What we learned from Joseph Moog

After his incredible concert, Joseph Moog continued his visit to Millfield with a series of masterclasses for our top piano students. Three hours of Joseph’s tuition yielded some fantastic results and progress that will be of such value to each student. Although each student presented something different, from concerto movements to solo pieces, there were some things that were very useful to everyone:

  • Make life easy for yourself – finger patterns, your seating position at the piano (or with your own instrument), how you move: all of these things can help you or hinder you when you play, so try to use everything you can to your advantage when dealing with technically tricky passages.
  • Know when to give yourself time – when you’re playing music with others, make sure you know when you need to allow others to breathe, or to complete their phrases. But also, be aware that you can take time when you need to for musical or technical reasons, and don’t be afraid of it.
  • Use other people’s interpretations as a starting point – you’d be surprised how different a piece can sound when it’s played by someone else. Spend some time listening to figure out what you do and don’t like, then put that into practice when you perform the work yourself.
  • And finally…don’t be afraid to do something slightly different to what is on the page – if you play a piece of music exactly how it is written on the page, even with all the expression markings, it will sound mechanical and odd. As a soloist, you have freedom to experiment with the music – not with the pitches, but with tempo, articulation, dynamics, you can stretch the boundaries.

Millfield would like to thank Joseph Moog for an absolutely brilliant two days. He was an inspirational performer and teacher, a gentleman, and an incredible part of our International Concert Series. We hope to welcome Joseph back to Millfield soon.

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