This afternoon I attended an organ masterclass with Martin Jean, formerly of Valparaiso University, and now teaching at Yale University. You can read about all his accomplishments by reading the Wikipedia article by clicking here.
In case you haven’t been to one, a masterclass has several students who in this case, volunteer to play a piece for a master teacher. The teacher then makes comments about the student’s performance, and it’s a little bit like looking into a private lesson, except that everyone hears the teacher’s comments. And of course, the student is playing for an audience of critical listeners. I haven’t been to a masterclass in many years, and always find them enjoyable and informative.
I think that in the case of the five people who played for Martin Jean today, only one is actually going to be his student, and that’s Wyatt Smith, whom we met officially in May but had met over the Internet a couple of years ago! The rest of the people I’m guessing are well-established organists.
After the class, I felt like I had been affirmed — that I’m on the right path as both a teacher and a performer! Of the five pieces that were played today, I had played three of them and knew the notes intimately. Sometimes the fact that I live in Hawaii means that I feel we are in the “boondocks,” and away from the mainstream of organ playing and teaching. But I guess I’m doing all right!