Ok, so time has flown by and it is nearly the two week count down to coming home. A lot has changed, a lot has remained the same . . .
We have our concert organised for Tuesday 24th of August, I believe the venue is meant to be good, but the piano will be digital which is most disappointing because I wanted the children to experience an acoustic piano. Making sure they are all prepared for the concert is proving difficult with some children and a dream with others. They are given so many piano lessons a week (some, even 5 hours!!!!) and so do not really understand the concept of practising outside of lessons . . .
Our work with them is paying off though and the improvement in some pupils who have really taken to the challange has been vast.
The only problem with the concert is that focus has been forced to switch from working on general problems to working on problems in the specific piece the child is playing, and trying to make sure it is good enough and ready for the concert. Therefore their learning has been a little restricted and tailored mainly to the piece they will be performing. I feel that when we leave and they begin a new piece they will not be able apply what we have taught them effectively enough.
Unfortunately, working with the teachers, or the teachers observing our lessons has not materialised and this is a major hole in our work here. Little knowledge has been passed on that will sustain, as it has all been just one-on-one teaching with the children. I have suggested that during the remaining time after the concert we do group classes on style and interpretation, pedaling, sight reading, and so on, and some classes with the teachers on how to teach certain concepts effectively (like articulation!) . Hopefully this will allow us to pass on some more lasting advice.
Sam, Gaspar, Helen and myself are heading to The Doon School next week (I hope this is how you spell it) to give a recital and do a one day workshop with 25 children, so planning for this needs to commence . . . Will write about it when we get back. Not looking forward to travelling through the night though!
Then we have our British Council workshops - two days in our last week hear. We have chosen a fable and plan to create a play with music from this within each three hour workshop. Minimal instruments, maximum body percussion, and hopefully 100% effort and participation. Hopefully the children will not have too many barriers and will be ready to let their hear down and make a fool of themselves. If it's anything like the games we played in our planning session then the children will leave thinking us Brits are a little crazeeey . . .
Which of course we are, and hopefully, will always be!