in
5:30-6:00 Orientation
7:00-8:00 Dinner
9:00-11:00 Informal Play-Around

Saturday, June 14th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-11:00 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Master Class
3:00-7:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
8:00-9:30 Practice Directives

Sunday, June 15th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-11:00 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Master Class
3:00-7:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
8:00-9:30 Ensemble Class

Monday, June 16th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-11:00 Master Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Master Class
3:00-7:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
8:00-9:30 Ensemble Class

Tuesday, June 17th
8:00-9:00 -Breakfast
9:00-11:00 Performance Anxiety Rehab
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Beginnings & Endings (Repertoire)
3:00-7:00 Open
6:00-7:00 Dinner
8:00-9:30 Ensemble Class

Wednesday, June 18th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-11:00 Staging Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-3:00 Master Class (new works)
3:00-4:30 Open time
5:00-5:45 Performance for Menucha Community
6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-8:30 Performance Reviews
8:30-10:00 Outdoor Fireplace Social

Thursday, June 19th
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-10:30 Technique Class
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:30 Open
3:00-4:00 2014-15 Guitar Goals
4:00-5:00 Dinner Snacks in Creevey
6:00-6:30 Drive to Community Music Center (3350 SE Francis, Portland, Oregon)
6:30-7:30 Hall Set-up – Community Music Center
7:30-9:00 CGI Recital -Community Music Center
9:00-10:00 Reception (Menucha)

Friday, June 2oth
7:30-8:00 Check-out
8:00-9:00 Breakfast

Schedule subject to change

 

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Benefit for the Portland Classical Guitar Concert Series – Saturday, October 5th

Portland Classic Guitar (PCG) is pleased to announce the Portland Classic Guitar/Marylhurst University Benefit Concert, featuring some of Portland’s finest classical guitarists: Scott Kritzer, John Doan, Peter Zisa, Jeff Ashton, and Dan Cosely. The concert will take place on
Saturday, October 5th, 2013, at 7:00 PM, in Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall, located at 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy. 43),in Marylhurst, OR 97036-0261. It will benefit the widely respected PCG Concert Series, as well as the Marylhurst University Guitar Department, which has generously provided its beautiful venues for most PCG concerts over the last few years. A portion of the proceeds will also help with medical expenses incurred by PCG proprietor William Jenks, who was recently in a bad motor vehicle accident, breaking both of his wrists, and requiring expensive surgery. (Jenks is expected to make a full recovery, and will return to performing soon)

The PCG series has earned a reputation for presenting the very best in classical guitar music, and this concert will be no exception. According to the New York Times, Scott Kritzer is “intelligent and self-assured”; his “sure technique” and “musical sensitivity” reveal him as “a thinking and caring musician.” For decades, Kritzer has garnered similar accolades from audiences and critics alike, in concert halls from New York to Munich to San Francisco to Frankfurt to Vancouver to Los Angeles to Sapporo to Washington, D.C. (where he once performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). He has shared the stage with such brilliant artists as Itzhak Perlman, the Emerson String Quartet, and the Kronos Quartet. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mr. Kritzer has studied in master classes with Eliot Fisk, Pepe Romero, Grammy Award winner David Russell, and many others.

John Doan is an international authority on harp guitar—an unusual instrument that includes extra, unstopped strings. He is a performer and composer who has worked with such luminaries as Donovan, Burl Ives, Larry Carlton, and Chet Atkins; he is also a historian, instrument collector, and associate professor of music at Willamette University. Doan’s music has a strong classical influence, while also drawing on folk (particularly Celtic) traditions. He may be best known for two television specials produced by OPB 1990s: A Christmas to Remember With John Doan and his Emmy nominated A Victorian Christmas With John Doan, which has been a favorite with audiences for over 20 years. This concert, he will be performing selections from his newest recording Homage to Fernando Sor on a guitar built with 5500 year old wood and he will demonstrating a new prototype harp guitar.

The other performers to be featured in this benefit are equally impressive. Consider Jeffrey Ashton, who has enjoyed a forty-year career as a performer, arranger, composer, recording artist, and teacher. Ashton’s adventurous repertoire is known for ranging freely through disparate musical periods—from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque, to works by Sor, Tarrega, Villa-Lobos, and Satie. Peter Zisa, in turn, is a masterful award winning classical guitarist “who delicately blends melodic line and texture into an exciting musical experience”(Louis Sahagun, L.A. Times); his playing “transcends mere technique to a higher level of musical artistry” (University Santa Barbara). Peter is grateful for the mentorship of David Grimes, and additional musical guidance he received from Maestro Andrés Segovia, José Rey de la Torre, and José Tomas. He has performed at universities and various concert series across the U.S. and abroad. And finally, Dan Cosley, according to renowned French guitarist Roland Dyens, “is a real, gifted musician with genuine skills as a composer. He belongs to a restricted community of guitarists who place music even above the guitar and that’s the main reason why I believe in him.” Cosley has a rapidly expanding discography, releasing ten CDs over the last decade. He has created noted compositions and arrangements, and has performed throughout the United States, and also in Rome and Japan. He is currently director of Guitar Studies at Marylhurst.

Tickets for this event will be sold at the door only for $35 General Admission and $30 for students, seniors and Portland Guitar Society members. More info call 503-654-0082.

