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A Masterclass of Music and the Mind

This past weekend, VYCo students had the privilege of working with Sarah Williams - the Assistant Concertmaster of the Orlando Philharmonic - and the event was a fantastic example of why it is beneficial for students to participate in these events.

For the performers (we had three), it's a wonderful opportunity to gain another perspective on a piece, practice method, or music in general. Once a student has worked on a piece for a length of time, often they will naturally fixate on a few select aspects which they find particularly easy or tricky, and inadvertently lose sight of other critical dimensions of the piece. In addition to regular music lessons, workshops and masterclasses like these are a great way to hear an outside perspective as well as renew interest in a piece.

During our masterclass, Mrs. Williams covered a range of topics that suited each student's needs. From introducing new practice methods to clean up tangled runs to coaxing musical stylings through reflective harmonic analysis questions, students got to enhance their habits of asking "why"when polishing a piece to cover a wider breadth.

The opportunity to perform for our guest was also a wonderful chance for students to further practice their stage presence and face the ever-present nerves that come with performances. Students regularly perform at our biannual recitals, but to be ready to perform and then publicly critiqued (like in a standard masterclass setting) is a whole other dimension of nervousness that is both understandable, and yet critical to experience. In addition to musicality, this event was a great way students to practice harnessing the power and potentials of their mind, analytically and psychologically.

Having such performance opportunities is an invaluable asset to students' developments - not only musically, but with effects that travel into other areas of students' lives as well. For more information on our performances, music lessons and events, check out our Contact page to be kept in the loop.

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