Learning and Engagement
Over the last few years Hastings International Piano has developed an exceptional year-round engagement programme which aims to take high-quality music into our local community. Through our work with local schools we have given over 1,000 children the opportunity to to attend youth workshops, performances and masterclasses – including a performance with Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE and Isata Kanneh-Mason, in the beautiful setting of Fairlight Hall.
With cuts to arts funding leaving gaps in the important educational upbringing of school-aged children we aim to fill these gaps with a programme of exciting, empowering and engaging work. Our projects are devised with our expert partners including, local schools, music education hubs and community venues.
At Hastings International Piano, we believe that there is no better way to engage students in the processes and energy of music than by involving them in the activity itself.
We live by the mantra, ‘show me, don’t tell me’ and our hands-on workshops give schools and colleges the chance to reinvigorate their students after the torpor of lockdown, with practical sessions led by our animateur in residence Matthew Sharp. The workshops embrace our ‘Body and Soul’ philosophy and participants will be taught how the use of the whole body is central to any performance. Using warm-ups, games, songs and instrumental playing, the workshops cover the fundamental concepts of performance technique- breathing, sensing, connecting and initiating.
Students love our workshops – a recent survey we carried out after workshops in four schools shows that 94% of them had had a positive experience. One particular student who experienced one of our workshops with Matthew Sharp, got in touch to say:
“Hi Matt 🙂 I’m not sure if you’ll see this but I just wanted to say I had an AMAZING workshop experience with you today at my school, __________, and I’m soooo thankful for it. I normally feel extremely anxious when performing, etc. In music despite me absolutely loving it (the two things clash A LOT). I struggle a lot with general anxiety disorder and social anxiety but I found your workshop really inspiring and interesting and enthusiastic and it really helped me to relax and just get into the moment without becoming overly stressed. I’m sure I’m speaking for everyone in my class when I say it was a fantastic time and you were such a massive help in boosting my confidence and teaching me how to improve my musical skill and songwriting. Once again, thank you so much and keep doing what you’re doing because its really helps people around my age to step out of their comfort zone :)”
We believe that going to a live concert should be something that all children should have the chance to experience. While not every child who hears an orchestra will then want to become a musician, we want to make it an experience that they will never forget and one that may be the kernel for either musical or broader artistic endeavour to grow throughout their lives.
Resources will posted here shortly…