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Classical Guitar Immersion Recital Program

CGI 2013 Participants

The view from Menucha has been fantastic; mostly great weather but always with great views enjoyed between the classes on repertoire, technique and performance.

Don’t miss the culminating 2013 CGI Recital which place on Thursday, June 2oth at 7:30 pm at the Community Music Center located at 3350 S.E. Francis in Portland, Oregon. Admission is FREE.

Menucha is a beautiful a serene setting in which to work. We’ve enjoyed each other’s stories and music along side this beautiful spot on the Columbia River Gorge

Michael Hermes caught with another cookie!


We hope to see you at the concert!

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Classical Guitar Immersion ’13 Student Recital – Free Admission

The 9th Annual Classical Guitar Immersion Student Recital will take place on Thursday, June 2oth at 7:30 pm at the Community Music Center located at 3350 S.E. Francis in Portland, Oregon.

Performers will include: Yen Nguyen from Newport, Oregon; Sunny Mudge from San Luis Obispo, California; James Walker, from Seattle, Washington; Tom Page from Baltimore, Maryland; Doug Campbell from White Salmon, Washington and Michael Hermes from Portland, Oregon. The program, which features works by J.S. Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Francisco Tarrega, Fernando Sor and others, is free and open to the public.

Classical Guitar Immersion is a week-long immersion into technique, musicianship, practice development and performance development for the serious classical guitar student. Don’t miss the culmination of the week of intense work put in by these dedicated players! For more information on CGI please go to Classical Guitar Immersion. This year’s event takes place at the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, Oregon. 

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Pepe Romero Master Class and Concert

Just a quick post to remind everyone of the rare opportunity we have coming up April 25th & 26th. One of the most recognized guitarists in the world, Pepe Romero is being presenting both in master class and concert by William Jenks and the Portland Classic Guitar.

Pepe Romero, Scott Kritzer and Michael Hermes

I’m honored to say that I’ve been chosen to perform in the master class which will take place on Thursday, April 25th at 7:00 pm at Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall. Master Classes taught by such great artists are always a treat – even if you are only a guitar hobbyist or aficionado. You’ll watch five guitarists (yours truly, William Jenks, my new prodigy Michael Hermes, John Huntsman and Frank Armenta) get public lessons from Pepe Romero.

Michael Hermes plays in his first master class

Each player will work with the maestro personally and as an ‘auditor’ you’ll get great insight into the artistry, musicianship and pedagogy of a legend. Fascinating stuff! For us performers it’s rather nerve-racking and if you are a student of mine I can’t imagine you won’t want to see me on the hot seat! Cost to audit is $20 and can be purchased at the door or by going to the Portland Classic Guitar.

My first master class with Pepe Romero

I saw Pepe teach a master class while I was attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the late 1970′s. His warmth and love for the instrument and it’s music were quickly apparent. His graciousness and care for each player made me an instant fan of this great guitar ambassador. And I’m not just saying this because I’m playing in the class (but hey, I won’t mind if he goes easy on me!). Since that moment I always wanted to play for him and thanks to William I get that chance!

To learn more about master class formats you can read my article Getting More from a Master Class

In one quick lesson the Maestro changed my sound! I was so thankful!!

And don’t miss the concert on Friday, April 26th, 2013 at 8:00 PM at the First Congregational Church- folks, these are the types of concerts that just a few years ago we’d have to travel to Seattle or San Francisco for – BRAVO for all the hard work that William Jenks does in bringing us such great talent. Get your tickets in advance by going to the Portland Classic Guitar website.

Check out Pepe’s performance of Leyenda!

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The Music of J.S. Bach: Short Reflections

One of the great benefits of being musicians is that our work is associated with trying to understand the music written by brilliant and creative souls like Johann Sebastian Bach.

A few weeks ago as I started practicing Bach’s Allemande from the 1st Cello Suite, and even after playing this work, off and on, for over thirty years, I have asked myself “What new insight am I going to learn today?” Unlike the music of any other composer, the music of J.S. Bach can, with a simple inflection, transform and enlighten, much like the changing view in a kaleidoscope generated by a slight twist of the wrist. These new reflections give deeper meaning to the music and to the player’s own soul. When I’m playing my best ‘Bach,’ I become aware of what Bach is saying. This has little to do with my playing and more to do with Bach. I’m often reminded of a quote I heard by a fellow musician: “No matter how well you play Bach, the music is always better.” Continue reading

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Getting More from a Master Class

Table of Contents for Getting More

  1. Getting More out of Your Guitar Lessons
  2. Getting More from a Master Class

1980 Year-Long Michael Lorimer Master Class, Wrightsville Beach, NC

When preparing for a master class, whether you plan on auditing or performing, proper preparation can make a big difference in what you learn from the masters. The following are ideas I’ve gained from decades of auditing and performing in master classes, as well as giving them. My hope is to show you how to best prepare, whether you plan to audit or to perform.

Audit or Perform?

The first thing to decide is whether to audit the master class or perform. Auditing means that you won’t be playing for the artist, which doesn’t mean you’ll learn any less. In fact, so much attention is spent on the issues of performing, that a performer can become distracted and miss what is said to other performers. As an auditor, you’re in the “cat bird seat” — you get to watch all the action without suffering the pangs of performance anxiety. In fact, with some preparation, you can learn a tremendous amount from auditing. Here are some points to make auditing more effective. Continue reading

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