Andrew Keener with young pianist Mariko Kato
at a Croydon Schools Piano Centre Session Workshop, Fairfield Hall,
Croydon, South London, England (Croydon Advertiser)
The idea sprang from a meeting with Jill Lang, the Director of the excellent Croydon Schools Piano Centre which is part of the Croydon Music Service (www.croydonmusicservice.co.uk). This is a Saturday School for pianistically talented pupils from the area.
Once a year, on a Saturday morning, the school offers a public masterclass onstage at the renowned Croydon concert venue, Fairfield Hall. On each of these occasions, a distinguished pianist (Steven Osborne, Howard Shelley, John Lill, and Piers Lane are among previous visitors) takes each of a group of young players through a piece or movement he or she has prepared, advising and encouraging.
Recently Jill and Andrew Keener hatched the idea of replacing a visiting pianist for a future Workshop with a recording producer. So, with an engineer and mixing desk beside him at the side of the stage, Andrew ran a recording session in public. He comments:
"Each student made a first take, and the pair of us then listened back to it on headphones. The audience was able to hear the playback (and our conversation, via lapel mics), through loudspeakers on the apron of the platform. Then Take Two would be recorded, followed by agreed retakes of this or that passage. After a week or two, an edited CD of all six players was made for each of them".
In this way, working with the musical counselling of a professional producer, each student was able to form a vivid impression of the discipline, creativity and imaginative possibilities of making music under studio conditions.
University music departments, music colleges and schools specialising in music are especially attracted by these Session Workshops as opportunities for their most promising performers to become "studiowise" under professional and experienced guidance.
The use of an institution's existing recording facilities for these Workshops is negotiable.
Where a recording department as such exists, Andrew Keener can supply scores from the day's workshop recordings marked up with editing instructions, thus giving students valuable experience in music editing.
For further details of Session Workshops contact Andrew Keener by clicking here.