Some students only want to attend lessons, but others like to be part of wider piano-learning community. Charlotte has developed a wide range of activities for students in addition their lessons.
While for some students the thought of playing anywhere outside the safety of their own home is terrifying, others like having the opportunity to play to a group, and Charlotte provides many performance opportunities for those who are interested.
For those who prefer to enjoy playing the piano purely in private, Charlotte also organises musical and social activities which don’t involve student performances.
Around one-quarter of Charlotte’s students take exams: the rest just play for pleasure. The choice is always left to the student!
Click here to see more about taking exams
Charlotte holds student concerts twice a year in her own home where a small group of students can play informally and listen to other learners.
There is a Christmas themed concert in December, and a summer concert in July. This has a musical theme which can be broad, e.g. jazz and blues or focus on specific collections of pieces (e.g. Bach’s 18 Little Preludes). Specific works always include a mix of pieces so pianists of all standards can participate as many students say they enjoy being part of something bigger.
Playing is followed by refreshments and the chance to chat to other students in the same boat. There is no fee for these concerts, although students are asked to bring a bottle to help contribute towards refreshment costs! Students are welcome to participate in as many or as few of these evenings as they like.
A couple of times a year Charlotte organises masterclasses with another professional pianist for small groups of her students. This gives learners the opportunity to receive feedback from another musician. They are especially useful for those interested in exams, but also provide a useful goal for those who aren’t.
The occasions are always informal and friendly and include refreshments afterwards. Masterclasses are alternated between those for students in the early stages of learning (up to grade 5 level) and those who are intermediate/advanced (grade 6 upwards).
The masterclasses and student concerts are open to learners only, but music festivals in Maidenhead and Woodley take place annually and give students the opportunity to play in front of an audience of family and friends and receive an independent evaluation of their performance. They are most suitable for school-age learners of all levels, although also provide an excellent opportunity for more advanced adult players.
Charlotte gives ‘recital parties’ to which students and their partners are invited, which is an opportunity to hear her perform as well as socialise with other learners.
There are a variety of other activities which complement learning the piano. Previous events have included DVD evenings on piano performance, post-exam pub lunches, and group visits to concerts at the Concert Hall in Reading.